One trip was for an Inviting Disaster safety talk at a NASA facility and the other was to finish location shooting for a History Channel special to be broadcast in April 2012, produced by Lone Wolf Documentary Group. Links to come.
Both flights offered fine weather, which for a cloud-watcher, means heaps of clouds below and a clear sky above.
One neat back-lighting effect that appeared west of Salt Lake City was produced as sunlight reflected off the snow cover, sending sunlight up through a heavy cloud cover:
And contrails clamored for attention, like these two eye-level streaks at 36,000 feet:
Here's a sunrise-contrail, appearing when I was on the way back:
Here's a contrail as seen from above, also in early morning.
Over eastern Utah our flight paralleled another plane, which happened to be making a whopper of a contrail. The sky was hazy enough, and the contrail big enough, that it actually threw a shadow across the sky:
Here's the dark streak that the contrail laid across a low cloud deck and a range of mountains:That's a big one. More typically, contrail-shadows are faint and not visible at long distances, like these:
Winding up, now back at ground level, here's a summertime time-lapse video of cirrus on a northwesterly wind, followed by a handful of contrails.