Sunday, August 24, 2008

Flight to Washington

Yesterday, the lovely spouse and I took a flight from Denver to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport via the new Colorado plane of Frontier Airlines. It was a terrific flight, very nice aircraft, and a smooth ride. For most of the way, the clouds were blocking the view of the ground, which is how I usually can tell where we are, since I know the layout of the highways, towns, and landmarks over most of the United States. This flight had a GPS map on the screens, which gave us precise locations, so it was easier than ever to find landmarks if one knew where to look.

As we approached Indianapolis, I saw the Interstates coming into the city, but downtown was under a thick blanket of clouds. When we got near the cities of Marietta, Ohio and Parkersburg, West Virginia, the clouds opened and I was able to see both cities clearly, with the Ohio River winding between them.

As our ultimate destination was to drive from Washington back to Grafton, West Virginia, I started visually following US 50 coming out of Parkersburg toward Grafton. As we got to Clarksburg/Bridgeport, I saw Interstate 79 coming toward us from Charleston, and was able to snap a photo of the Harrison-Marion regional airport from 35,000 feet above. Last year I did a blog entry on WV Highway 279, known locally as Jerry Dove Drive. It is a very short state highway that runs by the airport between US 50 and I-79. I have added labels to the photo to point out the major landmarks. South is to the top of the photo. This gives you a view of WV 279 in its entirety, from end to end.

I also continued to watch US 50 as we approached Grafton, approximately 20 miles east. The town ended up being directly under the plane, but I did get to see and photograph Tygart Lake from the air.

We actually started a gradual descent into DCA as I snapped the airport photo, even though we were about 250 miles to landing. As we approached the runway, I got this photo of The Pentagon from my airplane window. As always, you can click on the photos to view a larger version.

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