I noticed ModelerMJ's creation of a reference file and custom textures to automatically generate ground textures both on the TransDEM forum ( forum.transdem.de/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=105 ) and the Trainz forums and thought this might be a good way to paint all those distant mountains. I really don't want to do those by hand!
But, the textures he used didn't look too good on a desert map, so I attempted to create my own palate. Below is the result - both the satellite view and the view in surveyor. It's still not as good as I had hoped, but it's better than the solid color I had previously used to fill the terrain...
I'll still need to texture the foreground manually, but this should help with the background mountains (and it will be easier to navigate the satellite map with the additional landmarks...)