VFYW: A Bonanza Of Brothels And Bloodshed
For contest #349, we travel back to the wild wild West.
(For the View From Your Window contest, the results below exceed the content limit for Substack’s email service, so to ensure that you see the full results, click the headline above.)
One of last week’s co-winners responds to her victory:
I just went screaming through the house and my 23-year-old son thought something terrible just happened!
You referred to me as a Junior Sleuth last time. So maybe I’m a mid-sleuth now!
Scream-sleuth. A previous winner, though, was less excited about last week:
I resigned myself in disgust and self-loathing. It looks like Provence, but damn it looks like Marseille — I can’t make it work.
But such failures are good, because, as Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”
Our 73-year-old sleuth in Kingston doesn’t have many limitations at his age:
I may not have time to enter VFYW this week. There is wood to cut, split and stack for winter. A neighbour has a power splitter, but I prefer the sound of the thwack as the axe cleaves the wood.
Decades ago, I was sitting in a café in Vancouver’s Gastown with a friend from the Gulf Islands when a Lamborghini drove passed. I gushed about how it was the coolest creation of mankind. My friend sat back and said, “I don’t know why anyone would buy something like that when you can get twice as much fun from a good chainsaw.” Indeed.
Maybe I can get to a regular submission in later. Right now, I am having too much fun.
By the way, this was the view from our front door early this morning:
From our super-champ in Berkeley:
At first sight of this view, I was all, “What did I just say last week, Chris?! That I’ve been hoping to score my hundredth VFYW victory soon, but that can only happen if you don’t revert to throwing impossible views at us” — like contest #302 (Enterprise, Oregon), which offered me little beyond pasture and indistinguishable mountains, and nothing in sight to provide a useful search term. This week the pasture was replaced by chaparral, but I still wasn’t seeing a decent search term.
He ultimately got the right answer, as did our super-champ in Austin:
What a cool little contest this week. It’s an obscure location with a generic mountain backdrop that at first glance could be anywhere from Montana, Wyoming or Colorado, to California or eastern Oregon. There are a ton of places in the American West that look like that. But there are a load of little clues (and one big one) that should lead diligent sleuths to the right place.
Giuseppe focused on one clue in particular:
Steeples helped me find the right location a few times in the past (for example, Evanston and Trondheim). This time, the steeple clearly visible in the distance failed me: I realized it belongs to a Latter-day Saints church, but that was it; I couldn’t find the location that way. So I resorted to the old brick smokestack, and it took me to the right place.
Another sleuth also recognized the church: “As someone who grew up Mormon, the church building is obviously the on-brand Mormon church architecture.” Another sleuth used the brick smokestack to help triangulate:
Thank you for this wonderful weekly diversion! My technique was drawing a line from two landmarks that are mostly inline with the camera location:
But we’re already getting way ahead of ourselves. Here’s a location guess from our sleuth in Bend:
This could be just about anyplace in the American West. I’m in Oregon, and when there’s an Oregon view, I sometimes embarrass myself and guess someplace other than Oregon. But Oregon is big and varied so it’s not my fault! I’m going to risk that again now and guess somewhere in Idaho. It just looks like Idaho to me for some reason.
It’s not Idaho — or Oregon. A sleuth in Japan:
So I’ve realized that it’s definitely taking part in this contest that counts, and I have literally no idea about this week’s photo. My first thought was Greece, which I visited recently, and it had the same kind of scrubby landscape as southern Spain, created by the olive farms … but the American flag makes that unlikely. I’m going for Arizona, somewhere near the Mexican border, because I’m currently watching Mosquito Coast and it just looks like the sort of landscape the family escapes to Mexico through. Look forward to finding out where it really is!
Here’s where it really is — from a Chini-eyed view: