Saturday, May 14, 2011
Flying over the Sierras...
...is one of the most unique and interesting of flights! I love seeing the Earth's changing topography, and this particular flight shows off some of the most drastic.
Below that lovely airplane wing is the Sierra Mountain range. It houses Mt. Whitney, the highest summit in the contiguous United States with a height of 14,505 ft (4,421 m for my metric friends :D ). And just 85 miles northwest is the lowest point in North America, Badwater in Death Valley National Park at a DElevation (no, that's not really a word) of -282 ft, or -86m.
Our dear pilot flew us over the Sierras, Death Valley, Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, and we landed in Phoenix. Ben and I will be making that drive in a few weeks *wipes brow*. At that point I hope to share some photos from a different perspective...the ground.
One thing I always contemplate while flying is perspective. Everything seems so small and insignificant from the air - even mountain peaks like Mt Whitney. But when you're down in the thick of it, you see things like Mt Whitney as a looming, impassable obstacle.
It also reminds me of the stories we write - omniscient vs first person POV. Overall story arcs vs the little chapters and skirmishes along the way. And why it's so important to step back and see the/your world as a whole, and appreciate how magnificent and complex it is. You can't understand what makes Death Valley a "deadly" desert without realizing the highest mountain peak in the US is right beside it, blocking it's rain :)