By Linda Kor
The Hashknife Posse is gearing up for its 56th annual Pony Express ride and has a host of events planned.
Posse members will be visiting area schools on Monday, Jan. 27, starting with Joseph City Elementary School at 9 a.m., Holbrook Headstart at 10:15 a.m., Rainbow Accommodation School at 11:30 a.m. and Holbrook Headstart again at 1:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the riders will be at both Hulet and Park elementary schools in Holbrook at 10 a.m. This year the posse will be demonstrating how the mail is passed from rider to rider on Seventh Street for Park students and on Buffalo Street for Hulet students. Members of the public are encouraged to attend, but are asked to stand across the road from the schools in order to not obstruct the view of the students, who will be standing within the fence boundaries.
At 12 noon on Tuesday the riders will be sworn in at the Historic Navajo County Courthouse, where a hot dog lunch will be served by the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce.
At 6 o’clock that night, a send-off dinner will be served at the Holbrook Elks Lodge. Dinner tickets are $10 each, and are available at Holbrook City Hall or
Pat’s House of Originals. The menu includes chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and vegetables.
On Wednesday, Jan. 29, breakfast will be served at 6 a.m. at the Holbrook Senior Center. A meal of biscuits and gravy with fruit, or hot cakes and sausage will be served for $6 per plate.
At 8 a.m. sharp the mail will depart from the Holbrook Post Office with rider Greg Long starting off the ride.
The mail will arrive at Payson Post Office at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Dinner will be held at Payson Elks Lodge at 7 p.m.
The riders will be taking the mail from the Payson Post Office the following morning at 9 o’clock and will arrive at the Fountain Hills Post Office at 3 p.m.
On Friday, Jan. 31, the riders leave from their Verde River campsite at 9 a.m. and at 12 noon, they will arrive at the Hashknife Pony Express statue located at Camelback and Marshall Way in Scottsdale Fashion Square.
There is still time to send a letter that will travel with the riders. Anyone interested in sending letters on the ride may do so by placing their letters in the barrel containers available inside both the Holbrook and Winslow post offices by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Each envelope should bear the correct postage and be marked Via Pony Express in the lower left corner. Special mailers are available at the Holbrook and Winslow post offices for $1 each, and each envelope is stamped with the posse’s pony express stamp commemorating this year’s ride.
By Linda Kor