FROM: Travis Gerber
Pony Express Report
Night Riders, Robert’s Creek Station
12 July 2017
The Night Riders of the Robert’s Creek Station, Travis Gerber and Andy Boyer, with the addition of two greenhorn recruits and the Nevada Division President, Arthur Johnson, were sworn in as Pony Express Riders on 13 June 2017 with strict instructions to see that the mail parcel in their charge be delivered safely from the top of the Diamond Mountains to Grubbs Well. Their former, long time Ride Captain, Steve Notterman, was unable to join them, and he was sorely missed, for he was a dutiful leader of this section for years.
It seemed from the beginning that everything was against the Night Riders, but more miracles were doled out to the group than even a saint could hope for.
The band had four horses, but one Zip was lame, and one Gandhi was wont of two shoes, which he had thrown the day previous. By chance, a local farmer was in the vicinity and came to the Night Riders’ aid. Two shoes were gifted, but they came at a price: for when the rancher turned to leave, the word “snow” left his lips.
And snow it did. And blow it did. The night of the ride, the much needed moon refused to guide the travelers. A false rumor and a delayed mail parcel left Andy and the horse Grey Bones straddling the Diamond Mountains for 5 hours in a blinding wind and snow. Determinedly Andy waited and waited, though shivering in the frigid blast of the storm. Both horse and rider were exhausted and chilled to the core by the time they picked their way down Telegraph Pass with the precious parcel.
The first greenhorn, John Twomey, was a recruit from Illinois. A farmer. A good man. A good sport. He bravely rode a portion of the trail through Diamond Valley until his sore back could no longer hold up under the unruly mount Gandhi. The second greenhorn, Cami Dilg, who hailed from Utah, volunteered to complete the remainder of this stretch, and rode bravely in the night swinging in the saddle for 6 miles which positioned the Night Riders halfway across the valley floor.
With darkness still abiding, the parcel was passed to the Division President. He rode a spirited horse and was joined by his companion, a dog, and the three were soon swallowed up in the dark. Those left behind hastily made their way to the last transition point. Due to the inclement weather, the President pressed his horse across Diamond Valley to make up the lost time. As the Night Riders waited near the last gate for the President, dawn stole in, and they could see the storm lifting. Unnoticed, however, was a low-hanging, barbed fence that paralleled the Express route, and which momentarily vanished from view in the hazy morning light. The President’s horse thundered forward, and the group could see that he had lost the trail. Suddenly horse and rider collided with the unseen barbed wire with such force that sparks flew, and both man and beast were thrown violently to the ground. Surprisingly, the onlookers were more distraught than the President, for he and the horse were up in a moment. Nothing more than shaken and blood on the horse’s forearm and cannon, but very much alive and unharmed.
There was no time for particulars and, in Express fashion, Travis retrieved the parcel and he and his horse Dun bolted up Garden Pass in a flash. The trail twisted and turned following the course of a dry creek bed. As the pass narrowed, the blind corners and low hanging juniper bows transported the Night Rider back to 1860 before barbed wire but when there were other, more prevalent dangers on the route like Shoshone or Paiute attacks. As the sun rose and the storm clouds cleared, Travis and Dun surged through the pass and met the next Pony Express riders who carried the mail on the Roberts Creek Station and Grubs Well.
Despite the difficulties they encountered, the Night Riders of the Robert’s Creek Station unwaveringly fulfilled their obligations as sworn members of the Pony Express completing yet another delivery through the Nevada wilderness.