As my flight back from Hawaii via Los Angeles was nearing El Paso, I was able to get quite a few nice pictures of landmarks around the city as well as a few shots of the city itself. The picture below I took from the airplane was of the Kilbourne Hole:
According to Wikipedia, the Kilbourne Hole is a maar volcanic crater, located 30 miles (48 km) west of El Paso, Texas and is part of southern New Mexico’s Potrillo Volcanic Field. The hole is over a mile wide, and over 300 feet (91 m) deep. This hole is a rare example of a volcanic crater without a mountainous rim. The theory of formation is that a volcanic eruption occurs in the presence of groundwater, beneath the surface of the earth. As the magma encounters the groundwater, explosive interactions occur. Large rocks are fragmented and expelled in the atmosphere (together with fragments of the magma), eventually creating a deep crater, the bottom of which sits below the pre-eruptive ground surface. The crater is thought to be 80,000 years old.
As the airplane continued to fly east towards El Paso the vast sands of the Chihuahua Desert began to give away to the farm land of the Rio Grande River Valley:
The Rio Grande River snakes through this vast desert giving life to the various farms around its banks that are supported by its life giving waters:
After flying over the Rio Grande River the airplane next began to fly over the Franklin Mountains:
I have hiked all over this rugged mountain range which runs right through the middle of El Paso causing the city to have a horseshoe like shape:
The mountains in the background of the below picture are all in Mexico and if you look really closely you can see that in Mexico they do have a white sand desert that is some what similar to White Sands National Monument located just north of El Paso:
Here is a view of northeast El Paso which is where I live:
The highway that curves in the center of the below picture is Highway 54 which is the major north-south road in El Paso. I actually see my house in the below picture which borders the desert:
The airplane began to turn towards the airport and flew over Railroad Drive which is another major north-south road in El Paso that unsurprisingly got its name from running adjacent to railroad tracks:
As the plane began to approach the airport it was flying right over the training area outside of the US Army’s Ft. Bliss military installation:
Loop 375 pictured below is a circular road around El Paso is the only road that passes through the Ft. Bliss training area that connect northeast El Paso with East El Paso:
Ft. Bliss is located adjacent to the airport so airplanes approaching for a landing fly right over the military base:
Ft. Bliss has undergone a massive expansion in the past five years due to the relocation of the 1st Armored Division from Germany to El Paso. Everything you see pictured below was not there five years ago. This was all just a desert training area for the Army:
Shortly after taking this picture I landed at the El Paso International Airport. It is always a good feeling to be flying into this airport because El Paso has actually started to feel like home and it is always good to come back.