The dust has settled, but the memories and thoughts of a successful Hashknife pony express ride for 2006 is in the history book to read for generations to come.
As you are on the trail awaiting the mailbag to be handed off to you at the mile post area from the upcoming rider, your mind goes into a lot of thought.
Will this be your last ride due to a misfortune of a misfooted horse or due to misjudgment will you meet your Maker?
Your mind thinks of all the preparation it takes to put on a pony express, "Hashknife" style. Your thoughts turn to all the people it takes to put it all together -- 35 riders, mail handlers, camp cooks along the trail, support people with traffic logistics and, of course, the sales crew.
These I mention put their time aside each year to make this the second longest event the Town of Payson celebrates after the "World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo."
Just imagine between Holbrook, the Payson and Rim area, and Scottsdale, how many are involved to make this event a piece of Arizona history.
The following, for just Payson alone, are the core of a successful event. The major sponsors of this year's ride are as follows: Town of Payson, Tonto Apache Enterprises, Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Payson Post Office and the Pine Post Office. Travel sponsors include Payson Glo Lodge, Mazatzal Casino and Inn of Payson. Support sponsors of Pine/Strawberry, Julia Randall, Frontier and Payson Elementary Schools, Saw Mill Crossing Theatres, DJ Craig, Payson Roundup, KMOG Radio 1420 am, Silvia Smith, Jim Albritton and Fred Carpenter of the Town of Payson, Ox Bow Saloon, Payson Volunteer Police, inpayson.com, Hallie Overman, Kay Hutchinson, Judy Pittman, Melissa and Chad Overman, Marcy Rogers and Rim Country Hay and Grain.
That is more than one person could say in one breath. Speaking of breathtaking, I'm sure that the sight of the rides coming into the post office on mail day would explain it all.
Hope to see you all next year, more to you than Happy Trails, "Hashknife!"
Chuck Jackman, Assistant Trail Boss 2006