Another image from the flooded Bonneville Salt Flats.
So flat are the Bonneville Salt Flats that, during the winter months, the region will be covered uniformly by only about one inch of water. This layer is so thin that it can’t support large waves and surface disturbances, resulting in almost perfect reflection of the far-off hills and clouds.
Look at this big hill and tiny fence. Though not its original purpose, I like to imagine that fence as an attempt to hold back the advance of the hill.
The Bay Area features a surprisingly large number of preserved open spaces. The lone figure on the hillside, looking from the relative emptiness of the Marin Headlands across to the grid of San Francisco residences, emphasizes the point well.
Across the frozen expanse of Wyoming in December, signs of life and industry have the strange look of an off-world colony. If not for the tiny building in the foreground, the image would be totally devoid of reasonable features at human scale.
Even on this bright afternoon before a winter blizzard clamped down on central Wyoming, the cold and isolation of the state is astonishing. Each homestead seems mostly isolated, and the rolling hills give the illusion that the curvature of the Earth has been flipped inside-out. First settlers on a ringworld?
In the Bay Area, the refineries of Richmond and the homes of Albany may not share space in the mind. One set houses petrochemicals, the other houses people, but seeing their simple, repeating geometric structures on adjacent hillsides makes for a profound comparison between the two.