Jay Robertson just made the delivery of a lifetime.
Robertson, a Phoenix-based physical security specialist for the Postal Service, took a break from his regular duties last month to join the Hashknife Pony Express ride across Arizona.
“It was a great experience,” he said.
The annual tradition honors the Pony Express, the storied service that moved mail by horseback between California and Missouri from 1860-1861. The Hashknife ride allows participants to carry mail along a 200-mile route from Holbrook to Scottsdale.
This year’s exercise featured 28 riders, who were each sworn in as honorary mail messengers. They delivered more than 7,000 pieces of First-Class Mail bearing official U.S. Mail Pony Express cancellations.
“It was fun re-enacting the process of handing the mailbags off while on the move,” Robertson said.
The ride, which marked its 60th year in 2018, is part of a festival that also features a parade, storytelling, crafts and a meet and greet with the riders and their horses.
For the riders, it’s also an opportunity to experience the west’s unique weather patterns, Mark Reynolds, another participant, told the White Mountain Independent newspaper.
“Only in Arizona can you have the heater on in the morning and the air conditioning in the afternoon,” he said.
Robertson was impressed with the dedication of the participants.
“All of the riders and support staff were extremely helpful and dedicated to their mission of getting the mail to Scottsdale safely and securely,” he said.