Monday, July 18, 2011

On the Pony Express Trail - July 16 2011


July 16, 2011 – Sand Hill Station to Carson Sink Station, Nevada – Today I rode Frank twenty-six miles across the desert playas and small mountain ranges.  I rode alone.  We hauled the horses the 34 miles from Cold Springs because Highway 50 overlays the Pony Express Trail.  At Sand Hill Station the highway and the trail diverge.  We had a 5:00 AM ride start so we were up at 3:30.  Even so, the few other riders left about twenty minutes ahead of me and I had a very pleasant solitary trail experience across the dry lake beds of Nevada.  In the 1860s, Carson Lake was much larger than today and the modern trail crosses a vast salt flat where the trail of the 1860s traversed the shore of the lake.  In the 1860s, Carson Lake was the subject of landscape artists, but today's scene is considerably different.

Keep a movin' Dan

it's the devil not a man

who spreads the burnin' sand with water.

cool, clear, water

After Carson Lake, the trail passes the ruins of Wildcat Station.  Wildcat Station was a freight and wagon station than came into existence a few years after the Pony Express.  Stone walls and rock foundations are all that remains of Wildcat Station today.

Shade and trees are rare in Nevada.  Cindy and I are resting the horses under the shade trees of a church in Silver Springs Nevada.  It is Saturday, and various members of the congregation are tidying the church for tomorrow's services.  We had a very nice conversation with Fred and Louise and another woman from the church.  Fred and Louise asked about the horses and asked if I was familiar with the Tevis Cup.   The question led to a long discussion of Tevis, horses, mustangs, Arabians, other breeds, and various outdoor activities.

Today was ride day 39, and tomorrow is day 40, the last day of the ride.  Either Frank or Whiskey has been on the trail every day and I have been on the trail with them every day.  Tomorrow's finish in Virginia City comes too soon.

Best Regards,
Tom N

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