We're safely back in the Midwest after another cross-country flight. While never ho-hum, I guess we do take travel for granted. It is so convenient to take the noon non-stop to O'Hare and be there in 3 hours! Travel isn't much fun with overcrowded planes and going through security, but it was more pleasant this time. For some reason, Melinda has for some time gotten the "TSA Pre-check" stamp on her boarding pass, allowing her to pretty much walk onto the plane while I took my shoes off and unpacked the computer every time. This time, somehow I qualified and got to do the same - it was great! And while over 6 feet tall, sitting next to the window isn't always the best place to look out the window (at about elbow level), this time I pretty much used the window as my personal space to look out on the country as we made the trip.
posted the KC airport before, not the downtown area, so here it is... I actually briefly mistook the Topeka airport for the KC version until we flew the additional couple minutes. That is the Missouri meandering through the lower left corner of the image, with the Kansas River joining in from the right.
Continuing on into Illinois, we cross a big wind farm most every time, then come up on the Illinois River. I didn't realize how busy a waterway the Illinois was. In the space of a few minutes, I spotted a couple barges plying what looked to be a pretty narrow waterway. And it is one thing to be working upstream where you can fight the current, but going downstream, one needs to move faster than the current to maneuver - it has to be scary given how narrow the channel is. Shown at left is a barge moving downstream past Ottawa. I didn't think much of it until I checked Google maps to verify which town it was... The Google satellite image just happened to catch a barge moving upstream past the railroad bridge shown at right - can you believe how narrow a gap there is between the pilings of the bridge?! The railroad bridge is in the left image too, just downstream (to the right) of the barge at center. Also of interest to us is that the Fox River, which flows past our house in St Charles, empties into the Illinois right about where the barge is located in the left image.
Before we knew it, we were in the urban buildup of the city of Chicago and the 'burbs. At left is one of the first developed areas we saw - a subdivision built around a golf course. It wasn't more than a few minutes later than we saw some of the older parts of town in the established cities built long ago, shown at right... Of course, we were descending by the time these pictures were taken. Our plane headed right towards downtown Chicago, but unfortunately banked left too late for me to shoot it out my window. I caught the top of the Hancock building, but not much else of downtown...
So anyway, we're back in cooler temperatures, where long sleeves are mandatory in the evening. It will be a fun time catching a bit of the transition into Fall!