Meadowmom

Meadowmom

Posted on 09/25/2013


Photo taken on February 24, 2010


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Nevada Nevada



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Nevada
Pony Express
Highway 50


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Thinking About the Pony Express

Thinking About the Pony Express
Near Highway 50, Central Nevada, USA. (I'm not sure if this is the original 1860 pony express station or the telegraph station that replaced it...at any rate, it was built in the middle of Paiute Indian country at a time when the Paiutes were mighty angry about losing their lands.)

Gazing at these ruins, I thought about how we prolong the childhood of teenagers today, and then clamp down on the resulting rebellion.

You see, the pony express riders were young boys, most around 17 or 18, some as young as 14. Skinny and light weight, like jockeys today. They carried no food, no bedding, nothing much but the mail pouch, a little water, a pistol and a rifle. Later the rifles were taken away, considered to be too heavy. They rode fast and all alone across very wild rough country for 8 to 12 hours, changing horses at each remote station. More than one of them died.

I didn't have to look very far in Google to find the famous old Pony Express recruitment ad:

WANTED, young skinny wiry
fellows, not over 18. Must be
expert riders, willing to risk
death daily. Orphans pre-
ferred.

Compare that to the limited chances to take real responsibility we give high school age people today!

Compostpyle, Ruth S Hart, Peter Van Der Houwen have particularly liked this photo


Comments
Jenny Downing
Jenny Downing
fascinating!
4 years ago.
Peter Van Der Houwen
Peter Van Der Houwen
Impressive piece of history, well illustrated!
4 years ago.
slgwv
slgwv
Nice! I saw recently, probably at the Pony Express interpretive stop by Sand Mountain, that a very young Buffalo Bill Cody was one of the riders. That's probably why the Pony Express is still remembered today, despite its brief life, because it figured prominently in the Wild West Show!
4 years ago.
Ruth S Hart
Ruth S Hart
Wonderful shot
4 years ago.
Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor
Wonderful image and I love your interesting reflections on the Pony Express and today's youth.
4 years ago.