FORMOSA: Hewn From Rock

Although Formosa was colonized hundreds of years ago by settlers from the Asian mainland, the inaccessible mountainous east coast began to emerge from primitivism only in modern times. During their tenure, the Japanese tried and failed to open up the back country by putting a road across the 10,000-ft. mountain range that forms a spine down the center of the island. Four years ago the Chinese Nationalists set out to make the long-dreamed-of road a reality. Last week, after the expenditure of $13.5 million and the loss of 212 lives to avalanches and other mishaps, the roadway was finished.

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