Sunset Over The Pacific

IMG_8066 I don't fly a lot.  I'm not a world traveler, but I've had my fair share of plane rides - a few around Europe and South America and several throughout the US.  However, in all those flights I'd never witnessed a sunset from 38,000 feet, at least not from a window seat.

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Over the Christmas holiday we visited my wife's family in Hawaii and on the plane ride back to San Francisco I got a window seat and a firsthand view of the sunset over the Pacific from seven miles up in the air.

 

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The view itself wasn't that incredible, just a bunch of clouds over water.  It was the color that was spectacular.  I watched the rich orange glow of the fading sun illuminate the clouds - from the low cumulus miles below, to the high cirrus nearly level with our cruising altitude - until finally the plane itself was awash in dramatic alpenglow.  Traveling at 500 miles per hour, the warm light lasted just a few minutes before we continued east, away from the sunset and into the encroaching night where everything turned to pale darkness.