No roads lead to Domke Lake in Washington State's rugged North Cascade mountains. To visit Domke, one walks or flies in with a floatplane. Gordon Stuart lived alone there more than 60 years. He trapped and hunted to survive and later operated a small fishing camp for a modest yearly income. In his latter years his health demanded that he hire help to keep the operation going and so began a series of some 16 "Hired Girls" over 12 years.
Sandy Bryant was "Hired Girl #16" and stayed two summers and two winters. She kept a journal of her experiences with and impressions of this unusual mountain man. She was at Domke Lake the winter Gordon died. Mountain Air is the charming, ingenuous narrative of Gordon's life as told to Sandy.
Stuart is revealed to be a sensitive, caring and somewhat lonely man. At times quarrelsome and vindictive, he could become the epitome of charm entertaining a group of boisterous fisherman. Used to dealing with death on a daily basis as he tended his winter traplines, he cried at the loss of a beloved dog.
Mountain Air traces Stuart's life from an unhappy childhood through a realization of his dream to live his life as an adventurer, trapper and mountain man in the finest grizzled western tradition. It is the story of a Cascade Mountain legend, an indomitable wilderness spirit making occasional contact with the 20th Century. Gordon Stuart amazed and inspired most of those whose lives he touched. Sandy Bryant's book does much the same.