Sunrise 17: Ault Park (Punching through a hole, Alms Park Sunset)
After the rain we had over the night, I was expecting to wake up to a gloomy wet morning. When I woke up I was happy to discover that there were light clouds in the sky but no rain. The forecast said today would have a “100%” chance of thunder storms. As it turns out they were correct, but the front didn’t move in until about 09:15am.
The dawn light had some definite color to it. (More after the “click to continue”) I’ve come to appreciate any kind of overcast sun rise as long as it isn’t gray and flat! Light oranges and dark purple grays were the colors du jour. Just as the sun rise time approached, I started to notice a bright orange flare just above the horizon. The flare poked through the cloud bank in a bright highlighter orange color. As it turned out, it provided a clear, but small, window to the sun. My little camera zoomed in as much as it could. Within 90 seconds the sun was gone, having pushed up into the clouds.
The park has patches of a misty fog blowing in from down in the valley.
Having forgotten completely about the idea of just sitting on the bench and drinking my coffee, I proceeded to bike through the arboretum in search of thick fog. The pavilion, being up on the hill relative to the center lawn, has a tendency to block most of the wind and fog blowing in from the valley. Around to the side, however, the old growth forest was thick with fog. I ventured into the trail head to what the forest looked like in the morning haze. I almost couldn’t recognize the forest. Since my last visit into the forest, about a week ago, the deciduous leaves have come to almost full bloom. The visibility has decreased drastically and will only get “worse” until the early summer, when you can be 10 feet from another hiker and have no idea. One of the trees coming into the trail is an old hickory. I only know that because it is labeled, heh.
On the way back home I stopped by the overlook one last time. I met a gentleman named Bill and his dog Holly. Bill had some interesting information about Lunken Airfield.
Apparently the landing strip that is flooded is actually the “Big Jet” runway. They’ve had it closed for several days. I also learned that the smaller parallel runway is for propeller planes, and the diagonal stretch is a runway that smaller jets can use.
Speaking of Lunken Airfield, I have some pictures that Amanda and I took last night at Alms Park (one of the overlooks is 400ft above Lunken). We were curious how the sun set would look, and it also gave us an opportunity to check out the flooding of the “Jet Runway” from atop the overlook. The Alms Park Sunset was beautiful. Ault Park : Sunrise :: Alms Park : Sunset. It was similar to the morning sunrise (from last night) in that the clouds mostly hid the sun from view but it provided beautiful highlights. A barge was coming up the Ohio River, sending ripples across the bend. It was moving pretty slow compared to the one I raced a couple of weeks ago. Check out how far down the river you can see, below you can see a picture taken this morning as the front came through moving east.
The runway lights lit up the dusk atmosphere. For times like this I wish I had a tripod! You can see the flooded jet lane in the back running left/right. The smaller runway on the near side of the basin running parallel is the prop-plane strip. The diagonal lane running between the two is the small jet strip. We watched a small jet take off and you could tell he used every bit of the run way. You can see the small jet manifested in this picture as the streak of light leaving the runway.
To give some reference for the front that moved in this morning, I have a picture that I took just after I got home from the sun rise. I heard tornado warnings at 8:45am and looked at the radar. There was a front moving in, and it was coming fast. I drove (because I didn’t want to get stranded!) up to Alms Park where we were just 12 hours prior. I caught the front just as it was moving up river at the bend. You can’t even see the Mt. Adams apartment buildings. Within 90 seconds the visibility had dropped completely and I was caught in a non-electrical beast of a rain storm. I ran to the pavilion, perhaps 60 yards away; by the time I got there I felt like I had jumped in a pool.