Sunday, September 8, 2013

Flying Over Bear Lake Valley

Every year the LOTOJA bicycle race passes through the Bear Lake Valley.  It is the longest sanctioned one day bicycle race in the country, and it goes from LOgan, Utah TO JAckson, Wyoming - 206 miles.  I was invited by a friend, Jim Parker, to photograph the event from the air, and he asked Rodger Sorensen if he would give us a ride.  Rodger brought his 1979 Maule four seater from Soda Springs to Bear Lake County Airport.  It was great.  No TSA, check-in lines, tickets, baggage, or hassles.  The first thing they did was take off the door so I could get a better view!  I had the back seat next to the non-existent door, and Jim sat up front with a small porthole to shoot through.

The weather was heavily overcast so the light wasn't too great.  I set the camera for a high ISO, opened the aperture all the way, checked my seat belt, and started shooting.  We found the racers on the highway from Emigration Canyon to Montpelier and got a few photos.
There is so much to see from up there.  Rodger took us as far as Copenhagen Basin summit, then turned back toward the valley.  The ride was incredibly smooth and he gave us a steady platform for photographing scenes like this farm.

We flew over the valley and continued east over the Preuss Range to the Geneva, Idaho area, then turned south toward Bear River.  The fields, creeks, river, and irrigation ditches made wonderful geometric patterns.
Near Pegram, we passed a train as it went under some power lines.  I thought the towers added an interesting perspective for the view from above, and the sun came out for a moment.
We flew over this beautiful green field with its single red tractor.  I could show you a lot more, but we returned to Bear Lake Airport.

After a perfect landing, Jim and Rodger replaced the back door and posed for a photo before Rodger took off for the return trip to Soda Springs.

What a great experience.  Thank you, Rodger and Jim for a wonderful morning and a smooth flight.  I would fly with these guys anytime.


  1. WOW!!! What an opportunity! You got some dang cool shots here. It's fun seeing the LOTOJA Race from an entirely different perspective. I really like the geometric shapes in the fields. Very interesting.

    1. Thank you Karen. I know you were shooting the race too, so it is too bad I didn't catch that from above. Thanks for your comment.

  2. What fun you must have had. Great shots, love the geometry of it all.

  3. Thank you for your comment, Nancy. I would love to do it again, even though my wife wasn't too thrilled to hear that the door was removed!