Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Just Flying Around

Our routes to and from Houston

Last night, the lovely spouse and I made our return trip to Colorado from Houston. All in all, a good trip. We flew out of Denver International Airport on New Year's Eve, and our trip took us over Colorado, clipping the northeastern corner of New Mexico, and barely missing Oklahoma airspace as we entered the Texas Panhandle. Of course, as we left Denver, the Continental jet that crashed taking off for Houston was still sitting, cracked and burned up, in a ravine. As it was dark, we didn't see it.

As you can see from the map above, our trip took us right over the Dallas-Fort Worth area both coming and going. On the way down, I got this halfway decent picture of the Metroplex from over 39,000 feet as we cruised by. The camera is generally looking toward the northeast, and while it is not totally sharp because of the motion of the airplane, it isn't bad. On the full-sized version, you can actually see the semi-circular terminals at DFW International airport. To help you identify what you are looking at, I have added a few labels. Be sure to click on the picture for a large version to see them. You may have to scroll right and left to see it all.

Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas from 39,000 feet up! Click the picture to get a better view.

Then on the approach to Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, it was after ten o'clock PM local time. What was amazing was seeing the fireworks popping up all over the city! I have never flown on New Year's Eve or Independence Day evening before, so this was an unexpected treat.

What wasn't a treat was the 2 hours spent on the SuperShuttle van. There was one passenger who couldn't speak much English, and his destination was not on the GPS, so it took about half an hour to get that resolved. We greeted 2009 in the back seat of the SuperShuttle. We finally got to my parent's home at around 1 AM or so.

Leaving Houston last night, we left the gate, and then the plane stopped out on the taxiway for quite a while. Then it moves again, and we end up back at the gate. It turns out that a passenger was feeling ill, so they had to let her and her baggage off the aircraft. Leaving Houston about a half hour or so later than scheduled, we ended up in Denver only about 5 minutes late, thanks to making up time in the air.

Coming back we flew through Texas twice, Oklahoma twice, clipped the southwest corner of Kansas, and flew past Lamar and Limon, Colorado before landing at Denver. Over Wichita Falls, you could clearly see Oklahoma City. At that altitude, the horizon is about 250 miles away, and even though it was about 150 to OKC, it looked closer than that.

It is always good to see my parents, and it is always good to get back home!