Mail Bags Lost in Wilderness?

My favorite blend of coffee

When I read in the paper this morning that the U.S. Postal Service isn’t sure if they lost some packages over the “Bob”, I thought to myself, “I’m glad the coffee arrived okay”.  Then I remembered that my monthly standard order of Community Coffee comes via UPS.

The Bob Marshall Wilderness is about 30 miles east of Kalispell and is a designated wilderness area that extends for 60 miles along the Continental Divide and covers over a whopping 1 million acres.  No roads cross the wilderness. Outdoor enthusiasts that hunt, fish, and camp in its vast expanse, must enter on horse, mule, or foot.  No motorized or mechanical vehicles of any kind are allowed in the “Bob”, including bicycles, hangliders, wagons, or carts.  Landing of aircraft is prohibited except under specified conditions, such as when an air ambulance was dispatched out of Kalispell to rescue persons from a plane crash in 2007.  We’ve heard of people with injuries, such as broken bones, having to walk out on their own, or be carried out by stretcher or horseback.

So when I saw that a cargo door became unlatched on a mail plane traveling from Billings to Kalispell, I thought good-bye to those priority packages.  If anything was lost, (which the Postal Service doesn’t believe has been, because the mail was still netted in cargo when the plane landed), it couldn’t easily be retrieved from the rugged terrain of the “Bob”. And although planes are searching for bright orange sacks, they are most certainly covered by snow and wouldn’t be found until the snow melts.  And I can tell you that in some places the snow won’t melt until August and then in some places it isn’t going to melt at all.

According to a USPS spokesperson, there haven’t been any more complaints of late than usual, which got me to thinking.  Perhaps, people are just being patient because they are familiar with the habits of the post office.

Until next time,

Other articles you may enjoy:

  • The Tough Trail has a couple of pictures of us on Mt. Aeneas looking over the Bob Marshall Wilderness

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