Historic Pony Express re-riders and their horses on Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge
Meet Pony Express re-riders and their horses at the Grass Lake trailhead on Saturday, Aug. 9 as part of the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge. Every June the National Pony Express Association conducts an annual re-ride of the historic 1,800 mile Pony Express Trail. Each year more than 600 equestrians ride the original route from St. Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA carrying mail along the trail.
On Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Grass Lake trailhead, located off of Hwy 89 in Meyers, CA near Big Meadow visitors, residents and Tahoe Rim Trail Challengers are invited to join the Tahoe Rim Trail Association for a fun trail event centered around the Pony Express and the trail’s historic claim to the Sierra and the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT).
Petra Keller, a member of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA) Board of Directors is excited about the event and shares, “This is a great opportunity to learn more about the TRT and the historic Pony Express Trail; not many know that the Pony Express Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail cross. Everyone loves seeing horses on the trail and kids especially love to feed carrots to our horses.”
Ranked among the most remarkable feats of the American West, the Pony Express was in service from April 1860 to November 1861. Its primary mission was to deliver mail and news between St. Joseph, MO and San Francisco, CA. Telegrams and letters were carried in a “mochila,” the Spanish word for knapsack. Re-riders from the National Pony Express Association will have a mochila on the trail for viewing as it represents the heart of the Pony Express. While other riders carried mail by horseback, it was the mochila, easily transferrable from one horse to another, that made the Pony Express unique. Since the riders had just two minutes to exchange horses, the mochila design allowed for easy and quick removal and placement on a fresh horse at Remount Stations. The rider's weight kept the mochila in place during the rugged rides.
Tahoe Rim Trail Association board, staff and volunteers will be stationed at both the Grass Lake trailhead and along this section of the TRT from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ready to meet the public. This event also runs in conjunction with the 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge, “Where’s McLeod? Summer Giveaway Series.”
Participants of the challenge who come to the event wearing a Trail Challenge T-shirt are eligible to receive a free gift certificate from our program sponsor Coffeebar and photo opportunities with trail mascot, McLeod the Marmot.
Grass Lake trailhead
Off of Hwy 89 near Big Meadows
Meyers, CA 96155