The first experimental jumps were made here in the summer of 1939. It was a bold move, few thought it a sane idea. Maybe they thought a smokejumper would have to be more ~ or less ~ crazy!
Four years later, smokejumping had proven itself a grand success with 125 jumpers jumping fires throughout the Pacific Northwest. The jump country is often rugged, beautiful and unforgiving.
Part of the story in More or Less Crazy takes place here late in the book. When you purchase a book using this link, part of the proceeds (20%) go to support the base welfare fund. Base welfare funds help families of injured or fallen smokejumpers during times of need.
The North Cascades Jump Base is part of the story of More or Less Crazy - the Smokejumpers.
More or Less Crazy - the Smokejumpers is an enjoyable read, with stunning imagery, make-you-laugh-out-loud humor. It is based on Mr. Taylor's experiences as a smokejumper in the T-Hangar Days, the early 1970s at a makeshift facility on an airbase in Fairbanks, Alaska.
It was the era of Watergate, Viet Nam and the CIA's secret war in Indo-China, the roughshod politics pushing the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, the rise of the environmental and Native American rights movements, and a general questioning of authority. Such themes play out, or are subtext, in Taylor's splendid book. But perhaps most entertaining is Mr. Taylor's irreverent and affectionate treatment of the smokejumpers themselves, a tireless, talented, and hilarious bunch whose job reasonably can be described as having adventures, and enduring life-threatening challenges, in some of the wildest and most beautiful landscapes on the planet.