Dune’s naturally occurring “Shield Wall” always seemed a bit fictional to me—until I saw Denver’s metropolitan area from above. Look at that sharp divide between mountains and the valley floor!
On the one hand, from the perspective of a young boy, I can see why exploring Bombay Beach would be just about the coolest thing ever. On the other hand, from the perspective of an adult, the view of a father smoking while his kids play in the post-apocalyptic hellscape of the Salton Sea is hilarious.
A different kind of Rückensfiguren from my last post: Teenagers visiting a memorial along the curving roads of the Pines to Palms Highway, far above the desert of Coachella Valley.
It’s hard to tell from looking at the lake, even with the plaque in front of you, just how massive the Watauga Dam is… until you turn around. It’s actually pretty disorienting to look at what looks like a normal lake, then turn around and see the valley that the lake used to be. And when you look down the slope at the valley floor below you really start to understand how deep the lake really is.
Once you venture even a few miles from the suburban world of the East Bay into the hills surrounding, all sorts of weird little “model train set” vistas appear. On a rainy, gloomy day, with low cloud cover penning in the view, you could almost be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into a giant’s basement hobby space.