A Historical Run Around Ft. Sill

Well it’s been a bit quiet on our front, and for good reason. There are only so many ways I can make treadmill running exciting, so let me sum it up for you… it was cold/snowing/icy out, therefore I ran on a treadmill 3 or 4 or 5 times a week in various distances anywhere from 3 to 5 miles. So there you have it. Social media REALLY drove me crazy this winter, as I was bombarded with posts about ZMG SNOW IN WINTER… I didn’t need to contribute to the obvious.

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A friend and I did get together and she definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone in terms of cross training. At any given moment you could find us doing some crazy rowing thing as a warm up and from there even doing a tabata workout [FUN, by the way!!!!!] or a Crossfit influenced workout composed of slamming a sledgehammer into a tire and box jumps. It got intense, and I’m hoping that even though I resorted to it to ‘keep me busy’, that we continue to do these workouts. It makes the chore of cross training a bit more fun, and there’s always something new to do. Heck, I even got kettle bells for Valentine’s. Smile Blogger fail, as there is no picture of the workouts…

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The weather has turned here in southern Oklahoma [but not the wind, so don’t even ask] and in the past few days the temperature has hit about 70. Cue shorts and tank top runs. Definitely beats out the past couple of weeks being cooped up with sick kids, as well.

Short story, and you can stop here if you want: I got 6 miles in at a 9:17 average pace. I didn’t look at the watch once and went off effort alone, and definitely could have pushed this harder than I did. Happy with the run for sure, considering I ran 6 two days ago at a 9:07 pace. So happy to be covering decent miles again.

Long story: HA, you are in for a treat. As most of you know, I can be quite the nerd. I love history, and there are historical markers all over this post. In fact, I can even see one from my driveway, and know of three within a half mile. Though we have driven around to see some, I thought it would be pretty neat to see them on foot, as some are farther off the road and not ideally driven too. If you’re wondering whether or not there are historical markers nearby for events/people/what have you, check out www.everytrail.com/ – I’ve already planned numerous outings using their maps, and there’s also an app for both Android and iPhlub. According to this site, there are over 30 sites on our post alone. Granted, many are in the same location because they’re located in a museum, but others are free standing – in fact, we’ve driven by them not knowing what they were. I definitely plan to use the app to check out other places as we travel the nation, I am definitely beyond ecstatic that everything is laid out for me and I won’t miss anything!!

Without further ado… here are some of the historical highlights of my run.

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– this sits along the edge of a golf course –

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– Flipper’s Ditch. You have to read a summary of his life here. Born a slave, Henry Flipper was the first black graduate of West Point [1877] and amongst other notable career events at Ft Sill, he designed a drainage system that is still in use today. From there his career took him to various posts until hit with controversy, as he was caught up in an embezzlement charge and subsequently relieved of his military duty. His dishonorable discharge [1881] was overturned by President Clinton in 1999. Pretty interesting, I’d like to read his autobiography if I get the chance.

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– not sure if you can read the picture in the upper right hand corner… but it states that the marker shows where General Sheridan had his tent. In the picture below, you can see the distance between the Mess Hall Tent and General Sheridan’s. Not too far. Also, I snapped the picture to show how far off the road General Sheridan’s historical marker is – something not easily seen. In fact, we had driven by it numerous times before we realized there was even anything out there. –

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– I hit my turnaround point at Geronimo’s Grave. I felt very out of place ‘touring’ the Apache Indian Cemeteries, and felt uneasy as I snapped quick pictures, even though there were others around doing the same thing. There is a morbid curiosity when it comes to cemeteries and gravestones, and I felt for some reason I was violating the sanctity of death. If that makes any sense at all. –

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– This plot was especially interesting, as the majority of names contained “Bailtso”, and one grave that was fenced in, within the plot. I went back and forth on my decision to go in and peek at the name, but in the end curiosity got the better of me, I took a picture, and made a mental note to google the family name later. I have yet to do that, I really just need a pocket historian to tell me everything about the area. Some information can be found in this book, “Women of the Apache Nation”, which I’m hoping the library has. –

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– ‘son of Clarence & Helen Bailtso, Died on May 22, 1918 (? can’t really read the year), 7 years old’. Honestly, I think that’s the thing that made me most uneasy about looking at the gravestones – the majority of them were infants and children. I also think I have a lingering PTSD-like notion about white headstones found in military settings… I wish I was exaggerating, but there is just something about it that puts my stomach in knots.

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– Geronimo’s Grave. I wish I would have had the guts to stick around and take more pictures, maybe in due time.

Anyway, there you have it folks. Quite possibly the longest blog post I have written to date. I wish I could go on longer about my experience with this run, as it truly was enjoyable and didn’t feel like effort whatsoever! Good times.

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A Historical Run Around Ft. Sill

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