Maybe I could even go pro, if I could just get over these nagging injuries…. That thought wasrunning through Micah’s mind as he coasted on his bike down a steep Boulder street. Next thinghe knew, he was blinking into bright lights in the emergency room of Boulder CommunityHospital, his eyes caked with blood and his forehead full of stitches. Best he could recall, he’d hit agravel slick and sailed over the handlebars.

“You’re lucky you’re alive,” the doctor told him, which was one way of looking at it. Another wasthat death was still a problem hanging over his head. Micah had just turned forty-one, and despitehis ultrarunning prowess, the view from that ER gurney was none too pretty. He had no healthinsurance, no home, no close family, and no steady work. He didn’t have enough money to stayovernight for observation, and he didn’t have a bed to recover on if he checked out.

Poor and free was the way he’d chosen to live, but was it the way he wanted to die? A friend letMicah mend on her sofa, and there, for the next few days, he pondered his future. Only luckyrebels go out in a blaze of glory, as Micah knew very well. Ever since second grade, he’d idolizedGeronimo, the Apache brave who used to escape the U.S. cavalry by running through the Arizonabadlands on foot. But how did Geronimo end up? As a prisoner, dying drunk in a ditch on a dustyreservation.

Once Micah recovered, he headed to Leadville. And there,  running throughthe woods with Martimano Cervantes, he found his answers. Geronimo couldn’t run free forever,but maybe a “gringo Indio” could. A gringo Indio who owed nothing, needed no one, and wasn’tafraid to disappear from the planet without a trace.

“So what do you live on?” I asked.

“Sweat,” Caballo said. Every summer, he leaves his hut and rides buses back to Boulder, where hisancient pickup truck awaits him behind the house of a friendly farmer. For two or three months, heresumes the identity of Micah True and scrounges up freelance furniture-moving jobs. As soon ashe has enough cash to last another year, he’s gone, vanishing down to the bottom of the canyonsand stepping back into the sandals of El Caballo Blanco.