Pony Express

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 2:51pm

Boy and his horse deliver mail when flood waters wash out roads.

16-year-old Will Jorgenson has a lot of chores to do every day.

"We got cows, chickens, ducks, geese, horses, sheep, pigs," he says.

Ever since water has taken over the main gravel road that leads to Will's home outside of Waubay, South Dakota he has taken on one more job.

"The road started going under and the mailman said he couldn't make it out here," says Will.

The road to the Jorgenson family mailbox is too wet and washed out for a regular mail truck to get to.

It's been that way for almost two weeks now.

Still, the watered down path is no match for Will and his horse Angel.

They leave the house at the same time every morning, off to fetch the mail for the day from one of the last dry spots the postman can get to.

It hasn't been a permanent spot, the white and rusted mailbox keeps moving further and further down road.

Will rides bareback.

He says it just takes too long to put on a saddle.

With ten kids in the family plus his grandpa, the mailbox can get pretty full.

Will isn't familiar with the unofficial postal worker's creed, you know the one that goes 'neither rain, nor snow, nor heat and so on.

His main priority is just keeping his deliveries dry.

"Grandpa doesn't like his mail wet," he says.

A lot of responsibility riding on a teenager's shoulders.

"We just tell him not to lose any of it. That's the main thing," says Kurtus Jorgenson, Will's father.

The Jorgensen's could drive an extra ten miles into town to pick up their mail from the post office.

A handful of other families do.

Their roads are too damaged for regular deliveries as well, but why would the Jorgenson's do that when they have their own personal pony express?

"It's kind of nice to have the horse here so he can ride up there and get it," says Ivan Jorgenson, Will's grandfather.

It's a bit of an old fashioned way to deliver a letter, but for this young rider, it's the only way.

"I don't think nothing will stop me, I'll have to keep doing it," Will says.

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