Some flights you see nothing, and some you see a lot. This one began with not much to see that I had not seen before, but before long I began to realize the trajectory was just a bit different. Before long, I was looking down at a piece of a tributary canyon to the Grand Canyon. As you can tell, I had that MD-80 seat just in front of the air intakes:
I looked for the Colorado River, and soon, along this escarpment called the Echo Cliffs I picked up the Colorado River, with a bridge I had not noticed before. On the maps it is called Navajo Bridge, and the road is Alternate US Highway 89:
Just to the left of the above photo, there is this big bend in the river, and the steep walls to the left are the start of Glen Canyon:
Not long after, Page and the Navajo Power Plant in Hogan, Arizona, and the Glen Canyon dam where the river comes out of Lake Powell, all came into view.
A few seconds later, the Navajo Power Plant was more visible, as was the Co;orado trapped behind the Glen Canyon dam, making it into Lake Powel with its thousand miles of spectacular and rugged coastline.
At this point I wished we would veer left a little to allow me to see the Kaiparpowits Plateau. Audrey and I explored that plateau, driving poor dirt roads to gather soil samples for an environmental project. We were supposed to rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle but due to a mixup we instead risked our lives in a giant 1967 Chrysler New Yorker that was so long that going through some river beds, both bumpers dug into the ground at the same time, and had I not flown through such spots at a scary speed and bounced out, we might be there still, skeletons in an ancient red car. We pulled into Page, Arizona with fuel leaking from the fuel pump at an alarming rate, the smell of gasoline was very strong and a spark would have fried us. We made it to Page with very, very little gas in the tank. What a blessing a paved road was after that, and after the fuel pump had been replaced! Hence my interest in seeing the plateau again, from a safe airplane seat.
Did I get to see any of it? I think so, just a sliver of its steep cliffs and slopes where it descends precipitously toward Lake Powell.
I really had to lean on the window and point the camera down to get that picture, when I looked straight out, I saw Monument Valley, on the Utah-Arizona border:
Just north of Monument Valley, the narrower arms of Lake Powell sparkle in the desert.
Soon after seeing Lake Powell we crossed over the canyon holding the Colorado River before it reaches Lake Powell, which looked like the Grand Canyon:
Soon thereafter, this formation came into view, which looks like the rock formation celebrated by Captol Reef National Monument in Utah (which I have described elsewhere on this site, click to go there). The reef is an erosional feature, not a result of faulting. It is quite spectacular.
A few minutes more and we began to approach the Colorado Rockies. First hint of the approach was this well-watered valley with some few little puffy clouds:
Another minute or two and there were more clouds, and higher mountains:
Finally we were in the Rockies, it was late August but there was still snow on the peaks!
After this, it was cloudy and I went to sleep until we landed in Chicago, another place I have lived and liked.
Speaking of Chicago, a week later I came into that city over a chunk of Lake Michigan and the city. This is the north side of town, looking south:
This photo was taken seconds later, without having the computer remove the haze and resulting blueness in the photo. This second view is more like it actually looked to me. The previous view allows you to see more detail, however.
Chicago really is a beautiful city, if you have the time and the money to enjoy its cultural opportunities and natural features like its lakefronts and forest preserves.