John & Anne Wiley

2011/05/31

No Place Like

Home.

Be it ever so humble, there’s nothing quite like the place where all your Stuff is. Everything you’ve collected in a lifetime of moving from place to place, photos of friends and family along with other treasures large and small. Seems to me that Oscar our trusty German washing machine smiled as we came in with weeks of grime he can work on. But the really sweet part begins when we reconnect with all our loved ones here. Meanwhile, here are some pix from today’s flight from Santa Fe to our own Santa (Barbara). Taking off the air was clear and calm.

1009 Wild Ride

1009 Wild Ride

Somewhere else, that is. Santa Fe treated us to wild gusting winds, blowing dust, and once we got off the runway a bumpy ride into a strong headwind. Luckily it was beautiful, and we flew over the “Hamus” as people correctly pronounce Jemez where the austere beauty of this area abounds. Our first “destination” though was Chaco Canyon, where enigmatic ancient buildings indicate a detailed understanding of astronomy.

1138 Chaco Canyon

1138 Chaco Canyon

We saw smaller sites too, including one many miles away to the West. The area around Window Rock also looks really cool from the air, with gently curved multi-colored sandstone shapes arrayed for miles.

1214 Huddle of Sandstone

1214 Huddle of Sandstone

Continuing to the West we passed many distinctive geological features, and this is one of my favs.

1264 Sibling Stone Pillars

1264 Sibling Stone Pillars

Standing apart from a “family” of stones shaped by time and elements, this formation is sort of a miniature Monument Valley. The pillars even have a “head” atop a “neck.” Not far away (by plane) is a vast expanse of features like this, with an etched layer atop a detailed cliff edge with sand piled up against tall cliffs.

1271 Layered Cliffs & Sand

1271 Layered Cliffs & Sand

We took a break about halfway home, at Clark Airport in Williams, AZ. Although the attractive terminal building was open, everyone seemed to be away at a holiday event so we fed Tripp some self-serve fuel and continued on after enjoying the collection of gliders apparently contributed by children who love airplanes.

1297 Planes Inside & Out

1297 Planes Inside & Out

Soon after takeoff we were greeted by what we feared at first was the edge of a storm that hadn’t shown up on the aviation weather forecast.

1298 Phoenix Air

1298 Phoenix Air

It turned out to be the air of Phoenix, blown out to greet us. It thinned out after a hundred miles or so, and by the time we crossed the Colorado into California the view down was fairly clear as a boat made a question mark far beneath Tripp’s wheel.

1306 Air & Water

1306 Air & Water

We saw miles of tall dunes out in the desert, and tried to guess how high the tallest might be given that they were 10,000 feet below us.

1350 Lonely Dunes

1350 Lonely Dunes

We also wondered how many people visit them, given how far they are out into the desert. Approaching the Palmdale area are some quirky human developments like this little rectangular lake that someone enjoys zooming back and forth on in a little boat.

1376 Large Tub

1376 Large Tub

There are a few other buildings and developments sprawled nearby, and the whole thing sits in a wide desert valley giving the impression of a little bathtub dug in a large sandbox. This was less than an hour from the lush hills of Santa Barbara, and our souls began to really ache for home even as we continued to enjoy the arc of interests stretching out to every horizon around us. When we finally began the descent into Our Town, it had never looked more beautiful and welcoming.

1411 Sanctuary

1411 Sanctuary

We’ve now landed in every state of the Union and every Canadian Province. We’ve seen mountains, valleys, deserts, oceans, sun, storm and snow. We’ve flown to Newfoundland and back, but nothing can beat the sanctuary of Home.

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1 Comment

  1. Back home! Now you need to recharge for your next trip to South America. Keep posting some good pictures.

    Comment by Zubair — 2011/05/31 @ 16:04


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