Thursday, July 14, 2011

On the Pony Express Trail - July 12 2011


July 12, 2011 – Austin to Cold Springs Nevada – We spent last night in Austin while the main camp was west in a dry lake bed.  The fifty mile riders hauled their horses back some distance on the trail in order to get a full fifty miles today.  I am riding shorter distances so Cindy dropped Whiskey and me off along Highway 50 and I rode a fence line south to intersect the Pony Express Trail.  Once on the trail, I rode east to the Edwards Creek Pony Express Station, then turned back west and rode to Cold Springs.  Along the Pony Trail I found an old horseshoe and a possible gravesite.  The gravesite had the correct shape and orientation but we'll never know if it is grave and if so, the story is lost to time and the desert.

Cold Springs was once a Pony Express Station and has been a gas station and is now a very small resort on Highway 50.  In any form, Cold Springs has been serving travelers on the pony Express and subsequent trails for 150 years.  Members of the gypsy caravan overwhelmed the small restaurant staff and began to bus tables themselves.  Others made relaxed at the bar, on the porch, or played pool.

While sitting on the porch at Cold Springs, we met a very interesting character who has been riding his bicycle across the country since mid-March.  Tom Harwood rode west from the Atlantic to the Pacific, turned around and is now riding east back to the Atlantic Ocean.  His route is not direct and he plans to ride north to Chicago and then south to Florida.  We talked about our respective adventures and the similarities and differences between bicycle and horse travel.  We talked about the sense of time on the trail and how life is distilled to simple and direct objectives.  We talked about our respective adventures and how the trips have changed our perspective, our lives, and how we have changed ourselves.  Tom is 62 and the key message that I heard was when he said to me, "I wish I had done trips like this when I was younger."

Best Regards,

Tom N

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