Two camo jet planes flew in between the Panamit Dunes of Death Valley directly behind me as I stood for the shot. I didn’t notice until the first one passed my line of sight. Then the second came through sideways beside me before horizontally sweeping below me through the desert floor.
I’ve encountered this once before in the dead silence of the deadest of desert. Because military test sites and the bleakest of wilderness get paired up side-by-side in the US, like toxic outdoor survival buddies. You spot the stealth jet first, nearly at eye level, alarming you with its massive size and strength and speed that comes from out of nowhere. Like a whale suddenly undulating beside you. Then the sonic boom knocks you flat. The aftershock sound terror somehow more power-packed than the sight surrealism.
I imagine the pilots this day….wondering *squawk* “what the hell’s this pale woman doing here” *over*. Done up in an acid-colored muumuu in the middle of godforsaken nowhere. Giving off eccentric 80s aunt vibes. She’s lit by your like-sands-through-the-hourglass surprise visit. Jumping with electric fear/joy. Flashing a peace sign in your wake.
vintage 80s Vanity Fair muumuu dressing gown, $8.99 – Goodwill thrift store in Pahrump, NV
Cheep it like The Little Prince passing by with the secrets of the universe when your plane goes down in the all-hope-lost desert.