National Geographic : 1926 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Frank E. Caldwell WHEN A MAIL PLANE IS DOWN, TilE HANGAR CREW'S TURN BEGINS The mechanics in the Mail Service are remarkably efficient and devoted and often perform tasks of great hardships and difficulty under extremely trying conditions, without the encourage ment of public acclaim which is usually accorded to the Mail pilot. and friend had eagerly questioned friend, "Are ye for Oregon or Californy?" Past Bridger's Butte, whose oval top appeared as level as a ballroom floor, our course led by an old railroad bed, once the main line of the Union Pacific, but now abandoned for a shorter, tunneled route. The silver pointer along our left closed in and the massive, rounded dome of Por cupine Ridge rose frowning on our right, with beautiful Chalk Creek canyon at its base. THIl MOUNTAIN FAIRYLAND Ol THIIE WASATCII RANGE For 60 miles, into Salt Lake across the Wasatch Range, there opened up a moun tain fairyland that set my heart on edge, with memories of starry nights within the forest cathedrals of the Sierra slopes, on sweet beds of fir beside a crackling pine-cone fire. To Pilot Boonstra, however, the sight of Porcupine Ridge kindles no such warming memories. Here, on an almost inaccessible ledge, at 9,400 feet, he crashed one stormy De- cember morning. For 36 hours he strug gled down through the snow, at length creeping on hands and knees to the near est ranch house, while a mocking magpie kept pace, waiting with easy faith for him to succumb, and a dozen planes searched vainly through the maze of snow-locked canyons. From our high perch we could look down into Echo Creek canyon, 15 miles to the north, a colored cleft in the mountains; then El Canyon Creek, half girdling the forested base of Lewis Peak and winding off between towering hills toward Devil's Slide. A low saddle appeared in the Wasatch Range, marking the head of Emigration Canyon, the last stubborn obstacle in the path of the Mormon migration. As we swept over the ridge, the glorious pano rama of the Great Salt Lake Basin burst into full view, while far below lay Salt Lake City, as if set in a silver-chased cup. We eagerly sought the Air Mail field and did not wait to count the stockings on the clotheslines, as Artemus Ward is be lieved to have done in estimating the size of Brigham Young's household.