Monday, January 28, 2013

A Flight into Freezeville


I had known about this trip for over a month and was pretty stoked. Not only was I returning to the airport in which I trained for my Private Pilot license a few days years ago, but I would also have time to drive an hour south and spend a long weekend with my family!

My Mom called a few days earlier to warn me about bringing winter clothes. I searched my house from top to bottom and then remembered…I purposely don’t own any of those any more.


After a killer week in the forties, it was almost bitter-sweet leaving home today. Which will get up to seventy-two degrees. And in about an hour, I will realize how much I really love seventy-two degrees in January.

Because my high temperature for the next four days would be around twelve. Degrees. My fingers are still a little frozen as I write this now.

Who does that? Twelve degrees?!


At least my mind was kept busy from the temperatures as we flew over some beautiful landscapes on our flight north today.


What is that white stuff down there? Does anybody know?


Here is Sedona, though it’s a little hard to see. The airport is in the far right-hand corner, and town is just above that. Can you see it?


This was my view of the Grand Canyon today. Isn’t that gorgeous?

I don’t know how to put this in writing, and I’m sure that fist fights will ensue, but most people in Utah grow up thinking that the Grand Canyon is ours. Isn’t that silly? I think that we get it confused with Lake Powell…which we certainly do own. But the Grand Canyon? Well, that belongs to the Grand Canyon State. Not Utah.

I hate being the bearer of bad news. It was a hard blow to me when I found out, too.


Here is the state line crossing from Arizona to Utah! I love the red cliffs of southern Utah. I spent lots of my childhood there, so I have fond memories of hikes in these parts.

Utah is a great place for hikes. In these parts.


This is the Colorado River winding its way towards the Grand Canyon. I’ll stop mentioning that place now, since I’m sure that some of you are still crying from my above statements regarding rightful owners.

Life can be cruel sometimes, you know?


Well, hello, Moving Map. This is how I knew that we were crossing state lines. You can see the Kanab airport to our left, and Page to our right.

By the way, this is certainly the way to travel to Utah. After this trip takes about forty-five minutes in Gladys, why on earth would anyone want to drive eight hours?!

See how snobby spoiled I’ve become with this job?!


We were cleared to Bryce Canyon for the QWENN 3 RNAV Arrival into Salt Lake City today. How fun! It flies right next to Mount Nebo! Maybe I’ll see my hometown?


But first I got to wave a big hello to my sister in tiny Annabella. I personally doubt that they saw me waving. It’s about six degrees down there now. Why on earth would anyone be outside waving back at airplanes in that kind of weather?


Is that white stuff chalk? I just can’t figure it out.


Holy cow! This is the best view that I’ve ever had of the little town in which I grew up! This is going to be fun!

Levan was one of three small towns that attended my high school in Nephi. It is “navel” spelled backwards because it is the exact center of the state. As you can see, that mighty information didn’t exactly draw lots of residents. But my best friend growing up lived in Levan, so I couldn’t make fun of it too loudly.


Ah, Nephi. We moved here when I was six, and my parents still live here! This is where I am driving once we land at Salt Lake in a few minutes. It’s a Thursday afternoon, and I don’t have to leave until Monday!

It will be a great weekend visiting family…for work.


It was such a treat to see my hometown today, since everything else was rather clouded over and fogged up. Maybe I was allowed to see this so I knew where to drive later?


As you can see, most of our northern flight provided views like this today. Lots of fog, haze, and mist. With such high pressure, this stuff was being forced to stay put down in the valleys between the high, pretty mountains.

I’ve never put “30.65” into the altimeter on our descent checklist…that is high pressure!

(29.92 is normal, yo.)


Here is the northern tip of Utah Lake near Provo. It’s hard to see much today…with this haze. But there is a Chuck-a-Rama Buffet out there somewhere. I can just feel it.


And here is the Point of the Mountain this morning, dividing Utah Valley from the Salt Lake Valley. I doubt that any hang gliders are flying today, though.

And who can blame them? Did I mention that it’s minus fourteen degrees Celsius on the ATIS (airport weather frequency)?


I wish I could say that Draper and Sandy weren’t as hazy, but no such luck.


We temporarily had decent visibility for a few moments as we descended towards the ILS for Runway 35. But then it dropped again, and we didn’t actually see the runway until about a mile out!


Because we were soon in this little haze layer. Nobody likes to be in a haze layer, let me tell you!


Down there somewhere is Salt Lake City. Or so I’m told.


We landed safely, but that didn’t make the haze disappear. Can you see how yucky it is out there? I was all for just turning around and flying back to the warmth of home at this point.

Little did I know that my cold fingers were just beginning…


In the distance, I waved to the passenger terminal. We get to go to the southeast side of the airport today to drop off our passengers. None of this “terminal” stuff for us.

Because that’s how we roll.


Delta Airlines has a hub here, so they also have gigantic hangars in which to work on airplanes during the cold winter months. You can also see Salt Lake Tower in the hazy distance.

Enough of this! Let’s get into a rental car and drive an hour south for a great weekend with family!

1 comment:

  1. I love "navel" spelled backwards. Yours is such an educational, as well as entertaining and cheering blog.


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