Remember that’s what it’s called in the bracketed narration: The Jackass Mail. Well, that was real. While the Overland Mail ran from San Francisco to St. Louis, there was the company’s southern route from San Antonio to San Diego, pulled by mules, hence its nickname. There were two trips a month, one leaving San Antonio and the other San Diego, with 30 days allowed for each. That’s 1,476 miles – just short of half the U.S. – at about 40 miles a day. It cost $200, and most of the meals were included, but it was tough going. I mean tough; swear to God you were asked to bring your own guns and ammunition to fend off Indians. Our stage station at “Rawhide,” then, was The Ritz compared to the stops along the way; unmanned water holes setup at thirty-mile intervals, when they held water. And only three stops – San Antonio, El Paso and San Diego (so only one during the trip) – had buildings. Over the course of its run – this is roughly 1857 to 1861 – about 40 trips of the entire route were made.
Coming up, our last film in Ty’s Top 5 is also his last film, Witness For The Prosecution.