Tue, Jun 13|
Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse
Will Grant, The Last Ride of the Pony Express: My 2,000-mile Horseback Journey into the Old West
In his debut book, Outside contributor Will Grant rides the Pony Express Trail and finds a window to the West as he rides from Missouri to California to retrace the steps of the daring Pony Express riders––a job so dangerous that it was advertised as “orphans preferred.”
Date, Time & Location
Jun 13, 2023, 6:00 PM MDT
Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 202 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
About the Event
This will be an in-store event.
Copies of The Last Ride of the Pony Express can be purchased online here or by calling the store to order (505) 988-4226
"Spellbinding" (Douglas Preston) and "completely fascinating" (Elizabeth Letts), cowboy and journalist Will Grant takes us on an epic and authentic horseback journey into the modern West on an adventure of a lifetime. The Last Ride of the Pony Express boldly illuminates both our mythic fascination with the Pony Express, and how its spirit continues to this day.
The Pony Express, which only lasted for 18 months, from April 3, 1860, to October 26, 1861, has an enormously outsized impact on our understanding of the American West. It 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— and to this day, the Pony Express is irrefutably the greatest display of American horsemanship to ever color the pages of a history book.
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. The Last Ride of the Pony Express is a tale of adventure by a horseman who defies most modern conveniences, and is an unforgettable narrative that will forever change how you see the West, the Pony Express, and America as a whole.
About the Author
Will Grant currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he’s a writer for Outside magazine. His work has also appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek and he was previously the Action Sports editor at VICE. Since graduating college, he has broken in horses at a Colorado ranch, apprenticed under legendary horse trainer Jack Brainard, cowboyed in Texas, raced the Mongol Derby, a nearly 900 mile horse race in Mongolia, and ridden horses on every continent but Antarctica.