Here are some pictures of our walk at Montauk's Camp Hero State Park on Sunday. We ended up there after driving through town and finding nothing much of anything open. The park is part of an old military base, but that doesn't explain why the experience of walking up its paths felt simultaneously riveting and, well...surreal is an emptied-out word, but I couldn't stop myself from saying it. Along the way we saw dozens of empty picnic tables on the burnt grass and a red radar screen poking up above the trees on a knoll. A complicated landscape one part inland woodland, one part Northern California, sea cliffs as high as those you'd see just south of San Francisco, with slick black rocks on the sand down below, where several yards out, surfers in black wetsuits waited for the next wave to rise up. Later, after we got back home, I read that the property was the site of something known as the Montauk Experiment. After the military took off in 1969, experiments were alleged to have taken place in bunkers underground. Mind control, space and time travel: it's tempting to roll one's eyes at such reports, but I know a charged landscape when I'm walking through one, even if you'd never sense it from these pictures. There's Ned, and the distinctly Ned-colored sand around and beneath his feet, which he practically disappeared into.
(Those black dots you see in pictures # 2, 3, and 4? Zoom in. Surfers.)