Saturday, July 2, 2011

On the Pony Express trail - July 1 2011


July 1, 2011 – Outside of Ibapah Utah – Today we rode west across the salt flats to Callao Utah and then west across the Deep Creek Mountains to just west of Ibapah Utah, across the Nevada border.  We have ridden completely across the Mountain Time Zone and we are now on Pacific Time.  We crossed the salt flats following the old wagon ruts of the Pony Express trail.  The trail was distinct and it was not possible to get lost.  Callao is a very small town containing about a dozen families.  One of my coworker's family has a ranch in Callao, a Utah Centennial Ranch, at the site of the Willow Springs Pony Express station.  I walked up to the door to pass on greetings, but no one was home.  Kelvin and I talked about his family's ranch before I left on this trip and it was nice to ride into Callao on horseback with two of my friends and then ride through town.  We rode into town after many miles on the trail and it was very pleasant on the grass under the cottonwood trees and we wanted to linger -- not unlike the late 1800s.

The roads have taken a toll on the vehicles and this morning the trailer came up on the lottery when we noticed a flat tire.  We quickly changed the tire and we'll likely head into Wendover Utah on Saturday to have the flat fixed.  Many vehicles have experienced two or more flats so we have been lucky so far.

We are camped in the sagebrush on a family ranch.  We will spend one layover day at this campsite and then head over to Schellbourne.  Schellbourne has been the site of a traditional multi-day ride and the ride days will be loops out of camp.  My objective is to get my two horses to Virginia City and on to California and I am reluctant to put many miles on loop trails at Schellbourne.  The loop trails will not advance us towards our goal and I will make my decision about the loops when we reach camp, but right now my preference is to do very short days of out-and-back trails with Cindy and save the horses for the Pony Express trail.

Best Regards,

Tom N

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