Saturday, August 21, 2010

On the way thru Kansas

We have arisen to a very foggy morning. I guess being so close to the Missouri River has womething todo with that. We are up and getting ready to hit the road. Ready to cross Kansas again. We like back roads when possible, so we have picked about fifty miles of back roads. I do not like to drive the back roads because I sometimes hold up local traffic, not everyone wants to drive 50-55 mph. LOL One more about the PX before he head out.
Just to the north end of the PX museum is this hanging sculpture. Below is Sherry with the painted Buffalo. For some reason he doesn't look as good in picture.

Until we started looking at the Pony Express (PX) I never realized the different means used to get the mail to California. Well I knew about ships sailing around the horn of South America, but I did not know that they sailed ships from NY to Panama and loaded stuff on wagons and took supplies and mail to the Pacific coast and loaded it aboard another ship. This map depicts the three or four main routes from East to West. Mail by wagon was much slower and was subject to more hazards than a lonely horseman was. Wagon break downs, bad weather (Winter it was impossible for wagon or stage), and Hostiles could attack a slower wagon much easier.

I never thought much of the logistics of the PX. It operated for 18 months, during that time someone had to drive wagons to supply all 100 of the relay stations. Wagons loaded as below.

I promised a story. A real story or a hero named Pony Bob. picture left.
On one run Pony Bob, who had been born in England but fit well in the West, was atacked by indians during the Piute wars. He was attacked from all sides by arrow and bullet. Knowing he had no choice but give up the mail or fight, he fought. In his testimony he said he recognized some of the horses. They were stolen PX horses. I am sure these guys recognized horses as well as I can ID a '55 for or '57 chevy. He knew he could not out run them, so going against he love for the horse, some that he had ridden. He had to shot the horses as he broke thru the lines.
He was hit in the arm and the arrow stuck in the bone. He worked the arrow free. He threw one empty pistol away, and grabbed another. There was one hostile following. but falling back. Pony Bob was hit in the cheek with the arrow and knocked out 5 teeth. He made the run. Arriving at the relief station, the other rider refused to take the mail. Pony took three or four minutes to stop the blood and patch himself up and headed out again.
His run was 180 miles, he rested 8 hours and headed back East with the next run. Among the mail he had saved was Lincoln's Inaugral address. Bob died at 72, forgotten as the 'Man who knew no fear', he was a bell hop in Chicago.

Along with an oath to God, the pony express rider was given a leather bound Bible like this.

For 18 months the ponies ran, except for the time immediately after Pony Bob's run, when it was shut down for repair of stations that had been burned. It ran until the telegraph started clicking, and they were no longer needed. The PX was a highlight of this nation, but one of the worst business ventures ever undertaken. The route bled money from its conception. The owners lost everything they had.

I thought this was neat. One section of the Museum is preserved to show what was found in the archeological Dig.

Well as some of you read this we are on our way to Colorado Springs, via the great state of Kansas.
Thanks for coming this way.
Nite Shipsog,

I suppose you've heard about the man on the flying trapeze who caught his wife in the act.


Shirl 72 said...

I lost my comment. I think it is because you are
moving and it goes out the window and not to
your computer. Probably lost in Kansas City. LOL Will try later forgot what I said.


Rose said...

What an amazing story about Pony Bob!

Wow, we've come a long way Baby!

Hugs, Rose
P.S. Do you guys ever stop and rest at one place like more than a month? LOL

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a ride you all are having...Colorado Springs is a name familiar to me but have never been there. Take care and enjoy the journey.

That corgi :) said...

Colorado Springs is gorgeous as you two probably know already! I'm sure you will enjoy your time there so very much!! so very interesting about the Pony Express and Pony Bob. After all of that, he lived to 72! Wow!! amazing history to share with us; thanks Jack and Sherry!

safe travels!


Anonymous said...

without you i wouldn't have been able to learn this, thank you.
nearly a year since last smelled and sean fog - thank you as well for the memories. please have a good and safe sunday.

Missy said...

Interesting story... glad we have air mail and no wild Indians these days lol.. Take care and wishing you tons of fun in COlorado Springs.