Desert. Mountains. Rocks. Dry riverbeds.
Even having lived in the Southwest for years, I was astonished to see how much of the United States is uninhabited, or nearly so, desert. The picture from 36,000 feet us is a convoluted gray and brown abstraction. Short gullies with desiccated tributaries, like the tracks of a giant bird. Faint streaks of dirt roads from nowhere to nowhere. Now and again the rectangular pattern of irrigated areas in mismatched shades of green set in an overwhelming wasteland. Endless geographical variations: folds, fringes, ridges, spikes, whirls, as irrational as a dream. A moonscape.
And there appeared spaces you couldn't even call flyover country. It was not country, hardly even looked like land, just a featureless void. The Mojave Desert, I think.
At one point, there arose from the tawny inert plain a narrow rise, like a peninsula with beaches on either side. Maybe that is what it had been millions of years ago. Maybe that is what it will be millions of years from now, when there is no one to see it, again.
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Greetings from San Diego. I will not have a break like this again, so it's cheerio till next weekend.