months after our arrival [in New Mexico] a weekly mail route
was established .... If we hadn't done so before, we children
certainly earned our bed and board then! In rain or shine, heat
or cold, daylight or night time, we made that twenty mile round
trip on horseback singly or in pairs every Monday of the world.
With mail sacks flabby though never empty (for my mother was
one of that species rapidly becoming extinct a letter writer)
going to the post office, and bulging with mail coming back
from it (we subscribed to innumerable papers and magazines),
we children high trotted back and forth, up and down that ten
mile stretch of Datil Canon, for more times than I probably
would believe if count had been kept.
With icicles six inches long hanging from my pony's nostrils,
and with frostbitten feet, I have made that trip in sub zero
weather, or, in midsummer, I have ridden it with the sun blasting
down with all the force of a glass furnace. I have ridden it
on easy gaited horses, on rough gaited horses, horses that were
gentle and horses that were not: I have ridden it when I wanted
to and when I didn't, when my excited imagination had Indians
following me, and when I knew that coyotes were.
Agnes Morley Cleaveland, No Life for a Lady, p. 47.