America the Beautiful

I flew to Seattle today.  Anyone who has flown coast to coast in America will likely have looked out of their window and seen the same views.  I’ve done this same route dozens of times, and nothing down there has changed… yet I love it just as much, if not more.

One thing about America – it’s just so big.  That’s not even counting Alaska (or tiny Hawaii).  I’ve often lamented that I haven’t been able to see enough of my own country.  These flights make that pang worse.

Leaving the East Coast, you look out the window to see industrialization and suburbia – factories alongside cookie-cutter developments and a maze of highways.  Go a bit more west and it becomes patchwork quilt farmland.  This lasts for a while.  We flew over the Great Lakes and Canada, always a treat from 10,000 feet.  My favorite starts around sunny Montana.  The farms are so pretty, alternating green and yellow stripes and circles.  Then, as you cross into Idaho, you see the Rockies.  Today was clear, so everything was crisp and sharp.  The farther west you go, the taller the peaks–and they’re snowcapped.  The snow is shiny and bright in the sunshine, and you have to take a moment to realize that the mountains are so cold, the snow doesn’t even melt.  All year, there it is.  The Rockies are tall.  Finally, as if a curtain were lifted, a valley appears with cute little houses and lakes.  These cute residential areas persist until all you see are evergreen trees and beauty.  And then, the captain’s voice comes onto the PA, “…now prepare for landing…”

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