The good folks at Adventure Bike Rider are posting my Pony Express in the January issue and asked that I write a little about riding the Pony Express Trail (PDX). I’ll post weekly with a report on each day of the PDX. First a bit of history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pony_Express
The longest stretches of off-tarmac riding is the section from Vernon, Utah to Carson City, Nevada. This is also the most remote section. A word of warning:The PDX is not to be taken lightly. It can be really hot, 45c, and is some of the most remote back country riding in the US. If you get in trouble you are on your own. Like most of the western US the region is high desert interspersed with low mountain ranges so the best time to ride the PDX is June or late September. There is no cell phone service for hundreds of miles and except for the occasional remote ranch or mine it is completely empty of people. Total riding distance is ~450 miles and most of the riding is what I call 3rd gear riding. Two gallons of spare fuel is mandatory and plan on camping. Fuel is available in Vernon as well as a small cafe. I asked the girls running the cafe if they had many people riding the PDX and they said usually it was Harley guys showing up who did not realize it was dirt. I would normally take this opportunity to poke fun at Harley riders but it’s just too easy.
The ride from Vernon to Simpson Springs Campground is well marked and takes about 4 hours, but plan on quite a few stops. The Utah section of the PDX is well maintained gravel with nice climbs thru some low passes. The views are spectacular and extend for over 100 miles in all directions. Simpson Springs campground is a well maintained campground with nice pit toilets and water. It offers beautiful sunsets and a recently restored Station house. There is also a larger set of ruins from the original PDX station and ranch. Keep an eye out for antelope as I saw quite a few. I have stayed at the campground twice and both times was the sole occupant. While watching an amazing sunset I set up camp and enjoyed a couple of cold beers from my little cooler. Dinner was a not as enjoyable freeze dried curry. I reveled in the absolute silence and fell asleep looking at stars shooting out of the Milky Way.