Pony Express Trail ...
Location: Western Churchill County, Salt Wells
Directions: Behind Enel Salt Wells Power Plant, 15 miles east of Fallon
(Access via US 50 east to Salt Wells Road, then south for 8 miles)
Marker type: St (L)
Date Conquered: 3/31/11
Quick Description: A marker finally commemorating the brave riders of the Pony Express Trail.
Signed: No -- This marker is one of the newest additions to the marker system (added in 2011). Although it's much needed, no signs were ever erected.
NOTES: The average hunter will have probably never heard of this marker! There are a few good reasons for this.  Pony Express Trail is a recent addition to the State Marker System (erected in March 2011) and was located quite a distance from US 50 on an unpaved road. Unfortunately, signage was not erected at the marker's unveiling, leaving it a complete mystery to all but a few who attended its opening. Woot ... the curtain calls!
- To find this elusive marker, hunters need to head east out of Fallon on US 50 to Salt Wells Road (unpaved). This road may or may not be signed, but it can easily be distinguished by the decaying stand of ruins alongside the highway two miles east of Grimes Point.
- Turn south onto Salt Wells Road and engage a dusty, eight-mile drive across the flat plains of Salt Wells Basin. As you drive the road, there will be nothing but barren hillsides and flat expanses the entire way, except for one dot of civilization on the horizon. This "dot" is what your headed for ... the Enel Green Power Plant.
Many of you may be wondering as to why this location was chosen for this marker. The truth is, this seemingly odd location was chosen due to a collaborative effort of four agencies who funded the construction and land usage needed for the marker's erection. In other words,  wouldn't be around today if it weren't for a group of caring, and culturally-savvy individuals donating lands and funding for the project. (More on this in a minute)
Even yours truly was asked to speak a few words before this marker's unveiling. I'm just glad nobody shot my picture ...
Although access to the plant is strictly off-limits to the public, Enel officials have set up a large public parking area in front of the marker. In other words, feel free to visit and have a picnic beside the marker without any interruption! Considering this location is extremely quiet and peaceful, this is a great blessing to us marker hunters!
Exact description as reads ...
Notice the massive amount of text on this Standard-issue marker! I asked Mara at the unveiling about this and the SHPO chose this defunct-style of marker because it "best represented the Pony Express Trail and would be easier to spot from the road."
One hundred and fifty years ago, the Pony Express was founded by W. H. Russell, Alexander Majors and William B. Waddell, operators of the Overland Stage Line of Leavenworth, Kansas. During a visit to Washington, Mr. Russell was urged by California Senator William Gwin to expand the Overland Stage operation to facilitate faster mail service. Mr. Russell’s partners hesitated due to the projected high costs; he persevered and the first ride began on April 3, 1860.
Overland stagecoach stations were located every 10-12 miles as far as Salt Lake City. Eighty skilled and experienced riders, 400 horses and approximately one hundred-eighty-four stations were located in Nevada from Utah (Deep Creek) to the California border (Genoa). The swift riders carried the mail 2,000 miles in 10 days from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The “Pony” improved nationwide communication, western expansion and was credited with California’s continued participation in the Union at the beginning of the Civil War.
A high price was paid for the improved communication, including the cost to post a letter and the trials of the employees during the ride. The cost of mailing a letter as advertised was not economical, “letters less than 1/4 oz cost $2.50; over 1/4 oz, not to exceed ˝ oz cost $5.00 and so on.” The riders, station masters and division agents faced hostile environments including poor housing, extreme heat and cold, poor access to potable water, food and dangers due to the conflicts between the Tribes and the new comers to the west.
On October 24, 1861, the telegraph was born and the last ride was completed. What had taken ten days could be achieved in ten seconds thus ending the Pony Express but the memory of the riders and the route live on.
After the unveiling, Nevada members of the National Pony Express Trail Association stood for a group shot, officially welcoming  into the State Marker System.
My favorite part of the event ...  is the first historic marker to be honored with cake!
** Many thanks go to the following agencies who put together this grand occasion. #271 would not be around today without these people. Thank you!
- Mark Strumble at the Carson City BLM Office for inviting me to this momentous event.
- Bureau of Land Management Nevada
- Nevada State Historical Preservation Office
- National Pony Express Association, Inc, (Nevada Division)
- Enel Green Power North America, Inc.
See you out there!