The Forgotten Joy of the Window Seat

an aerial view of a landscape

Snowy mountain ranges, barren desserts. Its been awhile since I’ve found myself gazing raptly out the airplane window on a domestic flight. With the exception of flights to Alaska, I typically prefer the aisle seat for my cross country flights. And when I do get stuck in a window seat it’s usually cloudy or crossing some of the least interesting landscape in the US.

But on my mileage run to Seattle last week it worked out perfectly such that I had a flight seeing tour over places I’ve never been!

I gave up an upgrade to get a last minute standby seat on flight leaving two hours earlier, which meant for the 4 hour flight from Dallas to Seattle I was scrunched into a window seat. Not great for my sciatic nerve. But my discomfort was rather forgotten when I paused from answering emails to look out the window.

aerial view of a landscape

Beautiful snowy Colorado mountains.

an aerial view of a snowy landscape

I checked the Gogo flight progress map and saw we were going to fly over Idaho and eastern Washington, places I’d never been.

a screenshot of a map

I pulled up Google Satellite Maps to what interesting areas in particular we might cross, and started eagerly tracking — checking the our flight progress to identify where we were.

And sure enough — we flew right over Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, which was just as abruptly discolored and oddly shaped as the map showed.

a view of a mountain range from an airplane

In fact, I was able to get almost the same picture as Google Maps! When does that ever happen!?

a map of land with white text

We also crossed the Sawtooth Mountain range.

a view of a snowy mountain range

It became cloudy shortly after so I missed seeing the vines of eastern Washington, but on my flight back to DC the plane circled Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) and I got some incredible aerial views!

an aerial view of a land with trees and a body of water

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