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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Pony Express stop over and wild, wild horses ...

Eureka, NV to Middlegate Junction - 133 miles / 107degrees C - their hottest day of the year!
Packed up again and headed further west on R50 which was now running parallel with American Legend, The Pony Express Trail.
Less than 20 miles out of Eureka I sighted my first wild Mustang horses out on the plains - just 4 of them but apparently have been told that there are so many in the area that they have to be culled!

Drove and stopped briefly in Austin another small one road town but at least with a gas station!
It was starting once again to change from miles of forever straight but beautiful roads to mountainous ranges until dropping into the basin and stopping at Cold Springs Station, an old pony express stop over and now not more than a bar and a few rooms - but my destination was another 20 miles to the historic Middlegate Station which served as a key pony express changing station when the service began in April 1860 for 18 months until October 1861 when the completion of the Pacific Telegraph line ended the need for for those courageous riders.
During that time The Pony Express Riders (adverts openly asked for children, preferably orphans) and their brave mounts relayed their mail laden Mochilla 1900 miles in 10 days from St Joseph, MI across the Great Plains, Rocky Mtns, Central Nevada and the High Sierras to Sacramento, CA. With 157 stations averaging 10 miles apart and up to 400 horses, more than 120 courageous riders were challenged with the Indians and terrible winter weather.
Don't forget before this mail could take months to get across America - in 1848 the Pacific Mail Steamship company carried mail by ship from
New York to Panama, moved across Panama by rail, then by ship again to San Francisco. The goal in getting a letter from the East in 3 to 4 weeks was seldom met.
So hot this afternoon, 107 that just lie in their pool among the mobile homes and try and catch some shadow time.
To further add to this one off experience I also just happen to meet a gold prospector who has just set up a site on educating people how to find gold in the area - yes apparently it's out there ! !
Recommend a great black ale beer 1554 from Fort Collins,CO which I'm currently drinking to the sound of live western music in the background of this amazing Middlegate place no middle of nowhere place ;)
Tomorrow will be heading with the Bonnie south through the desert and into California.

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