Monday, August 19, 2013

The Damned Mountain Can't Read!

Do you like to fly?
I love to fly!

Our home is located in the flight path
for Buckley Air Force Base.
Many days when I'm walking,
I get to see its F-16s flying overhead.
I always have to stop and watch them streaking by.
I've learned to look well ahead of the thundering sounds
to spot these beautiful birds.

I'd fly on one in a heartbeat if I had the chance!
Would you?

There are no better days than those when I wake up
and head to Denver International Airport (DIA) 
to FLY ~

E-470 on the Way to DIA

Presidential Supply Plane 
Takes Off from Buckley Air Force Base,
Aurora, Colorado 
After Presidential Visit, April 2013
(Photographed from Moving Car on E-470 on the Way to DIA)

I always get a thrill 
when I see DIA's iconic outline 
appear on the horizon.

DIA's Tented Roof and its Killer Horse

Just get me through security and into the sky!
Just give me a window seat with a clear view.
I have great fun photographing everything.

SWA Baggage Handlers DIA

Do you love the feeling 
of the jet engines powering up 
and the faster and faster roll down the runway 
to that magical moment of liftoff?

A Southwest Plane Comes in for a Landing,
As We Begin Our Roll Down the Runway
(Really SWA you could keep your windows cleaner for photographers like me!)

And we're up, up, and away!


On this flight to Reno we headed west over the Rockies.
Very little rock and roll headed west,
but the turbulence heading east off the Rockies
to land at DIA can be exciting!

Boulder, Colorado, and Its Flatirons

Our flight path took us over Boulder,   
and I snagged a shot of the Flatirons.
The tilted Flatirons take their name
from the flat, metal irons 
that pioneers heated on their stoves to press their clothes.

These conglomerate sandstones of the Fountain Formation 
are 290 to 296 million years old 
and were forced into their present position
during the Laramide Orogeny 35 to 80 million years ago.
The materials in these rocks eroded from the Ancestral Rockies ~
the Rockies that were here before our present Rockies!
How cool is that???? 

The Fountain Formation is found in numerous places
along Colorado's Front Range 
including at such well-known locations as
Garden of the Gods, Roxborough State Park, 
and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Whenever I fly I snap loads of photographs from my window seat.
On our way to Hawaii last May I happened to catch
one of my most favorite shots from the window of a plane.

The Continental Divide and Something Else!

Huh?  You may be thinking ~ 
just like the Ever-Patient Terry.
That's exciting???

Well, if you look closely 
from the lower left and the lower right,
you will see I-70 disappearing under the Continental Divide.
I caught both entrances 
to the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel!
Try that at tens of thousands of feet and moving very fast!

I always marvel at this tunnel when I drive through it.
It is an amazing engineering feat.

The tunnel consists of two bores:
Interstate 70 West passes through the Eisenhower bore 
which was the first one to open on March 8, 1973.
The westbound Eisenhower tunnel 
is 1.7 miles or 2.7 kilometers long.

Entering the Westbound Eisenhower Bore

I-70 East passes through the Johnson bore 
which opened in late December, 1979.
The eastbound Johnson tunnel is a few feet longer than the other. 

Entering the Eastbound Johnson Bore

The tunnels save drivers the 9.5 mile route over Loveland Pass.
The west bore reaches a maximum elevation 
of 11,158 feet or 3,401 meters above sea level.
The Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel 
is the longest and highest mountain tunnel 
in the USA's Interstate Highway System.

Through the Tunnel

Constructing both sides of the tunnel was challenging.
Boring under the continental divide
through granite, gneiss, and schist 
proved difficult for men and machines at such a high elevation. 

Workers discovered fault lines 
as they worked on the Eisenhower bore
and slipping occurred along those fault lines.
Although emergency steps were taken 
to prevent cave-ins and collapsing of the tunnels, 
nine workers died during their construction.

Commented one frustrated engineer:
"We were going by the book, 
but the damned mountain couldn't read." 

For a Map of I-70 and the Eisenhower Tunnel click below.

Snapping a photograph of a tunnel 
disappearing under a mountain range 
that separates water flowing into the Pacific Ocean
from water flowing into the Atlantic Ocean 
and the Gulf of Mexico?

I don't know about you,
but I think that's pretty damn cool!

Give me a plane, a camera, a window seat,
and clear skies ~ maybe cloudy skies,
and I can entertain myself endlessly!

:) !!!!!

Whenever I take-off on a plane, I'm singing, "Time for me to fly!"




  1. Oh, GOOD SONG, Louise! I like anything by REO! I really don't like to fly although I love going places (and flying is usually the only way to get there!). Sophie loves to fly and is always asking when we can fly somewhere! GREAT photo of the'd love Switzerland...they have to be the masters of car tunnels. We have to go through an 11 mile tunnel to get to my father-in-law's house (and Italy!). I love your photos of the Air Force planes ~ when I was little, by Dad used to always take me to see the Blue Angels. I last saw them in 2011. Oh, I get so excited!!! Fun post!!!

    1. Hi Audrey! I'm glad that you found the post fun! I've played REO so many times! Flying used to scare me, but I got over it ~ now I like rock and rolling coming East off the Rockies. I was on a bad flight to Calgary years ago, and the captain ordered the flight crew strapped in. I was very frightened; but as luck would have it, I was sitting next to a naval airplane structural engineer. He convinced me that the turbulence we were experiencing was nothing. And then he showed me how I could listen to the United pilots on Channel Nine. Every time I fly United I listen to them. On certain Asian airlines you can see below the plane and through the cockpit windows on special cameras. That is fascinating ~ especially coming in for a landing at night; you see exactly what the pilots see! I'm glad that Sophie enjoys flying!!!! I know that I would love Switzerland for many, many reasons. Love the Blue Angels, the Snowbirds, the Red Arrows! And I'd love your 11 mile tunnel too! Take care!

  2. Not a bad tune
    At your dune
    I don't mind flying
    As long as no babies are crying
    Fat guys are squashing me
    or nosey busy bodies go on a spree haha
    Great shots too
    At your zoo

    1. Hi Pat! You certainly nailed a few of the unpleasantries of flying! I hate the kiddos who kick the back of my seat! We had a really tall man on our flight coming back from Hawaii. He stayed in the bathroom a long time and refused to come out until we were about to land ~ the flight attendants were pounding on the door for him to come out. Terry and I figured that he was hanging out in the bathroom because it was the only place he had room to stretch out his legs! LOL
      thanks for the kind words. Take care!

  3. I used to love flying, but now with all of the hassles of security and the tight seats, it isn't as much fun. Our house is just west of the usual northern approach flight path to DIA. We enjoy watching the planes on their approach - and some day we will be up there seeing our home from the window. I ALWAYS try to get a window seat on the left side so I can look for our house - but either it is cloudy, or dark, or we come in over the mountains and don't come up from the south.
    I love your tunnel pictures. Nice job! When I ski at Loveland I get tickled thinking I am skiing over the tunnel!

    1. Hi Dreaming! I enjoy watching the jetliners on their northern approach to DIA! I'm always wondering where the planes are coming from and who is on them. I have actually spotted our home once when we approached from way south. And I've found my school lots of times! I love flying over the Four Corners/Colorado Plateau region and spotting all the spectacular geological landmarks. I hope you do get to spot your house! I haven't skied at Loveland, but it would be fun to ski over the tunnel! I'd be tickled too! Have a good one.

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  5. I don't really mind flying, but it can be quite exhausting when you go long distances and when you need to change flights. I try to pass the time by reading, and more often than not, I fall asleep at some point. And yes, I do love when jet engines power up! Just like I love the sounds trains make when they leave a station.

    1. Hi Martha! Yes, long flights can be exhausting, especially when trying to catch a connection. We rarely check bags, so I'm always running and lugging. Half the time I'm exhausted by overdoses of exhilaration! I can sleep like a baby on a long overnight flight. Train travel is awesome ~ It's been way too long since I've been on one!. Take care!

  6. Your enthusiasm for "slipping the surly bonds of earth" is contagious!

    1. Hey Debra! I hope you're having a great day! That quote always reminds me of the Challenger and its astronauts. I have visited their memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. I was at university taking my education degree when the explosion happened. My mom was sick about it, especially when she knew that had I been a teacher in time to apply to go on the Teacher in Space program I'd have gone for that flight. I'd still go for a space shot! Beam me up, Scotty, please!!!!! Take care!

  7. And there she goes!!! This is an educational and very interesting post Louise! And what are the chances of getting that shot of the tunnel? What a keen eye eye you have there girl!
    A great pilot you would be!
    Flying? I don't particularly like it unless I really have to. Don't find the whole airport, waiting in lines, late flights, noisy passengers and the crampedness, fun at all. That's just me. Give me a train or car any day.
    But I am happy you LOVE it as is evident here with the joy you exude.

    1. Hey Jim! I'm so happy that you found this post educational and interesting! There are fascinating things all around us! I can't believe I got that tunnel shot ~ sometimes you're just plain lucky! I've caught the Ameristar in Blackhawk from the air too!
      I agree that flying can be inconvenient, but I always find something to entertain myself with. Terry's with you! He tries to limit time at the airport, but he will put up with anything on a flight to get a cheap fare! He's a master at that. We each flew to and from Denver and Honolulu for $290 apiece!
      By the way, that last photo above is of Diamond Head Crater and Waikikiki Beach taken from our cheap Allegiant flight. It was very cloudy when we took off, but a hole appeared in the clouds, and I was able to catch the beach and crater. I've stood at the very tippy-top of Diamond Head which makes the photo even more fun for me! Have an awesome day!!!!!

  8. Well the next time I am welded to my seat keeping the plane in the sky with my will power I will try to remember your attitude and relax... I mean I'll try but it isn't likely. Jeesh. Even the window shot make me dizzy, ha ha! Other than the plane pictures I really enjoyed this post! :D

  9. Hi Francie! I totally get keeping the plane in the sky with my will power! I remember only too well the time when I was a sky-chicken! I'm glad you enjoyed the non-plane parts! Take care!


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