Bristol Airport, California, Colorado, Grand Canyon, Ivanpah, KLM, Los Angeles, Mojave Desert, Rockies, Schifhol Airport, USA, Utah, Wyoming, Yellowstone
USA 2018 (16), Aerial magnificence! The Los Angeles/Amsterdam flight was of course an hour late taking off on Sunday, 25th February. This time the reason given was ‘an incident in the hold on the previous flight’. Is that all you’re going to tell us?! Oh well, I’d a few hours to pass at Schiphol, before my 9th and final flight of the trip(= chance for luggage to be mislaid), to Bristol, so no worry, (though others were not as able to be as laid back about it, with much tighter connections to make). I had been allocated the window seat at the right hand side of the plane, so I took a few photos on my tablet – camera not easily accessible – as we rose above the LA coastline.Then I turned to my book. That is, until I remembered that there was a good chance we might be flying over the Mojave Desert. We were, though only over the southern part, I later discovered. What on earth are these incredibly bright lights, apparently within saucers? Alien invaders? When I got home I was able to discover that they had been part of the controversial and biggest solar energy scheme in the world, the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, on the California/Utah border. Wow! (The ‘saucers’ had been an optical illusion – the constructions were flat in reality.)
The scenery grew more and more spectacular. I started to wonder whether we might be going over Yellowstone in due course. The answer was no – the flight map showed we would be going too far south, over Utah and Colorado rather than over north-west Wyoming. I was riveted to the window. Was it possible that this was the Grand Canyon? If not, it’s amazing viewing even so. (A check with my atlas once I was home confirmed that indeed this had been the Grand Canyon, and the Rockies in Colorado.) We were cruising at between 33,000 and 39,000 feet.
There was no way I was going to avert my eyes from the window now. The flight attendant had to disturb me from my reverie to serve me the first meal. I was glued to the window until we flew into the eastern dusk, with the sun setting behind us.What an amazing end to an amazing fortnight!
And here endeth the 16-part account of a most amazing trip to the United States, one I’ll never forget. I’ve had enormous pleasure in writing it up, and selecting from the literally thousands of photos I took. Some kind people I know have read every post. To you and everyone who has dipped in, thank you so much for coming along with me on the journey!