I got recruited to play Oregon Trail on FaceBook (I gotta quit hunting or I’ll use up all of the group’s ammo – I got a buffalo but that was beginner’s luck) and I’ve been thinking about how the land looks for people who need to go on a trip but who do not have a Rand-McNally Road Atlas, GPS, or an overall conception of how the earth looks from space. Then I unearthed my 1996 souvenir copy of the English translation of the Medieval Mappa Mundi. This classic  T and O map of the world, ringed about with angels and God and Jesus, makes me think of how people look at the world and at their own piece of landscape, and what our enlightened view should do for our brains  vis a vis us and the world – but often does not. So anyway, how far can horses travel in a day?  I’m sure it depends on the ground and on the day, but if one was estimating how far it would take to get from Specific Point A to Specific Point B, how would one do such a thing?  For example; assuming that one could work with the pre-industrial landscape of Central Ohio, how long did it take to get from Unionville Center, Ohio to Lithopolis, Ohio? It’s about 44 miles and in our current age, this is considered a doable daily commute.  But what about Back When? The proposed terrain is flat, the old routes and highways are probably the same ones that existed 150 years ago in the era of farms, the rivers and streams haven’t moved all that much, and in the late spring, as long as one wasn’t in a hurry, it might even have been a pleasant trip and would have given one time to think about life and such as one sauntered along. Is there a formula or a figure for MPH for horses?


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