Kalpana Chawla, an American astronaut who became the first woman of Indian descent to travel into space, was born in the city of Karnal in northern India in 1962. As a child, she demonstrated a strong enthusiasm for human flight by drawing pictures of airplanes. She also visited flying clubs in that region of India […]
2019 is seen by many industry experts as the year drones become more widely accepted. Though the technology has been around for quite a while, drones have yet to be fully embraced, says aviation expert Scott Beale. But more and more startups and established companies are beginning to commit to the flight of drones. For […]
In a recent report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it was stated that aircraft have been responsible for about 8% of the entire greenhouse gas emission of the country’s transportation sector. This alarming development, coupled by a global demand for a greener aviation, is a huge reason why some manufacturers are beginning to […]
Taliesin West is a look over the rim of the world.
– Frank Lloyd Wright, 1943
I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.
In 1937, when Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) sought a winter home, he chose Scottsdale, AZ. It became the bustling home of the Taliesin fellowship, built solely by his apprentices. Even today, the FLW School of Architecture students maintain this decades old tradition as they pack up and journey to Wisconsin in Spring to their summer home in Taliesin East and retrace their path to Scottesdale, AZ for the winter months.
I think I have talked often about my interest in Architecture over the years on my blog. So it should not come as any surprise to followers of my blog, that as I started to plan my vacation to Phoenix AZ, that Taliesin West would somehow factor into the planning. Having visited several FLW homes in California, Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin, including visiting Taliesin East some years back. Visiting Taliesin West has long been overdue.
As I planned my trip, I checked programs and tours on FLW Foundation website. A three hour behind the scenes tour is offered on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. There are other details and insights tours offered on other days and times of the week. There are also night tours for those who prefer that. Feel free to check the FLW Foundation website for more information.
While Falling Water will forever remain my most favorite building, after thinking about it for so long and finally visiting Taliesin West was both inspiring and invigorating.
Here is some information from the FLW website:
“Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, AZ. It is also the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the School of Architecture at Taliesin.
Wright’s beloved winter home and the bustling headquarters of the Taliesin Fellowship, was established in 1937 and diligently handcrafted over many years into a world unto itself. Deeply connected to the desert from which it was forged, Taliesin West possesses an almost prehistoric grandeur. It was built and maintained almost entirely by Wright and his apprentices, making it among the most personal of the architect’s creations.”
May 3, 1923 The first non-stop transcontinental flight across the United States was completed when U.S. Army Air Service Lieutenants Oakley G. Kelly and John A. Macready landed their single-engine, high-wing Army Fokker T-2 plane at Rockwell Field near San Diego, California. This landing took place 26 hours, 50 minutes, and 48 seconds after they […]
Sedona, a land of timeless beauty, surrounded by magnificent, natural red rock sculptures and pristine National Forest. Standing about 4,300ft above sea level, centrally located less than two hours north of Phoenix and just two hours south of the Grand Canyon, it is one of the most spectacular secrets of the world. Erosion has sculptured this masterpiece for over 350 million years.
As we drove north, I was almost disappointed. All that we saw were pine trees and the landscape looked no different from other countrysides. When we had set off it was hot and 90 degrees.
“Isn’t early morning better for a flight?” I had asked.
“No, anytime is fine,” was the response.
Checking the forecast that morning, I wondered how the day would play out. With thunderstorms in the forecast, chances of pulling off this flight were diminishing. I weighed the odds of planning something else as opposed to keeping the afternoon open and have my flying plans cancelled.
We arrived at Flagstaff (FLG) airport a little early, eager to take to the skies. Fred, the instructor at Wiseman Aviation who was going to fly with us had assured us that thunderstorms in the forecast were not a factor. In no time we preflighted and departed with me at the controls and Fred’s able guidance. He made sure to remind me about the the departure procedures, density altitude and other necessary details. Fred was also our tour guide, as he pointed out landmarks along the way – painted dessert, canyons, native American dwellings, dormant volcanoes, Sun coast crater, ski areas and more.
When I put together my flying bucket list a few years ago, I had added Sedona and Grand Canyon as an after thought. My interest had been sparked by the beautiful aerial images that Greg Brown had posted on his blog and in articles he has written over the years. Despite seeing the images, and reading the articles, nothing really prepares one for the incredible views not just from the air, but even from the ground.
We looped around flying turns about a point over key landmarks, awestruck by the natural beauty of the land, painstakingly etched over millions of years. With lots of help from Fred, I made my first landing at Sedona (SEZ). Taxing back, we took off again and this time climbed slowly to 10,500ft as we overflew Falgstaff airspace to make our way to the Flagstaff Snowbowl, a ski area very popular during the winter months. With spring here, the ski areas were deserted. But we could easily identify the ski slopes, the ski lifts and resort area.
In good time we retraced our path back to Flagstaff and all too soon the flight ended. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend looking up Wiseman Aviation. If you have the time, you can do an aircraft checkout and rent an aircraft to fly. If not, take Fred.
Sedona does have a restaurant on the field: Mesa Grill. Although we did not stop on the day of the flight for a meal, we did have breakfast there. And I highly recommend staying at the Sky Ranch Lodge that is next to the airport and within walking distance to the Mesa Grill. While there, hike the airport loop for some spectacular views of the Sedona red canyons!
And that bucket list item, I think I will leave it on.