Tall Tales | The Last Ride of the Pony Express
A book program designed to help us learn about the many varied cultures, landscapes, and stories of the American West past and present. Before the program, read the selected book, then join us as we gather together to engage in meaningful conversations and shared experiences.
First 10 households to register receive a free copy of the book!*
The art collection at the Sid Richardson Museum represents some of the places, characters, and events that populated the American West and our imaginations. The Pony Express, which only ran for less than two years, conjures romantic images of horse and rider at full gallop across the expansive landscapes west of the Missouri River. But what was that epic journey really like? Join us for our next Tall Tales discussion as Will Grant, a horse trainer, veteran cowboy and writer for Outside magazine, leads us across the storied route in his recent travelog The Last Ride of the Pony Express: My 2,000-Mile Horseback Journey into the Old West.
The Pony Express was a fast-horse frontier mail service that spanned the American West— the high, dry, and undeniably lonesome part of North America. While in operation during the 1860s, it carried letter mail on a blistering ten-day schedule between Missouri and San Francisco, running through a vast and mostly uninhabited wilderness. It covered a massive distance—akin to running horses between Madrid and Moscow.
Though the Pony Express has enjoyed a lot of traction over the years, among the authors that have attempted to encapsulate it, none have ever ridden it themselves. While most scholars would look for answers inside a library, Will Grant looks for his between the ears of a horse. Inspired by the likes of Mark Twain, Sir Richard Burton, and Horace Greeley, all of whom traveled throughout the developing West, Will Grant returned to his roots: he would ride the trail himself with his two horses, Chicken Fry and Badger, from one end to the other.
Will Grant captures the spirit of the West in a way that few writers have. Along with rich encounters with the ranchers, farmers, historians, and businessmen who populate the trail, his exploits on horseback offer an intimate portrait of how the West has evolved from the rough and tumble 19th century to the present, and it’s written with such intimacy that you’ll feel as though you’re riding right alongside of him. The result is an extraordinary portrait of the treacherous and, at times, thrilling landscape of the known and unknown American West, and the people who populate it.
Join us for our next Tall Tales book discussion as we read and discuss The Last Ride of the Pony Express by Will Grant. Please read the selected book prior to the program.
Registration: Required – opens June 18
Contact: Director of Adult Programs at adulteducation@SidRichardsonMuseum.org or 817.332.6554 if you have any questions or would like to be added to the wait list when registration is full.* Registrants who receive a free copy of the book can elect to pick it up at the front desk during museum hours or have it mailed for a $7 fee. Staff will confirm your option after you register.