Sunshine, cloud-freckled blue skies, and amazing sculpted rocks from 10,000 feet!
My husband’s birthday was this week, so his sister decided to fly up from Texas to help him celebrate. Her husband used to train F16 pilots in the Air National Guard; now, in their retirement, they like to do some of their traveling in a little four-seater prop plane.
We had taken short scenic flights with them in years past, but Earth Day shaped up to be the best day for an extended flightseeing tour of red rock country in southern Utah and northern Arizona. And what a day it was!
We climbed above familiar valley terrain and the carved edges of the Colorado Plateau as we followed the Colorado River west into Utah.
Snow lingered at the top of Glade Park and glistened on the La Sals in the distance.
River rapids below and rock pillars pointing skyward… we wove our way through the sky towards the splendor of national parks in Utah and Arizona.
Soon we could see the road below, leading through “Park Avenue” and the ridges outlining mounds of arches in Arches National Park.
The landscape is a maze of erosion.
Past Moab and beyond the rock fins that rise to the west….
We enter into the expanse of Canyonlands
and encounter the upper reaches of Lake Powell
Red rock ridges rimmed in blue water and sky….
We pass the Glen Canyon dam and head past the Vermillion cliffs, over Lee’s Ferry and into Marble Canyon
Lenticular clouds indicate strong winds above us as we climb to soar above the north rim of the Grand Canyon
… and over the edge to cross this expanse of the Grand Canyon near Fossil Bay…
waterfalls spilling from the canyon walls are dwarfed by the landscape….
We skirt the south rim, enjoying the view of the San Francisco Peaks on the horizon to the south… then climb 1000 feet higher to return to the north rim and head back toward Page, AZ.
Lunch in town and then we take off again, heading northeast ….
Past Navajo Mountain….
… Monument Valley….
The goosenecks on the San Juan and Valley of the Gods ….
Sleeping Ute Mountain…..
Comb Ridge and Butler Wash near Bluff, Utah….
We were going to follow the Dolores River north but the weather looked threatening in that direction….
So we head back toward Moab and retrace our path along the Colorado … past Arches NP
and the Colorado National Monument…
… and into the Grand Valley we call home.
AMAZING DAY of Flightseeing. . . Thanks Gary and Dona!
Familiar places from an amazing vantage… ready for adventure?! Sure… Let’s Go!