National Geographic : 1954 Mar
377 Philip Hyde Here the Rock Curtains a Confluence Green River is seen before (top) and after (bottom) its junction with the Yampa (page 368). oars and fought the boat across the Yampa without losing more than a quarter of a mile downstream. Mounting his horse, Charlie trotted up the far shore. Across the river the other ponies pricked up their ears and, when urged to the brink, plunged in and swam over. Reunited, the Mantles disappeared into the brush on the trail of the missing steers. A whoop and a holler soon announced their return, the strays bucketing down through the elders. Waving their lariats, the Mantles stampeded the cattle into the stream and fol lowed after. Submarinelike, the steers van ished beneath the swift water and, as far as we could see, walked across on the bottom. When they emerged, we helped the riders chase the animals back up the pass toward the Mantle Ranch at the upper end of Castle Park (page 374). We were greeted at the gate by Queda Mantle, Charlie's attractive daughter. "Come on in," she said. "You're just in time for some of mother's cherry pie." "Homemade?" "We grow the cherries right here in the canyon. Peaches and vegetables, too. With our cows and chickens, it means we don't have to go out much for supplies." They were lucky in this, I thought. The nearest shopping center would be 90 miles away. Plane Spots SOS in Snow "I wouldn't say we were lonesome," put in Charlie. "We've got an electric-light plant (doesn't always work!) and a radio, and the ranch work keeps us busy. Got a piano, too see it over there? Hauled it in by wagon and team before there was any road. This is our home, always has been, and we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. But winters well, Mrs. Mantle and I got sick a few winters ago, so now we pack up in November and don't move back till April. One of the kids tends the place while we're away." Their bout of illness must have been a lit tle frightening. The ranch had been well stocked with supplies; but when pneumonia struck, it was obvious they would have to get out somehow. In the ranch yard they trampled out a rough SOS in the snow. Fortunately, a flying neighbor spotted the signal from the air. He quickly arranged to have emergency medicines and food dropped by plane, while a highway crew prodded by urgency plowed through the mountainous drifts to the ranch-in time.