Scratches in the desert

Scratches in the Desert

Above Eastern California. One of the many things I enjoy about looking out the window on airplanes is the evidence of interaction between humans and the landscape they inhabit. I find it entertaining to project "aerial social psychology" onto why some roads go straight and keep going straight right through mountains, while others take a more leisurely approach, end-running a mountain or turning to find a narrower place to cross a river. Built on top of this is the possibility that humans might want to live where two of these roads cross.

Of course, 30,000 feet and not knowing exactly what I’m looking at removes me from the actual history of the place which may explain all of this seemingly arbitrary stuff. For instance, this "town" looks more like a mining operation. Maybe some future GPS device will be hooked up to some future wikipedia and historic google maps so that we can rewind aerial views to see how and why they evolved. I hope I’m still around then.

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