A Landing a Day

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Ganado, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on December 21, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2141; A Landing A Day blog post number 569.

Dan:  I can’t win (USers) for losing’ (OSers).  I’m a lousy 2/11, thanks to landing in . . . AZ; 85/50; 2/10; 7; 148.1.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows that I landed out in the middle of nowhere, near Ganado:

 landing 2

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip from outer space:

  

 

I had to use the GE elevation tool for my watershed analysis.  Near my landing, the “stream” is the Pueblo Colorado Wash (not shown), which at some point becomes the Puerco River (first hit for me), which makes its way to the Little Colorado R (18th hit):

 GE Puerco River

The Little Colorado flows to the Colorado (167th hit).

The greater Ganado area is predominantly Navajo.  Checking into the history, I came across several references to the “Long Walk.”  From Wiki:

The “Long Walk” started in the beginning of spring in 1864. Bands of Navajo led by the Army were relocated from their traditional lands in eastern Arizona Territory and western New Mexico Territory to Fort Sumner (in an area called the Bosque Redondo in the Pecos River valley.

At least 200 died during the 18-day, 300-mile trek. Between 8,000 and 9,000 people were settled on an area of 40 square miles, with a peak population of 9,022 by the spring of 1865.

Like most internment camps involving several tribes, the Bosque Redondo had serious problems. About 400 Mescalero Apaches were placed there before the Navajos. The Mescaleros and the Navajo had a long tradition of raiding each other; the two tribes had many disputes during their encampment.

Furthermore, the initial plan was for around 5,000 people, certainly not 10,000 men, women, and children. Water and firewood were major issues from the start; the water was brackish and the round grove of trees was quite small. Nature and humans both caused crop failures every year.

In 1865 Navajo began leaving. By 1867 the remaining Navajo refused to plant a crop.  Comanches raided them frequently, and they raided the Comanche. The non-Indian settlers also suffered from the raiding parties who were trying to feed their starving people on the Bosque Redondo. And there was inept management of what supplies were purchased for the reservation. The army spent as much as $1.5 million a year to feed the Indians. In 1868 the experiment—meant to be the first Indian reservation west of Indian Territory—was abandoned.

On June 18, 1868, the once-scattered bands of people who call themselves Diné, set off together on the return journey, the “Long Walk” home. This is one of the few instances where the U.S. government permitted a tribe to return to their traditional boundaries. The Navajo were granted 3.5 million acres of land inside their four sacred mountains. The Navajo also became a more cohesive tribe after the Long Walk and were able to successfully increase the size of their reservation since then, to over 16 million acres.

One Navajo elder said of the Long Walk:

By slow stages we traveled eastward by present Gallup, Chusbbito and Bear Spring, which is now called Fort Wingate. You ask how they treated us?  If there was room the soldiers put the women and children on the wagons. Some even let them ride behind them on their horses. I have never been able to understand a people who killed you one day and on the next played with your children…

Here’s a old-time shot of a soldier guarding Navajos during the Long Walk:

nm history . org during long walk

In Ganado is the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site.  From Wiki:

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site (so declared in 1960) is a meeting ground of two cultures, the Navajo and settlers who came to the area to settle in what is now northeastern Arizona in the late 19th century. In 1878, John Lorenzo Hubbell began his trading post, ten years after Navajos were allowed to return to their homeland from their U.S.-imposed exile in Bosque Redondo.

When the Navajos returned from The Long Walk in 1868, they found their herds decimated, their fields destroyed. Their way of life had been ripped apart and things could never be as they had been before. The Navajos were troubled by economic depression in the late 19th century as a result of the Long Walk. Thus, trade became increasingly important.

Heavy sandstones from the area were quarried in 1883 to begin construction of the still-existing building along the southern banks of the Pueblo Colorado Wash.  Life at Hubbell Trading Post centered around it.

The idea of trading was not new to the Navajos. Native American tribes in the Southwest had traded amongst themselves for centuries. During the four years internment at Bosque Redondo, Navajos were introduced to many new items (e.g., flour, sugar, coffee, baking powder, canned goods, tobacco, tools, cloth, etc.). When the Anglos came to trade with the Navajos the difference was in the products exchanged, and in the changes brought about by the exchanges. Traders like Hubbell supplied these items.

Trade with men like Hubbell became increasingly important for the Navajos. The trader was in contact with the world outside the newly created reservation; a world which could supply the staples the Navajos needed to supplement their homegrown products. In exchange for the trader’s goods the Navajos traded wool, sheep, and later on rugs, jewelry, baskets, and pottery. It was years before cash was used between trader and Navajos.

Hubbell family members operated this trading post until it was sold to the National Park Service in 1967. The trading post is still active, and operated by the non-profit organization, Western National Parks Association, which maintains the trading traditions the Hubbell family established.

Today, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site is still situated on the original 160-acre homestead, which includes the trading post, family home, out buildings, land and a visitor center.

Here’s a shot of the trading post from the 1890s.  I think that John Hubbell is the guy sitting down.

 hubbel trading post 1891

I found this GE Panoramio shot (by CKDaFinest) from about 6 miles west of my landing:

 pano CKDaFinest 6 miles w

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Dalhart, Texas

Posted by graywacke on December 17, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2140; A Landing A Day blog post number 568.

Dan:  On the positive side, I’m 2 for 3 USers; on the negative side, I’m only 2 for 8 USers.  But hey, I’ll take this landing in the granddaddy of USers . . . TX; 159/188; 2/10; 6; 147.7.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

Looks mighty close to NM, eh?  Let’s zoom in a bit:

 landing 1b

I’ll say I’m close.  I’ll zoom back a little and add the highways and towns:

 landing 2

Here’s part 1 of my watershed analysis:

 landing 3a

I landed in the watershed of the Carrizo Ck; on to the Rita Blanca Ck; to the Punta de Agua Ck to the Canadian R (42nd hit).  Hey wait a second – just two landings ago, I landed in the watershed of a Carrizo Creek in SE Colorado.  That landing wasn’t too far away (about 65 miles due north), but, obviously, these are two separate Carrizo Creeks. 

Checking back, I found that I’ve landed in the watershed of four Carrizo Creeks – one in Arizona and one in California in addition to the two discussed above.  FYI, carrizo means “reed” in Spanish.  Moving right along to part 2 of my watershed analysis:

 landing 3b

So the Canadian flows to the Arkansas (116th hit); on to the MM (841st hit). 

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) flight in from space:

 

Here’s a static GE shot showing (once again) my proximity to the TX / NM border:

 GE 1

Back up on my local landing map, you can see Stead & Sedan NM along with Texline, Ware & Dalhart TX.  One of my ALAD rules is that the town I feature must be in the state where I landed, thus eliminating Stead & Sedan NM from competition as my titular town.  Of course, I must find a hook (which eliminates Texline).  Here’s what The Handbook of Texas has to say about Ware:

WARE, TEXAS. Ware was thirteen miles northwest of Dalhart in southern Dallam County.

The operative word is “was.”  So, I’m left with Dalhart.  From Wiki:

Dalhart is a city in both Dallam and Hartley counties in the U.S. state of Texas.

OK class. Let’s put on our thinking caps.  Can anyone guess why Dalhart is called Dalhart? 

Here’s something of some interest about Dalhart from Wiki:

Dalhart was in the center of the Dust Bowl, an area adversely affected by a long period of drought and dust storms during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was here that Tex Thornton, operating on the now debunked concussion theory, coaxed today’s inflation adjusted equivalent of $1 million from the locals on claims he could fire rocket-powered explosives into the clouds and cause rain.

From the Handbook of Texas about Tex Thornton:

THORNTON, WARD A. “TEX” (1891–1949), well shooter and oilfield fire fighter.  He first traveled to the Texas Panhandle in 1920, while working with the United States Torpedo Company of Wichita Falls.

I’m going to interrupt to provide a little background about a well shooter and a torpedo (leaving cloud seeding aside for the moment).  I’ve borrowed this from Alexis Madrigal, writing for The Atlantic (8/21/13):

Before the fracking gas boom of the last 10 years, before the rise of mega oil companies, before the entire 20th century, actually, humans figured out how to increase the flow of fossil fuels from a well. It was simple: take an iron container about the size of a large thermos, stick some black powder or other explosives into it, stick a blasting cap on it, send it down the well, and then send a weight down to detonate it. BOOM. They called this, “Shooting the well!” And yes, I believe the “!” is required, as in Yahoo!

The process was first commercialized by Colonel E.A.L. Roberts in 1865, a veteran of the Civil War, and he soon formed the The Roberts Petroleum Torpedo Company. But his success spawned a host of imitators (one of which is our hero, Tex Thornton).

Here’s a shot of Mr. Roberts’ 1865 patent:

torpedopatent from the atlantic

Back to the Handbook of Texas:

Thornton soon found that the limestone formations in the Panhandle oil and gas field necessitated the use of as much as 500 quarts of nitroglycerin to shoot each well. He established his own business, the Tex Thornton Torpedo Company.

The high gas content in the Panhandle field made a well shooter’s job particularly hazardous. More than once Thornton reportedly caught shells of nitro that were forced back up well holes by gas bubbles (hopefully avoiding explosions!).

The great amount of gas in the Panhandle field also made well fires a constant menace, and Thornton quickly gained a reputation as the man to put them out. Wherever there was danger of causing fires by using explosives, he used massive amounts of water and steam to smother the flames. This process usually took about three weeks, required twenty to thirty men, and employed fifty steam boilers.

The better-known and more spectacular mode called for extinguishing the blaze with a charge of nitroglycerine exploded over the burning well.  The blast choked off the oxygen and snuffed out the fire. The most dangerous part of the operation, however, was capping the still-blowing well.  Thornton’s exploits earned him fame as the “king of the oil-well fire fighters.”

It turns out that the rather extensive coverage of Tex Thornton in the Handbook of Texas presents very little about his cloud seeding:

During the 1930s he invented a device with which he sought to produce rain by bombing clouds, but with only limited success. His ability to make friends and his generosity were legendary. He was killed on June 22, 1949, by a pair of hitchhikers to whom he gave a ride, and was buried in Llano Cemetery in Amarillo.

Interesting that Wiki dug up the dirt about scamming a million dollars . . .

 There’s more of interest in Wiki about Dalhart:

At the Dallam County Courthouse, Dalhart honors the memory of James R. Fox, Jr. (March 16, 1919—March 11, 1943), who flew supplies to China via the notorious “Hump Route” for Pan American Airways, then a joint Chinese and American company, during World War II. Fox and his two Chinese copilots were killed when their Douglas C-52 cargo plane crashed.  In 2002, the Peoples Republic of China made a bronze bust in Fox’s honor and presented it to Dalhart.

  Here’s a picture of the bust:

james r fox

Here’s what Wiki has to say about the Hump:

The Hump was the name given by Allied pilots in the Second World War to the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains over which they flew military transport aircraft from India to China to resupply the Chinese war effort of Chiang Kai-shek and the units of the United States Army Air Forces based in China.

Airlift operations over the Hump accounted for 685,304 gross tons of cargo carried eastbound during hostilities, including 392,362 tons of gasoline and oil, with nearly 60% of that total delivered in 1945. Hump route aircraft made 156,977 trips eastbound between 1 December 1943, and 31 August 1945, losing 373 aircraft.

I was totally unaware that this airlift operation took place, much less the scale of it!  And take a deep breath and think about it.  Three hundred and seventy three aircraft were lost during this operation.  The scope of the operations and losses during WW II stagger the imagination.

Check out this old-style newsreel about the operation:

 

Back to Dalhart & Wiki:

The XIT Ranch was a cattle ranch in the Texas Panhandle which operated from 1885 to 1912. Comprising over 3,000,000 acres of land, it ran for two hundred miles along the border with New Mexico [obviously, including my landing location], varying in width from 20 to 30 miles.

In 1879, the Texas Legislature appropriated 3,000,000 acres of land to finance a new state capitol. In 1882, the Legislature struck a bargain with Charles B. and John V. Farwell of Chicago, Illinois, under which the Farwells (with mostly British investors), agreed to build a new $3,000,000.00 Texas State Capitol in Austin and to accept the 3,000,000 acres of Panhandle land in payment.

Wow.  Think about it.  The Farwells got 3,000,000 acres at $1/acre!  Sounds like a good deal.  Continuing with Wiki:

The XIT ranch started operations in 1885.   The XIT brand was originated to thwart rustlers because it was hard to alter.  At its peak, the ranch handled 150,000 head of cattle within its 1,500 miles of fencing. The ranch also erected 325 windmills and 100 dams across its land.

However timing was bad for the XIT as cattle prices crashed in 1886 and 1887. By the fall of 1888, the ranch was unable to sell its cattle and make a profit. The cattle were constantly plagued by rustlers and predators, especially wolves leading to further losses for the syndicate.

In 1901, the syndicate that owned the ranch began selling off the land to pay foreign investors as the bonds became due. By 1905, most of the land was subdivided, with large tracts being sold to other cattlemen and small amounts of land being sold to farmers.

Here’s a cool shot from Wiki of XIT cowboys:

 XIT_cowboys

And what the heck.  Here’s what the state of Texas got for giving away 3,000,000 acres of dry panhandle land:

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of course, I checked out the local GE Panoramio shots, and I found one by Will Lyster, labeled “View from the backseat of my SR-71 over Clayton NM.”  The SR-71 was a high-tech high-altitude US Air Force surveillance plane that operated from 1964 until 1998.  Here’s a Wiki shot of what one looked like:

 Lockheed_SR-71_Blackbird from wiki

So, getting back to Will Lyster’s shot.  Here ‘tis:

 pano SR-71 by Will Lyster

I messed with GE a little, and was able to come remarkably close to replicating the SR-71 shot:

 GE - SR-71

How about that . . . and by the way, you can just see the yellow pushpin for landing 2138 (Springfield CO, where I also landed in a Carrizo Creek watershed).

Less than two mile east of my landing is this Pano shot of Pronghorn Antelopes by Rusty Gilmore:

 74050877

I’ll cheat a little, and close with a shot a few miles west of my landing (all right, all right, it’s in NM), by WornMatt:

 pano wornmatt

 

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Philipsburg, Montana

Posted by graywacke on December 14, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2139; A Landing A Day blog post number 567.

Dan:  Back in the OSer dumps (now eight for nine), thanks to this landing in . . . MT; 123/103; 2/10; 5; 148.3.  What’s more, I’ve been in the West & Midwest for a bunch of landings.  East coast, New England, the Southeast?  Nada.  In fact, since landing 2112 in NJ, I’ve had 27 landings that include:

2 Michigans
2 Indianas
1 Missouri
1 Louisiana; and
21 solidly-western states.

Just sayin’ . . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

My watershed analysis:

 landing 3

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of the Middle Fork of Rock Ck; on to Rock Ck; on to the Clark Fork (21st hit).  Here’s a broader view, showing that from the Clark Fork, we head to the Pend Oreille (23rd hit); and then to the mighty Columbia (153rd hit).

 landing 3b

Notice how the Pend Oreille (P.O.) heads up into Canada before it discharges into the Columbia (which is headed south out of Canada)?  It turns out that the P.O. discharges into the Columbia a few hundred yards north of the international boundary line.  Here’s a Google Earth (GE) shot, showing the “Boundary” hydroelectric dam – and yes, some of the kilowatts stay in Canada and some of them head south . . .

GE - mouth of pend oreille

There’s Street View coverage for the bridge that cross the P.O. right where it discharges into the Columbia.  Looking upstream towards the dam:

GE SV mouth of PO upstream

And downstream towards the Columbia (and maybe you can see a smidgeon of the U.S. in the far left background):

GE SV mouth of PO downstream

Getting back to my local watershed, here’s a GE Panaramio shot (by Steve Powell) of the Middle Fork of Rock Creek, just a half mile west of my landing:

 pano steve powell mid fk rock creek one half mile west

Speaking of GE, here’s my outer space-to-landing video:

 

Earlier in this post, I was mentioning that I seem to be landing more out west than back east.  As you’re coming in from outer space and the landing pushpins come into view, you can really see that the landing god seems to be preferring western landings.  FYI, Google Earth has saved my landing locations since landing 1976, so there are 2139-1976 = 163 yellow push pins.

So, I checked out Philipsburg, and found out precious little.  From Wiki:

The town was named after the famous mining engineer Philip Deidesheimer, who designed and supervised the construction of the ore smelter around which the town originally formed.

Old Phil is actually rather famous in mining engineering circles.  He invented “square set timbering” which allowed deep mining in unstable rock, including large silver ore bodies of the Comstock Lode in Virginia City NV.  Here’s an 1877 illustration of square set timbering, from Wiki:

 220px-DeQuille_137_Timbering_the_Mines

Speaking of mining, there’s an active sapphire mine near Philipsburg (and actually very close to my landing).  I’m a geologist, but don’t know squat about gemstones.  My wife Jody (also a geologist) is much more gem-savvy.  She immediately told me that sapphires are a form of the mineral corundum, as are rubies.

Here’s some more from GemologyOnLine:

Corundum

Al2O3  (aluminum oxide)

Corundum is an aluminum oxide that occurs in every color of the rainbow. When it is red it is termed a ruby. When it occurs in any other color it is termed a sapphire. There are two primary ways that corundum is formed. One is the metamorphosis of limestone (with high heat & pressure) and the other is an igneous (from molten) occurrence in rocks lacking in silica. Since corundum is so hard it is very resistant to weathering. Therefore, it accumulates in placer gravels.

Who’d a thunk that something that sounds as mundane as aluminum oxide is so exotic?  I mean really – iron oxide is rust!  But it turns out that aluminum oxide is very difficult to form (it requires high temperatures and pressures) and that once it forms, it is second only to diamonds in terms of hardness.

First a quick word about “hardness.”  Hardness very specifically refers to scratchability.  A diamond can scratch anything (leaving a mark); and nothing can scratch a diamond.  Corundum is second on the hardness list.  Anyway, here’s what Wiki has to say about the various colors:

Trace amounts of elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper, or magnesium can give corundum respectively blue, yellow, purple, orange, or green color.

The active sapphire mine I mentioned earlier is the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine.  From their website:

The Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine is one of the largest, oldest, and best Sapphire Mines in the World.  You could call it the “Quiet Giant” of sapphire mines because it has produced over 180 million carats of sapphire for over 120 years without receiving much “press”.

Mining first started in 1892 with large stones exhibiting good color and clarity faceted as finished gemstones.  The small and fractured stones were sold by the ounce for industrial purposes.  The vast majority of early production targeted the uniform round small sapphires which were shipped to Switzerland for use as watch bearings.  The invention of synthetic sapphire curtailed the large scale mining operations but did not halt sapphire mining altogether.

Following WW II an active business developed for rock hounds to visit Gem Mountain and dig sapphires by hand.  In the mid 1960’s the owner formally opened the Chausee Sapphire Mine and began bringing sapphire gravel to the store.  The name was changed to Gem Mountain in the early 1980’s.  Today we continue over 50 years of sharing the excitement of allowing you to find genuine Montana Sapphires in a bucket of Gem Mountain Sapphire Gravel.

​Sapphire Mining is a lot easier today than it used to be.  In the old days you had to bring your own tools and equipment and dig and screen to find sapphires.  Today, we dig up the dirt for you and wash it to remove the big rocks and clay.  We haul gravel to the store by the dump truck load and sell it by the bucket.  The gravel is 100% natural; and you can tell when you see it: It’s dirty dirt.

When you purchase a gravel bucket from Gem Mountain you have the exact same odds of finding a large, high value, sapphire as we do at the mine.  Every year customers find tens of thousands of sapphires, and every year there are several hundred three carat or larger stones found that are worth hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars when finished as a cut and polished gemstone.​

We love visitors of all ages.  If you’re planning a vacation in Montana join us for a sapphire mining experience the whole family will enjoy. We’re Montana’s largest, oldest, and funnest Sapphire Mine, with the best facilities, equipment and fun loving, helpful staff.

You will find Sapphires, and for a small fee we will evaluate all of your sapphires and tell you which ones are gem quality.  Gem Quality stones can be Heat Treated to improve color and faceted to create a beautiful finished gemstone suitable for jewelry.  We are one of only two retail businesses in North America that own and operate our own heat treating furnaces for the color improvement in sapphire.  We facet almost 20,000 stones a year for visitors from all over the world.  Come and see us.  We looking forward to seeing you.

Also from their website is this shot of some loose sapphires from the mine:

gem mountain sapphires

From MtLily Gems.com:

You just bought a bucket of sapphire-containing concentrate from the nice people at Gem Mountain. They showed you how to screen and concentrate the gravel by jigging in a pool of water. You have skillfully flipped your screen onto a table top and you are ready to pluck up those sapphires! I’ve got the first on in my forceps. Can you “speck” the rest?

mt lily gems.com pic (no arrows)

If you are having trouble spotting the crystals, here’s some help:

mt lily gems.com pic

Here’s a shot of some finished sapphire gemstones from the Gem Mountain store in Philipsburg (from RockHoundBlog.com):

sapphires from the store rockhoundblog.com

I’ll close with this Pano shot (by Steve Powell) looking west towards Skalkaho Pass, which is located about 12 miles west of my landing past Gem Mountain.

 pano steve powell heading towards skalkaho pass

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Springfield, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on December 9, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2138; A Landing A Day blog post number 566.

Dan:  Phew.  It had to happen one of these landings.  After seven (count ‘em, seven) OSers in a row, finally a USer . . . CO; 72/73; 3/10; 4; 147.9.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local map shows a number of small towns.  Although not apparent, Springfield, my titular town, is by far the largest, with a population of nearly 1,500:

 landing 2

I landed a mere 10 miles north of “Three Corners,” a little-known geographical point way overshadowed by the famous Four Corners.  But think about it – it’s overshadowed with good reason.  There is one Four Corners, and dozens of Three Corners, although this one might be the only one with a monument – more about that later.

Here’s my Google Earth trip in from outer space:

 

My watershed analysis:

 landing 3

I landed in the East Carrito Creek watershed; on to the North Carrito; on to the Cimarron River (16th hit); on to the Arkansas R (115th hit); on to the MM (840th hit).  FYI, the Arkansas (with 115 hits) is in a solid 6th place on my river hits list, well behind the Ohio (132 hits) yet well ahead of the St. Lawrence (95 hits).

Here’s a lovely GE Panoramio shot of the East Carrito (by Plainstipi), just two miles west of my landing:

 pano plainstipi corrizo 1

Anyway, I Googled all of the little towns, but could really find no hooks. But it turns out that I featured Springfield Colorado in an April 2009 ALAD post (landing 1716).  Back then, all 1716 of my landing locations were saved on my Street Atlas map.   Check out this map from that post:

old post 4

The N37 W102 is landing 1716.  Continuing from that post:

Springfield is yet another one of those late-19th century towns that sprang up all over the Great Plains, tied to the expansion of railroads.  But, they’ve got a good local website, where I got the following back-in-the-day pictures. Here are a couple of really-old Main St. shots:

old post 1

 

old post 2

And here’s a dustbowl shot of Sringfield from the 1930s:

dust-storm

Anyway, this time around, I couldn’t find any good Springfield hooks, although Wiki noted that the town was named for Springfield MO, the place of origin of a number of the early settlers.  OK, so I Googled Springfield MO, and found this, from Wiki:

The origin of the name Springfield remains unclear; however, the most common view is that the city was named for Springfield, Massachusetts. One account holds that a James Wilson, who lived in the then-unnamed city, offered free whiskey to everyone who would vote for naming it after his home town of Springfield, Massachusetts.

So, moving right along to Springfield, Mass.  Many references tell us that Springfield Massachusetts was found by one William Pynchon (in 1636), and that Mr. Pynchon named it after his home town in Essex, England. 

A little research shows that Springfield, Essex ain’t much these days.  More or less, it’s a suburb of Chelmsford, about 40 miles east of London.  Springfield (of course) has been around for ever, but it’s historical structures are pretty much gone, replaced by modern, typicallly-suburban architecture.  What seems to remain is the All Saints Anglican church.  Here’s a Panoramio picture of the church by Peter Meadows:

 pano Peter Meadows all saints church

From the church’s website (AllSaintsSpringfield.org.uk), here’s some of the church’s history:

The nave of All Saints’ was built in the late 11th century by Ralph de Peverell, reputedly a natural son of William the Conqueror. During the 14th century the nave was extended to its present length, the chancel was rebuilt, and the tower was added, though the tower had to be rebuilt in 1586 following a partial collapse.

The original church has been altered and expanded over the centuries:  Roman bricks, tiles and flint can still be seen in the fabric of the walls which are over three feet thick at the base.

The website also had a historical brochure.  Note in particular the Piscina (#4), dating from 1307; the Font, dating from 1220; and the “very ancient” priest’s door with sundials:

 church guide

If you (like me) have no clue what a piscina is, here’s what Wiki has to say:

A piscina is a shallow basin placed near the altar of a church, or else in the vestry or sacristy, used for washing the communion vessels.

Very cool old church.  And just imagine; William Pynchon, who started this whole Springfield craze, sat in the pews here.  I won’t go overboard, but here’s a little about Mr. Pynchon.

He was born in 1590 and came over to America in search of religious freedom.  He settled in Roxbury MA, but wasn’t happy with the rocky soil.  He went on a search, and found fertile soils along the Connecticut River, and decided to start a town there.  He named it Springfield.  He was quite the businessman (including trading with the Indians), and was very successful.

He took time out of his busy life to write a book – about religion.  It went against the Puritan orthodoxy – something about atonement, where he claimed (according to Wiki) that obedience, rather than punishment and suffering, was the price of atonement (whatever that means).  Here’s the book:

 William Pynchon's book cover

The powers-that-be of the Puritan church evidently didn’t have to go past the cover to decide to ban (and burn) the book.  Only a handful of originals survived the book burning (one of which is pictured above).   How dare he have a different opinion about atonement!  Ironically, Pynchon headed back to England in search of religious freedom.

I was generally aware that Springfield is one of the most common of all U.S. place names.  This, from Wiki:

Springfield is a famously common place-name in the English-speaking world, especially in the United States. According to the U.S. Geological Survey there are:

  • 34 cities / towns in 25 states named Springfield throughout the United States; and
  • At least 36 Springfield Townships, including 11 in Ohio

All this, because William Pynchon was from Springfield.  And, of course, the Simpsons live in Springfield:

2012-04-10-the_simpsons_springfield

Getting back to my landing location, here are several Panoramio shots from near my landing.  I’ll start with this shot of the Three Corners Monument located 10 miles south of my landing:

 pano Vagabond_Chimp 3 corners missing NM

Here’s a classic dirt road shot, from a few miles north of my landing (by Mr. Goose Skin):

 pano mr goose skin a few miles north

From six miles south of my landing (photo by RobAWalker), here’s some ancient Indian rock art:

 pano RobAWalker 6 miles south

Heading five miles north of my landing, you can find this barn (photo by RRGaines):

 pano RRGaines 5 mi N

Offering up another East Carrito Creek by Plainstipi, here’s a shot of the East Carrizo Creek Valley, just two miles west of my landing:

pano plainstipi carrizo 2 

I’m going back to my 2009 landing to finish this post.  Here’s what I had to say as I closed that post:

But here’s the ultimate: an amazing photo taken outside of Springfield.  This is the best weather shot that I’ve come across here on ALAD (notice the shadow of the photographer). 

I wasn’t very good at referencing photos back then.  This absolutely outstanding shot was the November 6, 2006 “Earth Science Picture of the Day” from the United Space Research Association website.  Anyway, it’s one of my all-time favorites:

6a0105371bb32c970b0115719a163e970b-700wi

 

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Lewellen, Nebraska (and the nearby Sandhills)

Posted by graywacke on December 5, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2137; A Landing A Day blog post number 565.

Dan:  The March of the OSers continues (we’re up to seven in a row and counting) . . . NE; 59/54; 2/10; 3; 148.5.  Just for the record, I had seven OSers in a row not too long ago (January 2014).  Checking further back, I had eight OSers in a row in July 2010. . . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2a

My watershed map shows that I landed in the Blue Creek watershed; on to the North Platte River (28th hit); on to the Platte (61st hit):

 landing 3

Of course, the Platte makes its way to the Missouri (388th hit) and then to the MM (838th hit).

Here’s a Google Earth (GE) Street View shot of Blue Creek, south of my landing just upstream from the North Platte:

 GE SV Blue Ck @ Lewellen

Speaking of the North Platte, here’s a Street View shot of the North Platte (just south of Oshkosh):

 GE SV n platte @ oshkosh

This neck of the woods seemed familiar as I zoomed out my landing map.  I quickly remembered why, as I saw (only 50 miles away) my landing from just a couple of weeks ago (landing 2134, my “Rocks” post):

 landing 2b

Here’s my Google Earth trip from outer space:

 

Hmmm.  Peculiar-looking landscape, eh?  Here’s a zoomed back GE shot:

 GE 1

It turns out that I landed on the south edge of the Nebraska Sandhills.  Even though I’ve landed in and near the Sandhills before, I’ve never featured them.  So here goes. 

First (of course), I need a map:

 800px-Map_of_Nebraska_Sand_Hills_svg

From TheNebraskaSandHills.com (with some geological edits by yours truly):

The Nebraska Sandhills is [are?] one of the most unique areas in the world. Spanning almost 20,000 square miles (one-fourth the area of Nebraska), it is the largest sand dune formation in the Western Hemisphere.

At the end of the last ice age, massive floods of glacial meltwater flowed eastward away from the Rockies.  This meltwater flood carried and then deposited immense volumes of sand over wide areas.  The wind took hold of the loose sand, blowing it into vast dunes that stretched across western Nebraska and neighboring southern South Dakota.  Precipitation and a more temperate climate allowed grassland plants to take root in the shifting sand, eventually stabilizing the dunes and holding them in place.

Throughout the history of the Sandhills, major droughts have occurred several times, resulting in less plant life and more exposure of the sands to the wind. Consequently, various dune areas have shifted during the past several thousand years. In more recent times, the Sandhills have been carefully managed by cattle ranchers in order to preserve the stability of the dunes so that they do not revert back to a desert-like state.

As you might imagine, when it rains (or when the snow melts) on these very sandy soils, most of the water soaks in and feeds the groundwater system.  That’s why there are almost no creeks or rivers in the Sandhills.  Rather, the water simply soaks in the ground and supplies water to underground aquifers. 

Here’s a cross-section of a portion of the Sandhills (from U of Nebraska – Lincoln), showing that wetlands / lakes exist where the topography is lower than the water table.  The wetlands & lakes are labeled “subirrigated meadow” for some obscure geologic reason.  It also shows infiltrating water “recharging” deeper aquifers.  (And it’s very important to recharge those deep aquifers because that’s where a lot of water comes from for crop irrigation). 

sandhills cross section university of Neb - omaha

The wetlands and lakes make the Sandhills a critical habitat for migrating water birds.  But hey – I’m a geologist (and I featured ducks not so long ago) – so, I’ll stick with geology.  The NebraskaSandhills.com website had a section on blowouts.  What’s a blowout, one might ask . . .

Blowouts are sandy areas where rapid wind erosion literally “blows out” a hole in the surface of the landscape. Blowouts are found scattered throughout all of the Sandhills and vary in size. They may be anywhere from a few feet in circumference to a few hundred feet.

Blowouts occur in areas where plants and their stabilizing roots become depleted, exposing the sandy soil to the wind. A particular grass species (Sandhill Muhly) typically can stabilize a blow-out, although the process of stabilization may take many years.

From the same website, here a couple of blowout pictures:

blowout2 

blowout4

I know, I know.  You could build a golf course and not spend much on sand traps . . .

Anyway, here are a couple of Sandhills pictures (not all that close to my landing, but cool shots).  I’ll start with a classic Wiki shot:

 Nebraska_Sandhills wiki

And then this, from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where you can really see the dunes:

 university of nebraska at lincoln

Of course, I Googled Oshkosh & Lewellen.  I couldn’t find anything about Oshkosh, but for Lewellen, Wiki mentioned a nearby Indian battle.  A little research revealed a nasty battle along the North Platte, near the Blue Creek confluence.  The battle is known as the Battle of Ash Hollow, or the Battle of Blue Water Creek.  From Wiki:

The events were catalyzed by a Mormon emigrant’s losing a cow while traveling with his party on the Oregon Trail; the animal wandered into a Brulé Lakota camp. A Sioux named High Forehead killed the cow for food. The Mormon farmer reported the cow as stolen to Army officers at Fort Laramie.

The fort’s commander sent out an inexperienced officer, Lieutenant John Lawrence Grattan, said to be contemptuous of the Indians, to arrest High Forehead, although such matters related to livestock and relations with settlers were supposed to be handled by the Indian Agent. Grattan vowed to take the wanted Indian “at all hazards” and took along thirty men and artillery.

Grattan pressed the chief to surrender the Sioux man. One of his soldiers shot the chief Conquering Bear in the back and killed him. In the ensuing battle, the Sioux killed Grattan and twenty-nine of his men.

President Franklin Pierce vowed to avenge the Grattan Massacre, as it was called by the press. The War Department appointed Harney in command with instructions to “whip the Indians.”

Harney’s expedition set out in August 1855. On September 1, 1855, the expedition caught up with a Sioux encampment along the North Platte River in a place known as Blue Waters [along Blue Creek near Lewellen]. Harney sent a regiment in a long night flanking maneuver to set up a blocking position against which he would drive the Sioux. The flanking maneuver was led by Lieutenant Colonel Philip Cooke.

Harney moved up in the morning to drive the Sioux against Cooke, although he first attempted to parlay with the Sioux. However, his demands to hand over the men responsible for the Grattan attack were rebuffed. The Sioux felt justified in having killed Grattan and his men as they had shot first.  During the parlay, several Sioux braves discovered Cooke’s men.

Upon the Sioux discovery of Cooke’s men, Harney opened the fight by attacking the Sioux camp. Some of the Sioux took refuge in caves along the river. Harney had his men fire into the caves, where they killed many women and children.

Among other American participants of the battle was Gouverneur K. Warren, who noted in his diary the horror of killing women and children.

Here’s a little more, from a book entitled The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis & Clark to Wounded Knee, by Jeffrey Ostler:

 indian battle from book

As has happened many times before while researching Indian history at my various landings, I find my self at a loss for words . . .

As I mentioned above, the battle is sometimes referred as the Battle of Ash Hollow.  There’s a state park there with two attractions.  One is a hillside down to the North Platte Valley, known as Windlass Hill.  The Oregon Trail made it’s way down the hill, and to this day, you can still see the trail ruts!  Here’s a Wiki pic:

 CC-24therd-Windless Hill-WestNebraska.com wagon ruts

And then there are some cool rock formations (including the caves where the Indians hid and a cave with evidence of very old Native American habitation).  Anyway, here’s an Ash Hollow shot from Wiki:

 Ash_Hollow_Nebraska

I’ll close with this great shot of an old bridge over the North Platte (from Wiki):

 Lewellen,_Nebraska_bridge_wiki

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Ruth (revisited) and Jakes Valley, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on December 1, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2136; A Landing A Day blog post number 564.

Dan:  OK.  This is getting out of hand.  Six OSers in a row, with this landing in . . . NV; 85/77; 3/10; 2; 148.1.  The odds are roughly 50/50 OS/US, so six in a row = one chance in 26 = one chance in 64.  Enough already.

Anyway, here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows that I landed fairly close to Ruth, Lane & Ely:

 landing 2

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) landing video:

 

Zooming back a little, you can see Ruth, Jakes Valley and the low spot where drainage from my landing ends up:

 GE 1

Speaking of the low spot, there’s a low spot in the valley labeled “Circle Wash” on StreetAtlas.  I Googled Circle Wash, and I found this hilarious website:

circle wash fishing

Just imagine how many other places one could find where “there are no fish here.”  Anyway, while perusing GE (and after I had turned on the “roads” function), I saw this about a mile south of my landing:

 GE 2

Old Lincoln Highway, eh?  As regular readers know, I’ve landed near the Lincoln Highway a number of times and have featured it in several posts, including Hazen NV, Earling IA, Truckee CA, Tippett NV, Dugway UT, and Dugway UT (revisisted).  Anyway, the Lincoln Highway was the first coast-to-coast road that could be negotiated by the automobile.  It was completed in 1913.

For this part of Nevada, nearly all of the references say that the Lincoln Highway follows Route 50, which it did in the 1920s.  But not in 1913!  In 1913, the road followed the route I’ve added in white (which includes the portion shown on the above photo):

 GE old lincoln highway

The road still exists, except for the far western end and the whole section around Ruth, which was obliterated by the mining operations (I just guessed at its location there).

From the University of Michigan Lincoln Highway photo archives is this back-in-the-day shot taken quite close to my landing:

old LHW shot

Here’s a shot of what the road looks like now (by Dale Southern, as posted in SierraTraveler.com):

 lincolnhwy1

Imagine crossing Jakes Valley on a dirt road in a Model T . . .

It turns out that I landed near Ruth back in February of 2009.  I started A Landing A Day in November of 2008, and this Ruth landing was just my 63rd post.  Click HERE to learn all about Ruth (it’s a cool post!).

Here’s a shot from that post of the town (from Sangres.com):

 ruth01

Since that post, I found this back-in-the-day shot (from IHPWorkshops.com):

IHPworkshops.com town back in the day

Also – my old post stated that the mine closed in 1999 (correct) and is still closed (incorrect).  It’s open and here’s a Panoramio shot by Thomas Galenbeck of the current mining operation:

 pano thomas galenbeck the liberty pit

And a current (and definitely not very exciting) video by Grover Cleveland of a dump truck dumping mine tailings:

 

Here’s a 1940 picture from my earlier post of which I am particularly fond:

 ruth-mine-1940

Something else that I missed before was the Stephen King connection with Ruth.  From Wiki:

Stephen King was inspired to write Desperation as a result of a cross-country drive in 1991, during which he visited the small desert community of Ruth, Nevada, near U.S. 50. His first thought was that the town’s inhabitants were all dead. He then wondered who had killed them, and the idea occurred to him that the town’s sheriff had done so.

desperation

I’m reading Desperation, and it is creepy indeed.

I’ll close with this Pano shot by QWilleran of Route 50 as it crosses the northern end of Jakes Valley:

 pano qwilleran

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Nerstrand, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on November 27, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2135; A Landing A Day blog post number 563.

Dan:  This is ridiculous.  After a great run of USers, I’m backtracking fast, thanks to five OSers in a row, including . . . MN; 76/59; 4/10; 1; 147.7 (up from the record low Score of 145.8).  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows my proximity to Nerstrand and the nearby Big Woods:

 landing 2

My watershed analysis is pretty straightforward: 

landing 3

Prairie Creek (my 6th Prairie Creek); on to the Cannon River (first hit ever!); on to the MM (838th hit).  Side note:  six of my last nine landings have been in the Mississippi River watershed.

Here’s my trip from outer space to my landing, showing that I landed in a farm field (surprise, surprise):

 

Moving along to Nerstrand, from Wiki:

In 1856, Norwegian immigrant Osmund Osmundson moved to the area and homesteaded the present site of Nerstrand. In 1877, he built a store on what became the right-of-way for railroad tracks on what is now Main Street. In 1885, the Minnesota and North Western Railroad was constructed on the right-of-way [I assume forcing Mr. Osmundson to move or tear down his store].  Osmundson platted the town on the line, naming it after his hometown of Nedstrand in Tysvær, Norway.

The town was the center of a significant Norwegian immigrant community, which included people in the surrounding township and county.

The Nerstrand City Hall building [Wiki picture below] was built in 1907 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 along with the Osmund Osmundson House.

2010-1021-NerstrandCityHall wiki

From LakesNWoods.org, here’s a Main Street shot of Nerstrand:

lakesnwoods.com main street

I can’t help but get the feeling that Nerstrand is very much a Garrison Keeler Prairie Home Companion type of town:  where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average (and where there are plenty of Lutherans).  To check, I Googled “Nerstrand MN churches,” and here’s the list (with four Lutheran Churches!):

lutherans

Moving right along . . . I  mentioned the Big Woods earlier.  Here’s what Wiki has to say about the Big Woods State Park (actually rather interesting):

The town of Nerstrand was settled in the 1850s, though unlike most prairie farming communities they were fortunate to have a stand of trees nearby. Following a pattern of their European homeland, the adjacent forest was divided into woodlots, typically of 10 or 20 acres each, which the individual owners managed according to their own needs.

The timbers and planks for most of the area’s barns and houses were cut from old-growth oak present in the area that is now the park. Some lots were cleared for farming or grazing, but many were left as sustainable sources of firewood.

In the 1930s large lumber companies attempted to acquire the land for logging. However, the lots were divided among 169 owners, not all of whom even lived in Minnesota anymore, and buying enough land to log commercially proved to be so complicated that each company gave up.

And voila – we now have a patch of woods, although it’s really quite small:

 GE - Big Woods

It gives me pause.  Way, way, way back in the day, this whole region was woods, woods & more woods . . .

Moving right along – I stumbled on the website for Nerstrand Meats & Catering (NerstrandMeats.com).  They’ve been in business since 1890.  Here’s a back-in-the day shot:

 Nerstrand Meats & Catering

I saw a tab labeled “Meat Bundles.”  Of course, I had to click.  This is what I found:

These are suggested bundles and packs. They can be ordered as they are or you can make up your own order. You can use our product list to make your selection.  All of our smoked meats and specialty foods are from recipes that have been passed down from our 120 years in the business.  We know you’ll like our products as many of our loyal customers have for four generations.

Please allow 8 to 10 days for preparation of your order.

Sausage Bundle

2 – Bologna Rings
2 lbs – Homemade Wieners
2 lbs – Smoked Country Sausage
1 lb – Smoked Cajun Sausage
1 lb – Smoked Cheddarwurst
1 lb – Homemade Thuringer
1 lb – Ham & Bacon Sausage
1 lb Mike beef Stix
1 Stick of Salsa Sausage

Pork Bundle

2½ lbs BBQ Country Style Ribs (Fully cooked and ready to eat!)
5 lbs – Fresh Ham Roast
3 lbs – Smoked Windsor Chops
3 lbs – Seasoned Pork Sausage
4 lbs – Lean Slab Bacon
4 lbs – Fresh Pork Chops
2 lbs – Bratwurst
2 lbs – Smoked Country Sausage
3 lbs – Shredded Pork
For the sake of brevity, I won’t include the contents of the Grill Bundle, the Beef Bundle, the Snack Pack Bundle, or the Variety Bundle.  But if I lived within 50 miles of Nerstrand, I suspect I’d be a loyal customer . . .

With nothing much to write about, I figured I’d check out Nedstrand Norway, the hometown of Osmund Osmundson and the town after which he named Nerstrand.  Wiki explains the change from Nerstrand to Nedstrand:

Nedstrand (2008 population 241) is a village in Rogaland county, Norway.

Nærstrand was established as a municipality in 1838 and was known as Hinderaa. In 1881 the name was changed to Nerstrand, and between 1910 and 1920 it was changed to Nedstrand.

Here’s a regional view showing Nedstrand’s location:

 Google Maps - Nedstrand

Zooming in quite a bit, it looks like a wonderful location with fjords galore:

 Google Maps - Nedstrand 2

Of course, I needed a GE look:

 

And while I was there, I of course checked out Street View coverage.  Here’s a lovely waterfront shot:

 GE SV nedstrand with waterfront

And this one, capturing some boys about town:

 GE SV nedstrand with boys

Heading east of town, here’s a lovely fjordesque shot:

 GE SV nedstrand with east of town

Too bad about the damn telephone pole!

Anyway, back to Minnesota.  Here’s a Panoramio shot by Tensor08 of a local road just west of my landing:

 pano tensor08 - general area shot along a road

I’ll close with this lovely waterfall shot, deep in the Big Woods (Pano by Jon Christianson):

 pano falls jon christianson

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Jail Rock, Courthouse Rock and Chimney Rock, Nebraska

Posted by graywacke on November 23, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2134; A Landing A Day blog post number 562.

Dan:  After my 6/7 USer run, now it’s four OSers in a row, thanks to this landing in . . . NE; 58/54; 5/10; 10; 147.3.

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing shows my proximity to the titular rocks:

 landing 2

I mean, really.  I’m a geologist, and it makes me happy to write about rocks.  But before we talk about rocks, we have some usual ALAD business to attend to.  First, here’s my watershed analysis:

 landing 3a

So, I landed in the Middle Fork of Pumpkin Creek, on to Pumpkin Creek, on to the North Platte (28th hit); on to the Platte (61st hit); on to the Missouri (359th hit); on to the MM (837 hits).

Now wait a minute.  I landed in the watershed of Pumpkin Creek my last landing – the Broadus Montana post.  What are the chances of two Pumpkin Creek landings in a row?  A little research reveals that I’ve landed in a Pumpkin Creek watershed only one other time.  And get this – it was way back in landing 33 – in May 1999 (it was my first Arkansas landing!).  Then, no Pumpkin Creeks until landings 2133 & 2134!  Amazing!  What are the odds of getting two Pumpkin Creeks in a row after 2100 landings with no Pumpkin Creeks?

Time for my Google Earth (GE) trip to my landing:

 

Now, on to the rocks.  I’ll start with Jail & Courthouse.  Here’s a GE shot looking south past the rocks towards my landing:

GE of jail & courthouse, with landing

And here’s Wiki photo of the two rocks:

Courthouse_jail_rocks - wiki

The National Park Service has this to say:

Located near present-day Bridgeport, the Courthouse and Jail Rocks are the erosional remnants of an ancient plateau that was bisected by the North Platte River. The rocks rise about 250 feet above nearby Pumpkin Creek. The Courthouse and Jail Rocks were the first monumental rock features that emigrants would encounter heading west, and like Chimney Rock, these rock structures have long been recognized by Oregon Trail, California Trail and Mormon Trail pioneers as prominent landmarks on the transcontinental journey west.

Like Chimney Rock, the Courthouse and Jail Rocks went by a series of names before arriving at their current designations. Because of Courthouse Rock’s grand and imposing appearance, many emigrants described the rock in terms of a large public building, naming it the Castle or the Courthouse.

When viewed at distance from the east, the Courthouse and Jail Rocks appear to merge into a large, single unit, and descriptions sometimes referred to them as a single formation, the Solitary Tower or the Lonely Tower. Once travelers approached Courthouse Rock, however, the second, smaller escarpment, the Jail Rock, became visually distinct. Though travelers applied various titles to both features, by the 1840s, most people used the names Courthouse and Jail.

From NebraskaHistory.org:

Hundreds of overland emigrants mentioned Courthouse Rock in their diaries. One 1845 traveler described the rock as “resembling the ruins of an old castle that rises abruptly from the plain. . . .It is difficult to look upon it and not believe that an artist had something to do with its construction.”

Moving about 12 miles west, we run into Chimney Rock (featured in my Bayard NE post of June 2010).  Here’s a GE shot looking past Chimney Rock towards my landing (but GE doesn’t do Chimney Rock justice):

GE of chimney with landing

Here’s what Wiki has to say:

Chimney Rock is a famous, prominent geological rock formation in western Nebraska, rising nearly 300 feet above the surrounding North Platte River valley.  During the middle 19th century it served as a landmark along the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Mormon Trail, which ran along the north side of the rock.  It is visible for many miles from the east along U.S. Route 26.

The pillar consists primarily of hardened clay interlayered with volcanic ash and sandstone. The harder sandstone layers near the top have protected the pillar since it broke away from the retreating cliff line to the south.

Here’s a shot of Chimney Rock, also showing the rock formation which has “retreated” from the Chimney:

 chimney_rock 1

By the way, Courthouse & Jail rocks were also remnants of a retreating rock formation, it’s just less obvious. 

The National Park Service also has this to say about Chimney Rock:

An impressive curiosity to modern travelers, Chimney Rock was a, “grand and splendid object,” to 19th century emigrants, who had never seen the geological wonders of the American West. On June 27, 1849, Elisha Perkins was humbled and awed by his visit to this remarkable curiosity when he wrote, “we camped opposite to & about 1 mile from Chimney Rock. I had some curiosity to see this . . . no conception can be formed of the magnitude of this grand work of nature until you stand at its base & look up. If a man does not feel like an insect then I don’t know when he should.”

Because Chimney Rock is much thinner, it’s more fragile and more obviously susceptible to erosion.  This can be seen in a series of photos, presented by NebraskaHistory.org:

Frederick Piercy, who drew this view, saw Chimney Rock in 1853.  He portrayed its column as tall and rectangular:

chimney 2

In 1929 (76 years later) Emil Kopac of Oshkosh, Nebraska, captured Chimney Rock from the north side as did Piercy.  The rock appeared more pointed, less like a chimney:

chimeny 3

Here’s a photo, also from the 1920’s:

chimney 4

The very same sodhouse from the above photo had fallen into ruin by 1977.  Note that the spire is shorter:

chimney 5

I’ll close with this Nat Geo shot of Chimney, followed by a Michael Forsberg Photography shot of Jail & Courthouse:

 chimney-rock-nebraska-684788-xl nat geo

 

Courthouse_and_Jail_Rock_Silhouette_MichaelForsberg_384_1024x1024

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Broadus, Montana

Posted by graywacke on November 19, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2133; A Landing A Day blog post number 561.

Dan:  I have that sinking feeling I always get with my third OSer in a row, especially after a good USer run, thanks to this landing in . . . MT; 122/102; 6/10; 8; 147.0.

Just for the record, before Montana, I twice “landed” in the Atlantic Ocean, twice in the Pacific Ocean and once Mexico.  And, because I keep track of all things landing, I can tell you that this was my 200th landing in Mexico and my 500th landing in the Atlantic Ocean (actually, my 500th & 501st).  And not to hurt the feelings of the Pacific Ocean, I should tell you that this was my 272nd “landing” there as well . . .

I just heard a whimper from Canada, who wants us all to know that I’ve landed 215 times in Canada.  Oh all right!  I’ve also “landed” 188 times in the Gulf of Mexico. . . 

Enough!  Moving right along, here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

My local landing map shows four towns, three of which (Olive, Epsie and Sonnette) are totally without internet information (in spite of their uniformly wonderful names):

landing 2

Obvoiusly, I’m going to feature Broadus, like it or not.  Anyway, here’s my watershed analysis (Part 1):

 landing 3a

This was my 4th hit in the Tongue River watershed.  Here’s my watershed analysis (Part 2):

 landing 3b

This was my 53rd landing in the Yellowstone watershed; on to the Missouri (387th hit); on to the MM (836th hit).

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) landing video:

 

And yes, there’s Street View coverage from the east-west highway (Route 212) that’s about 350 yards south of my landing.  Here’s the shot:

 GE SV landing

Pumpkin Creek is just a few hundred yards east of my landing.  Here’s a GE shot where it crosses under Route 212:

 GE1

My Street View shot looking south (upstream) doesn’t show much in the way of a stream:

 GE SV pumpkin creek downstream

Moving on to Broadus, here’s a video of the town’s website, which advertises itself as the “wavingest town in the west!”

 

 

And Montana Pictures has posted this lovely You Tube video tour of Broadus:

 

For you history buffs, here’s a still shot of the historical placard we got a quick glimpse of in the above video:

 broadus history sign

By the way, I featured Monsieur Verendrye (rather extensively) in my Fort Pierre SD (revisisted) July 28, 2013 post.  If you’re curious about le Monsieur, please visit that post.

This is going to be a lightweight post, so, what-the-heck, why not a couple of tornado videos from Broadus?  First, this from Twister Chasers:

 

 

And this, from GoveyFires:

 

 

Keeping with my lightweight theme, here’s a video of a trucker cruisin’ along Route 212 (the road that runs through Broadus and also past my landing), and pulling into the Broadus Point of Entry (aka weigh station):

 

I’ll close with some Route 212 Panoramio shots near my landing.  Here’s a GE shot that sets the stage:

 GE overview for pano shots

I’ll show you the four Pano shots (taken at the yellow circles), moving east to west along Route 212.  First, the eastern-most shot is entitled “Life is a Highway” by Todd Stahlecker:

 pano life is a highway Todd Stahlecker

Moving west, here’s “Long and Winding Road” by Ipswich Ben:

 pano long and winding road Ipswich Ben - 6

And further west (also by Ben) is “Long and Winding Road (2)”:

 98451696

And then, further west and up in the hills, I’ll close with  “Balsam Flowers Alongside Route 212 in Custer National Forest” by Jerry Blank.”

 pano balsam flowers along Route 212, Custer National Forest by Jerry Blank - 4

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Roseland, Amite and Fluker, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on November 15, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2132; A Landing A Day blog post number 560.

Dan:  No big deal, but here’s my second OSer in a row . . . LA; 38/36; 6/10; 7; 146.6.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows my proximity to my three titular towns:

 landing 2

My watershed analysis shows that I landed in the watershed of the East Fork of Big Creek; on to Big Creek; on to the Tangipahoa River (1st hit ever!):

 landing 3A

As you can see, the Tangipahoa discharges to Lake Pontchartrain (4th hit):

 landing 3B

Here’s a Google Earth (GE) Street View shot of the Tangipahoa, just west of my landing:

 GE SV tang river

For my GE shot, I’ll do this trip in from outer space:

 

Before getting to my three towns, let’s take a closer look at where the Tangipahoa discharges into the Lake.  I’ll start with this GE shot of Lake Pontchartrain (with the New Orleans metro area on the south shore):

 GE Pontchartrain

See all of the green west of the lake with the smaller lake in the middle?  This is undeveloped wetlands.  In particular, note the green triangle on the northwest shore of the lake (bounded by the lake to the east, a road to the west, the developed land to the north).  The Tangipohoa flows through that triangle.  Here’s a closer view:

 GE Tangipahoa wetlands

And a closer view yet, looking at the river’s mouth:

 GE mouth

See all of the white dots lining both shores of the river?  Let’s take a closer look:

 GE cottages

They’re cottages!  And there are no roads, so the only way to get there is by boat.  It’s a whole community!  And it goes way up river.  Here’s a shot more than two miles upstream from the Lake:

 GE cottages  2+ miles upstream

I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find something about all of these cottages, houses, or cabins, whatever they are.  No luck (kind of reminds me of the Canvasback Gun Club from the last post), so I have no choice but to move along . . . to Fluker.

Fluker has very little in the way of internet presence.  Wiki just says that it’s an “unicorporated community in Tangipahoa Parish.”  But wait!  It has its own website:  Fluker.org! 

Here’s a little history from the website:

Fluker, Louisiana was founded by Richard Amacker Kent, and named for his father, a Confederate Lieutenant named James Fluker Kent. Fluker was the maiden name of James Fluker Kent’s mother, who was the daughter of Colonel Robert Fluker, a veteran of the Battle of New Orleans. Fluker is north of New Orleans, in the region known locally as the Florida Parishes, due to their having once been part of the Republic of West Florida, an area initially excluded from the Louisiana Purchase.

Not much there, except for an explanation for the unusual name and the bit about West Florida (evidently, the Florida Panhandle once extended all the way out here). 

Moving along to Amite.  Not much there either.  Right out of the gate, I was curious about the pronunciation and spent a fair amount of internet time with no luck.  I became more desperate, and ended up looking at You Tube under “Amite, Louisiana.”  I found this news story, which is pretty interesting – about steel from the World Trade Centers being re-used at a foundry that’s making steel for the U.S. Navy.  If all you care about is how to pronounce Amite, you can just listen to the first little bit:

 

I heard what pretty much sounds like Ah-meet.  Evidently, some folks say Ah-mit.  Take your choice, just don’t make it a three-syllable word (even if it did derive from amitié, the French word for friendship, and pronounced:  ah-MEET-ee-ay.

Time to move on to my favorite segment, this about Roseland.  From Wiki:

Roseland (pop 1,200) is a town in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. It is the birthplace of Cajun chef and storyteller Justin Wilson.

Justin (pronounced JOOS-tain) was quite the guy.  Here’s his 9/7/2001 New York Times obituary (ouch – just 4 days before 9/11):

Justin Wilson, 87, Humorist And Cajun Cook on Television

Published: September 7, 2001

BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 6— Justin Wilson, the Cajun humorist and chef whose distinctive accent delighted viewers of his ”Cookin’ Cajun” television show, died on Wednesday in Baton Rouge. He was 87.

Mr. Wilson wrote five cookbooks, released 27 albums of short stories and an album of Christmas songs, and was the host of several cooking programs.

He referred to himself as JOOS-tain and became known for the expression: ”I gha-rawn-tee!” (guarantee).’

Mr. Wilson’s father was Louisiana’s commissioner of agriculture, and his mother, Olivet, was Louisiana French. She taught him to cook.

”She was a great improviser,” Mr. Wilson said. ”She’d cook a dish and we’d go ‘Mama, what’s this here?’ And she’d say: ‘Children, that’s a mus-go. It mus’ go down yo’ t’roat.’ ”

Originally a safety engineer, he was inspired to pursue a career in public speaking when he met Will Rogers in the 1930’s.

”He told me always to tell ‘em clean,” Mr. Wilson recalled, ”and always tell your audience something serious, or they’ll think you’re a complete fool.”

I spent a whole lot of time on You Tube, which you may want to do as well.  I love Louisiana and I love Cajun food and Cajun Music – so now I love Justin.  I’ll just post a couple of his videos.  I’ll start with this audio-only clip, which gives a good explanation of what Cajuns are.  If you want to stick through the end of the first joke, it’ll take you about three minutes:

 

I love his Cajun cadence.  To get a look at the man, here’s a video of him teaching us all how to make chicken gumbo:

 

Like I said before, there’s plenty more where that came from, including one entitled “At home with the farting cook.”  You can watch that (or not). 

I’ll close with this Panoramio shot by Melanie Thibodaux (a good Cajun name!) taken a few miles south of my landing:

 pano melanie Thibodaux

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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