Flying the Mails.
In the summer, I move to the northern Rockies, to a town—population 62–where my Mormon grandparents have a goldmine. Really more just an excuse to fish. Humans are the last species not to migrate, and I use this time as a forced break from the most hated of all things, that of being a knowledge worker.
The River of No Return is part of the largest wilderness in the lower 48 and forms the headwaters for the longest salmon run in the country –nearly 1000 miles. No roads, no phones. The only way through it is to float or fly. We are the last stop for multi-day river expeditions and first stop for a few homesteaders left that live year-round in this roadless wilderness. It’s a quiet town, still home to an active trapping and gold panning trade, which accounts for most of the pick-up trucks parked at our local bar.
On a bench overlooking our valley, sits our airport. A tidy line of wings, made small by a backdrop of the Sawtooth Mountains, always makes me feel more connected. I know these planes bring "the mails", as well as retrieve the lost and injured, and fight fires. We even have a flying priest. In this case, connection is very much a physical thing.