Lone Pine, California
Posted by graywacke on February 15, 2009
First time here? Check out “About Landing,” above.
Dan - A nice little run here – my third big western USer in a row. First TX, then NM, and then . . . CA; 77/88; 5/10; 13; 165.4.
I landed north of Death Valley, and if it rained long enough and hard enough, runoff from my landing may end up in the depths of Death Valley. However, the little stream near my landing meandered for a couple of miles and just ended. Therefore, my watershed entry was a simple “ut; Internal.”
Even though I was north of Death Valley proper, I may have landed within the National Park boundaries. I landed about 30 miles east of the town of Lone Pine (pop 1700), and about 6 miles south of Teakettle Junction (pop zero).
Here’s my local landing map:
Here’s a broader view:
So there was a big earthquake in Lone Pine in 1872. From the town’s website:
On March 16, 1872 at 2:30 A.M. the small community of Lone Pine, California was violently awakened by an earthquake. The magnitude of the quake was about the same as the “Big One” in San Francisco in 1906. It literally leveled the town of Lone Pine. Of the 80 buildings, built of mud and adobe, only 20 structures were left standing. Diaz Lake was formed by this quake.
Twenty-six people lost their lives that day in the disaster. A mass grave, located just north of Lone Pine, on the upthrust block of the main fault that caused the quake commemorates the site.
Here’s a shot of Diaz Lake (formed in 1872 by the earthquake) looking east at sunrise:
Here’s a shot of Diaz Lake looking west:
Notice the high mountains. Well, they get even higher. Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the lower 48 at 14,505 feet above sea level) is located just west of Lone Pine (and dominates the western view). Once again, from Lone Pine’s website:
“The culminating peak of the Sierra” was discovered in 1864, by a California Geological Survey team, and named “Mt. Whitney” after the team’s leader, Josiah Whitney.
The first ascent was made by three local fishermen, Charley Begole, Johnny Lucas, and Al Johnson. These three friends reached the summit at noon on August 18, 1873.
Residents of the Owens Valley wanted to name the mountain “Fisherman’s Peak” to pay homage to the first summiters. When this name was challenged they proposed the name “Dome of Inyo”.
Over the next two years, the local newspaper published many articles arguing this issue. Finally a bill which would make “Fisherman’s Peak” the official name was introduce d in the State Legislature. A strange twist of fate bought the bill before the Senate on April Fools Day, 1881, where they frivolously amended it to read “Fowler’s Peak.” The Governor ended the silliness by vetoing the bill, and so today the original name stands: Mount Whitney.
I think it’s a stretch to try to tie in April Fool’s Day with the naming of the mountain. Anyway, I would have voted for either Fisherman’s Peak or the Dome of Inyo.
So here a few pictures, starting with the Welcome to Lone Pine sign with Mt. Whitney in the background:
Here’s one of the town, looking west:
Here’s a very cool shot taken in the Alabama HIlls, outside of Lone Pine:
Here’s some guy at the summit of Mt. Whitney:
So, I mentioned above that I landed near Teakettle Junction. Teakettle junction is where two roads come together. That’s it. There are no buildings. But there’s a sign that says “Teakettle Junction,” and for a long time (decades, anyway), tourists have hung teakettles all over the sign. There are scores of very similar pictures on the internet.
Here’s one that’s more minimalist (in terms of the number of tea kettles):
And here’s one that’s more maximumist. (Question: so why isn’t maximumist a word?)
© 2009 A Landing A Day