Monday Fran & I flew from Orange County to Dallas to visit our newest grandson. Wednesday I flew home while Fran stayed a few more days. I napped for most of the flight from Dallas to Salt Lake City. Once in SLC I had a very short lay over. It was so short I left the first plane, power walked from Terminal B to Terminal D & walked right onto the next plane. I don’t think I was between flights for even 15 minutes.
I was seated by a window so I kept my camera ready. Elsewhere on this website I discuss the many pitfalls of shooting from an airplane, but once in a while you get a good photo. This flight wasn’t one of those, but it has some interesting stuff.
The first one is a tall smokestack some miles out of Salt Lake City on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. This smokestack is 1215 feet tall and is operated by Kennecott Copper, a division of Rio Tinto. This is apparently the tallest free standing structure west of the Mississippi River. Another smokestack built a few years after this one is part of a power station in Pennsylvania. It is 2 feet taller.
Something has to feed the smelter that feeds the smokestack. A few miles into the mountains is the Kennecott open pit copper mine. These photos aren’t too good as we are flying away from the mine and through some cloud layers. Back in May, 1994 I flew into Salt Lake City on my way home from Houston. On that flight we flew very near this mine. It was a huge hole in the ground then, it must be larger now.
Sometime later we flew over Lake Mead, Nevada. The shoreline makes for interesting forms from the air. I have no photos of Hoover Dam. This trip from SLC to the big OC was no different than my last few. We flew almost above the dam. I could barely see it at the bottom of my window. There was no useful camera angle for a snapshot.
As a photo this is nothing, but as a snapshot this is a ‘favorite’ of mine. It is an ancient mudflow (at least I think it’s a mudflow, not a lava flow) that cascaded down into the high desert on the north side of the San Bernardino mountains.
When I was in college (that was almost before recorded history) I remember seeing a photo of this in one of my Geology text books. As this is sedimentary in nature it is obviously not a pile of Schist. But I must be an alluvial fan for remembering all of this.
In case you have trouble deciphering this photo, those are paved roads along the west, east & north!
Flying further on we passed near Big Bear Lake. Big Bear was an occasional family vacation spot when the kids were young. This view is from the northwest to the southeast. That white line extending into the lake from the north shore is the causeway leading to the Big Bear Solar Observatory. The BBSO was built by the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) in 1969. Operations were transferred to the New Jersey Institute of Technology some 18 years later.
Just before entering the skies above Orange County we flew near Santiago Peak, home to many transmitters and repeaters. I’ve flown a lot closer in the past, but this view will have to do. I’ve driven up there with my son Aaron along the roads shown at the right of the frame.
Be it ever so humble! Santa Ana, CA Orange County John Wayne airport looking north. I’ve always said “Don’t trust the air if you can’t see it.”