Recently, we gave you the story of an adventurer who came to Wyoming as part of his goal to fly his paraglider over Wyoming's old airmail route.

In his second video, he explores Medicine Bow, Wyoming.

Inside the old operations building, he finds the old electric outlets that ran the beacon and METARS on TELETYPE.

METARS are weather reports for pilots.

After flying over Site 32 of the National Airmail route, I was intrigued to stop by an explore this amazing place. Being one of the last standing and surprisingly still intact sites. I had to do some exploring and see what this amazing part of history is all about. Check out some of the sweet artifacts we found too! (Sir Drifto).

Then, he climbs up the old beacon tower (not sure if he is supposed to do that) and angles his camera to let us see birds living in the old light.

He skillfully does this without disturbing the birds.

attachment-Sir Drifto Youtube beacon

I've been in that building, and now I'm kicking myself for not poking around more like he did.

He found some fascinating history that goes back to when biplanes were delivering the mail coast to coast.

That old signal tower, which helped biplane pilots find the little Wyoming airstrip, has become a perfect nesting place for birds.

It's plenty big and provides much-needed protection from the weather.

The birds can thank someone who thought to use the old light for target practice.

It looks like the glass was shot out of its face, creating an opening for the birds to get in and make a nest.

attachment-Sirdrifto youtube paraglider 1

Below, you will see a video of a man who decided to travel across America with his paraglider to retrace the original old airmail route, back when it was flown with biplanes.

He stops at one of the sides in Medicine Bow, Wyoming, where an old tower, building, cement arrow, and runway still exist.

Scattered across the United States is a network of mysterious concrete arrows. They are often found in remote locations or areas difficult to access.

Some will be accompanied by a small shack, a few have a metal tower affixed to their base. Many are in good condition while others have succumbed to nature.

The shape and direction of the arrows vary, but it is clear they serve the same purpose.

You can watch his video of the Wyoming part of his trip here:

The purpose was important: helping early pilots navigate U.S. transcontinental flights at night.

In an era before radar, pilots used ground-based landmarks for guidance. This solution worked for flight during the day but grounded pilots at night.

Eventually, a system of beacons was established across the United States to guide airmail pilots around the clock.

Approximately 1,500 airmail beacons, each constructed roughly between 3 and 5 miles apart.

The beacons featured a 50-foot tower with rotating lights placed on top of concrete foundations in the shape of giant arrows measuring between 50 and 70 feet long. To increase the visibility of the concrete arrows, they were painted bright yellow.

One of these towers and one of these buildings, along with the airstrip, still exist today in Medicine Bow, Wyoming.

Medicine Bow International Airpot - Photo By Tim Mandese
Medicine Bow International Airpot - Photo By Tim Mandese

This humble little grass airstrip helped shape America.

Medicine Bow has always been a humble little town. But at one point, it was an important stop on America's first coast-to-coast railway, its first coast-to-coast highway, and the nation's first airmail service.

The town was even made famous in the best-selling novel The Virginian. 

As if the Pony Express wasn't daring enough, next came the brave and slightly foolhardy men who took the mail to the sky.

Using old and not-so-reliable World War I surplus planes, the United States Postal Service was determined to figure out how to fly mail from coast to coast, saving up to a month of travel time if they were successful.

At the little Medicine Bow airport, there is a cement arrow pointing the flyers to their next stop. These arrows were placed nationwide for the pilots to see and follow from the air.

The only way to navigate was to fly low and follow the Union Pacific railroad tracks nationwide.

Cheyenne, Medicine Bow, Rock Springs, and other towns along the route were refueling and repair points on the map.

Many planes crashed. Some men died.

The book "Wyoming Air Mail Pioneers" chronicles the men who were legends, heroes, and celebrities of their time.

"Wyoming Air Mail Pioneers" was co-written by Starley Talbott and Michael E. Kassel with a foreword by local Cheyenne flight school owner Doniv Feltner of Wings Of Wyoming. 

Ask for it at your local Wyoming bookstore or order it online.

Wyoming's Best Pilots Astound At The Glendo Fly-In 2021

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

Local Pilots Give Wyoming Kids A Free Flight

Does your kid want to be a pilot?

There is no way of knowing unless they get a chance to get in an airplane and get up there.

Thanks to a Wyoming chapter of EAA, (Experimental Aircraft Association), kids in Wheatland Wyoming got that chance this past weekend.

Local pilots offered free rides to all kids, breakfast included.

The hope is that maybe some of these kids will get that urge to want to fly and pursue a career as a pilot.

America needs more pilots.

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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