LAX. The journey begins.
Foreground: The southern tip of the ghost town of Surfridge, until the 1960s, just another community of suburban tract houses that happened to be right under the LAX flight pattern. With the advent of jet engines, the neighborhood was deemed unsafe for habitation. Under eminent domain, the residents were bought out and the houses destroyed. All that remain are these roads and some foundation slabs.
At LAX, they take off two at a time.
Using me as an example, it’s quite possible to grow up your entire life in L.A. and not know that there are any other islands offshore besides Catalina. In fact there are seven more. A fringe benefit of flying from LAX to Oakland on Southwest Air and sitting on the left side of the aircraft is a chance to view a majority of these islands in rapid succession and realize just how nearby they are.
Catalina Island in the foreground, San Clemente Island in the rear. The other airplane is still visible just above Catalina’s isthmus; it’s heading south, we’re banking north.
Leaving L.A. County. The contours of Point Dume are in the foreground; Ventura County is the inlet beyond the mountain range; and Santa Barbara County is the vanishing point on the horizon. Note the Channel Islands National Park offshore to the left. I believe all four islands might be visible: Anacapa (nearest), followed by Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa (far left), and possibly San Miguel (far right just behind Santa Cruz).
Closeup of the previous photo: Channel Islands off the coast of Ventura County. The three little ones in the foreground are the Anacapa Islands; the large “C” shaped one behind it is Santa Cruz Island; behind that and to the left is Santa Rosa Island.
Above Ventura County.
Close-up of Anacapa Islands (left), Santa Cruz Island (center), and Santa Rosa Island (rear) from above Ventura.
Drinks are served. When did bloody mary mix become the color of sweet and sour sauce? Since this one was free, I’m not complaining.
Commuting via the stratosphere. 35 minutes after takeoff, the Bay approaches.
The familiar site of evaporation ponds.
San Mateo Bridge. Reentering the realm of the automobile. Note the one-way direction of the commuter traffic at approximately 5 pm. Next up: Oakland International.