John & Anne Wiley

2019/06/01

SB Sights

People worry. Folks we’ve met in other parts of the world ask if we worry about living in California. Topics often begin with earthquakes, and more recently may also include wildfires or the other disasters that have visited us here in the Santa Barbara area. In the instant after hearing such questions our thoughts usually turn to sights like this.

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9716 A Favorite Scene

Anne has the best view of this just after we take off from SBA runway 15. The UCSB campus is simply breathtaking, especially given that we’ve explored it extensively on foot, bike and watercraft. Our dear Molly graduated there too, which always adds a level of sweet nostalgia.

After clearing this and other precious memories from our minds, we smile and reply that disaster fears haven’t reduced our delight in living here. Instead we prepare for and manage the risks as best we can, just like folks facing hurricanes, tornadoes, sea level rise etc., who love where they live. Lately we’re also seeing more rocket launches from nearby VAFB. We watched this one by SpaceX from our front yard when it came into view above mountains between here and Lompoc (snapped w/telephoto).

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9916 SpaceX Launch Clears Mountains

The changes in the trail are always different and sometimes spectacular.

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9923 SpaceX Into Thin Air

Altitude, atmospheric conditions, and rocket power level make for changes in the trail.

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9934 SpaceX Space Edge

Long after the rocket is no longer visible from here, the trail often hangs in the air expanding and bending in the varying winds at the altitudes it passed through. One sunset launch created a magnificent colorful trail you may have seen pix of (alas, we heard it but didn’t go out to snap pix). Instead, here’s a more typical view of what the aftermath looks like.

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9938 SpaceX Skywriting

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