Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Hashknife Pony Express rides again!

Every year, in a sleepy little western town where time almost (notice the newspaper headlines?) stands still
and you can still sleep in a Wig Wam (if you want)
the Pony Express rides again!
In the morning, the Hashknife Posse riders enjoy a quick breakfast
and mount up using a saddle like these.
Here are some of the original saddle bags.

click on picture to enlarge

Wednesday morning, in 15 degree weather, the Hashknife Pony Express took off promptly at 8 AM and I was there for the send off! 
Unfortunately, my camera jammed so I didn't get any more than one not-very-good photo. The cowboy is pointing the way as the horse and rider turn and run. The horse and rider are headed for Navajo Avenue and when they reach the intersection, they run right into the police escort truck. The horse slipped and fell but quickly got back up and they kept going. It was a tense moment or two, but in true grit style, "Ride 'em, Cowboy!"

 This horse trailer was parked farther on down the road where the next hand-off of the mailbags took place. Those huge rocks in the photo are actually pieces of petrified  wood.
We parked in the Trading Post (gift shop) parking lot right across the street and there was a virtual forest of petrified wood.
For the record, here's a couple of posers. ;-p
For more information on the event please read here and see a newspaper article here. There's still time to see them ride into Scottsdale tomorrow (Friday) at high noon for final delivery of the mail near this statue

and to see the Parada del Sol Parade (The "world's largest horse-drawn parade") on Saturday beginning at 10 AM in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona.

Would you like to have a letter delivered by PONY EXPRESS? 

The Navajo County Hashknife Posse's Pony Express Ride takes place each year

 the last Wednesday of January (this year- February 9-11, 2011).
The Hashknife Posse has the longest continuous contract with the U.S. Postal Service to carry official U.S. Mail via Pony Express style. The group is sworn in as official U.S. Mail Carriers prior to their route from Holbrook, for the 200 mile trip across the Mogollon Rim into Scottsdale.

The Hashknife Posse is now working on their second 50 years of history, having completed their 52nd ride. (2011 was their 53rd!)

You can mail your letter/letters any time during the year. Of course, you'll have to wait until the 2012 ride to have it delivered...

You can either buy a Pony Express Mailer or use your own envelope. Address as usual. Affix the proper amount of postage. On the lower left hand edge of the envelope write "Via Pony Express".

You then place the letter in another envelope addressed to Postmaster, Holbrook, AZ 86025 and mail.

When you receive your letter it will be stamped with the official Pony Express Cachet - and cancelled with the Hashknife Station official cancellation mark. This letter is a keepsake treasured by many collectors around the world.

Here is the email I got:
Thank you for contacting the Hashknife Pony Express.  If you would like to send a letter on the Ride.  Please send your First Class Letter(s) or Mailer (s) in an envelope to the Hashknife Pony Express, PO Box 8045, Scottsdale, AZ 85252.(Please Help us with our cost by making a $2.00 Donation with your letters)(please do not send fragile letters)  Letters need to be received at the Scottsdale Post Office by Friday February 04, 2011 in order to be carried on the Ride.  Letters can be sent anywhere in the world with proper postage, after being carried 200 miles on the Hashknife Pony Express they will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

If you would like to buy a copy of the Hashknife Documentary, please send $25 dollars for each DVD to Hashknife Documentary,PO Box 8045, Scottsdale, AZ 85252. please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Please visit our ebay web or go to ebay and search hashknife.

Thanks Dave Alford, Trail Boss
(cashiers check, money order or checks please)


juliette said...

Thanks for such a great post! I love the history of the pony express. I want to deliver mail on a pony - although I don't want to race around doing it - I want to go slow and see the sights! Of course, I could get your mail to you if I had a year!

Thanks for sharing - wigwams and cowboys. That statue is just fabulous. That is a shame about the horse falling - hope it was ok for real.

Thanks again for a great post!

Ed said...

Very cool..:-)

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

That looks like a lot of fun.

Thanks for the information.


Jessie McCandless said...

Wow! This is so very cool! I had no idea they did anything like this. I'll have to definitely make a point of sending in a letter and donation :)

achieve1dream said...

That is soooo cool!!! I think I'm going to mail one to myself. Oh or I could write a letter to my husband. :) If I send it now we'll probably forget all about it by next year. That could be so much fun! :D Thanks for sharing. That's so cool.

I'm glad the horse that fell was okay. Poor guy. The petrified wood is really cool too!

Rising Rainbow said...

Very interesting stuff. Didn't you post about them this time last year too? Seems like I recall learning about this event from you.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Yeah I did, on my way back from the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show.
lol, and I guess I did make it back there! Hmmm, maybe next year I'll make it to the finish line in Scottsdale.