One of the sharpest memories of childhood are of an aqueduct.
I was maybe ten years old when my father drove my brothers and me to Mineral King in Sequoia National Park. I remember much of the trip a little, but what stands out most in my mind is the aqueduct leading out of the mountains.
This wasn't the big aqueducts you see out in the middle of California feeding all the farms or the massive one leading down into Los Angeles, but a little flue that rushed water down into the valley to join those larger branches of the aqueduct.
It was raised above the road, criss-crossing it on trestles that made it look like a miniature train track following the mountain-side. At one point, however, it dipped a little and the road rose, and my dad had us out of the car and looking over at the water rushing down the flue. Nothing dangerous. Nothing (I think) that broke the law.
That time stuck out in my mind, so much that I wanted to use it in a story, so I drove out recently. I drove up to where I remembered and saw the signs that said people shouldn't walk on top of it. There were no signs asking us not to peek though, and I put my head over the side, and I realized why it had stayed in my mind so long and sharp.
The California mountainside is dry like the desert and suddenly I was hit by a blast of all that air coming off the rushing water, all those negative ions all that moisture -- it was overwhelming to the point where I had a hard time breathing. It all felt like happiness in a blast of cool air.
I had my character go there of course. And of course he broke the law and climbed all over it. All that joy manifesting itself in a sex scene that turns evil by the end. It is after all fiction and there needs to be conflict. There's something about water, though, something about being near all that rushing that while I was there, conflict was the farthest thing from my mind.