First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-four days 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 2175; A Landing A Day blog post number 603.
Dan: After four OSers, this USer was welcome . . . CA; 102/116; 5/10; 7; 149.9. Let’s see if I can stay below 150 . . .
My regional landing map:
Here’s my local landing map (I circled Yreka because it wasn’t obvious, nestled up against I-5):
I landed in the watershed of McAdams Creek, on to Moffett Creek, on to the Scott River (first hit ever!); on to the Klamath (10th hit); on to the Pacific Ocean (422nd hit).
McAdams Creek didn’t show up on my map, so I drew it myself. I discovered the name because it was mentioned in a Panoramio shot near my landing (more later).
Let’s catch a ride on a big yellow push-pin on its Google Earth (GE) trip from outer space:
Staying with GE, here’s a shot looking up McAdams Creek valley showing my landing:
Here’s a much closer-in shot, showing that there is Street View coverage on the road next to my landing:
And here’s what the orange dude sees:
Down valley a little, the road crosses McAdams Creek:
Here’s the orange dude’s view up the valley from the bridge:
I’m going to briefly visit Yreka, before settling in with Fort Jones. First and foremost, we all must learn how to pronounce Yreka. Like me, you may be tempted to pronounce it like the northern California coastal city, Eureka. But that would be wrong.
From the City of Yreka website:
Gold was discovered near present day Yreka in March 1851 sparking an extension of the California Gold Rush from California’s Sierra Nevada into Northern California.
By April 1851, 2,000 miners had arrived to test their luck, and by June 1851, a gold rush “boomtown” of tents, shanties, and a few rough cabins had sprung up.
Several name changes occurred until the little city was called Yreka, apparently taken from a Shasta Indian word meaning “north mountain” or “white mountain,” a reference to nearby Mt. Shasta.
Mark Twain, in his Autobiography, tells a different story:
Harte had arrived in California in the fifties, twenty-three or twenty-four years old, and had wandered up into the surface diggings of the camp at Yreka, a place which had acquired its mysterious name–when in its first days it much needed a name–through an accident.
There was a bakeshop with a canvas sign which had not yet been put up but had been painted and stretched to dry in such a way that the word BAKERY, all but the B, showed through and was reversed. A stranger read it wrong end first, YREKA, and supposed that that was the name of the camp. The campers were satisfied with it and adopted it.
No offense to the Shasta Indians, but I much prefer Mark Twain’s version!
The city website has a beautiful picture of Mt. Shasta, which is part of a slideshow so I couldn’t do a “save as.” I decided to do a “print screen” instead. The pictures in the slideshow fade from one to the next, and it just so happens that the picture after the mountain is of a couple of Canada geese. Well, I caught that in-between moment between the two pictures:
Kind of cool, eh? And JFTHOI*, here’s a clean shot of the mountain, followed a clean shot of the geese:
* Just for the heck of it
Speaking of Mt. Shasta, landing 2052 (September 2013) featured the mountain. I presented some cool geology and have a lot of great pictures. Highly recommended reading. Just type Shasta in the search box, above.
Moving much closer to my landing – here’s what Wiki has to say about Fort Jones:
Fort Jones is a city in the Scott River Valley area of Siskiyou County, California. The population was 839 at the 2010 census, up from 600 as of the 2000 census. It was founded in 1850 in response to placer gold being found in the Scott River valley and tributaries.
The town was originally named Scottsburg (ca. 1850), but was changed to Scottsville shortly afterward. In 1852, the site was again renamed Wheelock, this time in honor of a local businessman. In 1854, a post office was established and the town was renamed again, becoming known as Ottitiewa, the Indian name for the Scott River branch of the Shasta tribe. The name remained unchanged until 1860 when local citizens successfully petitioned the postal department to change the name to Fort Jones.
I’ll put my two cents in (as I always do): I’d’ve stuck with Ottitiewa.
True confession: I don’t think I’ve ever typed “I’d’ve” before just now. I like it!
Here’s a little agricultural trivia, also from Wiki:
In the early years of the Twentieth Century, the northern Scott River tributaries of Moffett and McAdams creeks were extensively settled by the Portuguese. The Irish surname Marlahan lives on after that family received a shipment of British hay seed infected with the seed of a plant known as Dyers Woad.
Those seeds spread their spawn throughout Scott Valley, culturing a plant known in the area as Marlahan Mustard. The plant has a beautiful, canary plume in the spring which matures to small, black, hard seeds. Unfortunately, the herbivore beasts of burden will not eat hay in which this plant exists, and ever since it has been a scourge on the ranchers of Scott Valley.
Here’s a lovely picture of dyers woad, from the Bureau of Land Management (OK, it’s WY, not CA):
And get this! I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I discovered I landed in McAdams Creek Valley because of a Panoramio picture. Well, here’s the photo, entitled “Looking South on McAdam’s Creek” by BeanePatch (taken just down the road from the same bridge over McAdams Creek featured earlier):
So whaddya think? The yellow is Marlahan Mustard?
Anyway, there’s not much to say about the historic Fort Jones. It was established in 1852 (about a mile south of the current town) to protect miners and settlers in the area. It just so happens that some famous Civil War officers were stationed there in the 1850s, including Philip Sheridan (Union, best known for Appomattox), John Hood (Confederate, Gettysburg) and George Pickett (Confederate, Gettysburg). Ulysses Grant was ordered to go there. He refused and was AWOL for a period. Evidently, he somehow managed to resurrect his career . . .
I found this random (but cool) old photo, from PoliceGuide.com (Siskiyou County page). The caption is below:
Nice old cabinet photo by A. Liljegreen, a traveling photographer who worked out of Happy Camp and Fort Jones, CA in Siskiyou county.
From SiskiyouHistory.org: Imagine that it’s 1886 and you want to take the stage coach from Yreka to Fort Jones. This is it (getting ready to leave Yreka):
I’ll close with this Pano shot of the Scott River Valley (about five miles east of my landing), by TwisselMaster:
That’ll do it.
© 2015 A Landing A Day