So I’m back and the Sonoran desert weekend was fantabulous. Tomorrow I’ll start a 3-post series that’ll include desert hiking, missiles, jetfighters, all sorts of cool desert botany stuff- including an explanation, comparison and examples of all 3 types of photosynthesis- and a big, post-long rant on singlespeeders. But first I’m going to do this quickie post about my flight down to Phoenix.
In previous posts I’ve whined liberally about air travel, and so it seems only fitting that I should blog about the Best Flight Ever. Here are the reasons why my flight down to Phoenix was the Best Flight Ever.
1) It left on time.
2) It arrived early.
3) It was one of those little jets that let’s you drop your bag off at the door and gives it back to you when you get off (i.e. no baggage-claim dick-dance.)
4) The jet was still big enough to have a 1st class section, and I got upgraded.
5) The guy in front of me did not recline his seat
6) I had a window seat, the sky was clear, and the flight was in daylight. And so, here’s just some of the cool stuff I saw:
First, my ‘hood. It’s always fun to see where you live from a plane.
Second, here we are over the Northern end of the Oquirrhs. In that red circle is the hybrid oak clone I hiked up to with the dog back in November.
Tangent: I typed this on the flight home, a flight on which I broke one of my in-flight rules: Not Chatting With Seatmates. My seatmate was this 8 year-old girl who was a little weepy at being separated from her mother. I chatted with her to cheer her up, but was a bit too successful, as she then Would. Not. Stop. Talking. She was a nice kid though, and it was far more pleasant having my ear talked off by an engaging 8 year-old than by my typical chatty seatmate, who always seems to be either a) a septuagenarian grandmother who neglected to bring any reading material on the flight, probably because her purse is full of photos of her 19 grandchildren, all of whom she is intent on showing me/telling me about, or b) the slightly-drunk, paunchy, high-volume, Rush-Limbaugh-fan middle-aged businessman who is compelled to share with me his Plan For Overhauling Government As We Know It, which invariably involves building various fences, ending Medicaid and food stamps, and doing unpleasant things to people who speak Spanish.
Another 7-8 miles South is this view of Lowe and Flat Top Peaks, the highest peaks of the Oquirrhs, both fantastic peaks, and hardly ever climbed (Flat Top didn’t even have a register when OC Rick (guy who never reads my blog) and I summitted in July, 2000.)
This photo of 5 Mile Pass, shows how the basin-level snow cover pretty much ends as you head West into the West Desert.
Further on South, here’s a view of Powell Point, the Southernmost finger of the Aquarius Plateau, and the Henry Mountains in the distance, both places I mentioned in the “Line Of Sight” post last month. (I also saw the La Sals and the Abajos, but those photos didn’t turn out.)
Then check this out: The spot highlighted below is- I am not making this up- the actual location of the campsite we were at back in August when I blogged about Pronghorns, Bristlecones, and rare endemic wildflowers on the Paunsagunt Plateau.
And finally, as if this flight weren’t already great enough, check out this photo of the Grand Canyon, with the forested Kaibab Plateau (one of my favorite places) on the left.
Next Up: I Wake Up in Spring