“Space Travelers,” Greg’s July, 2014 Flying Carpet column

MeteorCraterSnowSunsetAloft-J_0791eSmw1200Viewing Earth through fresh eyes

“My favorite moment was circling that huge crater on the way back to Flagstaff from Window Rock,” said my sister Leslie when asked what she’d most enjoyed about her Arizona holiday. “Having always been fascinated with sci-fi and outer space, it was branded in my brain that ‘this is the closest I’ll ever get to the cosmos!'”

Leslie and her husband Lindsay recently visited from Philadelphia. Along with driving trips to the Grand Canyon and the historic mining town of Jerome, I’d offered flying primarily to access additional destinations during their stay.

Our first aerial excursion was to Arizona’s old territorial capital of Prescott, where we viewed a photo show, wandered art galleries, and toured the 150-year-old log Governor’s Mansion. Instead of driving the 3-hour round trip, we flew 35 minutes each way. En route, we surveyed the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness, and previewed mountainside Jerome from above.

Everyone seemed to enjoy that flying trip, so I proposed another that seemed purely selfish at the time: to visit my Navajo pilot buddy Tyler and his family while he was home from college. There wasn’t time to drive 7 hours round-trip to Window Rock, but it’s only an hour away by Flying Carpet. The vermillion Painted Desert and golden spires of the Navajo Nation over which we flew are so different from the rolling green beauty of Pennsylvania, that I was surprised when our guests said little about it […]

GregBrownFT614_ReentryRocketSmw1200I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised about the couple’s space interests, however. Outside their day jobs, Leslie is a beadwork artist, and Lindsay a wood sculptor. Among other subjects, each crafts sci-fi and space pieces.

orbit-3-3-qtr-view-6-2010Leslie fashions beadwork spacecaft, planets, and ray guns — one of her rockets is in NASA’s space-art collection — while Lindsay artistically interprets planetary orbits…

READ THE WHOLE STORY in this month’s Flying Carpet column, “Space Travelers.” (Please allow a moment for the article to load.)

Top photo: Rare snow frosts Arizona’s Meteor Crater, at sunset.” At right: “Re-Entry Rocket (or Monday),” NASA Space Art Collection. Design and glass beadwork by Leslie B. Grigsby. Lower left: Orbit #3 by Lindsay Grigsby. SEE MORE PHOTOS!

(This column first appeared in the July, 2014 issue of AOPA Flight Training magazine.)

©2014 Gregory N.Brown

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