Follow me on my trip in a Cessna 152 across the wonders of the American West.

LEG 2/10
En français...

Clickable Map of the trip (90 KB)

San Francisco 
Sierra Nevada 
Mammoth Lake
Death Valley
Sky Ranch Estates
Boulder City
Las Vegas
Grand Canyon
Colorado River 
Mojave Desert
Big Bear City 
Los Angeles
Santa Catalina Island
Santa Ynez 
Back to San Carlos


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From Mammoth Lake to Death Valley

Thanks to the excellent facilities and staff at Mammoth Lake Airport, I could use the shower in the pilot lounge so I left in better shape than I arrived in, and after about an hour I was in the air again. Death Valley is incredible, so huge and imposing that I almost forgot the engine noise. Two enormous chains of mountains, the Sierra Nevadas on my right and the smaller Paramints on my left, border this valley whose floor is a desert with a 6,000' elevation...

Lavinated hills
The spectacular lavinated landscape of the High Sierras

Abandoned airports, which appeared now and then, were easy landmarks for my navigation, and I constantly checked the MOAs (Military Operations Areas) for news of any military aircraft that may have been flying. There are numerous MOAs in Nevada, including the famous Area 51, the nuclear testing zone.

Picture of a yellowish chemical desert - the remains of a lake
Spectacular desert scenery showing colorful mineral deposits

Gigantic remains of a lake - this time it's white and red
Owens' Lake, a huge desert of brightly-colored mineral deposits

Death Valley

I landed at Death Valley, one of the most desolated areas in the USA. The landing strip is well below sea level, with an elevation of minus 200', but altitude is not a big concern here in this Martian climate with the sea safety behind the high Sierras. Upon landing, I was greeted by a dozen black GI's who had just finished a survival exercise and were climbing into their gigantic black twin-rotor helicopter. A guy gave me a lift to the Valley's tourist center (not in the helicopter, alas), where there is a very good museum dedicated to the Valley and the heroic times of the pioneers. The guy at the entrance gave me a form requesting me, among other things, to state how I got there. I explained to him how I had arrived, asking what I should write. He smiled and announced loudly to all present: "He flew in".

This is a picture of a black hill next to Death Valley
Desolation around Death Valley

To continue this trip, you can either go to the clickable map to see the other legs and pictures of the trip, or just use the arrows on your left if your connection is slow, or directly proceed to the

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