mail pony

Mary Fields was born a slave and freed when American slavery was outlawed in 1865. She was usually seen smoking a cigar, wearing a pistol and a jug of whiskey. After taking on various jobs including domestic worker, forewoman and owner of a restaurant that would serve food to anyone even if they couldn’t pay, at age 60 she became a mail carrier because she was the fastest applicant to hitch a team of six horses. She was the second woman and first African American woman to work for the U.S. Postal Service. She never missed a day. She drove a team of horses and a mule named Moses. If the snow was too deep for her horses, she delivered mail on snowshoes. Her reliability earned her the nickname “Stagecoach Mary”. She became so respected in the town of Cascade that they closed its schools to celebrate her birthday each year. When Montana passed a law forbidding women to enter saloons, the mayor of Cascade granted her an exemption.

Pony mail! I didn’t expect Silly Sunshine to come in a box and now I don’t know if I want to take her out or not! But she is an ultra long hair and so pretty.

Queen Crysalis I wanted for a while but she was always sold out when I was at the store so I bought her online (way cheaper)! I’m also having the box debate with her since Zecora and Mane-iac are still in theirs.

And finally pearlized Pretzel! Another one I really wanted but there are about four pearlized ponies in all of Arizona and she was not one of them. I love her colors.


#TravelTuesday with Guest Photographer Bob Wick and Retrace Wyoming’s Historic Emigrant Trails!

It’s hard to believe that just over 150 years ago, hundreds of thousands of pioneers traversed these vast high deserts of Wyoming on foot and by wagon seeking a better life in the west. Easterners looking to farm in the rich soils of Oregon or to find riches in the California goldfields, Mormons pulling handcarts towards the Brigham Young’s settlements in the Great Salt Lake Valley, and riders on the short-lived Pony Express mail route all converged west of Casper to make their way over a low point in the Continental divide at South Pass.  

Start your trip to retrace the route at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper, Wyoming. The center has outstanding exhibits interpreting the significant role of the area’s historic trails played in in the history of the United States, and is a great place to get oriented for sites along the route.

As you travel westward from Casper, the landscape unfolds just like it did for the emigrants.  Imagine preparing for your trek and viewing sketches of surreal western land features in your guidebook and then coming upon them in real life. Milestones such as Devils Gate, Independence Rock (usually passed around July 4th), and Split Rock, which acted like a gunsight pointing towards South Pass, served both to guide and encourage the emigrants. The landscape remains relatively unchanged along the route so you can capture photographs of the same untouched places.  At several locations you can view inscriptions left by the emigrants.

Photo Tips: The vast landscapes in Wyoming often have dramatic skies – including sky in a large portion of the image (¾ or more) will help capture a stronger mood of the vastness of this place. Plan your photography around the weather. Clearing storms behind cold fronts, and summer monsoon afternoon/evening cloud buildup offer some of the most dramatic skies here and elsewhere in the west. Flat blue and flat grey skies are visually boring – in these situations you should minimize the amount of sky in your landscape images.

One of my favorite places along the emigrant trails route is South Pass itself. Camping near the base of Oregon Buttes (no facilities), watching the dawn light roll down the Wind River Range and filter across the pass makes one feel how powerful this place must have been as a milestone and gateway to the emigrants.

Photo Tip: Get your camera out before sunrise and don’t put it away after sunset. The soft pink light makes for soft sublime images.

Check out our @esri Historic Emigrant Trails multimedia storymap for more stunning photos, videos, helpful links and maps of the area:


This is a first for me!  An alternate re-hair for Goldilocks.  I was sent this pony who’s previous owner had at some point gone to her with a crimping iron.  I’m sure it’s a sign of a well loved toy of the 80s but unfortunately it left her hair falling out.  I decided to give her a Rapunzel style re-hair mixing two colors of blonde similar to the original, and adding some lavender purple and lots of purple tinsel!  Since both Goldilocks and Rapunzel are fairytale mail-order ponies, with Goldilocks looking rather plain next to the much more sought after Rapunzel, it really just seemed right to me.


Andi: We can dress up as superheroes! I’ll be Punch Girl, and you can be Dr. Horse. Punch Girls arch enemy!

Sweet Disaster is having a Halloween party and I felt like a little acknowledgement of that was just what the doctor ordered. So I asked Vero to draw a little something.

I hope you like it Sweet!

(And yes, this DOES mean that the hiatus is over :) I’ll write up an actual post about it later)