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The San Andreas Fault Line created the San Gabriel Mountain range to the south and south-east, which runs mostly east to west here. On the full screen version, the last of the winter snow is barely visible on the highest peaks about 40-50 miles away. One of the small foothills formed by the fault blocks your view of the actual fault line, which is about a mile away. Over millions of years softer parts of the mountains have taken on a rounded and channeled appearance by the infrequent but sometimes heavy rains. The lack of vegetation causes huge amounts of sediments to be carried down the hills. Some local communities had streets eroded away and a foot or more of sand and silt pile up in the roads during record spring rains in 2005. Even in the desert, water has a significant impact on the terrain.
The Tehachapi Mountain Range 25 miles to the north is barely visible through the water vapor haze from all the sprinkler fed lawns and desert dust blown around by the fairly common 20-30 mph winds. I don't care much for the dust in the air, but it sure does make for a pretty sunset almost every day.
Rosamond Dry Lake Bed, Edwards Dry Lake Bed, Edwards Air Force Base and NASA Dryden 30 miles to the north-east are usually visible, but today are lost in the haze. Rosamond Lake still has water in it, but evaporation helped along by the winds and recent 100 degF temperatures will take care of that before too long.
Palmdale's Air Force Plant 42 is to the east. Look for the large, low white buildings in the middle distance belonging to Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works and Boeing (formerly Rockwell). The Space Shuttles were assembled here and flight tested at Dryden in the 1970's.
I've been up here several times with my dog Jack to get a good panoramic view of the Antelope Valley in the Mojave Desert. Last March I just happened to take a panoramic picture on the Spring Equinox when the valley was green from record setting spring rains. Two days later I realized it could apply to the Marketplace theme but didn't get it stitched in time for the World Wide Panorama. Imagine the golden grasses as green to see what you missed. Or go to my web page to see for yourself.
How is this a marketplace? The City of Palmdale in the foreground is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. Local aerospace jobs and the need for "affordable" housing in Los Angeles County, despite being 40-60 miles from the LA area, has caused Palmdale and neighbor to the north, Lancaster, to grow from 68,842 and 97,291 in 1990 to 131,300 and 129,200 in 2004 and are projected to reach 146,145 and 141,495 people in 2009. New subdivisions have waiting lines to purchase homes. Several thousand more homes are to be built just south of this view over the next several years with a resultant increase in demand for more water from wells, reservoirs, and the aqueduct. Local reservoirs were mostly refilled by all the rain after being in danger of running dry by several years of lower than normal rainfall.