14 April 2011

Mail Distribution and Pony ExpressTrivia

For the folks who just stopped by, no deliveries are made on our island. Going off means food shopping, picking up supplies for either gardening or house repairs, with prerequesite library stops and the posting - picking up - of mail and parcels all this whilst observing ferry time schedules!
This bi-weekly trip (due to petrol!) allow us to post parcels as needed, this time to three different parts of the world, and I am always thankful the budget stretches a little bit more for "just one more parcel"...There is no doubt in anyone's mind - particularly my husband's - I enjoy preparing these thus I am being forgiven for the extravagance (I hope so)!

Considering USPS costs these days and the (often) delays we experience in receiving our post, the Pony Express service would have been just as fast!
Mail posted from the UK or Japan takes only 5 days to reach us yet a lettre sent to the MidWest from the Pacific coast will in fact take 7 to 8 if you are lucky...
Posting parcels let's just say comes under the headlines "confusing" and "dire"...Delivery ETA uncertain!

Mail distribution via the Pony Express was in fact faster! From April 1860 to October 1861 the Pony Express operated 157 stations along their route with 10 miles of rough riding betwixt each post.
Including the mail pouch weighting 20 pounds each rider carried an additional 20 pounds of material such as a water sack, a Bible, a horn to alert the next relay station master to prepare a fresh horse and a choice of weapon.
In addition, a rider could not weigh over 125 pounds and changed horses every 75 to 100 miles, riding night and day. And sometime a rider would ride over 20 hours if an emergency arise...
Riders for the Pony Express received $25 weekly....

(Map of Pony Express Route in 1860)

Westbound lettre carried on 3 April 1860 by Pony Express! It arrived in San Francisco on 14 April 1860 at 1300 hours!

Eastbound lettre sent on 3 April 1860 by Pony Express from San Francisco, estimated delivery 10 days later in St Joseph, Missouri!

The first pouch included 49 lettres, 5 telegrams and assorted papers and yes, it was dire at $5 for each but consider this: the mail arrived (proofs shown above)!
What an amazing feat considering we have lost numerous lettres and parcels in 2010 alone!

Now for more bad news...The USPS is raising (once again) their rates on 17 April 2011...

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