A while ago I posted a piece about flying to Charleston, SC. Well, this one is about flying from Fabulous Las Vegas to Manchester, NH.
As I last reported, I was camped at Lake Mead at one of the facilities provided by the National Park Service. At the southern end of the lake, near Boulder Dam, is Boulder Beach campground. There was a campground near the northernmost reaches at Overton, but I believe it is closed. Near the middle of the western coastline of Lake Mead, thirty five miles from Las Vegas, is Callville Bay campground. It is also a full – service marina. My personal favorite is the campground less than thirty miles east of the Strip, called Las Vegas Bay. There is (was) a marina there, but the public landing/launching has been curtailed due to low water in Lake Mead. The Colorado River has so many demands on it, that the water levels are as much as one-hundred feet lower than the recent past! ( Crossing the Glen Canyon Dam near Page, Arizona, I had observed the same alarming conditions in Lake Powell.)
A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a picture of the new bridge going up adjacent to Boulder Dam in Nevada. Showing the death-defying feat of completing the span across Black Canyon, it was an extremely dramatic view of the area, as well. Last week I was on U.S. Airways again, travelling from McCarran airport in Las Vegas, to Manchester/Boston airport in New Hampshire. The route followed my land travel previously described, and as we flew over the desert heading into Arizona, I could clearly see that the span was completed, and that the supporting structures for automotive travel were well underway. The traffic will no longer cross the dam. All cars and trucks were required to execute hairpin turns after crossing, and then climb precipitous inclines to the top of the canyon. The new bridge will make all that un-necessary.
As the aircraft proceeded eastward, I could easily follow I 40 down below from my left window seat, while we overflew the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff. Gallup, Albuqueque, and on into Texas; places where I had stopped while on the westward trip. The skies were clear throughout the flight until we reached the Ozarks. There, a frontal system contained a blanket of clouds stretching north as far as one could see. At about this time the sun was setting, and the waning rays illuminated the tops of the cumulous clouds, and sparkled through the atmosphere, creating momentary rainbow effects.
The wonder of my aerial view was to continue as we entered into North Carolina airspace. The clouds dissapated, and I could make out the lights, and keep track of all the cities we passed over, until we landed in New England. By the way, Pennsylvanians, Philly is phenomenally beautiful at night, spread out in a gleaming panorama, thirty-five to fifty thousand feet below!