Served Up by the Dog Whisperer By India Caedmon Photos by Stephanie Tsuneko To those of you who are grounded, the Aldape Pass is a dip in the mountains adjacent to the Treasure Valley—a relatively untouched stretch of land begging … Continue reading →
Category Archives: aviation
An Aerial Firefighter Arrives By Mike Kincaid Flying seaplanes in northern Idaho is fun, and part of that fun is meeting other pilots. A pilot with one of the coolest jobs I’ve met in Idaho is aerial firefighter Don MacDonald, … Continue reading →
Navigating through History Story and photos by Ross V. Walker I’ve been camping with the same two friends, Bruce Gregory and Stephen Johnson, for thirty-five years in a row, and now that they are in California and I am in Idaho, … Continue reading →
Over Horseshoe Bend in a Sailplane By Peter D. McQuade The man standing on the front-porch steps of the saloon pointed toward a dirt road that snaked along a creek bed before rising out of sight behind a towering sagebrush … Continue reading →
My brother and I shared a dream of flying—something that most Americans in 1965 had never experienced. Like everyone, we were awed by the allure of the sparkling new jets that graced magazine covers, which boldly heralded the arrival of “the jet age” and “the jet set.” We had seen jet airplanes before. For a few years, we occasionally saw one pass many thousands of feet above us, etching a long, white contrail in the blue as it leapfrogged over our valley, and our state. They were always so high, we couldn’t tell whether we were looking at an airliner or a military plane. And then, in October of 1964, United Airlines introduced its first tentative jet service to Boise. Thus began a period of wondrous and uneasy transformation for Will and me. Continue reading →
This is a story about a hand-carved redwood sign, Idaho’s backcountry aviation history, and an unusually curious man named Richard Holm Jr.
The sign stood in the huge open flat of Chamberlain Basin, in what was then called the Idaho Primitive Area and is now the Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness. Chamberlain Basin’s popular airstrip made it into that counterintuitive Frank Church phenomenon, a trailhead located not at the perimeter, but smack in the middle of huge wilderness. The sign had been commissioned by Chamberlain’s then district ranger, Earl Dodds, whose fire control officer, a guy named Jack Higby, built it in 1961. When Jack was finished, the sign measured ten feet wide and seven high, too big to fit into a small plane. It was flown in pieces into Chamberlain, mounted onto huge posts that had been cut and cured onsite, and roofed with lodgepole shingles. It was built to last a century.
The front of the sign consisted mostly of a hand-carved, hand-painted area map. Local lakes were puddles of blue, streams were blue veins, trails were dashed black lines. The back of the sign, where the Forest Service intended to put public bulletins, was decorated with campy, hand-painted human figures. Largest and in the foreground stood a bare-chested Nez Perce man. Behind and below him, a packer led his pack string, a prospector swung his pick, a mounted soldier rode at full gallop. Above all of their heads arced a biplane. Continue reading →
A Nerve-Wracking Flight in Central Idaho By Linda J. Henderson Photos by Bud Henderson “OK, now we’re going into aircraft carrier mode,” our pilot said. I peered through my Plexiglas window and saw nothing but forest and jagged hilltops below. … Continue reading →