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.
"Ellis sets out along the old Pony Express trail on foot, carrying a backpack and looking for rides and friendship along the way. Without a horse or relief riders, the trip takes Ellis three months rather than the ten days advertised by the nineteenth-century mail delivery company. Musing both about the past and present, Ellis travels with a wagon for a spell, sleeps in a homeless shelter another night, and celebrates his arrival in California with a slice of pizza. Written in the present tense from diary entries, the story is full of a sense of discovery."-Booklist "[The author] ... Strikes out on his own and meets a variety of fellow travelers-a poet-bartender; wilting 'flower children'; a young, pregnant Austrian woman with whom he has a brief affair; and, perhaps most divertingly, 'the Rabbit Man,' a gentle semi-recluse who's addicted to Eskimo Pies and who's been holed up in a Kansas storm cellar."-Kirkus
Series: American West
Number Of Pages: 324
Published: 1st March 2002
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.38