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Old 02-27-2013, 09:16 AM
Louise Hose's Avatar
Louise Hose Louise Hose is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton, Nevada --- A34
Posts: 1,469
Default Big Bear to Carson City - Antelope Valley

January 28, 2009, was one of the happiest days of my life. While skiing on Mammoth Mountain, Paul?s first experience in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, he turned to me and said, ?This area is fantastic! Do you think there is an airpark near here that we could retire to?? I knew in an instant that my dream of retiring to the American West would come true. Paul had been hooked! That evening, I researched airparks in the Reno-Carson City area and the following Saturday, on the way back to Houston, we visited Dayton Valley Airpark. After that visit and some due diligence, we knew our future would be at Dayton.

This visit to the area started from my family cabin at Big Bear City, California. As it was going to be well below zero Celsius at our flight elevation (and there was no rear seat headset for the trip), Paul insisted on flying the Valkyrie and I was stuck in the frigid backseat of the -8. (Personally, I think every RV-8 owner should relinquish the pilot?s seat and sit in the back of their plane whenever temperatures drop below 0C. You guys don?t know what you?re missing!) I occupied my time by taking photos.
As our flight was on Sunday, Paul called Joshua Approach and got a clearance through the Edwards airspace, allowing us to fly nearly over the famous dry lake.

Edwards Air Force Base from the east

As we headed north (and west of the China Lake airspace), I noted an epidemic of solar farms. Good to see!

Solar farms populate this part of the Mojave Desert

As a geologist, I couldn?t resist shooting photos of the Garlock Fault, a left-lateral strike-slip fault that intersects the right-lateral San Andreas Fault to form the Antelope Valley.

Garlock Fault extends to the southwest, forming the northwest side of the Antelope Valley

The contrasting but spectacular scenery of the Mojave Desert and the Southern Sierra Nevada appeared and faded as the miles passed under us.

Walker Pass of the Southern Sierra Nevada from the east

Indian Wells Valley lava flow viewed from the west
Louise Hose, Editor of The Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
RV3B, NX13PL "Tsamsiyu" co-builder, TMXIO-320, test platform Legacy G3X/TruTrak avionics suite
RV-6 ?Mikey? (purchased flying) ? Garmin test platform (G3X Touch, GS28 autopilot servos, GTN650 GPS/Nav/Comm,
GNC255 Nav/Com, GA240 audio panel)
RV8, N188PD "Valkyrie" (by marriage)
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:24 AM
Louise Hose's Avatar
Louise Hose Louise Hose is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton, Nevada --- A34
Posts: 1,469
Default Big Bear to Carson City - Owens Valley

The Owens Valley of eastern California is the western-most graben of the Basin and Range Province (at this latitude). Grabens are structural valleys formed by normal faults on both sides dropping the valley. (The adjacent mountain ranges are called “horsts”.) An early surveyor described the Basin and Range as “an army of caterpillars marching to Mexico” because of its abundance of north-south-trending basins (grabens) and ranges (horsts). All of this structure results from (or, is it in?) the crust stretching and thinning. Thus, the basins are closer to the hot mantle below the crust and the Basin and Range is heavily populated by (geologically) young volcanoes and hot springs.

Red cinder cone north of Little Lake

As we moved up the Owens Valley, skirting the China Lake airspace, Owens Lake comes under our right wing. Once a thriving lake that provided an important stop to migrating water fowl and floated ore boats and steamers, the Lake was almost entirely dry during my childhood and early adult years because Los Angeles diverted its water upstream (remember the movie Chinatown?). After years of lawsuits and distressing air pollution impacting residents of the Owens Valley, the lake bed is now a highly manipulated wetland. There is now always at least some water covering the land that I grew up knowing as Owens Dry Lake.

Owens Lake from the south

As we approached the town of Lone Pine (Gateway to Mount Whitney --- highest point of the contiguous United States), a brush fire was clearly visible to the east of the Lone Pine airport.

Brush fire along the Owens River, east of the Lone Pine airport

Mount Whitney and surrounding high peaks to the west of Lone Pine

North of Lone Pine sits a place of both great beauty and testament to a part of our nation’s darkest history. Little remains of the vibrant World War II community at the Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp except the dirt roads and an interpretive center managed by the National Park Service. Tens of thousands of people, mostly U.S. citizens and many with immediate family members serving in U.S. combat units at the time, spent the war in this place of stark beauty. If you are ever driving through the Owens Valley, please stop and learn more about this time not so long ago when more than 110 thousand innocent U.S. citizens loss their freedom, houses, and possessions due to actions of our government.

Manzanar Interment Camp viewed from the southeast

I’m sure the Independence Chamber of Commerce must hate it, but I can’t think of Independence, California, without remember the image of Charlie Mansion being brought to their court house after he and his band were captured in the desert to the east. Thanks goodness and law enforcement that he has been permanently removed from the public!

Independence, California

While our gaze tends to look to the high, alpine mountains to the west, the Inyo Mountains (the horst block to the east) would captivate us in just about any other state than California. In the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada, this desert mountain range holds little vegetation or water.

Cinder cone at the base of the Inyo Mountains viewed from the west near Aberdeen, CA

Cinder cone at base of Sierra viewed from the east near Aberdeen, CA

There is a lot of military activity in the Owens Valley. I wonder what these particular tracking stations are seeking?

Tracking stations south of Big Pine, viewed from west

As we approach Bishop, California, the White Mountains now rise to our east. The famous bristlecone tree grove---with specimens many thousands of years old --- grow on carbonate rocks high in these mountains.

White Mountains viewed from southwest
Louise Hose, Editor of The Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
RV3B, NX13PL "Tsamsiyu" co-builder, TMXIO-320, test platform Legacy G3X/TruTrak avionics suite
RV-6 ?Mikey? (purchased flying) ? Garmin test platform (G3X Touch, GS28 autopilot servos, GTN650 GPS/Nav/Comm,
GNC255 Nav/Com, GA240 audio panel)
RV8, N188PD "Valkyrie" (by marriage)

Last edited by Louise Hose : 02-27-2013 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:29 AM
Louise Hose's Avatar
Louise Hose Louise Hose is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton, Nevada --- A34
Posts: 1,469
Default Big Bear to Carson City - Bishop to Carson City

Flying past Bishop, we start to leave the Owens Valley, pass Sherwin Grade and Lake Crowley, and into the Mono Basin. This area is an outdoors-person?s paradise with great skiing, trout fishing, rockclimbing, 4-wheeling, hiking, mountain biking, and on-and-on.

Looking up the Owens Gorge towards Lake Crowley

Finally, beautiful Mono Lake comes into view. I can?t wait to get out kayaks out there and paddle around this surreal place! Mono Lake was historically much higher but has also succumbed (somewhat, at least) to Angelinos? thirst. Following decades of legal battles, the slow draining and death-path of Mono Lake has been stopped. My non-geologist but intellectually curious pilot-husband excitedly points out the old shorelines of the lake to me as we glide by.

Mono Lake viewed from the east

Paleoshorelines on the east side of Mono Lake

I don?t know anything about Mount Grant (off our starboard) but it clearly would be famous if it were just about any other place in the contiguous U.S. In Nevada? It?s just another high point on one of the state?s 413 mountain ranges. I can?t wait to get out there and start exploring them all!

Mount Grant, Nevada, from the west

After about two hours of flight, our future backyard is off the nose. Another of those 413 Nevadan mountain ranges, the Pinenut Mountains comes under out wing. Our future home offices, great room, and backyard in the Dayton Airpark will look out at these mountains (with more distant views of the Sierra Nevada). I note that there are very few roads and trails in this mountain range. Good! In 20 minutes from the house I?ll find expansive solitude.

Pinenut Mountains, Nevada

We fly by our future home and I share my attention between viewing Dayton and looking over at Lake Tahoe. Paul is busy talking with Reno Approach but I can?t hear him.

Dayton Valley Airpark, Nevada, from southwest

Lake Tahoe and Carson City, Nevada, viewed from over Dayton Valley Airpark

As we pass over Virginia City---a few miles north of the airpark, I look for the ghosts of Ben, Adam, Hoss, and Joe Cartwright but they don?t appear. My camera battery has also died, so I just sat back and enjoyed the last ten minutes into Stead, where we are greeted by VAFers Greg and Julia Arehart and Bob Mills. What a magical flight! I spent the next three days feeling giddy over the prospect of making this area our home in the next year. I can?t think of a better place for pilots with strong outdoor interests to live! I hope you folks will come visit us once we settle in Dayton.

(If you read this far and still haven?t gotten enough, more photos from the flight are at:
Louise Hose, Editor of The Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
RV3B, NX13PL "Tsamsiyu" co-builder, TMXIO-320, test platform Legacy G3X/TruTrak avionics suite
RV-6 ?Mikey? (purchased flying) ? Garmin test platform (G3X Touch, GS28 autopilot servos, GTN650 GPS/Nav/Comm,
GNC255 Nav/Com, GA240 audio panel)
RV8, N188PD "Valkyrie" (by marriage)
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:59 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,095

Louise, thanks for the photo tour of the trip, glad you took the time to share it with us.

I also have many fond memories of these areas, but mostly from the ground level, never flew over most of it.

We will be looking forward to having you and Paul as "neighbors"
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:17 AM
DeltaRomeo DeltaRomeo is online now
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Highland Village, TX
Posts: 4,243
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That is jaw-dropping beautiful, Louise. Thank you for sharing those great images coupled with geology-laden descriptions.

I really enjoyed reading all that. Thanks again.
Doug Reeves (your host)
  • Full time: since '07 (started it in '96).
  • Typed in the EMB-505 (Phenom 300). Available for contract work. (flying resume).
  • Part time: Supporting Crew Member CAE EMB-505 Level D Sim @ KDFW.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:19 AM
az_gila's Avatar
az_gila az_gila is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: 57AZ - NW Tucson area
Posts: 10,011

Great pictures Louise - that route is a favorite for seeing the mountainous Western US, especially up the Owens Valley. I liked the geology comments.

The radar dishes you photographed are not military but space telescopes -

The Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) in Big Pine, California is an astronomical instrument comprising 23 radio telescopes. All the signals collected are combined, correlated, and "folded" by a computer to produce high-resolution astronomical images
Gil Alexander
EAA Technical Counselor, Airframe Mechanic
Half completed RV-10 QB purchased
RV-6A N61GX - finally flying
Grumman Tiger N12GA - flying
La Cholla Airpark (57AZ) Tucson AZ
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:24 AM
n5lp's Avatar
n5lp n5lp is offline
fugio ergo sum
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Carlsbad, NM
Posts: 1,912

Thank you for the beautiful photos and write-up.
Larry Pardue
Carlsbad, NM

RV-6 N441LP Flying
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:23 AM
Rupester Rupester is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Mahomet, Illinois
Posts: 2,195
Default Jeez, Louise ....

....what a wonderful travelogue of California .....Thanks MUCH!

For those of us stuck here in Midwest permacloud, that blue, blue sky nearly brings tears of joy to our eyes.
Terry Ruprecht
RV-9A Tip-up; IO-320 D2A
S. James cowl/plenum
(Dues paid thru Nov '18)
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:23 AM
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Rosie Rosie is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: I live in on the Rosamond Skypark (CA) and am married to Victoria (Tuppergal).
Posts: 981

By golly, those are some beautiful pictures from my own backyard Rosie
Paul A. "Rosie" Rosales
Rosamond Skypark (L00), CA
RV-6A, 4200+ hours since 7/4/2000

Last edited by Rosie : 02-27-2013 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:25 PM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,829

It was just as beautiful on the trip home yesterday morning, but Louise was sitting in a Southwest Jet headed back to Houston and I was solo for the trip back down the valley. Knowing the photos that she got, I didn't even pull the camera out - i just enjoyed the magnificent "cathedral" that is the Owen's Valley - the spires of the Sierra forming the flying buttresses of the sanctuary.

I wondered, as I flew along, if the controllers of Joshua Approach, sitting in a dark room somewhere, know what they are missing!

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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