This photograph was made in 2008 in an area known locally as “The Badlands” between Moreno Valley and Beaumont, California. Badlands is not an official designation for the area. It is a crescent of rough, broken ground with no human inhabitants and only a few roads running through it.
I was on a little-traveled rough, single lane asphalt road that doesn’t run all of the way through the area at the end of day of riding a motorcycle (the one an automobile driver destroyed during an act of attempted murder-by-automobile) through the San Jacinto Mountains to the southeast. I used the Panasonic Lumix FX01 point-and-shoot digital camera to grab a few frames as the sun was setting in the west.
A local legend states that 150 or so years ago, bank robbers would ply their trade in the settlements to the west, like Riverside and Corona, then frequently lose any pursuing posse in the broken ground of the Badlands. I don’t know if that is historically accurate, but it makes for a nice story.
The mixed road and terrain map below, courtesy of MapQuest, shows why the local legend about bank robbers losing their pursuers has legs, true or not.