Category Archives: photo essays

Navajo Peak and Airplane Gully


Navajo Peak and Airplane Gully. Part of the wreckage of the DC-3 can be seen below the center of the picture.

Excepts from the 1948 Accident Investigation Report:

[Aircraft] NC-206 [DC-3] departed from Denver, Colorado, at 1602 [January 21, 1948] for Grand Junction, Colorado.


Twenty-two minutes later, at 1624, the CAA communication station at Denver received a position report from the flight that it was at an altitude of 14,500 feet, 500 feet over the top of clouds, and 20 miles west of Denver. The flight also reported that they were experiencing severe turbulence.


At approximately 1630, aircraft NC-206[…] crashed 7 miles west southwest of Ward, Colorado, on Navajo Peak. The 3 occupants aboard were killed, and the aircraft was completely destroyed.


Impact and fire which followed completely destroyed the airplane.

A search was organized, and in spite of snowstorms and unfavorable weather on the night of January 21, 1948, search parties moved into the mountainous area from which the aircraft had last been heard. Snow continued for 7 days, covering the wreckage, and making it practically impossible to locate from either the air or the ground. As a result, the search parties were recalled January 28, but the aerial search continued. On May 23, 1948, the wreckage was located by an Air National Guard. It was found slightly below the summit and on the north side of Navajo Peak, which is approximately 7 miles west southwest of Ward, Colorado, or about 45 miles west northwest of Denver. Immediately after the wreckage was located from the air, a ground search party was dispatched to the scene […]


The search party found that the aircraft had struck the north northeast side of Navajo Peak approximately 500 feet below the summit, and at an elevation of 12,900 feet above sea level. […] First point of impact was on an almost vertical wall of rock, and the places where the engines had struck were clearly defined by oil spots and scars in the rock.


Probable Cause
The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was an excessive loss of altitude resulting from a downdraft in an area of severe turbulence.

One of the men that died in the accident was survived by a four-month-old son.

Navajo Peak, Indian Peaks Wilderness.


Cities on the Han

Saturday, September 26. Seoul to Chunju along the Namhangang bike path.

I take the night Mugunghwa train to Seoul. I arrive at 4:30 am and begin biking south towards the Han. I pass the high walls of the American military base, and the Dragon Hill neighborhood.

jangseung-stone-seoul_DSC_8673I reach the river sometime after 5am.

haetae_seoul-DSC_8694A Haetae 獬豸near Hangang Bridge.
As I cross the bridge, I hear a siren and look back. A small convoy of emergency vehicles enter the bridge behind me. They drive slowly. I dismount my bike and walk to the edge of the bridge. The water below is an empty field of darkness framed by a constellation of hovering window lights kept on by an army of hardworking Koreans.
From around an island, an emergency response speedboat floats quickly in my direction. It scans the water with a searchlight. They seem to be looking for someone.
speedboat_DSC_8711I travel east. The sun begins to uncover the city.
seoul-morning-DSC_8737Twenty seven bridges cross the Han in Seoul.
seoul-lotte-tower_DSC_8743Up ahead the unfinished Lotte World Tower rises in the morning haze.
monsters_on_the_banks_of_the_hanDSC_8758Kilometers beyond the capital, camouflaged creatures meet me at the banks of the Han.
han-river_DSC_8776A city on the Han.
han-river-DSC_8782Gun emplacements guarding the waterway against possible northern aggression.
cat-at-cafe_hanriver_DSC_8813Lunch time. A cat and bikers outside a cafe near Paldang Bridge 八堂大橋.
fliers-on-the-road-DSC_8836Plenty of small roadkill along the path.
tunnel_han_DSC_8845Railroad tunnels turned into bike tunnels.
camels_han-river_DSC_8851Camels in the Korean wilderness.
korean-flag-tree-DSC_8855Nationalist trees.
branch-han-river-DSC_8862Trees with tiny purple pumpkins.
sotdae-jangseung-han-river-DSC_8866Jangseung 長承 and Sotdae at Ipobo weir.

jangseung-DSC_8888Jangseung in twisted anguish doing their best to keep demons at bay.

river-tree-island-DSC_8938The day ends at Chungju Tangeumdae, about 120 km from Paldang Bridge.