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By Skyhawk to Colorado - Day 7 - Marble Canyon to Mack Mesa

October 16, 2018 6:26 PM | Michael Brown (Administrator)

I'm in Colorado, so I suppose future posts will have to be titled "By Skyhawk from Colorado" - but that's not for a week. For now, I'm in Fruita, Colorado, home of Mike the Headless Chicken (no, really) and where, Jerry Friedman assures me, it never rains (except when I'm here). My flight from Marble Canyon followed the Colorado River into the Glen Canyon Recreation Area and Canyonlands National Park, over Moab, UT, and up into Colorado.


The weather this morning at Marble Canyon was cloudy, with low clouds obscuring the peaks to the south toward Grand Canyon. To the northeast, however, the ceiling was much higher than I needed to clear the ridge at Lees Ferry. The winds were light, so I took off from Runway 21 to save back-taxiing the length of the airstrip.

Glen Canyon Dam impounds the Colorado River to form Lake Powell. 

Antelope Point Marina in Lake Powell


Flying up Lake Powell, I was able to stay at 7,500 feet - although there was much higher terrain to either side. This is Navajo Mountain, which peaks at more than 10,000 feet.

Bullfrog Bay on Lake Powell, with the town of Bullfrog, Utah, and Bullfrog Airport U07.

A houseboat meets up with some RV'ers on Lake Powell.

Smith Fork River flows into Lake Powell.

Ticaboo, Utah, and Mount Ellsworth.

Upstream from Glen Canyon and Lake Powell, we fly into Canyonlands National Park, where the Green River meets the Colorado. There's a lot of air tour operations out of Canyonlands Airport. I was glad of the ADS-B system here, as well as in Grand Canyon, to get a picture of at least some of the traffic - it seems that many of the tour operators have installed ADS-B Out transmitters.

The White Rim is a layer of harder stone which runs through Canyonlands. Softer rock above and below have eroded away, leaving the White Rim. The White Rim Trail follows the rim - Jerry Friedman and I drove the entire trail in an International Harvester Scout in 1978.

The world's largest blue butterfly awaits the aviator in Canyonlands... actually, it's evaporating ponds at a potash mine. Pretty, though...

Rattlesnake Ranch Airstrip, along the Colorado River.

The town of Moab, Utah, is the gateway to both Canyonlands and Arches National Monument.

Castle Valley.

My destination for the day - Mack Mesa Airport 10CO, which sits on top of a mesa, about eight miles from Fruita.

I landed at Mack Mesa Airport 10CO around 11:20AM in light winds and clear, sunny skies. Jerry was waiting for me at his hangar, and we pushed N46493 inside for a week's rest and annual inspection. We drained the oil, checked compressions (perfect) and removed the inspection plates all around. Tomorrow we'll empty out the interior and start cleaning.

Here's Jerry and his Sonex:

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