Friday, June 3, 2011

Following the Pioneers

Yesterday's drive along route 36 was tracing the route of the early settlers of the west. Route 36 roughly follows the route used by the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, the Mormon Trail and the Pony Express through this part of the country. The most notable thing that struck me in the drive was that there was a cemetery alongside the road about every 10 miles. Testimony, I suppose, to the number of people  of people who used this road in their migration west. 

The town of Scandia is located on the Republic river which was one of the barriers to be dealt with in traveling west. Moving on east we came to the town on Maryville and stopped at the last remaining Pony Express home station, known as station #1.

The Pony Express home stations were located every 75 to 100 miles apart and it was where the riders would transfer the mail to the next rider and rest until their next ride. Between the home stations there were relay stations every 10 to 15 miles where the rider was give 2 minutes to change horses and be on his way. After 10 to 12 hours in the saddle the rider would reach a home station and finish his ride.

This station originally had a flat roof and the holes in the walls were not gun ports, but merely provided ventilation for the horses housed inside. Tomorrow I'll post the pictures shot inside the museum.

Last night I spent the night in Seneca Kansas and plan to do the same tonight. The park I'm in is one of the nicest I've stayed at in all of my travels and it's only $15.00 per night. The rest of the day will be spent resting my weary arms from fighting the wind and enjoying the good life.

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