SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — The annual revival of the Pony Express has been chosen as the official event to celebrate Nebraska’s 150th birthday.
More than 700 riders began the mail service trip by horse in Missouri on Monday, the Scottsbluff Star-Herald (http://bit.ly/2qTuZQo ) reported. They’ll travel nearly 2,000 miles via the Pony Express National Historic Trail through Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California by June 15.
Riders are expected to enter Nebraska on Tuesday. The 565-mile route in Nebraska is the longest trek among the eight states.
This year’s commemorative letter honors Nebraska’s sesquicentennial, describing the Great Platte River Road’s history and featuring the iconic Chimney Rock. The envelope will also showcase the U.S. Postal Service-issued Nebraska sesquicentennial postage stamp.
Max Cawiezel has been the trail captain of the local ride for 25 years and is in charge of the far western leg of the ride. He recruits and organizes local riders, gives their applications to the state organization and decides the order they’ll ride in.
“On the day of the ride, I give them their oath,” he said. The oath required original riders not use profane language, drink or fight.
Riders will carry the mail in a leather pouch, or mochila.