Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Pony Express

I was pointed in the direction of the Pony Express by new flatmate (who comes to London from Las Vegas via Vancouver and keeps my American dream alive on a daily basis). The Pony Express was a mail service crossing the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the High Sierras from Missouri to California which only ran for 16 months in 1860. I absolutely love the idea of this, everything about it, from it's tiny lifespan and full-on harrowing intensity - it was one of the most dangerous jobs around. One of the ad's for new riders read 'Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.'

This was the oath sworn by Pony Express Riders.

I agree not use profane language, not to get drunk, not to gamble, not to treat animals cruelly and not to do anything else that is incompatible with the conduct of a gentleman. And I agree, if I violate any of the above conditions, to accept my discharge without any pay for my services.

I want to investigate the route here further for Adam Hayes' Make Maps project...