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Vince Garcia
Two Mules for Butch & Sundance--daily ride rate for horses
Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:17am

OK here is what Simon CAsson said his daily ride rate was on for the bandit trail, and his opinion on horses vs. mules in the Andes. Simon implies--and it makes obvious sense--his travel rate by horse would be better on the trails than it would be in the Andes.

Dan, with his head for math, can compare this rate with the travel rate Butch and SD did by mule on the last ride, and see how they can compare for at least a rough estimate. I'm guessing you could knock at least 5 miles a day off this rate for rough mountain/high altitude travel by horse

"well, in high country, mules are better. The high Andes is tough country. Our ride was no comparison as it was a blend of desert, mountain canyon & high plains - overall horses are easier for that combo. We'd have been better off using [mules] as pack animals. But remember, no-one ever sells a good mule... average daily mileage at Canada was 19.7 per day from Mexico. About what the experts said in the planning"

So the daily travel rate by horse on non-rough terrain was a solid 20 miles

    • I have to admit I used Simon Casson's book as reference when I praised mules over horses. IIRC, in the book a lady said "once you go mule you won't look back" I might be paraphrasing but that was the ... more
      • Down the memory lane, I bought Casson's book in the late 90's, Waterstone's bookshop in Guidford Surrey, travel section.
        • Riding The Outlaw Trail - bookSimon Casson, Sun Apr 15 1:11am
          Hi, A correction on the timeline... the ride was undertaken from April 1999 to September 1999. No breaks, or backup vehicles. The first edition was published in 2004, the second in 2011. Best, Simon
    • Vince, All good information. I think that there might be some variation in any of these numbers -- up or down -- depending on the terrain, for many hours on the trail, and how fast one pushed the... more
      • Mules-Andes-Roy LetsonSimon casson, Sun Apr 15 1:14am
        Vince, Don't forget crucial evidence... Sundance was working other stu-running mules for contractor Roy Letson. All the mines used them and burros. Horses don't do well at high altitude for work. If... more
        • Re: Mules-Andes-Roy LetsonVince Garcia, Sun Apr 15 6:00pm
          I'm in agreement w/you, Simon. It's others here who are of the opinion they would have used horses, thus they believe this is more evidence the robbers were not Butch and SD.
      • The humble mule wins?Vince Garcia, Sat Apr 14 11:02am
        So that is a total of 80 miles over 4 days, or 20 miles a day on mules? at worst equal to what Simon did per day on horses on the bandit trail. And He admits horses would fare somewhat worse in the... more
        • Re: The humble mule wins?Daniel Buck, Sat Apr 14 12:53pm
          Vince, Two days, not four days: the trek from Tomahuaico to San Vicente was over two days, leaving Tomahuaico the morning of 5 November -- Francis, if he is remembering the details correctly, has... more
          • Re: The humble mule wins?Vince Garcia, Sat Apr 14 2:39pm
            Don't they arrive on the 8th? leaving on the 5th would be 4 days But if it's 2 days that that's 40 miles/day by mule? I have a hard time seeing it. If they took 4 days, arriving on the 8th that would ... more
            • Re: The humble mule wins?Daniel Buck, Sat Apr 14 3:49pm
              Vince, I have no idea how far a mule can go if properly motivated, but I do not think 50 miles a day is unrealistic. Some info here, EXCERPT:... more
            • Re: The humble mule wins?Daniel Buck, Sat Apr 14 3:36pm
              Vince, the shootout was the evening of the 6th; the bodies were discovered the 7th. I screw the dates up all the time. Dan
              • Re: The humble mule wins?Vince Garcia, Sat Apr 14 4:17pm
                I guess mules can move pretty good then, especially when you have an abusive guy like SD driving them to the limit if he wants to. In any event, i see no reason why to be Butch and SD they would have ... more
                • Re: The humble mule wins?Daniel Buck, Sat Apr 14 6:45pm
                  Vince, I can't really add anything to what I've already posted, that mules were the preferred mount in the Bolivian Andes in the 19th and early 20th century; they are more sure-footed on difficult... more
                  • Mule PhotoChrisV, Sun Apr 15 6:33am
                    You can not tell who is in that photos except that there are mules and not horses. Could be anyone.
          • Two Mule for Two foolsChrisV, Sat Apr 14 1:13pm
            Vince you might want to recalculate as Dan said That is my quote and I stand by it Dan. These guys did not have the same M.O. as Butch and Sundance. Nor to they fit the description of the two... more
    • "can compare this rate with the travel rate Butch and SD did by mule on the last ride," I think your assuming too much Vince to say its Butch and Sundance. What makes you think it was them? The... more
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