Friday, January 3, 2014

Sightseeing at 35,000 Feet - DFW to LAX

My wife and I took a trip out to SoCal in early November to visit her parents; you might recall my restaurant review of The Proud Bird at LAX airport that I posted previously.  That flight happened to coincide with the removal of the restrictions on electronics use onboard airplanes, including digital cameras, just a few days prior, and so this was the first trip that I could (legally) take photos from start to finish.  The weather was perfect from Dallas all the way out to the west coast on that fine Saturday, which made for a great day of picture taking!  Enjoy the virtual cross-country tour after the break.
First up, as we start our turn west after a southbound departure, JerryWorld, aka AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Next, the Fort Worth skyline and the Trinity River.
We then began the long slog west through the plains of West Texas.  The landscape begins to turn mountainous in central New Mexico, and the Manzano Mountains are the first significant range to come into view on our route.
The Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, between the towns of Socorro and Belen.
The Mogollon Rim of Arizona.
We then passed just south of Montezuma Castle, providing for a spectacular aerial view of the site.

Further southwest, an interesting looking dry river bed as we approach the Colorado River.
We then crossed the Colorado River, on the south end of Lake Havasu.  The sprawling Lake Havasu City is on the right side of the "bend" in the lake in the middle of the photo.
Shortly after we began our descent into LA, we were treated to nice views of Lake Arrowhead and the San Bernardino Mountains.

We then continued a slow descent through the northern portion of the Inland Empire, with striking views of the San Bernardinos.

Then an awesome view of the LA skyline as we pass just to the south of downtown.

And finally, a cool view of the 405 freeway just before touchdown...
...and then some assorted airplanes from our taxiway...
On the way home, there wasn't much time for picture taking, as a 4:40 P.M. departure meant only a short amount of time before sunset.  However, I was able to get a very nice photo of one of the LAX terminals just as we were lifting off.
For those who don't fly through LAX much, it's not unusual to take off to the west, even if your ultimate destination is in the opposite direction.  That's exactly what we did, which provided for an interesting view of the California coast just before sunset, looking north towards Santa Monica.  If you look closely, you can even see another plane climbing parallel to ours in the 2nd and third photos.

And one last shot, what I believe to be Santa Catalina Island off in the distance, just as we lose the last of the day's light.

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