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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Pony Express Re-Enactment Postponed Until August

Pony Express enthusiasts were scheduled to thunder across Utah's desert in a couple of weeks, as part of a re-enactment of the famous relay ride, but the event has been postponed until August.

One of the most difficult and dangerous parts of the old Pony Express trail was the stretch of desert west from Salt Lake City to the Nevada state line. Water was scarce and riders faced countless challenges, including hostile natives.

Now the route is designated a backcountry byway and some way stations are been restored. Utah's Camp Floyd / Stagecoach Inn State Park marks a key stop along the route.

Details of the postponement are given in this news article. Below are excerpts.

For the first time in its 32-year history, the National Pony Express Association is postponing its annual reenactment of the famous ride from St. Joseph, Mo., to Sacramento this summer due to an outbreak of the equine herpes virus EHV-1.

Organizers are banking on the likelihood the virus will have run its course by the time the rescheduled dates come around. Riders will leave St. Joseph on Aug. 17 and arrive in Sacramento on Aug. 27 with letters in their leather mail pouches purchased by trail enthusiasts celebrating its 151st anniversary.

"Those letters will be delayed, but they are going to be delivered," Swigart said. "That's the important part."

The route west out of St. Joseph mostly followed the Oregon Trail from Kansas through what is now Nebraska and Wyoming. From there, it largely followed what is now U.S. Interstate 80 into Utah before veering south toward U.S. Highway 50 into Nevada and on to Sacramento.

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