I noticed when I downloaded the pictures from my 1.3 hour RV flight this morning that I had taken 385 photos. Back in the film days that would probably be how many pictures I would take in about two years. I was a slow adopter to digital photography but I am all in now.
Owning the airplane enables a nice little gift for friends. I simply send them a couple of shots of their house. Easy and simple for me and appreciated by most home owners.
When you live in a small town you get to know the place and the people in it. A few weeks ago I met someone new to the area and when I found out in what part of town they lived I figured out what specific house they must have bought, just based on the kind of person.
The family that built this house made the adobes that they built it with. Much of the interior wood was salvaged from an old mansion that had been torn down. Very cool place and very suited to the new residents.
After the house shots I headed out to the northeast toward the potash mining area. Potash has been the base of the Carlsbad economy for many decades and has waxed and waned. Lately there have been lots of changes in potash mining.
This facility, still under construction, is part of a new solution mining project. The potash mines are on Bureau of Land Management managed land. Out here in the west a very large proportion of the land is owned by the federal and state government. In addition to mining, BLM land is used for many other things, especially grazing.
This dune area has been developed by BLM specifically for off-road-vehicle use. In general, BLM lands are open for everyone to use. It is a hard adjustment to go east of New Mexico where one can no longer roam, more or less, freely.
As I said, the potash industry has been up and down. When a mine closes down sometimes the facility is left to succumb to entropy.
While flying around in the potash mining area I looked more closely at an operating mine and noticed some sinkholes in the tailings pile.
Interesting. This made me wonder if the mechanism that caused these holes is wholly within the tailings or if the natural karst below contributes.
edit: it turns out this photo is of interest to people involved.
One great RV joy is to be able to look at something from the air after you were there on the ground. Last weekend, there was no flying because I had volunteered for duty on a resistivity survey.
This is where that was.
I walked from the top of the photo to the bottom of the photo and back up many times carrying electrodes, cable, measuring tapes, GPS devices and salt water. I am intimately familiar with those two cliffs and every catclaw acacia and ocotillo in the draw. I was not in proper shape for this, and did suffer the next few days.
The survey was very fruitful and seems to show a large, previously unknown, underground chamber near a known cave named Big Manhole.
The large red area near the center would be the chamber.
From this same spot over Big Manhole cave, I pivoted the camera over toward Guadalupe Peak.
The canyon in the foreground is in Carlsbad Caverns National Park and is named Rattlesnake Canyon. Under the category of stranger than fiction is what happened here in 1999. The book Journal of the Dead
deals with the homicide that was committed with a multi-tool.