My uncle Elmer passed away several years ago. He lived an ambitious, colorful life. He lived much of his life in Alaska and loved to fly.
Shortly after World War 2, he decided to fly a plane load of fresh apples to the homestead for Christmas. To put this in perspective, my Mother, who was born and raised up there never saw a watermelon till she was 16. All food for the winter was purchased in bulk and stored in the basement. Pretty much everything dried or canned.
So Elmer intended this to be an epic event.
As he was flying over a high mountain pass, the motor cut out on him. He glided it to the smoothest place he could find which happened to be a glacier. The wheels dug in and he snapped a landing strut.
Fortunately, he had radio contact with a buddy at the airport, and soon another plane… with skis joined him.
His buddy hopped out, inspected the damage and suggested a strategy. They emptied the plane and jacked it up. A few braces, bolts and some bailing wire later and things looked more promising.
The friend examined the repair skeptically and observed,’ Ya’ know, Elmer… you can take off with that load, or you can land with that load… but you can’t do both. ’
Elmer had to agree. He shuffled reluctantly over to the mound of boxes.... sat on one. Slowly removed the lid from another.....reached in... grabbed an apple... took a bite, ....then tossed it over his shoulder.
He grabbed a second one.and did the same.
After the third apple, he looked at his buddy and said,’ You know what?..I’ve always wanted to do this, but never could afford it till now.’
For many years, that mountain pass was on their flight path to Anchorage.
Every time he flew over that spot, he would lower a wing and ask the passengers to inspect the area.
‘You see that spot,’ he would say… ’ Years ago I planted an orchard on that glacier. … I just wanted to see how it is coming along.’
All the best,