FROM: Gene Ockert, Ride Captain, Schellbourne ReRiders
As we are departing for Hicks Ranch where we camp for the first night. We left Ely Sunday 20th, about 12:30. On our way we ran into the group from Pahrump who was riding with us for the ReRide. One of the trailers was on the side of the road, we stopped to give assistance. It seems that they broke an spring on the horse trailer. Not sure if this is a sign for the rest of the trip.
We all ran into Wendover to top off on fuel and traveled 20 miles back to heading to Hicks Ranch. As we pulled into Hicks Tony Z. had a blow out on his trailer.
As Tony fixed his trailer Wendy started with getting our food prepared with the help of several ladies from Pahrump. We had fresh ham that Tony and Wendy raised the hogs, along with some Lamb from Tony. Mary from Pahrump brought over some ribs to add to the pot. Carol had brought Chicken also. Wendy made potato salad along with macaroni salad also.
We were starting out with 19 riders and 5 support help. They are a great help with horses and driving. Helping riders either holding horses or helping get on and ready to ride.
Our National President Lyle Lander with his wife and another friend. Also our State President Ron Bell met us at Hicks Ranch to ride across our ride. Everyone ate till we were all stuffed and ready to relax and visited with friends. It was time to get our new members initiated as full fledged members. My granddaughter Nora Hoge, along with Robin Orban and Petra Beighley were welcomed into the Pony Express. It was also Nora’s Bithday which we wished her a happy birthday.
We tried to get some rest before we had to get the mail from Utah at 12:30 am Monday 21st. We heard that the mail might be coming early. We all went to the State Line where the Marker was and we pick up the Mail. At about 3:00 head lights come into sight.
Tony and Jim Hannah took the mail from Utah and headed out on our run to the Diamonds. The second group from Pahrump Mary Hannah and Robin Orbin started out, as they got to the first curve Robin’s horse decided to take a detour out into the sage. Robin decided to get off and we could not find the horse in the dark. Mary was carrying the mail and kept going. We then left and was hoping that someone would find the horse and take it to Hicks Ranch. The rest of Pahrump spaced out and picked up the pace into the early morning. As we reached the end of the Indian Reservation Tom Love picked up and started across Tippetts. Carol Hunt and Eva Jensen finished across the first leg of Tippetts. Doc Chris, son Chris and Docs grandson Drake picked up the mail to finish Tippetts brigging it to the turn around at the beginning of Rock Springs which is the tallest point of the Pony Express. Just before we started up we had a flat to change. Jimmy Hannah and myself Gene Ockert took the mail up and over about eight to ten miles. It is so steep and rocky with wash outs you do not want to take horse trailers.
Once on the other side Wendy Anderson and Tony Zamora carried it down to where Nora Hoge and Deanna Hoge picked up and carrie to Vogler Ranch. Eva Jensen took the mail starting up the Schellbourne pass. Then between Petra Beighley, Jimmy Hannah, Mary Hannah, Jim Hannah, Vince Hannah finished up and over Schellbourne. Darrell Beighley was on the other side waiting for the group to pick up from there. One of his horsed tried to come thru a small window on the front of the horse trailer and cutting his head up bad. His other horse’s saddle was in the other truck so had to wait.
Doc Chris’s wife had brought out our breakfast and water for the horses along with some fuel. With Darrell’s horses not ready, Jimmy Hannah picked up the mail when it come in. He rode out three miles then I picked up the mail and rode three miles with Willy one of my horses, then took Pony Boy the other horse out and started to ride him the next three miles. At about 2 ¼ miles the heat was getting the best and when Ron Bell asked if I wanted him to finishe up I said that would be great. Jimmy was there to pick up from Ron and go the last two miles to meet up with Doc Chris, Drake and Son Chris. They then took the mail up and over the Eagan range.
Eva picked up the mail from the Christenson’s and brought down to the mine road where Deanna and Nora were waiting to take across the next 4 miles. It seems that Pony Boy which Nora was riding did not want to go. So Deanna started out by herself. A little over half way Willy decided he did not want to go any farther. So I got on and was hopping he would go for me. He went about 50 feet and stopped and put his head down to the ground, I thought he was going to die. So I had to get Pony Boy out to finish this part of the leg. I reached where Wendy and Tony were waiting for me. Tony and myself on Maggie one of Tony’s horses headed up and over White Rock which is another section that only horses can go. With the ground and trail being washed out bad with rocks and such. Then we started to run into wild horses and it seems that Maggie was more interested in the stallion then the trail. It took us a little longer to get over than normal. We also found out that Eddie my driver had to change another tire that went flat.
Then our friends from Pahrump not nowing who rode first or last. Between Petra, Darrell, Jimmy, Jim, Mary, Robin and Vince. Carried the mail over several miles down and over long valley wash which was fixed this year to make it easier to get trucks and trailers over.
Not much farther Tom Loves truck decided to have lots of trouble and was not able to go any farther. He had to let it cool down and without four wheel drive he was not able to finish the run.
It gets catchy on who rode next, latter Deanna was trying to ride Pepy another one of Tonys horses. He did not want to go so I tried to ride as he was still being stubborn I slapped him with the rains and he started to buck me off, I had to pull his head around so he could not keep bucking. We ended up having Wendy take her horse out and ride the next leg.
The Christensons picked up the mail from Wendy, then Deanna and myself picked up the mail from them. Jimmy picked up the mail for another section, him and his horse rode lots of miles and they kept on going just like the Duracell batteries. The group from Pahrump had a flat and had to take time out to change the tire.
The last leg was picked up by Chris taking it to the top of the Diamonds. Not real sure just what time he reached the top. It was 7:30 when he headed up. Then it was dark on the way down he missed the trail and was wandering around. Tony and Wendy were on their way home when they seen lights out in the sage. Doc was out looking for Chris so Wendy and Tony drove up another trail and found Chris, loaded his horse and him and got him back to his trailer. It seems they got stuck trying to get out, so it was a long night for all of them to get home who had to work the next day.
I want to thank all the riders and support team for all their hard work. They rode lots of miles in the dust and heat.