Wozzat down there?

Hey guess what the plane flew over yesterday evening?

It was well on in the flight, and the medical emergency was under control, and we’d drunk our orange juice and left Texas behind and the land had turned red and was pretty flattish and empty and a bit dull, and I looked out again and saw a river ahead, and as we got closer I could see gently sloping walls above the river, which is a common sight, but then as we got more closer I started to frown and squint and think “that’s actually a pretty deep canyon…wait a second…wait why couldn’t that be the grand one? How do we know that’s not THE GRAND CANYON?” Just as I thought it the captain came on and said “Hi folks, we’re just approaching an arm of the Grand Canyon.”

W00t! Bucket list. I’ve always wanted to see that. Debbie Goddard and I were just talking about window geekery and wanting to fly over the Grand Canyon, on Saturday. Done!


  1. fastlane says

    Now, you gotta hike it. 😀 Make your reservations at least a year in advance, and stay at the Phantom Ranch at the bottom. Well worth the trip if you can handle ~10 mile hike.

    I’m lucky enough that I used to Search and Rescue in Arizona, and I’ve flown over it several times in small planes. Spectacular views, for sure, but not as cool as actually getting down there and hiking into the canyon.

  2. says

    Re: window geekery on-board a flight. I am glad that you can enjoy it. I’d love to do that, too, but I am always afraid of expressing my jubilation too enthusiastically and thereby landing myself in trouble. It has happened to other people as dark-skinned as I am. I refer to this 2002 NY Times report.

    The Vermas could have been any family flying into New York City for the first time. Looking down on the glittering island, Ravi Verma delivered an excited monologue in Malayalam, pointing out the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the skyscrapers of the financial district to his wife and two daughters…

    But other passengers on American Trans Air Flight 204 from Chicago Tuesday night feared that the family had a more sinister purpose. Acting on a nervous passenger’s suspicions, the authorities called in two fighter jets to escort the plane to La Guardia Airport, where it landed at 11:05. The entire family, two traveling companions and another man were taken into custody for several hours of questioning by the joint terrorism task force.

    That was in 2002. I don’t know if it’d still happen in 2013, but I am afraid nevertheless: realities of the life of a dark-skinned non-immigrant in this country, perhaps.

  3. says

    Oh, no…that sucks.

    And what the hell? The nervous passenger thought that Ravi Verma was telling his two daughters which buildings to blow up, aloud, on a passenger plane? And other people bought it? Jeez.

  4. says

    No camera. A photo out the plane window would have been worthless. The bats, I dunno – it was twilight. I’m sure there are a million skilled photos of the bat flight available.

  5. maddog1129 says

    Hiking the Grand Canyon is for crazy folk. As bad as hiking is generally, at least usually it’s UPhill going and DOWNhill coming back. The GC is an upside-down hike, where after the excursion you still have all your hardest work ahead of you, to borrow a phrase Christopher Hitchens used to say a lot.

  6. Ant (@antallan) says

    A colleague of mine from Sacramento, CA, is hiking the GC this week.

    I’ve been a few times, but not to hike! We once stayed in a chalet on the South Rim … literally: only the path separated us from the GC. And I’ve overflown it twice: once by plane to the South Rim, once by helo* to the West Rim. Something for your agenda next time you’re in Vegas for TAM… oh…


    *We had to wait for a lighter pilot. As I said, I don’t hike.

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