Editor’s Note: “Heard Around the West” appears monthly in the High Country News. Have a Western oddity you’d like to share? Write heard@hcn.org.


An unusually resourceful Oregon man, who got stranded in a remote area of the Willamette National Forest without cellphone service, came up with a clever way to alert rescuers: He attached his cellphone to the drone he just happened to have stashed away in his car, texted a friend explaining his predicament, then hit “send” and launched the drone until it flew high enough for his phone to connect to a cellphone tower. The message got through, the authorities were alerted, and a team was sent out to rescue the guy. And not just him, it turned out: They also discovered another driver who’d been stuck in the snow for several days, KTVB-TV reported. We will hazard a guess that the other marooned individual did not have a drone conveniently located in their rig.