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Third Mesa, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on October 19, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2371; A Landing A Day blog post number 805.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (35o 42.227’N, 111o 15.415’W) puts me in N-Cen Arizona:

My local landing map shows that I landed fairly close to Cameron, and about 50 miles east of a bunch of “towns.”

You’ll learn soon enough why I expanded my local map so far east, and why “Third Mesa” ended up being titular.

My very local streams-only map shows that I landed right in an unnamed wash or arroyo which discharges (rarely, I suspect), into the Little Colorado (21st hit):

More about the unnamed wash in a little bit.  Zooming back quite a ways, you can see that the Little Colorado makes its way to the Grand Canyon, where it ends up in the Colorado (180th hit):

Because StreetAtlas shows the stippled course of the unnamed wash, I hoped that maybe, just maybe I’d be able to find a name for it.  I Googled “USGS topographic map Cameron,” and was able to find a site where I could download free topo maps.  Believe me, it took me quite a while before I was able to definitively find the wash in which I landed.  But here ‘tis:

So, as you can see, I landed right in the Tohachi Wash.  I have more to say about the wash, but first, click HERE to experience the Google Earth (GE) random yellow push drop.

So, back to the Tohachi Wash.  Of course, I Googled it, and found this, from TheWave.com (a website about the natural beauty of the American Southwest):

The Red Rock Cliffs area is also of interest, especially Tohachi Wash where the “Hopi Clown” resides.

The website included a picture of the “Hopi Clown,” taken at night:

I’m not sure why it’s called the “Hopi Clown,” but I’d be willing to bet that the Hopi didn’t name it that.

Anyway, the website also included a map that showed me more-or-less where the Hopi Clown resides.  I found it on GE and determined that it was in the headwaters of the Tohachi Wash:

Zooming in on the circled area:

And yes, the little dot is the Hopi Clown.  Let’s zoom in more:

And even more:

Surprisingly, there are no GE Panoramio shots of this striking rock formation.

The very existence of the Hopi Clown lets us know that we’re in Hopi country. 

I found a February 2015 LA Times article by David Kelly about his trip to Hopi country.  Here’s a small excerpt:

The Hopi, whose history stretches back 10,000 years, are perhaps the least assimilated, most reclusive Indian tribe in the nation. Their ancestors built the cliff palaces of Mesa Verde, Colo., and the Great Houses of Chaco Canyon, N.M.

The Hopi say they sprang from a gash at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and migrated here, to the center of the spiral, or the center of the universe.

Today that universe consists mostly of three slender islands of rock encircled by the Navajo Nation. The Spaniards called them First Mesa, Second Mesa and Third Mesa. The inhabitants call it Hopiland.

The first person article is very interesting; click HERE to check it out.

From the Wiki Hopi entry:

The name Hopi is a shortened form of Hopituh Shi-nu-mu (“The Peaceful People”).  The Hopi Dictionary gives the primary meaning of the word “Hopi” as: “a behaving one, one who is mannered, civilized, peaceable, polite, who adheres to the Hopi way.”

In the past, Hopi sometimes used the term “Hopi” to refer to the Pueblo peoples in general, in contrast to other, more warlike tribes.

Hopi is a concept deeply rooted in the culture’s religion, spirituality, and its view of morality and ethics. To be Hopi is to strive toward this concept, which involves a state of total reverence and respect for all things, to be at peace with these things, and to live in accordance with the instructions of Maasaw, the Creator or Caretaker of Earth. The Hopi observe their traditional ceremonies for the benefit of the entire world.

Here’s a GE shot showing the three inhabited Hopi Mesas:

I landed near First Mesa a while back – my January 2014 “First Mesa” post.  Just type “first mesa” into the search box to check it out.  Anyway, since I landed closest to the Third Mesa this time, I thought that it should become my titular location.

From HopiArtsTrail.com, here’s a representation of the Third Mesa:

Here’s a little history on Oraibi, the oldest settlement on Third Mesa (Wiki):

Oraibi was founded sometime before the year 1100 CE, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements within the United States.

Oraibi remained unknown to European explorers until about 1540 when Spanish explorer Don Pedro de Tovar (who was part of the Coronado expedition) encountered the Hopi while searching for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. Contact with the Europeans remained scant until 1629 when the San Francisco mission was established in the village.

In 1680 the Pueblo Revolt resulted in decreased Spanish (and Christian) influence in the area and the cessation of the mission.  Subsequent attempts to reestablish the missions (and Christianity) in Hopi villages were met with repeated failures.

Hopi interaction with outsiders slowly increased during the 1850–1860 time period through missionaries, traders and surveyors for the US government. Interaction with the US government (and culture) increased with the establishment of the Hopi reservation in 1882. This led to a number of changes for the Hopi way of life. Missionary efforts intensified and Hopi children were kidnapped from their homes and forced to attend school, exposing them to new cultural influences.

In 1890 a number of Oraibi residents more receptive to the cultural influences moved closer to the trading post to establish Kykotsmovi. The continuing tension caused by the ideological schism between the “friendlies” (those open to these cultural influences) and the “hostiles” (those who desired to preserve Hopi ways) led to an event called the Oraibi Split in 1906.

Tribal leaders on differing sides of the schism engaged in a bloodless competition to determine the outcome, which resulted in the expulsion of the hostiles, who left to found the village of Hotevilla (still on the Third Mesa). Subsequent efforts by the displaced residents to reintegrate resulted in an additional split, with the second group founding Bacavi.

With the loss of much of its population Oraibi lost its place as the center of Hopi culture.

Here’s a GE shot of Oraibi:

And a low-angle shot showing how the town is perched on a ridge.

Here’s a quick look at the Second Mesa:

And this Wiki shot from one arm of the Mesa (near Shongopovi), looking across to the town of Mishongnovi, perched on another arm:

Here’s an oblique GE shot, showing another view of Mishongnovi:

And while I’m at it, how about First Mesa?

Here’s a GE shot of the First Mesa (I lifted this from my earlier post):

Also from my earlier post, this quick “flyover” of the First Mesa:

I’ll close this post with this lovely GE Panoramio shot by Steven3880, taken near the headwaters of the Tohachi Wash (it appears that the Hopi Clown has some nearby acquaintances):

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day



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Ducktown and Copperhill, Tennessee

Posted by graywacke on October 14, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2370; A Landing A Day blog post number 804.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (35o 2.494’N, 84o 31.797’W) puts me in SE Tennessee:

Here’s my local landing map:

Bear with me for my watershed analysis.  There are many streams in SE TN.  Here’s a very local view:

I landed in the watershed of the Graham Branch, on to the Peter Camp Branch, on to Big Creek.  A little less locally:

The Big Creek goes to the Ocoee River (1st hit ever!); on to the Hiwassee River (2nd hit).  A little less locally:

As you can see, the Hiwassee discharges to the Tennessee (34th hit).  As you can’t see, the Tennessee (of course) discharges to the Ohio (146th hit); on to the MM (922nd hit).

It’s Yellow Push Pin Time, it’s Yellow Push Pin time.  Geez.  Let me date myself – that’s supposed to be song to the theme song of the Howdy Doody show.  Anyway, please click HERE.

Boy, did I land out in the woods!  Just to give you an idea of scale, here’s a Street Atlas map with the public wilderness areas shaded in (and highlighted):

As you might suspect, I have no Street View shots anywhere close to my landing, and even if I did, you wouldn’t see much since I’m deep in the woods.

I have no Street View bridges over Big Creek, but I was able to place the Orange Dude along the Ocoee River, about 4 miles north of my landing:

The OD is right opposite where Big Creek discharges into the Ocoee.  Here’s what he sees:

You can’t actually see Big Creek, but you can see the dip in the ridge opposite, which is caused by Big Creek valley.  The steeper part of the Big Creek Valley is hidden back there somewhere . . .

So what about Ducktown (pop 500) and Copperhill (pop 350)?  First Ducktown (Wiki):

The Cherokee village of Kawana— which means “duck town” in English— is believed to have been located at the confluence of the Ocoee River and Tumbling Creek (about 7 miles west of where it is now). The village’s name first appears on Cherokee records as “Ducktown” in 1799. According to tradition, Ducktown was named after a Cherokee leader named Chief Duck.

Ducktown was the center of a major copper-mining district from 1847 until 1987.

And Copperhill (pop 350):

For years, up until the 1980s, the production of copper and the release of sulfuric acid denuded the area of any greenery, although the area has now been greatly reforested, due to a multimillion-dollar effort by the successor companies to the original copper company.

The copper and acid plants have been permanently closed and most of the plant infrastructure already removed.

Glenn Springs Holdings has cleaned and purified all the surrounding creeks and waterways, and water quality is now back to near pristine condition according to published EPA and Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation studies.

I found a good write-up about the environmental damage caused by the local copper industry.  Here are excerpts from the article by Dave Tabler, in AppalachianHistory.net:

In August 1843, a Tennessee gold prospector working on Potato Creek discovered a reddish-brown and black decomposed rock that contained deep red crystals; his “gold” turned out to be red copper oxide. At the time, this copper deposit was one of the world’s largest finds.

By 1855, five major mining operations were operating full swing. The Copper Basin, a 75-square-mile long geologic formation, was fast becoming home to the Southeast’s largest metal mining operation, employing more than 2,500 people at its peak.

Who could have foreseen that the largest man-made biological desert in the nation would emerge out of this economic fervor?

By 1861, trees were becoming scarce in the Basin. Wood was needed to fuel the smelters. Also, the ores contained significant sulfur content. When roasted, the sulfur was released, forming sulfur dioxide, which later rained down as sulfuric acid. After the trees had been cut, the gases from the open smelting destroyed the remaining vegetation.

By 1878, about 50 square miles had been stripped of vegetation from logging and acid rain. Without trees and undergrowth, the top soil began to erode and huge gullies formed. Very few plants or animals survived. The nation was getting its first look at the long-term effects of acid rain.

In 1885, the Tennessee Copper Company (the major consolidated operation) was sued by the State of Georgia because of the impacts of acid rain.   In response, the TCC erected smoke stacks 150 feet tall to solve the acid rain problem, and in 1905 erected a 325 foot stack. The stacks helped locally but dispersed the gases over an even wider area. Instead of settling lawsuits, this tactic created more lawsuits from a broader area.

Tennessee courts ruled that the value of the copper companies’ contributions to the county out-weighed damages they caused.

In 1906, Georgia sought an injunction preventing TCC from using the open roast heap smelting method, and the Supreme Court granted it in 1907.

This injunction, had it been enforced, would have probably meant the end to mining, which in turn would have killed the Basin economically. TCC mining engineers instead proposed the idea of condensing the gases to produce sulfuric acid. Georgia officials agreed to wait and see if the new process would help the situation.

In 1908, the company built two acid plants which did in fact contain the sulfur dioxide output.  And so, even though the Court had found for Georgia, it did not enforce the injunction. Ironically, sulfuric acid ultimately replaced copper as TCC’s major product

Reforestation efforts began in the 1920s and 1930s and concentrated efforts began in the 1940s.

Working with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), hundreds of acres of pine were planted between 1939 and 1944. The CCC workers also built dams and covered the ground with straw to prevent runoff.

Based on the Wiki article, reclamation efforts have continued from the 80s through the present, performed by Glenn Springs Holdings.  Quick aside, Hill Environmental Group (my wife’s environmental clean-up company) has a project for Glenn Springs Holdings in NJ . . .

Here are some historic photos from the City of Ducktown website:

Here’s another, from WildWaterRafting.com:

From Wild Water Rafting???  FYI, the Ocoee is a renowned white water rafting spot.

And this cool shot (apparently of striking miners), courtesy of the Ducktown Basin Museum:

Before leaving this subject all together, I was checking out GE Street View in Copperhill and found this suspicious-looking (to me) yet apparently geologic formation:

Trust me – these are spoils from the mining operation, not a natural bedrock outcrop . . .

Moving right along – I noticed that Copperhill TN and McCaysville GA are adjacent towns that should be separated the Ocoee River, but are actually bisected by an arbitrary state line:

Here are some GE Panoramio shots of the state line as it passes through the towns.  First this, by AGW88:

And then a couple more by Sammie 59:

I couldn’t resist.  Here’s the ALAD proposal for a re-drawn state line:

Before I close out this post, I’d like to point out that my landing was in the path of totality for the August 21st total eclipse.  Here’s a map with Ducktown circled:

Zooming out, you can see my landing, but you can also see the location labeled Fair Play SC:

Well, Fair Play just happens to be the spot where a bunch of our family & friends (from New Orleans) gathered at a rental house on a lake for the specific purpose of viewing the eclipse.

The skies were clear, and of course, the eclipse was awesome.  The house had a dock on the lake; here’s a pre-totality shot of some of our group on the dock:

And yes, all of us have eye protection, and most of us are wearing eclipse tee shirts . . .

Anyway, I’ll close with a pretty shot of the Ocoee River (from the Ducktown website):

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Cuttalossa, Pennsylvania (Revisited)

Posted by graywacke on October 10, 2017

A Landing A Day blog post number 803.

Dan:  I struggled with the title of this post.  Actually, this is a follow-up to my Liberty Mills and North Manchester, Indiana post (from August 2017).  And yes, I did mention Cuttalossa, Pennsylvania in that post (and, no, I did not land near Cuttalossa, Pennsylvania.)    Well, here’s the story, quoting me from that post:

Moving right along to North Manchester.  Under “Notable People,” Wiki mentioned “Daniel Garber, impressionist artist.”  Garber was clickable, so I did, and I was immediately intrigued:

Daniel Garber (1880 – 1958) was an American Impressionist landscape painter and member of the art colony at New Hope, Pennsylvania. He is best known today for his large impressionist scenes of the New Hope area, in which he often depicted the Delaware River.

Garber was born in North Manchester, Indiana.  He studied art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In the tradition of many American artists, Garber and his wife traveled to Europe to complete his art education. Returning to America in 1907, he settled at Cuttalossa, a small settlement on the Delaware River six miles up the Delaware River from New Hope.

Why am I intrigued?  Well, I live just 8 miles east of New Hope, and I love the history, culture and beauty of the Delaware River near me.  I also enjoy impressionistic landscapes, and quickly realized how much I enjoyed Garber’s art. 

Before we look at some art, I’ll journey up to Cuttalossa, which doesn’t appear on any maps, although I was able to figure out that it’s where Cuttalossa Road intersects River Road, and where Cuttalossa Creek flows into the Delaware Canal:

Here’s a GE Street View shot of the intersection of Cuttalossa Road and River Road:

And a little further south:

Here’s a look at the creek just upstream from River Road:

It certainly looks like some old mill structures, eh?

So, anyway, I decided to take a trip up to Cuttalossa with my wife Jody and my granddaughter Jessica. 

Just upstream from the mill shown in the above photo is this waterfall, which now tumbles over the dam that used to divert the creek to the mill wheel:

In my North Manchester post, I said that the Cuttalossa Creek flows into the Delaware Canal.  Guess what?  WRONG!  I saw with my own eyes that the creek flows into a culvert that flows under the canal, and out to the Delaware River.  Oh, well . . . .

And, of course, this whole diversionary trip to Cuttalossa is about Daniel Garber, the artist. 

Here are a few wonderful Daniel Garber paintings not included in my previous post:

But I’ll close with my own photo, looking downstream along Cuttalossa Creek towards Cuttalossa.  Daniel:  I can’t believe you didn’t paint this!

And then, working a little computer magic, I came up with this:

Are you kidding me?  Why bother to learn how to paint?  This is awesome!

That’ll do it,



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Arock, Jordan Valley, Rome and Danner, Oregon

Posted by graywacke on October 6, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2369; A Landing A Day blog post number 802.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (35o49.646’N, 104o 1.270’W) puts me in SE Oregon:

Here’s my local landing map:

Note that I added “Danner” and “Rome” – more about why I did that later.

My streams-only map shows that I landed adjacent to the Owyhee River (9th hit); on to the Snake (83rd hit); on to the Mighty Columbia (173rd hit):

Click HERE to dutifully follow the Google Earth (GE) yellow push-pin as it falls  to a gentle landing in SE Oregon.

Looking at the GE shot below, you can see that I actually landed in the watershed of an unnamed tributary to an unnamed tributary of the Owyhee River:

This looks like a very cool spot, eh?  Unfortunately, there are no GE Panoramio shots to give us a better look.

Zooming back (and getting the Orange Dude up and running), I can get a look at the Owyhee and at least be aware that my landing is off in the distance:

Here’s what the OD sees:

Standing on the bridge and looking around, the OD noticed great picture-taking lighting looking upstream and to the north east:

So, of course, he had to check out downstream and to the south east:

I’m sure that you noticed that the OD was located on a bridge in Rome.  Well, Rome isn’t much (and as one of the GE Pano photographers noted, this Rome could have been built in a day).  Here’s what Wiki has to say:

According to Oregon Geographic Names, Rome was named for the nearby geologic formations that suggested the ruined temples of Rome, Italy.  The 100-foot high “Pillars of Rome” are formations of fossil-bearing clay.

And yes, there are GE Pano shots of the pillars, by John from ID.  Here’s one:

And then, stepping back a little, Idaho John also took this one:

A lovely spot, indeed. 

Moving east to Arock.  From Wiki:

Arock was supposedly named in 1922 for a large rock bearing Native American petroglyphs in the vicinity.

OK.  You’ve got a cool rock with petroglyphs and decide you want to name the nearby town after the rock.  Can’t you do any better than Arock?  How about Coolrock?  (OK, so maybe not.)  Uhhh, how about Indian Rock?  Why not talk with a local Indian, and then use the Indian name for the rock?  Wait!  Here’s a good one:  Boulder!  (Or Aboulder, if you must).  Oh well . . .

As I mentioned earlier, Danner wasn’t on my Street View map (and it doesn’t show up on GE), so I checked out Jordan Valley next.  From Wiki:

In the center of town stands the pelota fronton, built in 1915 by Basque settlers, many of whom had been recruited from Spain to herd sheep. Their descendants are a noticeable presence today in Malheur County.  The pelota fronton was last used regularly in 1935.

It turns out that pelota is a Basque game that involves throwing or hitting a ball up against a wall (jai alai – the game they play in Miami with long, curved paddles – is a derivative, also Basque) and “fronton” is the name for the pelota court.  Here’s a GE Pano shot of the fronton by B. Lyon:

Actually, the photo is of the backon of the fronton.

Back to Wiki and Jordan Valley:

Sacagawea’s son Jean Baptiste Charbonneau is often said to be buried in Jordan Valley, as that is the closest incorporated city to Danner, the actual site of his burial.

As mentioned above, Danner appears on no maps.  However, Danner has a Wiki entry that more-or-less describes where it is (west of Jordan Valley, north of Jordan Creek).  I went to GE, with the hope that there were Panoramio shots of the Charbonneau grave site.  And there were, and I was therefore able to find Danner:

Notes: 1.)  I put my cursor on one of the Pano shots (entitled “JB Charbonneau”, and you can see how I found the “town” in the first place.  2.)  I added the yellow pushpin labeled “Danner.” 3.)  And yes – there’s a Danner Road.  4.)  What’s up with Old Ion Road?  A quick Wiki search reveals that Ion used to be I.O.N., which stands for Idaho Oregon Nevada.

And here’s the grave marker (Pano shot by John Barenberg):

So what about Monsieur Charbonneau?  I’ll start with his mom, from Wiki:

Sacagawea (1788 – 1812) was a Lemhi Shoshone woman who is known for her help to the Lewis and Clark Expedition in achieving their chartered mission objectives by exploring the Louisiana Territory.

Sacagawea traveled with the expedition thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean, and helped establish cultural contacts with Native American populations.  In addition, she provided Lewis and Clark with extensive information concerning natural history.

At approximately age 13, Sacagawea was sold into a non-consensual “marriage” to Toussaint Charbonneau, a Quebecois trapper living in the Sacagawea’s North Dakota village.  She was one of two wives so obtained by Charbonneau. He may have “won” Sacagawea while gambling.

Sacagawea was pregnant with her first child when Lewis & Clark arrived near the same village to spend the winter of 1804–05. They agreed to hire Charbonneau as an interpreter because they discovered that Sacagawea spoke Shoshone, and they knew they would need the help of Shoshone tribes at the headwaters of the Missouri.

Clark recorded this in his journal on November 4, 1804:

… a french man by Name Chabonah, who Speaks the Big Belley language visit us, he wished to hire & informed us his 2 Squars were Snake Indians, we engau him to go on with us and take one of his wives to interpret the Snake language …

Yo Mr. Clark.  You sure could have used Spell Check!  Back to Wiki:

Charbonneau and Sacagawea moved into the expedition’s fort a week later. Lewis recorded the birth of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau on February 11, 1805, noting that another of the party’s interpreters administered crushed rattlesnake rattles to speed the delivery.

Concerning her death:

An 1811 journal entry made by Henry Brackenridge, a fur dealer at Fort Manuel Lisa Trading Post on the Missouri River, stated that both Sacagawea and Charbonneau were living at the fort. He recorded that Sacagawea “…had become sickly and longed to revisit her native country.”

The following year, John Luttig, a clerk at Fort Manuel Lisa, recorded in his journal on December 20, 1812, that: “…the wife of Charbonneau, a Snake Squaw, died of putrid fever.” He went on to say that she was “aged about 25 years. She left a fine infant girl”.

Documents held by Clark show that her son Baptiste already had been entrusted by Charbonneau into Clark’s care for a boarding school education, at Clark’s insistence.

Note:  An alternate story has it that she lived a long life, dying in 1884 amongst the Shoshone.

Here’s a Wiki picture of the Sacagawea dollar, where she’ portrayed with her son Jean Baptiste:

Concerning Jean Baptiste (from Wiki):

Sacagawea’s son Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau continued a restless and adventurous life. He carried lifelong celebrity status as the infant who went with the explorers to the Pacific Ocean and back. When he was 18, he was befriended by a German Prince, Duke Paul Wilhelm of Württemberg, who took him to Europe. There, Jean-Baptiste spent six years living among royalty, while learning four languages and fathering a child in Germany named Anton Fries, who died in infancy.

 [“Anton” sounds French, eh?  Had the poor boy lived, I’m sure his nickname would have been French Fries . .]

After his infant son died, Jean-Baptiste came back from Europe in 1829 to live the life of a Western frontiersman.

He became a gold miner, hotel clerk, and in 1846, led a group of Mormons to California. While in California he became a magistrate for the Mission San Luis Rey. He disliked the way Indians were treated in the Missions and left to become a hotel clerk in Auburn, California, once the center of gold rush activity.

After working six years in Auburn, the restless son of Sacagawea left in search of riches in the gold mines of Montana. He was 61 years old, and the trip was too much for him. He became ill with pneumonia and died in a remote area near Danner, Oregon, on May 16, 1866.

I found many mother-and-son pics; these are lazily un-credited:

It’s time to close things out with a couple of local GE Pano shots.  Here’s one by Jeremy Fox of the Owyhee Canyon:

And an amazing wildflower shot by Neale Jenks:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Trementina, NM

Posted by graywacke on October 1, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2368; A Landing A Day blog post number 801.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (35o49.646’N, 104o 1.270’W) puts me in NE New Mexico:

My local map shows many small towns in addition to my titular Trementina:

My streams-only map is one of the funky Street Atlas shots that just give a hint about a stream apparently named Devils Creek:

After looking at Google Earth, I can confirm that there is a stream course headed south just east of my landing, which ends up hooking up with La Cinta Creek:

And as you can see, La Cinta Creek discharges to the Canadian River (49th hit).  As regulars are well aware, the Canadian makes its way east to the Arkansas (129th hit) which makes its way east to the Mississippi (921st hit).

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) yellow pushpin drop that amazingly ends up exactly where I landed.  Click HERE to experience the drop.

Here’s a GE shot showing Street View coverage:

And what the OD sees:

A Street View shot of the La Cinta canyon is much more dramatic than the creek itself.  The road the OD was just on continues west and drops into the canyon:

And here’s what he sees:

By the way, la cinta means “ribbon.”

As you can see on my local landing map, I had a veritable plethora of small towns to check out.  Essentially, I found the entire area:

But then, along came Trementina.  Before I go to Wiki, here’s a GE shot of the little there is of Trementina:

From Wiki, about the name:

Trementina (an unincorporated community) was named after the Spanish word for turpentine, in reference to the pitch of the pinyon pine which was used by the Spanish Americans as a folk medicine and a substitute for chewing gum.

OK – that’s a little interesting, but enough for Trementina’s titular status?  Not really. 

I then noticed a Wiki-clickable bullet under “See Also.”  It said “Trementina Base.”  So, I clicked:

Trementina Base is the popular designation for a property of the Scientology-affiliated Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) near Trementina, New Mexico.  The CST is an entity formed to manage the Church of Scientology’s copyright affairs.

According to the CST, the purpose of the base is to provide storage space for an archiving project to preserve Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s writings, films and recordings for future generations. Hubbard’s texts have been engraved on stainless steel tablets and encased in titanium capsules underground. The project began in the late 1980s.

So it caught my interest. Continuing:

Copies of Hubbard’s text are preserved and stored in deep vaults, guarded by tight security. The underground compound “stands as a symbol of the timelessness of Hubbard’s texts and as a three-dimensional manifestation of the ‘purity of Hubbard’s legacy.”  The base also has its own private, concrete airstrip.

So I cruised on over to GE, figuring I could find the airstrip near Trementina, and indeed I could:

Here’s a closer look at the Base:

Looky there!  A giant symbol carved in the ground that would make Dan Brown proud (or at least curious).  We must take a closer look!

Back to Wiki:

The huge symbol on the base, distinguishable only from an aerial view, is specifically that of the Church of Spiritual Technology.  Former members of the Church have said that the symbol marks a “return point” for Scientologists to help find Hubbard’s works when they travel here in the future from other places in the universe.

Okey dokey.  Anyway, I checked out access to the Base, and it ain’t easy to get to.  Here’s a map:

The entire 12 miles is dirt, and there are numerous stream crossings that would require a high-riding 4-wheel drive, like this:

Most of the way in is a public county road (County Road C56A), so I guess the CST guys don’t have to maintain the whole thing.

I found what I suspect is at least part of the underground storage facility, right between the airstrip and the symbols:

I showed you that stream crossing a couple of pictures back.  I’ll zoom back just a little:

A house is for sale!  From Realtor.com:

Wow.  880 acres, and a really nice house for the bargain-basement price of $500,000.  Check out this shot of a second-floor balcony:


Some real architecture!  The house has solar & wind power with a back-up propane generator.  It also includes two wells, a water storage tank, water catchment, propane & wood heat.  It has a telephone land line plus high speed internet.

And the downside?  Well, how about an hour and twenty minutes to the nearest grocery store (in Las Vegas NM)?  The closest gas station (with a small convenience store) is a full hour away.

Anyway.  If you’re interested in more information about the house, click HERE.

Well, I’ve been avoiding it, but I guess I have to say something about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.  The first thing I learned is what the “L” stands for.  As a Lafayette College grad, I was surprised to learn that yes, he was Lafayette Ronald Hubbard.

I spent some time perusing Wiki (both Hubbard’s entry and the church’s entry), the Scientology website and anti-Scientology web sites.  Geez.  There’s way too much stuff for me to crystallize and disseminate.

But I’ll say this:  Ron is a fascinating and compelling guy. He somehow went from poverty (as a second-rate sci-fi writer) to amazing wealth and fame. Obviously, many have found his writings to be inspirational and life-changing.  Obviously, many have found him to be a fraud.  Obviously, many former faithful are bitter about their experiences. . .

But I’m ready to move on.  Just a few paragraphs ago, I was writing about the trip to the grocery store (in Las Vegas NM) from the house that’s for sale.  When I was zoomed way back on Google Maps looking for grocery stores, I noted that the town of Tucumcari was in the running for closest grocery store (but it lost out to Las Vegas by about 20 minutes driving time).

As soon as I saw the name of the town, a female voice popped into my head, singing:  “From Tucson to Tucumcari . . . .”  Since my brain couldn’t readily supply the artist and song, I went to Google and quickly found out that the singer was Linda Ronstadt, and the song was “Willin.”

My familiarity with the song stemmed from my first wife’s love of Linda Ronstadt, back in the mid-to-late 70s.

Google also told me that Linda R. was covering a Little Feat song, so on to You Tube I went to check it out.  I recalled that this was a truck-driving song, with a romantic line about “Dallas Alice” (which Linda dutifully sang).

Anyway, it’s a great song – very authentic.  And Little Feat’s rendition is, of course, authentic (more so than Linda’s, no knock on her). 

I found a You Tube Little Feat version with no video – so just listen and follow the words.

I been warped by the rain
Driven by the snow
I’m drunk and dirty, don’t ya know
And I’m still . . . willin

And I was out on the road, late at night
I seen my pretty Alice in every headlight
Alice, Dallas Alice

And I’ve been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that’s ever been made
Driven the back roads
So I wouldn’t get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
Then I’ll be willin’ to be movin’

Well I’ve been kicked by the wind
Robbed by the sleet
Had my head stoved in
But I’m still on my feet
And I’m still . . . willin’

Smuggled some smokes
And folks from Mexico
Baked by the sun
Every time I go to Mexico
And I’m still . . .

And I been from Tuscon to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that’s ever been made
Driven the back roads
So I wouldn’t get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
Then I’ll be willin’ to be movin’

The first two lines of the chorus (with the “T” place names) is truly wonderful poetry . . .

FYI, Tonapah (pop 2,500) is in the Nevada desert, about halfway between Reno and Las Vegas.  I’ve never featured it on this blog, although it did get a couple of mentions.

Tehachapi (pop 14,000) is in S-Cen California, also never featured by me (aka, the landing god never put me there).  It is known by rail fans as the home of the Tehachapi Loop.  Here’s a GE shot, luckily showing a train navigating the loop:

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot of the loop by DanNew:

It’s time to close out this post with this shot that was included on the real estate website (presumably taken close to the house that is for sale):

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Clay County, West Virginia

Posted by graywacke on September 26, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2367; A Landing A Day blog post number 800.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (38o29.964’N, 81o 6.992’W) puts me in Central West Virginia:

As you can tell by the title of this post, My local landing map must show the entire extent of Clay County:

I know you’re waiting with bated breath to know the watershed that surrounds my landing spot.

  Well, here’s the map:

You can see that I landed in the watershed of the Hansford Fork, on to Laurel Creek; on to the Elk River (only my 2nd hit ever).

Zooming back, we can see that the Elk makes its way to the Kanawha (15th hit); on to the Ohio (145th hit).

As is getting routine, I didn’t bother showing the ultimate destination of a drop of water that falls on my landing – i.e., the MM (920th hit).

So.  Every landing, I enter the lat & long into Google Earth, and watch as the yellow pushpin zooms on in to my landing location.  I then re-create that moment for the purposes of this blog.  Click HERE to check it out.

Even though I’m out in the boonies, Street View coverage isn’t far from my landing.  However, I’m in the woods, so I put the Orange Dude at a driveway so we’d have something to look at:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I also found Street View coverage of the Hansford Fork:

And here ‘tis:

While I’m at it, here’s a Street View look at the Elk River in the town of Clay:

And yes!  Note that the sky isn’t splotchy?  I performed the following Google search:  Google Earth Street View splotchy.  Lo and behold, I found a website with instructions I could actually follow that allowed me to clean up Street View shots . . .

I’ll put the Clay County map up again:

(BTW, there is town called Ovapa that is covered by my landing flag.)

Believe it or not, there is only one town in the county that is really a town (i.e., incorporated).  A good guess would be Clay, since, after all, we’re in Clay County.  And Clay it is (along the Elk River):

From Wiki:

Clay (pop 491) is the county seat of Clay County. It is the only incorporated town in Clay County.  The town and county are both named for U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Henry Clay (1777–1852).

The town was incorporated in 1895.  Before 1880, Clay was inaccessible to traffic from horse-drawn vehicles.  A horse trail along the Elk River and the river itself provided the only access to the town.

Here are a couple of GE Panoramio shots of Clay.  First this, of downtown, by David Stephenson:

Sticking with Mr. Stephenson, here’s a shot of the County courthouse in Clay:

So.  I’ve heard of namesake Henry Clay, as likely many of readers have.  But I know little about him (which probably is also true of most of my readers). 

From History.com:

Leader of the Whig party and five times an unsuccessful presidential candidate, Henry Clay (1777-1852) played a central role on the stage of national politics for over forty years. He was secretary of state under John Quincy Adams, Speaker of the House of Representatives longer than anyone else in the nineteenth century, and the most influential member of the Senate during its golden age.

Clay’s personal magnetism made him one of America’s best-loved politicians; his elaborate scheming made him one of the most cordially hated. Through it all he displayed remarkable consistency of purpose: he was a nationalist, devoted to the economic development and political integration of the United States.

Although a slaveholder, Clay disapproved of slavery as a system; he advocated gradual emancipation and the resettlement of the freed people in Africa. He defended, unsuccessfully, the right of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes of Indians to their lands.

He warned that annexation of Texas would provoke war with Mexico and exacerbate tensions between North and South, and he opposed the war when it came. He consistently fostered good relations with Latin America.

The centerpiece of Clay’s statecraft was an integrated economic program called ‘the American System’ that supported federal subsidies for transportation projects and other ‘internal improvements’. Public lands in the West were to be sold rather than given away to homesteaders so the proceeds could be used for education and other public infrastructure projects. The program was intended to promote economic development and diversification, reduce dependence on imports, and tie together the different sections of the country.

The American System became the chief plank in the platform of Clay’s Whig party, which was formed in opposition to the Democratic party of Andrew Jackson, creating the two-party system. Clay never became president, and his Whig party disappeared shortly after his death. But its successor, the Republican Party, put many features of the American System into operation. In the long run, his economic and political vision of America was largely fulfilled.

So back to Clay County.  The population of the county is something over 9,300, and the population density is about 25 people per square mile.  Contrast this with my home State of New Jersey, with a population density of 1,200 people per square mile.  Wow.  NJ is almost 40 times more dense than Clay County . . . er . . . I mean more densely populated.

The county is in the Appalachian Plateau region of West Virginia.  Actually, it is more properly called a “dissected plateau,” because while maybe the plateau was more-or-less flat millions of years ago, erosion over the eons has created a landscape with steep-sloped valleys, and very little flat uplands. 

The low population density is due primarily to the preponderance of steep slopes and the scarcity of land suitable for cultivation.

I’ll pay a very quick visit to two other Clay County towns.  First, how about the name of the town covered by my lat/long flag, Ovapa.  OK, OK you doubters.  Here’s a map showing the town:

 Wiki let me know that it’s a portmanteau of Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Very cool!

The second little town is Lizemores.  Here’s what Wiki has to say:

The community derives its name from the local Sizemore clan.  A recording error by postal officials accounts for the error in spelling, which was never corrected.

AYKM???  Imagine that you’re a Sizemore back in the day.  You succeed in a significant effort to have your little town named after your family.  You strut around town, filled with pride and a warm glow.   The Post Office is opened, and with a huge smile on your face, you walk in the front door to check out your namesake facility.

And then, with a flash of consternation, you see “Lizemores,” not “Sizemore.”  Not just the “L,” but what’s up with the “s” at the end?  Do you just say “Aw shucks?”  Do you just walk out with a shrug?

Hell no!  You should be outraged, and you shouldn’t quit until the proud Sizemore name is appropriately honored.

But for unfathomable reasons, you just shrug . . .

Before moving on, let me share this GE Pano shot from the town of Clay:

The photo is entitled “The Old Sizemore Store.”  I’m glad it’s not entitled “The Old Lizemores Store.”  But the big story on Action News is the name of the photographer.  It’s R. Tom Sizemore!  Obviously (at least highly likely), one of the now-infamous Sizemore clan!   I’ll try to get in touch with Tom – I’ll let you know if I get any news . . .

Let me move along to the Wiki entry for Clay County:

In the motion picture The Silence of the Lambs, the victim was found in the Elk River in Clay County.

I haven’t seen the movie and don’t intend to.  I know, I know, it’s an excellent movie, but I tend to avoid violent movies.  So, my only comment is “no comment.”  Back to Wiki:

Clay County is also the birthplace of the Golden Delicious Apple.

“Golden Delicious” was Wiki clickable . . .

This cultivar [any plant enhanced by selective breeding] is a chance seedling possibly a hybrid of Grimes Golden and Golden Reinette.  The original tree was found on the Mullins’ family farm in Clay County, WV and was locally known as Mullin’s Yellow Seedling.

Anderson Mullins sold the tree and propagation rights to Stark Brothers Nurseries for $5000 [$121,000 in today’s dollars], which first marketed it as a companion of their Red Delicious in 1914.

Geez.  Mr. Mullins should have been able to retire on his wonderful tree.  Tough to do on a measly $120,000.  Here’s a GE Pano shot by DotGuy of the Mullins homestead in Clay County:

Staying with GE Pano shots, I’ll close this post with a couple of Elk River shots by David W. Hill (close, but not quite my brother, who’s David L. Hill).  First, this reflective shot:

And then this shot of a great looking swimming hole:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Tuskegee, Alabama (Revisited)

Posted by graywacke on September 21, 2017

A Landing A Day blog post number 800.

Dan –  As you no doubt remember well, I landed near Tuskegee Alabama several landings ago.  I featured Booker T. Washington (founder of the Tuskegee Institute) and the Tuskegee Airmen (much revered and honored World War II black pilots).

Well, I stumbled on a few additional Tuskegee topics to discuss. 

As you know, I went to Lafayette College.  I won’t say exactly when, but it was not long after they played their 100th football game against Lehigh; they’ll be playing their 153rd game this year in this, the far-and-away most-played college football rivalry.

So anyway, I was checking on Lafayette’s football team this year (they’re pretty bad – 0-3, having been outscored 36-128), when I happened on a Wiki article discussing the history of Lafayette football.  I’d never looked at this, so I did a little skimming.

Now you may well be wondering why I’m talking about Lafayette football in a Tuskegee, Alabama post.  Well, bear with me. 

It turns out Lafayette was actually a national power back in the day (way, way before my time).  From Wiki:

National college football power (1919–1948)

Between 1921 and 1948, Lafayette was considered one of the premiere college football programs in the nation. The team earned two national championships, had four undefeated seasons, featured several All-Americans, played in major games, and was involved in several national bowl games. During nearly every season of the era, the team was led by a coach that would later be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

That sets the stage. Back to Wiki:

“The Greatest Game They Never Played”—the 1949 Sun Bowl incident

Following a 7–2 record (that included a 23–13 win against Lehigh before 21,000 fans at Fisher Field), Lafayette received an invitation to play UTEP (then the Texas College of Mines) in the 1949 Sun Bowl.

Lafayette accepted the bid contingent upon being able to bring David Showell, an African-American halfback and former Tuskegee Airman.

[The Tuskegee angle!]

Texas law at the time prohibited African-Americans from playing on the same field as Caucasian players in a state supported stadium. Showell’s team members refused to accept the bid unless Showell could accompany the team to El-Paso.

The Chairman of the Sun Bowl, C.D. Belding, rejected the provision and Lafayette declined the bid. The Lafayette Athletic Department did not issue a reason for the rejection, prompting a protest of 1,500 students and a bonfire.

The students marched on the President’s house, demanding an explanation. President Ralph Cooper Hutchison explained the situation and along with student leaders, phoned the Sun Bowl Committee chairman to reconsider.

Upon a prompt rejection by Belding, the student protest marched into downtown Easton PA and received an audience at the local radio station. The station and the students sent a telegram to President Truman condemning racial intolerance and segregation with a terse, “Denied Sun Bowl bid with Negro on team. Is that Democracy?”

The protest and received national media attention in the New York Times and AP wires. The situation was nationally significant in that it drew attention to segregation and discrimination against African-American players in bowl games and college football in general.

Oh my!  What a story!  And I never heard a whisper about this.  By the way, Ralph Cooper Hutchison was Lafayette’s President until 1966, only two years before my freshman year (and the 104th Lafayette-Lehigh game).  Ooops – I said that I wasn’t going to say exactly when I went to Lafayette.  Oh, well. . .

Post-script:  Showell graduated from Lafayette with a business degree, and was a student at the University of Wisconsin Law School when he was killed in an automobile accident at age 31.

There’s more on the Tuskegee front. I was listening to NPR a few days ago, and they had a food program (the Sporkful Food podcast) that featured a pancake recipe found on the back of an envelope, hand-written by Rosa Parks – the woman who, in 1955 Montgomery, refused to give up her seat to a white person when the white section of the bus was full and who became an internationally-known civil rights icon.

The recipe interestingly includes peanut butter, even though the recipe was entitled “Featherlite Pancakes.”

 As I was listening, I heard that Rosa Parks was born and raised in Tuskegee.  This was mentioned because of Tuskegee’s connection with Booker T. Washington, whose work on peanuts while at Tuskegee was instrumental in bringing peanuts into the mainstream of American cooking, but especially for Southern Blacks.

According to the podcast, the pancakes are excellent!  Note:  it is likely that “milk” was actually “buttermilk.”

I was shocked that I had missed the Rosa Parks connection in my Tuskegee post.  When I got home, I fired up my computer and went to the Tuskegee Alabama Wiki entry.  And there, under “Notable People,” was, of course, Rosa Parks. 

Here’s a Wiki shot of Rosa in 1955, with Martin Luther King in the background:

I always (OK, almost always) check out the Wiki Notable People list for any titular towns, but inexplicably, didn’t in this case. 

In addition to Rosa Parks was another familiar name:  Lionel Richie.

I’ll admit that I was never a big Commodores fan (he was their front man in the 1970s), or a big fan of his mostly-80s solo career.  But I love “All Night Long.”  Until now, I had never seen the 1983 MTV video.

This is so 80s, but the song is so upbeat and celebratory (and musically and culturally historic) as to be worth your time.  Note that you’ll be joining the 32,000,000 other viewers of this video . . .


That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Sasakwa, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on September 16, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2366; A Landing A Day blog post number 798.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (34o59.649’N, 96o 25.851’W) puts me in Cen-SW Oklahoma:

My local landing map shows (not surprisingly) only my titular Sasakwa:

You can see that I landed very close to Little River (only my 2nd hit).  But check out the streams-only map below:

The Little discharges to the Canadian (48th hit); on to the Arkansas (128th hit).  Although not evident, all river-lovers know that the Arkansas discharges to the Mighty Mississip (919th hit).

Moving right along to the Google Earth (GE) random yellow pushpin landing:  click HERE to watch it unfold before your very eyes:

As you might expect, there are many more small towns in the general vicinity of my landing:

I started with Sasakwa and obviously found a hook.  But of course, I dutifully checked out all of the towns on the above map.  Holdenville is actually fairly substantial (pop 5800); but all of the rest measure their populations in the hundreds or tens of people (and are totally hookless). 

Bottom line:  Holdenville has a couple of native sons of some interest:  Clu Gulager, an actor I remembered well from his role as Emmett Ryker on the 1960s TV western The Virginian; and T. Boone Pickens, who knows how to make money.  But neither of these folks elevated Holdenville all the way to titular status.

So:  Sasakwa (pop 150) it is.  From Wiki:

A post office was established in 1880, and took the name from that given his trading post by Gov John E Brown, from the Seminole word meaning “wild goose”.

And no, I’m not featuring Gov. Brown or wild geese.  Back to Wiki:

In 1917, hundreds of men gathered on a farm near Sasakwa to protest the draft in World War I, an event called the Green Corn Rebellion.

Well, now.  It turns out that Green Corn Rebellion was clickable, and click I did.  As you’ll see the Rebellion was associated with far left politics, not uncommon in the late 19th and early 20th century in the United States.  I’ve run across this theme in numerous posts.

The following might seem a little dry for ALAD, but please bear with me; it’s well worth the read.  I did my usual editing for clarity and brevity. 

From Wiki:


On April 6, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson (newly elected with campaign slogan:  “He kept us out of war”), asked congress for a declaration of war against Germany. Congress readily obliged the President’s request, voting to declare war on Germany by a margin of 373-50 in the House and 82-6 in the Senate.

On May 18, 1917, a draft bill became law that called for all eligible young men nationwide to register for the draft on a single day — June 5, 1917.

While isolated hotspots of anti-conscription activity sprang up in some urban centers, the registration process was generally an orderly affair, with the vast majority of young American men accepting their fate with what has been characterized as “a calm resignation.”

Opponents of American participation in the war continued their efforts to change the country’s course, holding meetings and distributing pamphlets.  Among the leading opponents to the war was the Socialist Party of America, which at its April 1917 National Convention had declared its “unalterable opposition” to the war and urged the workers of the world to “refuse support to the governments in their wars.”

The Situation in Oklahoma

A strong radical tendency sprang up in Oklahoma, in which the impoverished tenant farmers of the southeastern part of the state seized upon the fervor of the early Socialist Party in an attempt to improve their lives.  In the 1916 election, despite Woodrow Wilson’s siphoning off a portion of the anti-war vote for the Democratic ticket, the Socialist Party garnered more than a quarter of the votes cast in the 1916 election in Seminole County [right next to where I landed].

Nor was the Socialist Party the only active organizers in the area — in 1916 a radical tenant farmers’ organization called the “Working Class Union (WCU)” claimed a membership of as much as 20,000 in Eastern Oklahoma alone.

Some 76% of Oklahoma farmers under age 24 rented their land, while 45% of those between the ages of 25 and 33 found themselves tenants.  Tenant farmers were both white and African-American.

Many of these young “dirt farmers” found their economic prospects hopeless, squeezed between a ruthless credit system practiced by stores and substantial crop liens inflicted by landlords.

Disaffection was rife and proposals for radical solutions found ready ears.  The draft would have depleted much needed farm labor, and many farms would have been foreclosed leaving women and children destitute. There was no oil boom yet and little alternative work, and no welfare system.

Town dwellers were verbally attacked by radical public speakers as “robbers, thieves, and grafters.”  They were thoroughly convinced that the Socialists and the secret WCU were part of a single radical conspiracy to launch a long-desired revolution.

In early August 1917 (arguably launching the rebellion), large numbers of African-American, European-American, and Native American men gathered at the farm of Joe and John Spears in Sasakwa (at Roasting Ear Ridge) to plan a march upon Washington, DC to end the war.

The Rebellion

At nearly the same time (August 2, 1917), a Seminole County sheriff and his deputy were ambushed (although there were no deaths or injuries) near the Little River.  Radical raiding parties followed this action, cutting telephone lines and burning railroad bridges.

The uprising seems to have been spurred by the agitation of the WCU, which was reported in one newspaper as having called its supporters to arms with a manifesto which declared:

    “Now is the time to rebel against this war with Germany, boys. Boys, get together and don’t go. Rich man’s war. Poor man’s fight. The war is over with Germany if you don’t go and J.P. Morgan & Co. is lost. Their great speculation is the only cause of the war.”

Quick note on why J.P. Morgan & Company was singled out:  By the early 20th century, they were the largest private banking enterprise in the world, and financed much of the rapid industrialization in the US.  As such, the Company was a symbol of rampant capitalism & materialism. From Wiki (specific to World War I):  “Beginning in 1914, J.P. Morgan loaned about $1.5 billion (approximately $21 billion in today’s dollars) to Britain and France to fight against the Germans.  The company also invested in the suppliers of war equipment to Britain and France, thus profiting from the financing and purchasing activities of the two European governments.”

Now I’ll move over to excerpt from GreenCorn.org, a website commemorating the centennial of the Green Corn Rebellion:

100 years ago, in early August 1917, between 800-1000 people (including impoverished African-American, European-American and Native Americans), gathered at the farm of Joe and John Spears in Sasakawa, Oklahoma, to plan a march upon Washington to stop the draft and end US involvement in what would later be called World War I.

They would eat roasted “green corn” and on the way (so it was later said), eventually joining up with countless thousands of likeminded comrades who would together march on Washington, DC where they would repeal the draft act, and end the war.

But this march didn’t happen, as one or more informers contacted authorities.

The truth of the details of what happened after this point is shrouded in mystery and conflicting eye-witness statements, but what can be said with some degree of accuracy is that local and state authorities, as well as hundreds of members of informal armed militias, some coming from as far away as Oklahoma City, converged and crushed the rebellion.

Three marchers were killed, and 450 were arrested. Of those arrested, 266 were released without charges being filed. Of the remaining 184 participants who were charged, 150 were either convicted or pleaded guilty, receiving jail and prison terms ranging from 60 days to 10 years.

The aftermath of the rebellion was a radical change in Oklahoma politics, which included a severe crackdown on the Socialist Party of Oklahoma (which had been marginally involved in the Green Corn Rebellion) and the Industrial Workers of the World (which wasn’t involved at all). There was also a crackdown on all forms of dissent against the draft and World War I, and a large scale orientation of Oklahoma politics towards the right — a major change in a state which had once had the strongest and most active Socialist Party in the USA.

It’s hard to imagine what it was like to be a tenant farmer near my landing, or a townsperson in Sadakwa in early 1917.  Well, maybe it’s not so hard to imagine, considering the crazy politics in 2017.

Ahem.  Moving right along. 

Here’s a Wiki picture of the Little River, taken near where the initial rebellion meeting occurred (and quite close to my landing):

Here’s a GE Pano shot by LightBenders, taken near Calvin, about 7 miles SE of my landing:

I’ll close with another by LightBenders, this of the erstwhile Sasakwa Town Hall:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Martin, South Dakota

Posted by graywacke on September 11, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2365; A Landing A Day blog post number 797.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (43o13.362’N, 101o 31.837’W) puts me in S-Cen South Dakota:

My local map shows that I landed among the towns Vetal, Patricia, Tuthill and titular Martin:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Bear-in-the-Lodge Creek; on to the White River (11th hit); on to the Missouri (423rd hit):

Of course, the Missouri says hello to the MM (918th hit).

As customary, my Google Earth (GE) pin-drop can be checked out by clicking HERE.

I have pretty good Street View coverage:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

By the way, the terrible photo quality has been present ever since Google Earth upgraded itself to Google Earth Pro on my computer – that’s right, unbeknownst to me (not at my direction) – one day Google Earth “upgraded” to Pro.  And then, strangely, the Street View quality went down the tubes.  I’ll be working on a fix . . .

We can get a look at Bear-in-the-Lodge Creek about 25 miles NW of my landing:

And here ‘tis:

See the white terrain on the map above the Street View shot?  That’s the southern portions of the famous South Dakota badlands.  I put the Orange Dude next to some of that white terrain not far from the creek, and here’s what he sees:

Before moving on, just a quick word about Bear-in-the-Lodge Creek.  Not surprisingly, Wiki says that the name came from an incident at an Indian village along the creek when (and you’ll never guess this) – a bear wandered into the lodge.

So, it’s time for Martin.  Just so you know, Vetal, Patricia and Tuthill hardly exist, and are totally hookless.  That leaves Martin (pop about 1,000), the county seat of Bennett County.  As you’ll see, Martin is perilously close to being hookless as well.

The Wiki entry is truly uninspired:

Martin was laid out in 1911.  The city was named for Eben Martin, a U.S. Representative from South Dakota.

[And now it gets real interesting.]

One of the highways that runs through the town is U.S. Route 18, in an east-west direction. SD Route 73 runs north into the town and makes a T-intersection with U.S. 18.  State Highway 73 turns into Hisle Road after the T-intersection.

That’s it.  And where, one wonders, is my hook.  Fasten your seat belts!

I came across this nothing little news story about Martin (June 2016):

MARTIN, SD (KOTA-TV, Rapid City) News release from the Martin Police Department:

The Martin Police Department has activated the EOC “Emergency Operations Center”, as a direct result of an on-going criminal investigation with in the City of Martin. The incident Commander is Martin Police Chief Thomas Jeans.

This incident is named Operation Full Moon. The EOC provides Incident Command Structure and Management of the full incident. The EOC also manages resources and personnel.

“Tension between two separate groups has resulted in at least five aggravated assaults, creating a safety issue for the residents in the city limits of Martin”, stated Martin Police Chief Thomas Jeans.

Jeans has requested assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies to help protect citizens and try to bring this situation to a peaceful resolution.

Normally, I would ignore such a story – thinking that this might involve gang violence, something I would never blog about.  But digging a little deeper, I found another June 2016 story on KELOLAND (media out of Sioux City):

Feuding Families Cause Curfew In Martin, SD

Oh my!  A family feud!  Now there’s something I can blog about!  Check out the map (with the hand cuffs) that KELOLAND included:

Here’s the article:

An argument between two families in Martin, South Dakota led to law enforcement enforcing a curfew early Wednesday morning.

Authorities say the two families and some of their friends got into a fight, leading to twelve arrests. Police are still looking for one more suspects.

Martin’s police chief says several people were taken to the hospital and released.

[Sounds like black eyes and bloody lips . . .]

He says there was a string of assaults involving several dozen people using baseball bats, boards, and metal objects. Once the curfew was put in place, the tension in town did settle down.

[Oh my!  Baseball bats!  Two by fours!  Hunks of metal!  The Hatfields and McCoys really don’t like each other!]

The city of Martin only has four full time officers, so supporting law enforcement from the county to federal levels were called in to help.

[They brought in the Feds!]

So – it’s not really funny, but I was desperate for a hook.  Martin is a tiny town, and one can only imagine how the gossip flowed at the local café.

Hmmm.  Local café.  Where’s that?  Well, of all places, it turns out that the local café is the Martin Livestock Auction Company.  Now wait a minute – a livestock auction company is also the local café?  Here’s a screen shot of the upper half of the home page.  There, under the cattle picture, is a plug for the restaurant:

And a little better look at the restaurant part of the website:

At first, I was wondering about the “small portions” blurb.  But then I realized that small portions are “available” – and I can only assume that large portions are standard.  Come get your mini corn dogs & fried green beans!

But the real business of the establishment is auctioning cattle.  Here’s a screen shot showing just a little of the upcoming action:

I actually spent a little time trying to decipher the abbreviations, but gave up.

It’s time to close out this nearly hookless post with a couple of GE Panoramio shots.  Since the badlands got mentioned, I’ll post this cool badlands shot, from about 30 miles north of my landing (by ThePhotoRun.com):

The closest Pano shot was this of a truly magnificent beast, taken about 10 miles west (by Luckfully):

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Craigmont and Winchester, Idaho

Posted by graywacke on September 6, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2364; A Landing A Day blog post number 796.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (46o10.117’N, 116o 31.623’W) puts me in the SW portion of the Idaho panhandle:

My local map shows my two titular towns:

My watershed analysis shows that I landed in the watershed of that long-time favorite “stream perennial” (aka unnamed tributary), on to Lawyers Ck; on to the Clearwater River (8th hit):

Zooming back, one (and that includes you) can see that the Clearwater joins the Snake (82nd hit) right at the point where the Snake ceases to do double duty as the Idaho-Washington state boundary:

Double duty?  You may wonder what the Snake’s other duty is other than serving as a state boundary.  Well, wonder no more:  it’s the river’s duty to carry away a huge watershed’s worth of water.  As an added bonus for beauty-loving humans, a breath-taking canyon is a by-product. 

And JFTHOI, here’s a gratuitous GE pano shot by Lyssa K of the Snake Canyon, just upstream of where the Clearwater joins:

Oops.  Before I forget it, the Snake (of course) discharges to the Mighty Columbia (172nd hit).

Like it or not, I’m going to the well as I always do at this thirsty part of each post.  Upon my direction, Google Earth (GE) dutifully drops a yellow push pin from outer space.  In this instance, the yellow push pin ends up in the Idaho panhandle boonies.  Click HERE.

Staying with GE, here’s an oblique shot looking upstream from the confluence of “Stream Perennial” and Lawyers Creek:

I’m not going to bother with a GE Street View shot of either my landing (way too far away), or of Lawyers Creek (it’s too deep to see).  But I will show you a few pictures of famous wooden railroad bridge trusses over Lawyers Creek near my landing. 

I lifted a couple of bridge shots from a previous post (February 2010, before I routinely gave photo credits).  Here’s a train crossing a bridge over Lawyers Creek:

And instead of a Street View shot, here’s a train track view shot of Lawyers Creek:

And a Pano shot by amc1980:

And another, by Dagecko (of two bridges):

So, it’s time to take a look at my two titular towns, starting with Craigmont.  From Wiki:

The city is named for Colonel William Craig (1809–69), a mountain man who had a Nez Perce wife and lived near the current Craigmont location.

The Nez Perce Reservation was opened to white settlement in 1895 and a town named “Chicago,” a mile west of the current Craigmont, was founded in 1898.

In response to not getting their mail from the post office [what post office? – certainly not the Chicago post office], it was renamed “Ilo” four years later, after Ilo Leggett, daughter of town founder and merchant W.O. Leggett.

[Now wait.  Changing the name from Chicago to Ilo somehow improved mail delivery?  BTW, the Ariel font that Wiki uses does not distinguish a capital “I” from a small “l” – making the word peculiar at best.]

A fire burnt the town in 1904 and shortly thereafter the Camas Prairie Railroad bypassed the town and started a settlement, platted by financier John P. Vollmer, named “Vollmer.”

[OK – so Ilo burns down, and now someone sees an opportunity to start a new town nearby.]

Ilo responded and moved its community, adjacent to Vollmer (Vollmer on the NE side of the tracks; Ilo on the SW side).

After a decade-long feud and the consolidation of the school districts, the communities merged in 1920 to become Craigmont.

I suspect that the name “Craigmont” emerged as a reluctant compromise after a very contentious two-town meeting . . .

The map of Craigmont actually embodies the above history.  The red line I added follows the railroad track that divided Vollmer from Ilo:

Note that Vollmer (founded first), has a 2nd Street, along with a 3rd and 4th Street.  Then, looking over to Ilo, note that it has a 2nd Avenue, along with a 3rd and 4th Avenue.  Tit for tat.

And then there’s the north-south road that more-or-less divides the two towns.  Its name?  Division Avenue.

A quick aside.  See “Shortcut Road?”  I’m guessing that the road currently labeled as 95B was the original main road in town.  And then sometime later, Shortcut Road was built to more easily bypass the town.  And then sometime even later, the new Route 95 was built . . .

Moving to Winchester.  From Wiki:

The city was named in 1900 during a meeting to establish a school district. While considering the possibilities, an individual looked at the stack of Winchester rifles left at the door by the attendees and suggested the name, which was approved.

In the television series Death Valley Days, the episode “The Thirty-Caliber Town” dramatized how Winchester rifles gave the town its name.

Here’s a piece from the Craigmont Chamber of Commerce website about the TV show:

Winchester’s Story was on the “Death Valley Days” on TV.   As the story goes: Chief Joseph’s band of Indians were being chased by the US Calvary.  They had just cross the Salmon River, (which as the crow flies is about 12 miles from Winchester).  The locals were frightened and ran to the little out post with no name.

They gathered at the hardware store, as word was out that the store had just received a case of New Winchester repeating rifles. The owner opened the case and gave everyone, a rifle.  Chief Joseph heard of the guns at Winchester, and so did not come toward the settlers, but went on down the river.  So the town got a name!

The website went on to fess up that the real story was one I mentioned previously . . .

Here’s another example of a Winchester coming in handy:

It’s time for a couple of closing GE Pano shots.  I’ll start with this, of Lawyers Ck, by Judith Klinghoffer:

And this, a second shot by Dagecko:

I’ll close with this dark sky over a brilliant landscape, by IdahoStoneHunter:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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