Landmarks for our area are these two hills.
They are the remains of volcanoes which poured out lava flows so recently
that some land near the extinct cones is still useless for agriculture. In fact there are extinct volcanoes in every direction of our part of the world. An hour north of here is a huge collapsed volcano called a caldera. The edges of this piece of geology form Upper and Lower Mesa Falls.
Of course, the mother of all active volcanoes is Yellowstone Park, just two hours away. The place is still steaming and spewing hot mud and water. Basically we are sitting on Pompeii. For me this is a good thing. If The Big Blast occurs, we will be so close to ground zero that we will not have to deal with the worldly aftereffects. Coming to a theater near you in November is a movie called 2012. It is another Roland Emmerich creation dealing with mass destruction. The trailers look like an overabundance of predictable clichés--landmarks leveled and none of the main characters die. Hundreds of years ago the Mayans produced a calendar that is said to forecast the end of the world. This is supposed to take place December 21 of 2012. I have been to The Yucatan and I have a great deal of respect for the culture of the Mayans (a handsome Mayan named Marco fixed a flaming apple dessert for me—but I digress). Archeologists say the ancient Mayans never figured out how to make metal or even how to use a wheel. They played a ball game where the winner was slaughtered. I don’t have a lot of confidence in their ability to predict the future.
I guess the movie also points to the Bible as a reference for the exact date of The End of the World. Although there are lots of Bible references to the earth being devoured by fire, it also says that heaven and earth shall pass away but no man knows when, not the angels or even the Son knows, but only the Father. (Mark 13:31-33). Columbia Pictures is banking on crowds of people forking over a hunk of their paycheck to watch a computer generated world explode. Perhaps we should be more worried about waking up the day after The Big Blast in a place even hotter.