Day 13 – High altitude elation

Alright, since this is going to be a double feature for me today (I just wrote and uploaded yesterdays travelog), I will have keep the text brief and let the pictures speak for themselves.

The day began early but the flight planning and preparations took up the space between 7 am and 10:30 am, when we finally took to air. Robert completed his stuff right at the airport, stuffing a printed chart into his knee board.

13 Final preparations.JPG

While he was doing that, I tried to get a good shot of Pike´s Peak from just outside of Todd´s hangar:

13 Pike´s Peak.JPG

At this point I want to say a special „Thank you“ to Todd and Dawn, whose hospitality and company we enjoyed immensely. They are great. Dawn even organized a newspaper interview over the phone just minutes before we set off. I hope it turns out good.

We flew south after leaving Colorado Springs, following the Frontal Range mountains. The country underneath us turned to desert quickly, ...


13 Colorado desert.JPG

… and I spotted something that looked like varicose veins to me.

13 Varicose veins.JPG

Having to go over the Raton Pass, we needed to climb a lot. What helped us do that in no time at all were the puffy cumuls clouds, of which each single one marked an active thermal. Once in such a thermal we saw climb speeds upwards of 1500 feet per minute. We quickly went above 10.000 feet, a fact that prompted me to shoot a picture of my altimeter.

13 10.100 feet.JPG

Apparently this high altitude induces some kind of elation, because Robert felt totally exhilerated:.

13 Thumbs up.JPG

The Raton pass formes the border between Colorado and New Mexico in this area. Here is a shot just prior to the pass:

13 Raton pass.JPG

Once we had crossed over into New Mexico, the scenery took on a decidedly more arid turn and became even more desert-like. Here is a shot near the Raton airport, where we landed and refueled.

13 New Mexico.JPG

Once we had crossed over into New Mexico, the scenery took on a decidedly more arid turn and became even more desert-like. Here is a shot near the Raton airport, where we landed and refueled.

13 Over desert.JPG

Landing in Las Vegas, we had to wait for about 45 minutes for somebody to show up and top off our tanks for the flight to Santa Fe, where I am typing this just now.

Weather cooperating, we want to fly west to Winslow and Clark, if possible. I suspect there will be afternoon thundershower activity in the mountains and therefore we need to get as far as we can in the morning.

– Robert & Chris.