Some winters, when we are able to travel, we leave cold and frozen New England.
Winter: Naushon Island and the Woods Hole passage. Every winter, flocks of eider ducks fly south to enjoy open water and accessible food supplies, while their northern home is locked in ice. We are about to imitate the eiders, to fly south, for tropical air and sun.
We have no wings, so we take the bus to Boston, to climb inside wings, for our journey south.
BOS: Boston’s Logan Airport, with the “Beantown” skyline in the background.
The jet roars, and runs headlong at runway air.
We take off, pass over the Boston Harbor Islands.
Below, a fort sits starlike on an islet.
Fort Warren. Constructed just before the American Civil War, it took almost thirty years to build.
Soon, to the southeast, we catch a glimpse of home.
Bottom to top: the mainland, Buzzards Bay, Lower Cape Cod, Vineyard Sound, Martha’s Vineyard, the Atlantic Ocean, and the sky in which we are flying.
Our jet eats air, burns fuel, spits thrust.
We soar over the patterns of the continent and its inhabitants.
A dam in Appalachia.
We are still North, flying above the winter.
Rivers and dams are limned by ice and snow.
After some hours of travel, the snow is gone.
We near Houston, where we will change planes.
In the upper left is the airport. From the upper right, the railroad slashes down diagonally and forks, again and again, to make a huge staging yard. Why do they call it a “staging” yard when it’s for trains? Streets, highways, and superhighways extend throughout, uniting modes of transportation.
The change of planes is made. We take off again.
Over the gridworked flatness of Texan land, the green of spring appears.
We reach the coast. Under us is a yellow rectangle.
The yellow is elemental sulfur, in a huge storage depot.
We cross the Gulf of Mexico.
Then, below is Belize.
A pair of little Belizian cays. The top one is Tobacco Cay.
We pass over the Yucatan.
Then we descend.
We see the mountains and hills that surround Costa Rica’s “Meseta Central”, usually referred to as the “Central Valley”.
SJO. San Juan Santamaria International Airport.
A Tico crew pauses under our wing, waiting to tend this incoming plane.
We take a taxi into the City.
Tomorrow we shall cross the Mountains of the Dead.