Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Could Apaches Actually Run 75 Miles A Day?

 August 24, 2022

   Got this a couple days ago.

   "I recently watched your video Geronimo Freedom Fighter or Cold Blooded Killer. In that video you stated that one of the amazing things about the Apaches was that they could run 75 miles a day. As a sports scientist, I’m curious to know what evidence you have to support that. I’d immensely appreciate being able to review such information." 

—Dan Wagman

   Truth be known, it has been at least two decades since I researched this and my mind is off on other quests, but I knew if I tapped into a couple of my history friends, I might get a more specific answer. I didn't have to cast far.

   "Apaches often spoke about their warrior training and play games that eventually grew into serious life saving ways of escape, camouflage, running where even horses could not, etc.  70 to 80 miles is about the max.  Even for older guys like those Apache Scouts who went with Pershing could travel 85 miles a day on foot.  I would imagine that much of that was at a dog trot."
 —Lynda Sanchez

   "As to your question about references that Apaches could run 75 miles a day, I have two suggestions: first, is Bourke’s On The Border With Crook, p.134 (original edition) where he writes in regard to their endurance, “Seventy-five miles a day was nothing at all unusual for them to march when pursued, their tactics being to make three or four such marches, in the certainty of being able to wear out or throw off track the most energetic and the most intelligent of opponents.” (note also that the scouts Crook used in the Sierra Madre Expedition would do 30 or 40 miles a day, stop set up camp, and make supper for the mounted men who would come in near dusk). The second reference is Western Apache & Raiding by Grenville Goodwin, edited by Keith Basso, p.275. “There is a power called ‘running power’ also. A man who has this power can run long distances, and even on the shortest day could run from Fort Grant to Fort Apache and get there in mid-afternoon.” A straight line between Fort Apache and Fort Grant runs across the Nantane and Penaleno Mountains and is about 80 miles. My guess is such a runner would probably cover more like 90 to 100 miles following established trails. I think there is also a similar reference in Lumholtz’s Unknown Mexico where he mentions the Apaches compared with the Tarahumara long distance races. Hope this helps."
—Michael Farmer, Ph.D.

   Oh, it helped. Nailed it, in fact. Thanks Lynda and Michael. My hat is way off to you both.

   Meanwhile, here's a mock-up of a future cover.

Full O' Crap History
   Some of us feel we have earned the right to have some fun with history. Let's face it, adhering to facts and footnotes for 33+ years carries with it a certain fatigue, and sometimes a serious historian just needs to burn out the lactic acid. You know, like some send up of Jack Handy and his pal O' Henry who meet E. L. Doctorow at a writer's conference in Iowa City, Iowa.

   Lippo Assmuss and his son, Wilbur, could not understand the woman who lived in the same house with them. Unlike other housewives from the Okoboji area, Edna had a thing for speed. She and her "bike" killed a cow once near Algona and she didn't even apologize. Another time, she and her Flying Merkel, plowed into a flock of Luther Leaguers in downtown Swea City, killing two and injuring their youth leader. She served time for that one. Later, she was banned from doing donuts in the Alsups parking lot over in Winnebago County, after a cobblestone kicked up by her rear snow tire, beaned a beaner on his way to vote for a Libertarian. She was misunderstood by almost everyone in northern Iowa except a farm kid from south of Fort Dodge who thought she had "sand." In 1927 they were married by a justice of the peace in Albert Lea, Minnesota, after her divorce from Lippo became final. Nobody in the family wants to talk about her, but someday I will.

Edna And Her Flying Merkel

"The only thing weirder than fiction is the truth-seeking-fiction in O' History."
—Old Norski Saying

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:07 PM

    Better a Flying Merkel than a Flying Merkin they say.


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