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I never dreamt that I would ever land in Moab (or Canyonlands Airport to be precise) but rather stay higher up in Colorado’s mountain world. While other people go hiking, I usually spend many hours of my vacation at airports, help deciding if the weather allows us to go flying, watch airplanes come and go or experience the excitement of a thunderstorm we have just flown around. But I am also the decision maker when it comes to choosing where to land! Benno planned to do some high altitude flying while in Colorado, seeing what thin air does to your body but also to your aircraft. So the first step was to change from a Cessna 172 to a stronger engine which again meant for him to take lessons. The renter also wanted to do him at least 10 hours with an instructor for insurance reasons. I guess this was a wise decision. Without Dan we would have never seen as much as we did: We landed in Aspen (a lot of radio talking there with plenty of plain language speaking which we are not so much familiar with), we “did” Telluride (you can’t see the airstrip for a long long time, the approach goes around a mountain) and mountain passes we probably would have never found. He was a wonderful source of knowledge. I guess he knew the names of all the mountains in the area but also made us aware what is going on in Colorado and how much pressure is around to keep the environment in tact before everything is ripped apart by mining or energy companies (molybdenum where Dan lives which means new roads to access the mines, polluting rivers etc. etc.). Yes it works, being a pilot and being hired by an environmental group as Dan is … but this is another story I certainly will come back to.

When Dan pointed out that we could go to Moab, I felt like a little girl before Christmas and we decided that it was a must go and not so far from home base actually, not even a one hour flight. One early morning, before the sun got too hot and no thunder storms were in the area yet (most summer afternoons they would be around somewhere), we left the higher grounds and headed via Utah. The change of scenery was tremendous and the closer we came the more canyon land was below us going from red to sand colors … so so beautiful. I got nasty looks from Dan because I was not wearing my seatbelt (he did not know about TE). Before landing we over-flew the airstrip as you always do on not controlled airfields, checking the wind sock and listening carefully to the radio if no other aircraft was in the way. Stepping out of the Cessna we felt a hot desert wind blowing into our faces … and boy it felt so good. People drive or fly to Moab to visit Arches or Canyonland Nationalpark.

Since I was sitting in the back seat, I was not including the wing a lot although it might make more interesting photos. Somehow it felt strange to see the wing from the back but on the other hand this was the way it was and I might post one with.

I always find it difficult to choose what to post for TE. Is it just "another" vacation picture that has a special meaning for me, or is it something that others would enjoy as well ... so I start with this as this is part of my life for so many years meanwhile.

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Additional Photos by Barbara Kehl (baba_flies) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1376 W: 3 N: 1963] (8829)
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