When I was coming back home from Sacramento week before last, I saw some neat things from the air.
Just after taking off, we flew a bit farther south than usual out of SMF. We flew south of Mather Field, and I saw this, and it looked interesting.
Well, after I got home, I went back to Google Maps and started looking, and that interesting thing is… (drum roll…) a landfill. Yes, a trash dump. Big woo.
Later there were some more interesting things. I am always interested in seeing mining operations. They leave such holes and scars on the ground. This one is the Round Mountain Gold Mine in Nevada.
I’m always up for geologic stuff. This looks clearly like an old volcanic flow. It’s in Nevada just north of US 6.
The pilot announced we would be flying over Cedar City, UT. That got my interest, since Cedar City is the turnoff for a very scenic drive through the Utah mountains over to Bryce Canyon. I think I caught a flew glimpses of hoodoos, but it was through clouds, so none of the photos really turned out.
After overflying the Lake Powell region, we got into mountains, and I saw this nice little lake and town.
I did a lot of Google Maps searching, and the closest I came up with was Farmington Lake outside of Flora Vista, NM. It’s about 35 miles away from the next thing I took a photo of, which is about three minutes flying time. But the problem is that it does not look just right. I’ll keep after it.
Speaking of that next thing, we flew over the dam for Navajo Lake. The dam is in New Mexico, but the lake runs up into Colorado.
Soon we got to the area of Taos NM, and the deep canyon where the Rio Grande flows just to the west of Taos.
Just past Taos is the group of mountains that include Wheeler Peak, the tallest in New Mexico.
This flight took us to the south of the valley that Angel Fire lies in, and just to the south of Philmont.
Now, I have an obsession with Philmont Scout Ranch, the backpacking camp for the Boy Scouts. The following batch is a group I took of Philmont as we flew WNW to ESE just south of there.
Mount Baldy, tallest on the ranch at 12Kft+, is to the left.
This is Cimarron Canyon, home to the Cimarron River, which is roughly the north-south dividing line for the Ranch.
This is Tooth Of Time Ridge, which runs west of Base Camp. It is dominated by the Tooth of Time.
This is the base camp area. We were too far away to see buildings.
This is the south end of the Ranch.
And finally, Black Mesa of Anasazi legend.
Soon we flew out into the Texas Panhandle and saw Amarillo.
This was just southeast of Amarillo. The black smudge is, I believe tornado damage (from vegetation being stripped from the ground). These tracks don’t last more than a growing season. I saw similar tracks from the air after the May 3 1999 Moore tornado.
As we continued into north Texas, we saw Wichita Falls, home of Sheppard AFB.
As we descended into DFW, we passed the through the temperature inversion layer. In this case, it is characterized by dust and smoke trapped underneath the layer, and clear air on top of it. Hence, brown underneath, blue above.
Finally, as we came into OKC, we passed west of the Museum of the American Indian just southeast of downtown Oklahoma City. It’s make progress.