The West 2021

The Flight West

Pre-flight planning the four corners region
Many large wind farms on the way
On the way out over Iowa and Kansas with many irrigation circles and cattle lots
Lots of them. Started flight following with the increasing haze.
Flying into haze from fires in the northwest, oh yea, and mountains about 100nm ahead

Colorado Springs

Cutter Aviation FBO at Colorado Springs Airport
An aviation bear greets the pilots and passengers to the FBO
I like the aviation bear

The KC-97 Airport Restaurant at Colorado Springs airport
The wing extends into the restaurant
The propeller and nacelle are inside the restaurant too.
Kids get to pretend to be pilots
The cabin is also for restaurant seating
In Old Colorado, look closely at the windows... Leg lamps!

The Broadmoor

Cheyenne Lake at the Broadmoor
One of the entrances
The Pourtales Library at the Broadmoor for guests
Bookshelves in the Pourtales Library. Even a ladder like a real library.
Pauline Chapel
Interior of the chapel

Flourissant and Woodland Park

Fossilized trees at the Flourissant Fossil Beds
The field was once the bottom of a volcanic mud flow
This one has a broken off saw blade embedded in it.
The trees are just below the surface of the whole field.
An old homestead at the site.
The Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, Colorado.
80 million year old raptor cast

Day trip to Leadville

Garden of the Gods
Pikes Peak off to the south.
Pikes Peak on the left
Ahead, a ridge to a central Colorado mountain valley.
Eleven Mile Reservoir over the ridge.
U.S. Hwy 24 at Wilkerson Pass. Badger mountain.
Terrain ahead. Red is at or below me. The Arkansas river valley is about 12 nm ahead. Turn right there to Leadville.
Flight following U.S. 24 (mp4)
Buena Vista airport and the 14ers to the west. Up the valley to the right to Leadville.
Following the Arkansas river north.
Twin Lakes Reservoir (9176ft MSL)
Leadville airport, ahead on the right and the town to the north.
Leadville Airport has a large, brand new ramp at 9934 ft MSL.
On the ramp at LXV, looking at the 14ers and Mt. Elbert to the west

Leadville, CO

The National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum
It has a coal mine replica.
A mule and miner.
Winch operator
Even rails on the ground
A walk through the mine (mp4)
Baby Doe Tabor's cabin. The story of her life is an interesting read.
Inside the cabin
Mine shaft outside the cabin
Historic Silver Dollar Saloon
Inside the Silver Dollar Saloon
High Altitude Thirst Aid Center. Unfortunately not today.
Leadville airport looking south
Just past Woodland Park and starting to see Colorado Springs
A great sunset from the hotel room window

Pikes Peak Highway

One of many hairpin turns where the road just disappears around the curve
A marmont living in the rocks and making it's "whistle pig' squeak
Boulder Park at mile 17.5 and 13,380 ft
Part of the new overlooks on top of Pikes Peak, 14,114 feet
Going down you put the car in 1st gear and let gravity propel you and the engine brake for you
A walk along the cliff (mp4)
Coming up to a curve, 1st gear whining
Scale is incredible in the mountains

Garden of the Gods

Southern entrance to the Garden of the Gods
Grey Rock / Cathedral Rock
The plaque noting the donation of the park to the city of Colorado Springs, free for all to enjoy
A very large rock garden
Numerous climbers were out
Tower of Babel
Signature Rock from north parking lot
Different levels of climbing

Manitou Cliff Dwellings

On the way to the Grand Canyon

Blanca Peak at the La Veta Pass
Great Sand Dunes National Park in the distance to the north.
Almost 15,000 gives good clearance over the upcoming Wolf Creek Pass
Coming up on Wolf Creek Pass
Shiprock in the distance
Shiprock is a magnificient navigation aid
A closer view of Shiprock
A ridge line running to the south from Shiprock
Terrain starts to get more red with mesas and valleys
Monument valley
Monument Valley airport
A closer look shows the one way in and one way out due to the unfortunate mesa to the south.
Western edge of Monument Valley
The Colorado River runs through Marble Canyon from Page, AZ to the Grand Canyon
Marble Canyon (mp4)
Flight down the Zuni Point corridor above 10,000 ft
Colorado River (mp4)
Copilot view
Copilot view

The Grand Canyon

Plateau Point, on the left, is a 12 mile round trip
Up to the railing (mp4)
And over the railing (mp4)
View of Bight Angel trail and the green area is Phantom Ranch
Utah Juniper
Elk grazing next to the El Tovar hotel
First rock portal on the trail
The start of the Bright Angel trail
Petroglyphs at the start of the Bright Angel Trail
No handrails, but it's not as narrow as it looks.
Mary Colter's Lookout Studio
The view from Lookout Studio
This huge branch was caught in the railing
Bright Angel trail to the North Rim
A clash of distances
Just west of the village, there's a layer of fossils in the rock
More fossils in the rocks
Layers of rock from the seabed, now at 7,000 feet
Shell fossils in rock at 7,000 feet
An embedded clam shell fossil in the rock
Indian Paintbrush / Prairie-fire flower
Shrine of the Ages
The Grand Canyon Blacksmith
Quite a headstone, and a ham radio operator call sign on it
A Harvey Girl

Grand Canyon to Dodge City

Canyon de Chelly
Canyon de Chelly (mp4)
NM landscape (mp4)
NM landscape (mp4)
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge at Taos, NM. It's been in numerous movies.
The Rio Grande bridge (mp4)
Taos, NM
Eagles Nest valley ahead
Palo Flechado Pass to Eagles Nest (mp4)
Flying north up Eagle's Nest valley to the pass ahead on the right
Eagles Nest Lake, NM
First stop after the last mountain ridge, Raton, NM
Mesas and old volcanos near Raton, NM
Flatlands again
And cattle stockyards

Dodge City, KS

Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, KS
Snake oil bottles, without the snake oil
A virtual visit with Wild Bill, Earp, Masterson, and Doc Holliday
Boot Hill replica main street
1800's firearms
Wyatt Earp

Last legs home

Stopped in Mexico on the way out and back. That's Missouri. The Zenith Aircraft company is based there.
The Zenith Aircraft company
Midwest clouds and flatlands
Great VFR weather
We couldn't pass up Rick's Boatyard in Indianapolis on the way home.