The Last Ride of the Pony Express: My 2,000-Mile Horseback Journey into the Old West

Little, Brown. Jun. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780316422314. $30. TRAV
In its 18 months of existence, the Pony Express employed around 80 riders to cover roughly 2,000 miles in 10 days to deliver mail. To ensure that the riders could make the journey, the company set up 190 stations, mostly in Utah, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Nevada, where riders could get water and a fresh mount. Journalist and horseman Grant sets out to ride the Pony Express trail to see what happened to the Wild West. During his 142 days on horseback from St. Joseph, MO, to Sacramento, CA, Grant encounters deserts and mountains wild with mustangs. Between that, he finds ranches, farms, and a lot of paved road. More than a historical reenactment, the author’s exploration captures the daily lives of the people who today reside in some of the most desolate areas in the U.S. He also interweaves stories about some of the horses in this narrative. Readers get a glimpse at the American wilderness that remains home to ranchers, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and displaced Indigenous peoples from both sides of the Mississippi.
VERDICT Will appeal to lovers of U.S. history and horses.
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