I think that more than the retouching argument or question, this has turned (for me at least), into a more general discussion about landscape and scale. Most landscapes have an element that the viewer can relate to and judge scale from. Some landscapes benefit from not having anything in the image to give it scale, and some landscapes benefit from it being there.
I think that this question might be one that needs to be solved by myself for myself (which ultimately isn't it how it's supposed to work?), but I wanted to get the opinions of those I respect on this site and see what other input there could be.
The image in question is one of the Spiral Jetty on the Great Salt Lake. Both versions of the image are posted here:
The unretouched version:
http://tawayama.com/GSLPS/SpiralJettyPanovehicleinfra (dot) jpg
The retouched version:
http://tawayama.com/GSLPS/SpiralJettynovehicle (dot) jpg
The effect is very subtle, but for me the difference is tremendous.
Hopefully adding visuals will make my query more understandable.
Thanks again for those who have offered comments. I appreciate them.