Sunday, January 15, 2023

B1 Bombers from Altadena, January 2, 2023

On January 1, most years, but January 2 when the first falls on a Sunday, there's the Tournament of Roses Parade in the morning, then the Rose Bowl game in the afternoon. Most years, I think to myself, "I should have gone up there to get a photo of the military flyby" that happens just before each parade, and just around National Anthem time of the game. For many of the most recent years, it's been a B-2 Spirit (stealth) bomber. However, this year, with the B-2 temporarily grounded, the Air Force sent two B-1 Lancer bombers. A friend observed that it was funny that this meant substituting two B-1s for one B2, as though it was a math problem.

Traditionally, the parade starts at 8am in Pasdadena, from the corner of Colorado and Orange Grove, and the Rose Bowl game starts a few minutes after 2pm on the afternoon of the game. The latter will likely change in the new era of a twelve team college football playoff.

I didn't have the motivation to get out of the house and get to Colorado Blvd in time for the parade kickoff flyby, but I did decide to try to get up to Altadena before kickoff time.

I debated between the hills above Altadena (Pasadena-adjacent) or the hills above Monrovia (well to the east, but the planes appear to follow the foothills out that way after leaving Pasadena). Settled on Altadena. I headed up from Rubio Canyon, then took the first left up towards the Sam Merrill Trail.

Ended up in a bit of a rush, as there are a lot of road closures and traffic issues between my home and Altadena on the day of the parade and ballgame, but I made it to the trailhead about 1:30pm. Hustled on up to the Sam Merrill, and went to the first place with a view to the south. Pulled out the camera and waited.

It didn't take long. The approach was pretty quiet, so they would have been in sight for a while before I finally found them. But they spun up their engines and afterburners after they reached the Rose Bowl, and gave me some decent views, of their afterburners, despite the distance. Probably 2-3 miles away for most of these. I shot using a 100-400mm zoom, and cropped pretty severely. Processed on Lightroom for Mobile. Not knock-your-socks-off amazing, but I had fun, and you could see the afterburners, especially in the third shot.

Still plenty of hikes to blog from last year, and even a few from the year before. But that was my first hike of the New Year.

After the flyby, I walked back down into Rubio Canyon, then back up to view some of the waterfalls of Rubio Canyon. Very nice season for waterfalls, so far. Only had my dslr and telephoto, though, so no handy shots to post here.

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