I thought I'd done a decent survey of the caves near my desert town. They seemed wide, but shallow. I could easily enough dig them out. Layer some dirt, pour in some water, and I could have a neat green valley next to my desert town. It wasn't a two-hour project, but it was something I could get down in a reasonable bit of time.
Then I did some more exploring.
It turns out it is a lot wider than I thought. Which is fine. But it is also deeper. A lot deeper. "I can find lava" deep. I haven't even explored all of it yet, because I keep finding scary things and getting scared by them. Apparently randomly-generated geography doesn't care about planning.
The project is getting to be intimidating. I'm not sure how to take on something of this scale. I really could use a few million unemployed people in Minecraft. That's how we built stuff back in the Depression and it was good. If I'm remembering my history properly, the Hoover Dam, built entirely by hand, was so amazing that the mere existence of it kept Mexico out of World War I, Zimmerman telegram or not. My point is that digging one shovel of sand at a time is very slow and a horde of serfs would be useful. Alas, I have no serfs.
So I did what anyone does when the hoped for goal becomes impractical: I made a slightly helpful but ultimately symbolic anything. In this case it was a bridge that made it slightly easier for me to walk from the desert to the forest. Rather than using the readily available sandstone, I used to more rare cobblestone and gravel (I've not been digging in mountains much, so these aren't as common, but I do have sand). These look better. Then I built a structurally-pointless arch, or possibly suspension, it's hard to tell when everything has zero structural significance. I suppose the stone deck supports the gravel, but that's all.
Maybe someday I will be able to screenshot a forest in a desert valley, but not today. Today is neither the day for screenshots, nor for the courage of men failing.