I flew regularly from Taos to Clayton for a day’s work. Taos, at 7,095 feet above sea level, is bordered on the east by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which rise to 13,161 feet at Wheeler Peak. I usually flew over a lower part of the range before settling down to 7,500 feet along the treeless prairies east of the mountains. Flying to Clayton meant descending to 4,965 feet a few miles from the Texas/Oklahoma border. On the plains, the only airport along the route was in Springer, New Mexico, about 85 miles from Clayton.