Jerry Ellis is the author of Walking the Trail: One Man's Journey along the Cherokee Trail of Tears, also available in a Bison Books edition.
On the Trail of the Pony Expressby Jerry Ellis
Responding to the enduring lure of the West that captured his imagination as a child, Jerry Ellis decides to follow the trail of the Pony Express, a short-lived, hell-for-leather mail delivery service that lasted just one and a half years starting in 1860 but has marked itself in national memory ever since. Starting his journey in St. Joseph, Missouri, Ellis
Responding to the enduring lure of the West that captured his imagination as a child, Jerry Ellis decides to follow the trail of the Pony Express, a short-lived, hell-for-leather mail delivery service that lasted just one and a half years starting in 1860 but has marked itself in national memory ever since. Starting his journey in St. Joseph, Missouri, Ellis follows the Pony Express trail across Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada to the end of the line in San Francisco.
Ellis succeeds in completing his twenty-one-hundred-mile journey by foot, horseback, covered wagon, hitchhiking, and canoe. Open to what he finds, including his own frailties, Ellis reports with sympathy and humor on the strange variety of the modern West.
- UNP - Bison Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 8.50(d)
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If you're looking for adventure and history in the 1860's, stretching from Missouri to California, then this book is for you. Ellis makes the journey by foot, horseback, wagon train, and canoe. He camps in a tent along the way for three months and collects stories of those he meets. He is charmed by the Rabbit Man, an edlerly man who lives in a hole in the ground in Kansas, and in Salt Lake City is aroused by a young woman from Austria. He brands cattle with national bronc champions in Wyoming and a farmer gives him a piece of the telegraph wire that replaced the Pony Express riders in the Great Salt Lake Desert of Utah. The book is interwoven with historical nuggets and the reader doesn't want the journey to end.
This is a rip-snorting adventure. If it were a stew, it's meat would be a combination of buffalo, horse and steer. Throw in a dash of sage and tumbleweed as well. Oh, yeah, add a pinch of howling coyote. I love that this author can brand cattles one day and write poetry the next.
I've read everything I could find on the old west and this book is the best I've seen. It's wonderful writing filled with history and adventure as Ellis spends three months on the Trail from Missouri to California. He meets both rugged and poetic characters, including the Rabbit Man who lives in a hole and a Wyoming woman who is national bronc riding champ. Highly recommended.