Pony Express Trail Challenge
In Missouri, United States
How Geocaching Works
PONY EXPRESS TRAIL CHALLENGE
The Pony Express started in St Joseph, Missouri
The Pony Express Trail is probably the most famous trail in Western Lore. On April 3, 1860 the eastern Pony Express mail arrived by train. The mail was brought here, which was the site of the United States Express Company. They were agents of the famous 'Central Overland California and Pike's Peak Express Company' who owned the Pony Express and whose offices were located at 12th and Penn Streets in the Patee House. It was here in St Joseph, Missouri, that on April 3, 1860 the first pony left at 7:15 PM starting a 10 day journey of 1966 miles to deliver mail to Sacramento, California. The race against time, elements and a hostile land captured the spirit of Americans, helped hold California for the Union and proved a central overland route was possible. Operators William Russell, Alexander Majors and William Waddell went broke without a government mail contract, and the telegraph finally replaced the Pony Express riders after 18 months of operation. Pony Express Trail Challenge
Coordinates listed are the real coordinates for this cache BUT before Logging this Challenge, Please follow all cache rules below:
The Pony Express Trail is a route that was established in 1860 to carry communication from the western City of St. Joseph to the Gold Rush territory of California. Tension was great between North and South and a Civil War was looming. The United States government wanted to keep the new rich territory informed of all matters possible to try to keep them in line with the Union side. Russell, Waddell, and Majors were the key holders of this newly formed idea of having this trail cover the territory between the civilized area of St Joseph and the vast American desert to the gold fields of California. The idea was simple- have relay stations spaced out across the designated trail with fresh horses ready at each stop for riders to change onto to keep the delivery of mail and communication flowing as fast as possible. The trip would take approximately 10 days to run young, skinny, wiry, fellows (preferrably orphans) on horseback from one end of the trail in St Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA. Return trips would bring California news and mail back to St Joseph. Although the business venture only lasted about 18 months, it is widely known in history here in the US and other parts of the globe. Now, today, in the geocaching world, the route will again be brought back into play as a challenge to fulfill for bragging rights and completion of the Pony Express Trail Challenge cache. With the Sesquicentennial Celebration in April of 2010, the release of this cache at this time will allow cachers time to find all of the requirements and complete this Grand Finale before the 150 year celebration. Please have fun researching, retracing the trail, and completing the required caches to be able to complete the final “challenge” cache.
Rules for completing this challenge:
- You must follow generally accepted rules, guidelines and conditions for finding and logging a cache. Your submitted caches must be bonafide caches listed on www.geocaching.com that you have visited in person and signed the physical log in the cache. (no virtual caches, please). Only caches found after January 1, 2009 will qualify.
- Traditional and multi-caches are accepted for this challenge prerequisite. The published coordinates of all caches will apply. You may submit caches that you own.
- You must find a total of ten (10) caches to qualify for this final Challenge cache. The Pony Express Trail ran between St Joseph, MO and Sacramento, CA so it crossed parts of eight states. You must get one cache from each state (8) and any two (2) additional caches along the trail (any state/s).
- Cache finds must be at a Pony Express Station site or very near one with a memorial or marker denoting the site as part of the original trail. Colorado and Missouri have limited miles of trail so they could be the most sought after sites. Please send me e-mails with photographic proof of your visit/logging. I will need the waypoints and names of 10 caches in 8 states and 10 photos of proof you did do these caches before you can be recognized and allowed to complete this final challenge cache. I will also accept snail mail submissions of printed pictures with waypoints and cache names for review.
- The theme of this challenge cache is the Pony Express Trail so please keep that in mind first and foremost. Some other caches might be acceptable for the prerequisite if approved by me (cache owner). Please query the Pony Express as a keyword when searching for station caches. Others can be found to qualify without having the pony express station as part of the name on the cache. One example is “Kennekuk est 1858” (KS) where a marker and granite memorial are located to denote the old station. If in doubt about a cache location as a qualifying cache, please e-mail me (cache owner) for clarification.
- You must submit your complete list of 10 qualifying caches with photo verification to me (cache owner) before I can release to you the final cache of this challenge. The list and photos will be verified for correctness.
- When your list and photos have been verified and approved, you will be permitted to hunt the final cache (diff/terr: 1.5/1.5) You will also be recognized and listed on the Hall of Fame list below.
- While you are permitted to have other people with you when you hunt the final cache, only those who have fulfilled all criteria for this cache will be allowed to log a successful find. Please note that there is a FTF prize (choice of one) for this cache but it is not in the cache (see photo). I have not placed it there because of the size (10-12 inches) and possibility in may be gone before a challenge completer gets there to claim it. I will make arrangements with the first person to finish the challenge for their FTF prize.
- Upon completion of the final cache, your name will move to and be prominently displayed on the Hall of Fame below. I will do periodic checks on the cache to ensure no false (phantom) finds are logged (they will be deleted if found).
- With the April 2010 Sesquicentennial celebration activities, Geocachers who have completed all phases of this challenge will be recognized at this event also. A plate with caching name will be engraved and added to the Pony Express Trail Challenge Plaque at the Pony Express Stables Museum in St Joseph, MO.
(approximately 2 miles of trail)
The National Pony Express Trail ran from the office of the Pony Express at Patee House Hotel along Penn Street to the Pony Express Stables and then on to the ferry crossing the Missouri River near the West end of Francis Street. Markers are located near this point by the river. Qualifying caches in Missouri for the Challenge are: "Pony Express, Headin' West" "C B & Q" "Westward Ho!" "Cobblestone Cache" "Robidoux Landing" "5Alarm Fire" "Ferry Tale" "Missouri"and "Extra, Extra, Read All About It!"
(approximately 139 miles of trail)
As soon as the Pony Express rider crossed the Missouri River on the ferry, he rode 139 miles across the NE corner of the state using any of 12 stations along the way before heading into Nebraska.
(approximately 441 miles of trail)
Nebraska had 38 stations with a corner of Colorado interruping their route at the South Platte and Julesburg stations. The trail headed north from Colorado to Scott's Bluff before entering Wyoming (still Nebraska territory then).
(approximately 16 miles of trail)
Only two stations were located in Colorado, the Frontz's/South Platte Station and the Julesburg Station. Only "Colorado Cactus Cache #2" , "Colorado Pony Express" and "Colorado Spirit Quest #51- Hillside Cemetery" are available presently near the Colorado part of the Pony Express Trail.
(approximately 540 miles of trail)
About 42 stations were located in Wyoming where the trail became more dangerous crossing the hostile territory.
(approximately 241 miles of trail)
Another 28 stations were located in Utah.
(approximately 404 miles of trail)
Nevada had 42 stations listed at one time or another during the time the trail existed. Several of these were added when it was decided more coverage was needed for protection and refreshing of horses and riders.
(approximately 223 miles of trail)
The trail only ran to Sacramento with 15 more stations. However, three more stations were utilized between Sacramento and San Francisco. Boats were used down the Sacramento River to San Francisco unless the connection was missed. The office of the Alta Telegraph served as the final western terminus for the C.O.C. & P. P. Express Co..
MOJEDO recieves their FTF Prize from Cindy Daffron of the Pony Express Stables Museum.
"WALL OF FAME"
|Sho me da cache
A Pony Express rider waves goodbye to the new hi-tech telegraph line/ workers!
Please use the National Park Service "Pony Express National Historic Trail's Auto Tour Route" as a helpful resource to finding the actual trail route by car. Also a book "Historic Resource Study Pony Express National Historic Trail" by Anthony Godfrey, Ph.D. can be very helpful and shed light on the significance on each station along the route. Here is a link MOJEDO found as helpful to show several markers/monuments along the trail to help in your search also: http://www.waymarking.com/cat/details.aspx?f=1&guid=cba034d4-d3b1-4c90-9170-ca2ccd661da7
This cache was placed with permission of the St Joseph Pony Express Stables Museum Board.
(No hints available.)