Steamboat Springs In March 1860, western newspapers ran an ad that said, "Wanted: young, skinny, wiry fellows not over 18. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily." In April, the men who responded became the first mail carriers of the Pony Express. They rode 75 to 100 miles a day through Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California, legitimizing the U.S. Postal Service in those states by guaranteeing that the western United States would be connected to the east when it came to the mail, according to the U.S. Postal Service.
Now, 141 years later, anthrax bacteria, which has turned up in post offices in eastern cities, has gotten some people nervous about the west's connection to the east through the mail.
Locals in Steamboat Springs appeared to be aware of the potential danger, and a few are concerned about picking up mail at the post office.
Three people, out of 10 questioned at the downtown post office Sunday, said they had some concerns about the safety of their mail.
"I was just thinking about it," Amy Russell said while opening up her mail in the post office. "I'm a little hesitant."
However, she commented her hesitance isn't going to stop her from getting her mail.
Bob Holderman said he goes to the post office nearly every day and the anthrax scare is something that is on his mind. He said people should be conscious of what they are getting, just in case.
Postal service employees are taking precautions having the option of wearing gloves and a mask. They also are being trained to recognize suspicious-looking packages, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman said.
Mike Weinberg was among the seven people who said they had no safety concerns about the mail.
"It doesn't bother me," he said. "I figure if it's my time to go, it's my time to go, whether it's anthrax or not."
Others said they were not concerned about the safety of the mail, but all said it was something they have thought about.