A Landing a Day

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Carrizo Plain (and the San Andreas Fault), California

Posted by graywacke on March 23, 2015

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 2166; A Landing A Day blog post number 594.

 Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 54th  straight western / midwestern landing (but at least it’s a USer). . . CA; 101/116; 4/10; 32; 150.2.

Here we go again.   54 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east!  Just like my last bunch of posts, I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 54th  power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 45,087 that I would not land in the east for 54 straight landings!!!  

Some of my readers have no doubt concluded that my “random” latitude/longitude landings aren’t so random.  My Excel landing program is incredibly simple, and totally hinges on Excel’s random number generator.  I have tested it and retested it, and I can only conclude that it’s in the Landing God’s hands . . .

Anyway, here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

I’ll zoom back a little to give you a more regional sense of where I landed:

landing 2b

Here’s my watershed analysis:

 landing 3

I landed in the Cuyama River watershed (first time ever!).  The Cuyama flows into the Santa Maria, and guess what?  This was my first time ever landing there as well!  As you can see, the Santa Maria flows into the Pacific Ocean (419th hit).

There’s a little extra along with this Google Earth (GE) space trip to California (make sure your volume control is on):

 

As sometimes happens, it took me a while to realize what my hook for this post would be.  As per usual (after perusing my StreetAtlas landing maps which gave me no clue about the San Andreas), I was looking at GE Panoramio photos in the vicinity of my landing.  When you put your cursor over a photo icon, the photo’s title pops up, like this:

 GE 1 Carrizo Plain

So, I Googled Carrizo Plain National Monument, and quickly realized that the San Andreas Fault runs right through it (and is incredibly obvious).  Here’s a Wiki photo by John Wiley showing the fault in the Carrizo Plain:

 Aerial-SanAndreas-CarrizoPlain wiki John Riley

Here’s a GE shot showing how close the fault is from my landing (and by the way, this graphic and the next took some painstaking work to get them very close to accurate):

GE 1 San Andreas Fault

Stepping back, here’s a broader view showing the fault and my landing, but looking further north to the Carrizo Plain:

GE 2 San Andreas Fault

I’ll be featuring the fault soon enough, but first a little information about the National Monument.  From Wiki:

The Carrizo Plain is a large enclosed grassland plain, approximately 50 miles long and up to 15 miles across.  It is the largest single native grassland remaining in California. It includes Painted Rock, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The San Andreas Fault lies below the plain.

First off, this is an incredibly beautiful place that I’ve never heard of, and don’t believe is much of a tourist attraction.  You won’t be surprised to see some very cool photos later in this post.  So what about Painted Rock?  From Wiki:

Painted Rock is a smooth horseshoe-shaped marine sandstone rock formation with pictograph rock art about 250 feet across and 45 feet tall, located near Soda Lake within the Carrizo Plain National Monument.  [John Wiley photo of the rock]:

RockCove-CarrizoPlain John Wiley Wiki

The interior of the rock alcove is adorned with many pictographs created by the Chumash, Salinan and Yokuts peoples over many thousands of years. In recent times there have been many marks left by early White settlers such as one reading “Geo. Lewis 1908″, founder of Atascadero, California. Unfortunately there has also been major defacing of this site; in the 1920s the large pictogram was irreparably damaged by a shotgun blast.

The guy with the shotgun should suffer the same eternal anguish as the thoughtful intellectuals who dynamited the Buddha statues in Afghanistan . . .

Here’s a vertical shot of the rock (also by John Wiley):

 800px-Aerial-OverPaintedRock

As an example of the pictographs, here’s the symbol for the sun (Wiki photo by Nicely):

 Pictographs_at_Painted_Rock4

Before moving on to the fault, I’d like to mention my strange run on the word “carrizo.”   In my December 2014 Springfield, Colorado post (landing 2138), I landed in the Carrizo Creek watershed.  Then, just two landings later (my Dalhart, Texas post), I landed in a different Carrizo Creek watershed.  In that post, I noted that “carrizo” is the Spanish word for “reed.”  

Then, ten posts later (January 2015), I landed near Carrizozo, New Mexico.  From that post, here’s what Wiki had to say about the origin of the name:

The name of the town is derived from the Spanish vernacular for reed grass (Carrizo), which grew significantly in the area and provided excellent feed for ranch cattle. The additional ‘zo’ at the end of the town name was added to indicate abundance of Carrizo grass.  The town is now often referred to as ‘Zozo.

And now, not all that many posts later, I’m featuring the Carrizo Plain.  And by the way, I did a search for the word Carrizo on my blog, and these four references are all there is.  Imagine that.  I went over 5 years and over 500 posts with no mention of Carrizo, and then boom!  Like I often say, the Landing God works in mysterious ways . . .

As a geologist, I’ve always been fascinated by the San Andreas Fault.  It’s a 450-mile long slash through western California (map by Geology.com; note that the Carrizo Plain is highlighted):

 san-andreas-fault-map

You can see by the black arrows that the fault moves laterally (a “transform” fault in plate tectonics speak).  The average movement along the fault is a whopping (and I’m serious!) 2.5 inches/year.  OK, it’s corny, but I have to do it.  How long will it be until San Jose is a suburb of Los Angeles?  Well, it’s about 320 miles between the two cities.  320 miles is 1,690,000 feet, which is 20,275,000 inches.  Divide that by 2.5, and get about 8 million years.  A blink of an eye (geologically speaking).

Getting back to the idea of a transform fault, here’s a Wiki picture (by Los688) showing typical transform faults (the red lines):

 640px-Transform_fault-1.svg

The above figure is the classic example of a transform fault, which connects displaced portions of tectonic spreading centers (where new crust is created, like the Mid-Atlantic Ridge spreading center).  Transform faults are common and can be found all over the world (mostly, like those associated with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, under water). 

Google Earth (bless her heart) actually shows sea-floor topography.  Here’s a GE shot with a long transform fault across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge highlighted:

temp1

 And here’s an annotated close-up of the transform fault, showing 200 miles of movement:

temp2

But the San Andreas is the mother of all transform faults.  And it rips across land!  What’s going on?

Big picture:  Prior to about 30 million years ago, a typical subduction zone was active along the entire California coast.  You all know what a subduction zone is, right?  It’s where oceanic crust (being driven by a spreading center) plunges below continental crust.  I featured subduction zone geology in my Mt. Shasta post (type Shasta in the search box to check it out).  Subduction is still going on off the northern California, Oregon and Washington coasts (causing all of the Cascade volcanoes).  Here’s a graphic I used for that post (by legacy.net):

 shasta-volcanic-legacy-net-cross-section

It turns out that subduction stopped and was replaced by transform movement around 25 – 30 million years ago (more about this later).  It also turns out that I’ve spoken before of the now-defunct ancient subduction zone, in my fairly recent (January 2015) Carrizozo Malpais & Sierra Blanca NM post.  From that post, here’s a picture of the Sierra Blanca Mountain (from the NM Museum of Natural History & Science):

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And also from that post, here’s what I lifted from the town of Ruidoso website about the above mountain (this sets the stage very nicely):

The White Mountain (Sierra Blanca) Wilderness Area is situated on the erosional remnants of an ancient volcano that probably once resembled Mount Ranier in Washington state.

This ancient volcano is approximately 25 to 40 million years old. During this time period, an oceanic tectonic plate was subducting under California creating a volcanic mountain chain that extended from Colorado, through New Mexico and west Texas, and into northern Mexico. This ancient volcanic mountain chain was very similar in composition and geologic setting to the current Cascade Mountain range in the Pacific northwest. Only further inland.

About 25 million years ago, the plate boundary changed. The plates began sliding past one another rather than one going under the other. The famous San Andreas Fault was born. This birth was the death of the subduction mechanism that created the volcanic chain in New Mexico. As a result, volcanism ceased around 25 million years ago and erosion has been the dominant geological force ever since.

The volcano has seen the upper half of its cone beveled by erosion over the last 25 million years. The lower half of the volcano is what is now present and exposed in the canyons of the Sierra Blanca Wilderness.

So, once again, beginning about 25-30 million years ago, subduction ceased along most of the California coast, replaced by lateral movement along the plate boundary.  My big question is why? 

I spent an inordinate amount of internet time trying to get a gut-level answer to this question.  No luck.  The best I can do is a US Geological Survey website that purports to answer that exact question.  Here’s the graphic from the article (note that the Farallon plate subducted, but the Pacific Plate didn’t):

 figure1_07

This shows that as soon as the Pacific Plate bumped into the North American Plate, the Farallon Plate was bifurcated, and became the Cocos Plate (to the south) and the Juan de Fuca Plate to the north.  The Pacific Plate never subducted (unlike the Farallon Plate), and a transform fault formed, such that the Pacific Plate began slipping to the north, rather than subducting.

Trouble is (even though the title of the article is “Evolution of the San Andreas Fault”), the author never clearly explains exactly why it is that the Pacific Plate didn’t subduct.  Oh, well.

So it’s time for some fun San Andreas Fault pictures.  Here’s one from Geology.com, with the caption beneath:

 san-andreas-fault-picture

Photo of the San Andreas Fault near Gorman California, showing gray rocks of the Pacific Plate along side the tan rocks of the North American Plate. Photograph copyright by David Lynch.

What an amazing location.  I believe that only in California can you see the boundary between two tectonic plates so clearly.  And yes, if I went there, I’d have someone take a picture of me standing astride the fault.

Here’s a silly shot from San Andreas.org (it’s not about the people, it’s about the sign):

 temp

And here’s a close-up of the fault in the Carrizo Plain (Pano by Dusty Trail):

 pano fault close-up by dusty trail

Wow.  

I stumbled on a blog (Geotripper) with a cool series of photos (through a 12-year period) where the fault crosses a road.  Here’s one of the shots:

 DSC00023 Offset highway San Andreas

 Click HERE to check it out.

Just for the heck of it, you might want to check out this “Culture of Life News” website, entitled “We Visit Doomed Homes on the San Andreas Fault.”  It’s not written by a scientist, but it is certainly interesting.  Here’s one of the photos:

 san-andreas-runs-down-middle-of-street1

Click HERE for the whole piece.

So, it’s time to post some GE Panoramio shots.  I’ll start with this shot by Douglas Page of the road just east of my landing.  My landing would be just off the photo to the left:

 pano DouglasPage near landing

Here’s a shot about a mile northeast of my landing (also by Mr. Page), showing a rainbow over the San Andreas Fault:

 pano DouglasPage, rainbow over the fault

It’s time to move a little further northeast, to the Carrizo Plain.  Here’s an amazing landscape captured by peace-on-earth.org:

 pano peace-on-earth.org

Check out this valley overview by Jeffrey A. Hart:

 pano jeffrey A. Hart

And this other-worldly shot by NatureNerd:

 pano NatureNerd

I’ll close with this, by Bakersfield Cactus:

 pano Bakersfield Cactus

Worth a trip, eh?

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Correo, Suwanee and Highland Meadows, New Mexico

Posted by graywacke on March 20, 2015

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 2165; A Landing A Day blog post number 593.

Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 53rd  straight western / midwestern landing (but at least it’s a USer). . . NM; 79/87; 4/10; 31; 150.7.

Here we go again.   53 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east!  Just like my last bunch of posts, I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 53rd  power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 36,971 that I would not land in the east for 53 straight landings!!!   Phew. . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

Here’s my very local landing map:

 landing 2a

Look at all those streets!  These must be fairly substantial communities . . .  (obviously, more about that later).  Let me zoom back a bit to show you that I’m way out in the boonies:

 landing 2b

OK, so Albuquerque is just off the above map to the east . . .

I have a straightforward watershed analysis:

 landing 3

I landed in the Rio Puerco watershed (2nd hit); on to the Rio Grande (43rd hit); which, of course, discharges to the G of M.  The Rio San Jose, while close to my landing, is immaterial and is on the above map just for the heck of it.

Ouch.  Rio Puerco is translated as either Dirty River, Nasty River, Pig River or Pork River.  One Spanish-English website definitely translated Rio Puerco to “Nasty River.”

Here’s a Google Earth (GE) Street View shot of the Rio Puerco about 10 miles south of my landing:

 GE SV Rio Puerco

So, here’s my GE trip in:

 

Now I’ll take a GE trip over to Correo & Suwanee and see what’s up.  But first, I’ll repeat my local landing map (a little closer in and at more-or-less the same scale as the GE shot that follows), so you can readily compare the network of roads:

temp1

 

Anyway, here’s the GE shot:

 GE 1 correo & suwanee

Right off the bat:  The GE place name feature is turned on, and GE doesn’t recognize Correo and Suwanee as towns.  This is peculiar to me, because generally speaking GE recognizes more towns than my landing map program, StreetAtlas.

And then, you can see that the only streets appear to be the trapezoidal area on the north side of Route 6.  All of the StreetAtlas streets south of Route 6 just ain’t there . . .

So, of course, I Googled Correo & Suwanee.  The only bit of information I could find anywhere was an entry on Ghosttowns.com, entitled (strangely) “Correo or Suwanee.”  Here are some excerpts:

Correo started out as a post office on US 66 (where the railroad & highway converged) in about 1920.

Correo was never much more than a store, a school and a post office for about 60 years.

A one room school house (a box car) was provided for the railroad crews children. The school teacher in 1935 & 1936 was Tillie Sanchez from Belen, New Mexico.

The Santa Fe railroad had an Operator at Suwanee, just down the tracks from Correo.  Correo and Suwanee were both referred to as one and the same by the residents and ranchers of the area.

In 1931 the State of New Mexico built a new road from a junction west of Correo to Albuquerque and that road became US 66.

The post office was discontinued in 1960. A trading post and beer joint is all that’s left of Correo and Suwanee. How sad.

Submitted by: Samuel W McWhorter

Well now.  Based on the above, the community north of Route 6 has nothing to do with Correo & Suwanee.  But what is it?

I was using GE Street View, looking for the trading post & beer joint when I stumbled on this impressive gate that apparently leads to nothing.  We’re looking south on Old Route 66, just west of Route 6:

 GE SV highland meadows gate

Looks like Highland Meadows Estates never got off the ground.  So, of course, I Googled “Highland Meadows.”  Most of the websites had to do with real estate for sale, including one 337-acre lot for $2,361,380 ($7,000/acre), subdividable down to one-acre lots. 

I found a subdivision map that had all of the streets shown on StreetAtlas south of Route 6 and Old Route 66.  So these are wannabe streets that were never built!  But how about the little community north of Route 6 that was actually developed?

Well, I believe it is part of Highland Meadows and in fact has its own volunteer fire department!  From their website:

Highland Meadows Volunteer Fire Department

Welcome to Highland Meadows!

We are located in Laguna, New Mexico [the nearest actual town, 12 miles west of Highland Meadows].  About 35 miles west of Albuquerque on I-40 at exit 126 [the Route 6 exit off I-40].  We are a small community of about 250 families.  Our fire department was founded in 2000 and our station was built in 2003.  We are proud as a community for what we have built together.

img_1985.jpg.w560h420

So the community appears to be a somewhat ramshackle trailer park.  It actually has Street View coverage; here’s one of the nicer properties:

 GE SV highland meadows house

So, I continued my search for the bar & store that, according to the Ghosttowns article, was all that remained of Correo/Suwanee.  Well, I found the Wild Horse Mesa Bar, and I think that’s it.  Here’s a GE shot showing the bar’s location:

 GE 2 wild horse mesa bar map

And here’s a StreetView shot of the bar:

 GE SV wild horse bar

And I found this GE Panoramio shot (by Elisabeth Poscher) of the sign for the joint:

 pano elisabeth.poscher bar sign

See the mesa in the background?  One might think that it’s the Wild Horse Mesa, but it’s the Rodonda Mesa (translated as Round Mesa.)  Here’s a Street View shot of the Mesa, with a clue to its name:

 GE SV Mesa Rodonda

I’ll close with this Pano shot by Brian Dean, taken along Route 6 about 5 miles southwest of my landing:

 pano brian dean

Funny little post, eh?

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Posted by graywacke on March 16, 2015

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 2164; A Landing A Day blog post number 592.

Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 52nd  straight western / midwestern landing (and adding Bonneville salt to the wounds, also an OSer). . . UT; 79/60; 3/10; 30; 151.2.

Here we go again.   52 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east!  Just like my last bunch of posts, I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 52nd  power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 30,317 that I would not land in the east for 52 straight landings!!!   Phew. . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map has black dots with names along I-80, but trust me, these are not towns.  Back in the day, each was a cluster of structures built to support the railroad operations through the desert.  Now?  Nada.

landing 2a

I’ll zoom back a little (Salt Lake City is about 75 miles east of my landing):

 landing 2b

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip in:

 

No doubt that I landed on salt flats, eh?  That would be the Bonneville Salt flats. 

Here’s a notated GE shot:

 GE 1

As you can see, the long arm of rock that juts out into the salt just north of my landing is a mountain range – the Newfoundland Mountains.  Here’s an oblique GE shot looking past my landing towards the Newfoundlands:

 GE oblique looking north

Zooming back, here’s a more regional view.  You can see that the Newfoundland Mountains are an island of bedrock surrounded by salt:

GE 2

Here’s a little background from Utah.com on the Bonneville Salt Flats:

The Bonneville Salt Flats are found west of the Great Salt Lake, in western Utah. They cover a large area (>30,000 acres, ~ and have a very unique environment. The flats can easily be seen as you drive I-80 between Salt Lake City and Wendover, NV.

The famous Bonneville Speedway is located in the western portion of the flats, near Wendover. It is perfectly flat and has a thick crust of salty soil. It looks like a frozen lake bed covered with snow. No vegetation grows in that area.

In other places, low mountains and hills break up the flat landscape. Sparse vegetation grows on hillsides and is pushing into the flat areas. On hot days, heat waves rise from the salty soil and create mirages that look amazingly real. If you believe your eyes, the dry desert looks like it is covered by water.

Although he never visited the salt flats, the area was named by geologist G.K. Gilbert in honor of Captain B.L.E. Bonneville, whose expeditions in the 1830’s first suggested that the area was part of an ancient lake basin.

The Bonneville Salt Flats and the Great Salt Lake are remnants of ancient Lake Bonneville.  During the last Ice Age, about 15,000 years ago, Lake Bonneville was the size of Lake Michigan. It covered one-third of present day Utah and parts of neighboring states. You can see traces of the shorelines, representing different levels of the receding lake, etched into the mountains surrounding the salt flats.

Here’s a Lake Bonneville map:

lake bonneville map

 

Here’s a cool Wiki shot of shoreline terraces from Antelope Island in Great Salt Lake:

 WaveCutPlatformsAntelopeIslandUT

The highest bench is an elevation of 5,102.  My landing elevation is 4,221.  Doing the math, there was at one time 881 feet of water over my landing spot!

I featured Lake Bonneville in my Dugway UT (revisited) post.  Type Dugway into the search box and check it out (if you’re so inclined).  I posted a great You Tube video on the huge flood that happened when Lake Bonneville suddenly drained . . .

Moving right along.  Funny thing.  When I was a kid, the whole family would gather in front of the TV and watch “Run For Your Life,” starring Ben Gazzara.  Ben’s character was terminally ill and given 9 – 18 months to live.  The whole premise of the show was him getting the most out of the end of his life.  Oops – the show lasted three years – go figure.  You are likely wondering why I’ve bothered to mention this show.  Here’s why:

This is the intro (it’s short; be sure to stick with it):

 

And yes, that is a shot of the Bonneville Speedway.  We are all led to presume that Ben Gazzara is driving – doing one of the things on his bucket list.  (Oh yea.  The term “bucket list” wasn’t around in 1965.)  Anyway, here’s a GE shot showing what you’re looking at (and note that the rock formation in the distance is Floating Island):

 GE Ben Gazarra

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot by Geofff (with pretty much the same trajectory) that shows a dirt road headed out towards Floating Island:

 pano geofff floating island

While perusing GE, I was checking out the string of Panoramio shots along I-80.  This caught my interest:

 GE metaphor map

“A Tree of Friendship:  A Metaphor for Life.”  Say what?  Here’s a Pano picture of the Tree by Airspeed Photo:

 pano metaphor by Airspeed Photo

It’s a sculpture and is actually entitled “Metaphor:  Tree of Utah.”  From Wiki:

Metaphor: The Tree of Utah, sometimes called the Tree of Life, is an 87-foot-tall sculpture created by the Swedish artist Karl Momen in the 1980s and dedicated in 1986. It is located in the desolate Great Salt Lake Desert of Utah on the north side of Interstate 80.

The sculpture, which is constructed mainly of concrete, consists of a squarish ‘trunk’ holding up six spheres that are coated with colorful natural rock and minerals native to Utah. There are also several hollow sphere segments on the ground around the base. The sculpture currently has a fence surrounding the base.

Inscribed on a plaque at the base of the sculpture are the words from Ode to Joy by Friedrich Schiller. It has been said that Momen was moved to create the tree after having a vision of a tree while driving across the desolate Bonneville Salt Flats.

Following the dedication of this work of art, Momen donated the sculpture to the State of Utah and returned to Sweden.  In 2011 he proposed creating a visitors center at the location with construction costs being paid for by donations [which obviously hasn’t happened.]

Here’s a close-up of the balls on the tree (Pano by Christopher Felt):

 pano close-up by christopher felt

Just for the heck of it, here’s a GE Street View shot of the Metaphor Tree:

 GE SV metaphor

I found a tongue-in-cheek write-up from Roadside America.  Here are some excerpts:

We give some credit to the State of Utah for at least tolerating experiments with environmental comedy. “Metaphor: The Tree of Utah” can’t be serious.

The Tree was created in the early 1980s by European artist Karl Momen. It was dedicated in 1986 as “A hymn to our universe whose glory and dimension is beyond all myth and imagination.” Artist Momen doesn’t have to look at it; he bought patch of land, built the thing, and went back to Sweden.

Near the base of the Tree, there are several fallen “leaves” — large spherical segments intentionally scattered on the salty ground. It’s where your traveling companions would pose if this were a tourist attraction instead of a work of art.

Not that they could pose even if they wanted to. Utah doesn’t want you to stop, and Momen didn’t spring for the cost of an exit ramp. There is no parking lot or pull-off. For years there were “Emergency Parking Only” signs along the highway, although a surprising number of emergencies happened right there, always with vehicles that had people with cameras.

In 2008 the “Emergency Parking Only” signs were replaced by a metal, barbed-wire-topped fence that now surrounds the sculpture. We’re not sure what kind of a metaphor that is, but it doesn’t seem very friendly.

I also found a blog, “Eccentric Roadside – When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” with a post that features the Tree.  I love the post title:  I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like:  Metaphor:  The Tree of Utah.

From the post:

Driving through western Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats affords the eccentric roadside traveler a surreal, other-worldly landscape, and it somehow seems appropriate that a Swedish sculptor would erect an 87-foot tall “tree” with giant tennis ball-like leaves painted in colorful shades here.

It’s a wonderful site to behold though, in all its weirdness and odd beauty, right down to the shard-like “leaves” strewn around its fenced-in base.

Coming across a great roadside work of art like this makes me as happy as leaving my cake out in the rain, with its sweet green icing flowing down, and I’ll never have that recipe again. How’s that for a metaphor?

Either you get the “cake out in the rain” reference or you don’t, so I won’t bother with any details.  If you don’t know what it’s about and are curious, just google “cake out in the rain.”  By the way, I totally relate to the older Richard Harris version . . . 

As mentioned earlier, the words to “Ode to Joy” are posted at the statue.  I went to You Tube to see what I could find.  Well, I’m a sucker for those flashmob things, so here goes:

 

It’s time for some GE Panoramio shots.  I’ll start with three shots featuring the Newfoundland Mountains.  Here’s one (by oldadit) looking south towards the flats:

 pano oldadit newfoundland

Wow – a spectacular landscape!  Here’s another (also looking south) by Utah~Dave AA71Z:

 pano Utah~Dave AA71Z  new found land

And here’s the obligatory old car shot – this one with the car gently parked on the side of the mountain (by Larry Hawkes).  His caption is “A little paint and a tune-up and she’ll be good to go :)”

 pano Larry Hawkes newfoundland

Moving along to the Flats.  Here’s a cool shot (by Micah Sheldon) of the western portion of the Flats in winter – when there’s often an inch or two of water:

 pano MicahSheldon

Here’s a great shot by Will Huff (willhuff.net):

 pano Will Huff

And some desiccation cracks by Cassegrain:

 pano cassegrain desication cracks

I’ll close with this other-wordly sunset shot by Nick Stelma:

 pano nick stelma

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Upper San Joaquin Valley, California

Posted by graywacke on March 13, 2015

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 2163; A Landing A Day blog post number 591.

 Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 51st straight western / midwestern landing (but thankfully a USer). . . CA; 100/116; 3/10; 29; 150.9.

Here we go again.   51 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east!  Just like my last bunch of posts, I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 51st power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 24,860 that I would not land in the east for 51 straight landings!!!   Phew. . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

I’ll have to call this a smack-dab-in-the-middle landing, as it turns out I landed very close to the geographic center of California!  More about that later.

My local landing map shows a plethora of small towns:

 landing 2a

As you can tell by the title of this post, none of these towns were hook-worthy (and trust me, I spent an inordinate amount of time searching for that elusive hook).  Here’s an expanded map view to provide a more regional setting:

landing 2b

 

My watershed analysis could hardly be simpler.  As you can see below I landed very close to the San Joaquin River (10th hit):

 landing 3a

Just for the heck of it, I added various upstream tributaries to the above map.  Expanding the view, here’s a broader view of the San Joaquin:

 landing 3b

See the peculiar gap where the river disappears?  The San Joaquin loses its flow thanks to incredible demands for municipal water supply (primarily Los Angeles) as well as Central Valley irrigation demands.  More about the poor river later.

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip in:

 

Staying with Google Earth, here’s a shot looking up the San Joaquin Valley:

 GE 1

No doubt about where a drop of water from my landing ends up!

I get the feeling that this is going to be a post that has a little of this and a little of that.  I think I’ll start with my previous smack-dab-in-the-middle-of comment.  Here’s a GE shot showing you how close I landed to the geographic center of the state:

 GE geographic center

And leave it to California!  There’s actually a monument there.  Here’s a GE Panoramio shot by WKCreations:

 pano WKCreations center of california

The next item on the agenda is the bridge over Stevens Creek Waterfall on the “Million Dollar Road.”  Evidently, one mile of the road cost one million dollars, a heck of a lot of money in the 1920s when it was built.  Here’s a StreetAtlas landing map showing the Million Dollar Road and the location of the Stevenson Creek Bridge, just a couple of miles from my landing:

 landing 4 - stevenson creek falls million dollar road

I found a couple of GE Panoramio shots of the bridge.  First, this one by Morsel:

pano morsel stevenson falls

And then one by S_Lamb20:

pano s_lamb20 stevenson falls

 

Cool spot, eh?  I then found a terrible You Tube video (by David Signor), that is fortunately very short.  Wait until you see the scene at the end!

 

Here’s a more professionally-produced You Tube video of biking on the road, by GoProBikeAdventures:

 

Next on my agenda is the Big Creek Hydroelectric Project.  What first caught my eye was this GE shot:

 GE Redinger Lake hydro

I wondered what was at the upstream end of the lake (the yellow oval), so I zoomed in:

  GE Redinger Lake

Hmmm.  Looks like a power station, with water flowing through some pipes, then through the power station and then out into the river.  Here’s another GE shot to give you some 3-D perspective:

GE Redinger Lake hydro (3)

So where does the water come from?  Out of the mountain?  I rolled up my sleeves and learned a little about the Big Creek Hydroelectric Project.  From Wiki:

The Big Creek Hydroelectric Project is an extensive hydroelectric power scheme on the upper San Joaquin River system.  The use and reuse of the waters of the San Joaquin River, its South Fork, and the namesake of the project, Big Creek – over a vertical drop of 6,200 ft  – have over the years inspired a nickname, “The Hardest Working Water in the World”.

The primary purpose of the project was to provide electric power for the fast-growing city of Los Angeles. Construction of the system’s facilities started in 1911, and the first power was transmitted to Los Angeles in 1913. Since then, the system was gradually expanded to its present size, with the last powerhouse coming on line in 1987.

Today, these facilities include 27 dams, miles of underground tunnels, and nine powerhouses with a total installed capacity of more than 1,000 megawatts.

Today, the Big Creek project generates nearly 4 billion kilowatt hours per year – about 12 percent of all the hydroelectric power produced in California.  The Big Creek reservoirs also provide irrigation and flood control benefits for the Central Valley, and are popular recreation areas. However, the project has had various environmental and social impacts, including the disruption of fish and animal migration, and the flooding of historical sites and traditional Native American lands.

Here’s a Wiki map (by Shannon1; yellow highlights by me):

 big_creek_2-wiki

Look closely, and you can see the pipeline stretching from Dam 6 down to Redinger Lake.  That’s where the water comes in that feeds those pipelines shown above in the various Google Earth shots.  Here’s a close-up map showing the approimate pipeline route:

 landing 5 water pipeline

Moving right along . . . so, how about that missing portion of the San Joaquin River?  From National Geographic (April 2014):

American Rivers today released its annual report of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, with California’s San Joaquin River at the top of the list.  Outdated water management, compounded by the current drought, have put the San Joaquin River at a critical crossroads.

It is hard to overstate the importance of the San Joaquin River watershed.  The watershed provides drinking water to more than 4.5 million people, including the city of San Francisco, and support numerous endangered or declining species. The river also supports some of the most productive agriculture in the world, irrigating more than two million acres of land.

But the San Joaquin is so overtapped, through excessive diversions and groundwater overdraft, that it runs dry over long stretches. So much groundwater is pumped that swaths of land are sinking.  The river’s salmon and steelhead populations are on the brink of extinction.  The current drought is placing additional stress on the river and revealing the inadequacies of status quo water management for both people and the environment.

In naming the San Joaquin the nation’s #1 Most Endangered River, American Rivers is calling on the California State Water Resources Control Board to increase flows in the river to support water quality, fish, and sustainable agriculture.  American Rivers is also urging Congress to preserve agreements and laws designed to protect the San Joaquin River and the jobs and communities it supports.

Well, there you have it.  Did you note that the article talked about land subsidence due to groundwater withdrawals?  Well, it looks like most of the damage happened decades ago.  Here’s a Wiki picture showing 28 feet of subsidence between 1925 & 1977:

 wiki subsidence

All righty then.  Time for some close-to-my-landing GE Panoramio shots.  Here’s one of the San Joaquin by David Husted, taken just below my landing:

 pano david husted river below landing

And here’s a Redinger Lake shot by TravelWithPavel:

 pano travelwithpavel  redinger lake

The next lake down from Redinger is Kerckhoff Lake.  I’ll close with this shot of the lake by CALedbetter:

 pano kerckhoff lake by CALedbetter

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Moose Lake, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on March 10, 2015

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 2162; A Landing A Day blog post number 590.

 Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 50th straight western / midwestern landing (and an OSer at that). . . MN; 77/60; 2/10; 28; 151.4.

Here we go again.   50 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east!  Just like my last bunch of posts, I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 50th power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 20,385 that I would not land in the east for 50 straight landings!!!   Phew. . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing shows that I landed a few miles east of Moose Lake (the town).  Note that, strangely, the lake at Moose Lake is Moosehead Lake:

 landing 2a

I’ll zoom out a little to show you a broader view.  Note the town of Cloquet (at the bend in I-35; more about that later):

 landing 2b

My watershed analysis shows that I landed in the watershed of the Portage River (first hit ever!); on to the Moose Horn River (first hit ever!); on to the Kettle River (first hit ever!):

 landing 3a

Zooming back, you can see that the Kettle discharges to the St. Croix (5th hit, making it the 156th river on my list of rivers with 5 or more hits); on to the MM (850th hit – nice round number):

 landing 3b

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip:

 

Here’s a GE Street View shot of the Portage River just before it discharges into Moosehead Lake:

GE SV portage r

 

Here’s a very local GE shot (looking east) showing Street View coverage:

 GE SV map

And as per usual, here’s the Street View shot looking towards my landing spot. 

 GE SV landing

Funny thing:  The Googlemobile driver was heading east on County Road 8, and he just quit (see end of yellow line, above).  He (or she) must have turned off the camera and turned around!

So, of course I googled Moose Lake, and of course, I first checked out Wiki, which said something about Moose Lake being devastated by the 1918 Cloquet fire.  Wiki has a separate entry for the fire itself:

On October 10, 1918, two men working near a railroad siding northwest of Cloquet saw a passenger train pass by the siding, and soon thereafter discovered a fire burning through grass and piles of wood. The fire could not be contained, and by October 12, fires had spread through northern Minnesota.

Many instances of mass deaths were reported. For example, in Moose Lake, an Associated Press Correspondent reported seeing seventy-five bodies piled in a burned building. On a road leading out of Moose Lake, “100 bodies were strewn here and there”, according to The New York Times. A relief worker reported that there were thirty bodies piled in a heap in a cellar between Moose Lake and Kettle River.

The fire left much of western Carlton County devastated, mostly affecting Moose Lake, Cloquet, and Kettle River. It was the worst natural disaster in Minnesota history in terms of the number of lives lost. In total, 453 lives were lost and 52,000 people were injured or displaced, 38 communities were destroyed, 250,000 acres (about 400 square miles) were burned.

Wow.  It’s hard to imagine something like this happening today.  I suspect that people simply could not outrun the fire.  Cars were fairly scarce, and roads were mostly dirt.  There’s no way a horse & buggy could be a safe way out, and most people didn’t have telephones.

Of course, I had to find a map.  Here’s one from Ookaboo (your source for free on-line photos):

 Cloquet_Moose_Fires_map_P7120308_map_m from ookaboo

You can see Moose Lake just above and to the left of the word “MINNESOTA.”  A word to my more gullible readers:  where it says “You Are Here,” you’re really not.

And here are some pictures (all of Moose Lake & immediate vicinity), starting with one of those cars that didn’t make it out:

car that didn't outrun the fire

 

Here are the remains of the Moose Lake Hospital:

SC4 2F r42

And a destroyed train and railroad bridge:

Moose Lake MN Fire 10-12-1918

And here’s a general scene of downtown Moose Lake:

moose lake downtown scene

And finally, this grim shot:

grave

Enough death and destruction.  Here’s a placid GE Panoramio shot of Moose Lake by Pennt50:

 pano moose lake pennt50

I’ll close with this lovely Pano shot by Gary Alan Nelson of Echo Lake (just southeast of Moose Lake):

 Lily Pads on Echo Lake

  

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Zap, North Dakota

Posted by graywacke on March 6, 2015

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 2161; A Landing A Day blog post number 589.

Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 49th straight western / midwestern landing (and an OSer at that). . . ND; 62/50; 2/10; 27; 151.0.

Here we go again.   49 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east!  Just like my last bunch of posts, I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 49th power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 16,716 that I would not land in the east for 49 straight landings!!!   Phew. . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows a string of towns (including Zap) along Route 200:

 landing 2

I have a pretty straightforward watershed analysis.  I landed in the watershed of Malnourie Ck which flows into Lake Sakakawea:

 landing 3a

Zooming back a little, you can see that Lake Sakakawea is the dammed up Missouri R (393rd hit); on to the MM (849th hit):

 landing 3b

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip:

 

And yes! There’s Street View coverage for the little local road just south of my landing:

 ge sv map

And here’s the Street View shot of my landing:

 ge sv landing

I checked out the four little towns you can see on my landing map.  Of course, I was rooting for Zap to have the hook, and guess what?  It not only has a hook, it has (in my opinion) a great hook!  (And, the other three towns were hookless).

Before diving into the hook, here’s what the town website has to say about the unusual name:

Zap was settled in 1913 along a Northern Pacific railroad spur line.  A railroad company official (Mr. Pettibone) in charge of naming the new villages, named our community Zap.  He chose Zap because there was a coal mine at the edge of town and Mr. Pettibone knew a coal-mining town in Scotland called Zapp.  He chose to Americanize the name and spelled it with only one “p”.   There are other myths about the naming of our town, but this is most likely the true story.

The ALAD truth patrol report:  A Google search of Zapp Scotland turns up absolutely nothing (except for references to Zap ND).  So, I really doubt that particular naming scenario.  Anyway, moving right along to the hook.  From Wiki:

Zap is probably most widely known for the Zip to Zap (also referred to as the Zap-In) which happened on May 10, 1969. It all started with an article written by Kevin Carvell that appeared in the ND State University Spectrum newspaper.  The article said in part:

Located in the valley of the scenic Knife River, Zap (Zip 58580) has thrown open its arms to students. The beautiful burg’s 250 residents welcome us to their shores. Shall we say no to this truly fine gesture of western hospitality? Of course not. On May 10, we and students like us from all over the Midwest will flock to Zap, the Lauderdale of the North.

As a result of this and other articles (which were also picked up by the Associated Press), between 2000 and 3000 people descended upon the small town of Zap for what was intended to be a fun spring break weekend.  Carloads and busloads and even chartered planes of people arrived from all parts of the country.

The residents of Zap were quick to embrace the idea. They saw an opportunity for publicity and to make some money. The two local bars stockpiled a supply of beer and local diners began marketing “Zapburgers” in anticipation of the event. “We thought, well, we’ll put ourselves on the map here,” remembered Norman Fuchs, the mayor of Zap in 1969. The publicity surrounding the event became quite tremendous.

The organizers of the Zip to Zap and the government and residents of Zap were caught up in a whirlwind of publicity and seemingly gave little regard to the organization of the event or how to deal with thousands of college-aged students who were out for a good time.

The Spectrum published a map of Zap and the surrounding area and published an article detailing the bars and cafes of Zap and the scenic beauty of the Knife River Valley. The article concluded with what was to become a prophetic statement, “In addition to these events, a full program of orgies, brawls, freakouts, and arrests is being planned. Do you dare miss it?”

Students began arriving in Zap on Friday, May 9, 1969. They quickly filled the town’s two taverns. The demand for beer was such that the tavern owners decided to double the price. This action upset the students, but in the long run it did not matter since all the beer was rapidly consumed.

Drunken students took to the streets of the small town and caused great concern among the locals, who quickly began to fear for their safety. The temperatures fell below freezing and the drunken college students started a bonfire in the center of town, using wood that was left over from a recent demolition project as well as furniture from one of the bars.

The townspeople, led by Mayor Fuchs, asked the students to leave: most complied but some did not. What had started out as a spring break get-together quickly turned into the only riot in North Dakota’s history. Local security forces were overwhelmed and the cafe and one of the bars were completely destroyed.

Governor William Guy called in 500 troops from the North Dakota National Guard to quell the riot. Over 1,000 partiers were still in Zap when the guard arrived on the scene at 6:30 am, although just 200 of them were still awake. The guardsmen with fixed bayonets roused the hungover students. There was little resistance to the dispersal.

This all took place in front of national media outlets that had gathered at Zap to document the occasion.

Wow.  I was a 19-year old college student when the Zip to Zap happened.  I have never heard of it, and I must not have been tuned in to the nightly news.

Of course, you must check out this “Zap Revisited” video (by Christopher Breitling):

 

Here are some pictures of the action.  First this from Minnesota State U archives:

 1969-Zip-to-Zap mn state u

And this, from Kizaz.com:

 zip-to-zap kizaz

And this, from Just Walt’s blogspot:

 zip2zap1 from just-walt's blog

And then there’s this shot from the Bismark Tribune:

 2ywmqp

Boy does that guy in the trashcan look like a Fraternity Brother of mine (although I forget his name).  He’s a year older, so I guess it’s possible.

There were a couple of newspaper articles about the 40th anniversary reunion.  From the Bismark Tribune, here are some excerpts from an article by Lauren Donovan:

Don Homuth hopes a few original National Guardsmen show up at the Zip to Zap party Saturday.

If they do, he envisions a “geezers guarding geezers” reunion. This time, they can drink a cold beer together, if geezers still drink beer.

Homuth, 64, is coming from Oregon for the 40th anniversary of the spring break party that put Zap on the map forever.

There’s no question, “We really are becoming old farts,” Homuth said.

He’s cheerleading a Zip to Zap reunion of others, like him, from North Dakota State University’s student newspaper and government. As students, they were all involved in promoting the 1969 Zap-in “happening” that ended with National Guard being called in before dawn on the second day of the event.

David Anderson (interviewed for this story), 65, remembered wearing his Guard uniform and carrying his rifle, no ammunition, with an affixed bayonet when he jumped off the camouflage truck at dawn the morning after.

His unit had been called in and spent the night at the Mott armory, drilling riot control formations until long past midnight when the order from Gov. William Guy came down to deploy to Zap.

What sticks in Anderson’s mind is how well the crowd-control formations – a V-shape with bayonets at point – worked to break up the partiers, though he remembers them as being pretty mellow and partied out by the time the Guard pulled in.

“It was an unorganized group against an organized group. There was not an angry confrontation. I never heard of any hard feelings or bitterness,” he said.

Another 40th reunion article was written by Chuck Haga for the Minnesota Post.  Some excerpts:

Plans for the “Zip to Zap” grew as stories appeared in college newspapers in Fargo and across the state. The Associated Press took note of the impending youth invasion and spread word around the country.

It ended in a drunken tumult. The local bar owner may have contributed to the rowdiness by raising the price of beer when a band he had hired started to play. Students trashed the place, tossing a jukebox through a window, and tore apart an abandoned building to fuel a bonfire on Main Street. According to the bar owner, they also threw much of his furniture onto the fire, including the jukebox.

Chuck Stroup plans to be back. A banker now in western North Dakota, he was NDSU student president in 1969 and is widely seen as father of the Zip to Zap.

“I was sitting in my office one evening and I was thinking about the poor suckers like me who weren’t going to Fort Lauderdale” for spring break in 1969, he told the Dickinson (N.D.) Press recently. “And I thought, well geez, NDSU knows how to party. Why don’t we have a party over a weekend out of town and invite all the other college kids.”

Kevin Carvell who wrote for the Spectrum, NDSU’s student newspaper, made sure everybody knew about Zap and how to get there, part of the famous (to us Nodaks) Rice Krispies Tour of three towns in western North Dakota. (Say it out loud: Zap, Gackle and Mott.)

Hold on a minute!!  Is that great or what??  The “Zap, Gackle & Mott” Rice Krispies tour!

“I got kind of carried away with the story,” Carvell, recently retired as an aide to U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., says now.

He said he was “mortified” when the guard was called out, and he fled to his hometown of Mott “and hid in the basement of my parents’ house for a couple days.”

The Dickinson ND paper caught up with a former guard soldier, Rick Price, who said the troops formed up outside Zap after midnight but didn’t march in until morning. They were nervous, he said. This was, after all, a time of massive student protests against the war in Vietnam.

Not to worry.  By morning, most of the students had passed out or fallen asleep.

Just remember:  the Zap Zip is 58580.

OK, how about some pretty pictures of Lake Sakakawea?  First, check out the little island across the lake:

 ge  indian hills island

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot of the island (Indian Hills Island) by iuric89:

 pano iurcic89 indian hills

Off to the west a few miles is McKenzie Bay.  Here’s a Pano shot by ManlyOne:

 mackenzie bay by manlyone

I’m always a sucker for a shot of sunflowers.  So I’ll close with this Pano shot by Whelm taken about 15 miles east of my landing:

 pano Whelm

 

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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

Livingston, Tennessee

Posted by graywacke on March 2, 2015

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 2160; A Landing A Day blog post number 588.

Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 48th straight western / midwestern landing. . . TN; 31/30 (pushing TN into the OSer camp); 2/10; 26; 150.6.

Here we go again.   48 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east?  Just like my last several posts, I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 48th power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 13,707 that I would not land in the east for 47 straight landings!!!   Phew. . .

In the spirit of full disclosure, here’s my Google Earth map showing all of the landings since Jan 2013:

 ge u.s. with landings and yellow line

Today’s landing is the eastern-most TN landing, and I had to nudge my yellow line (that separates western & midwestern landings from eastern landings) a tad east to keep this landing in the “midwest.”  I suppose that I could have called today’s landing “eastern,” but decided to wait for a no-doubt-about-it eastern landing.  

Anyway, to summarize, the above map shows my latest 185 landings, of which a measly 14 are east of the yellow line (and 171 are west of the line).  The 0.82 chance mentioned above is based on the relative areas west and east of the line. 

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

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

A drop of water that falls on my landing travels overland to Puncheon Camp Creek; on to the West Fork of the Obey River (first hit ever!); on to the Dale Hollow Lake (which is the dammed-up Obey River; on to the Obey River (first hit ever!); on to the Cumberland River (8th hit).  Here’s the map:

 landing 3a

Before I continue on, it is important that we all know how to pronounce “Obey.”  I found a You Tube piece (“Wild Side TV – the Obey River”).  The river’s name is pronounced right off the bat; if you want to see the whole thing, it’s an interesting piece about a river (the Obey) that was dead thanks to coal mining but has been brought back to life:

 

So, “OH-bee” it is.  Continuing, the Cumberland almost joins up with the Tennessee River (not quite), and ends up in the Ohio (134th hit):

 landing 3b

Of course, the Ohio ends up in the MM (848th hit).

True confessions:  I just realized that for my previous 7 landings in the Cumberland River watershed, I mistakenly documented that the Cumberland flowed into the Tennessee River!  Not to worry:  landing spreadsheet has been corrected!  I was shocked at my own sloppiness . . .

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip right on into beautiful North-Central Tennessee:

 

Here’s a GE shot, showing Street View coverage:

GE SV map

And of course, here’s the shot from the vantage of the orange dude:

GE SV landing

So, of course I checked out all of the towns around my landing spot.  It turns out that Livingston is by far the largest community (pop 3,500).  Although I ended up pretty much hookless, I settled on Livingston as my titutlar town.  Alas – I was particularly disheartened at my inability to find out anything interesting about Hanging Limb (like the origin of the name) . . .

Anyway, we’re looking at a light weight post.  In that vein, I’ll start with a simple little You Tube video (by Dixie Drifter) of a drive around the town square:

 

Sticking with You Tube, I found this News Channel 4 (Nashville) piece about Livingston, specifically about Hippie Jack Stoddard working to bring a music festival (“Live in Livingston”) to the town:

 

Ol’ Hippie Jack is quite the character.  He has organized his own music festival in nearby Crawford, formally known as “Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s Americana Roots Music, Camping & Arts Festival.”

Here’s a quote from an article in The Tennessean by Peter Cooper:

Jack Stoddart is Hippie Jack.

And Hippie Jack operates the world’s only hashtag-less music festival, and it’s going on right now. It’s not Bonnaroo. He calls it “Nonnaroo,” but it’s officially called the Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s Americana Roots Music, Camping & Arts Festival.

It is in Crawford [see my landing map, above] of “Where the heck is Crawford, Tennessee?” fame. Turns out, Crawford is a couple of hours away from Nashville.

“We don’t have cell phone coverage,” Stoddart says. “There’s no Facebook, no phones ringing. You can’t tweet that you’re there. You can actually be there, in person. Some things you just have to remember. You know you’re there. If nobody else believes you, who cares?”

Once you’re there, you can use your cell phone as a paperweight. You can also bear witness to a slew of elevated Americana music acts.

“People come and say, ‘I didn’t know anybody when I came here, but I never heard one bad note,’ ” he says. “We require that people be respectful of the performers, and when they take that step, they become enamored with the performers.”

Hippie Jack is both respectful of and enamored with performers, particularly those who write and sing their own stuff. He considers himself a cultural archivist, providing platforms for under-celebrated artists through his twice-yearly festivals, his television show (“Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s” airs on 160 public television stations throughout the country) and through a weekly radio show that airs each Saturday from 5 to 6 p.m. Central time on Knoxville station WDVX.

Here’s a promotional video about Hippie Jack’s world:

 

And here’s a map of Hippie Jack’s festival grounds in Crawford:

map of hippie jack's festival

Here’s a song, “Dance You Hippie Dance,” featuring Jack & friends:

 

I found a Jammin At Hippie Jack’s You Tube video by Paul Thorn (evidently he did an entire concert for Hippie Jack).  Well, I am a huge Paul Thorn fan.  OK, OK, I’ve only seen him once in concert, but he was great & he’s on my must-see list of performers.  Just for the heck of it, here’s Paul Thorn singing a song I thoroughly enjoyed live, “You Might Be Wrong.”

 

I’ll close with GE Panoramio shot by Rae Anne entitled “Fog in the Cove,” taken about 3.5 miles north of my landing:

 pano by Rae Anne

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mount Tenabo and the Cortez Mine, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on February 27, 2015

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 2159; A Landing A Day blog post number 587.

Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 47th straight western / midwestern landing (and rubbing salt in the wounds, it’s an OSer that bumps me back over 150). . . NV; 87/78; 3/10; 25; 150.3.

Here we go again.   47 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east?  Just like my last several posts, I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 47th power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 11,240 that I would not land in the east for 47 straight landings!!!   Phew. . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

Here’s a very local landing map:

 landing 2

Note Mt Tenabo, and the crazy patchwork of “roads” just west of the mountain.  It turns out that the roads are part of the Cortez Mine, which ends up being featured later in this post.

I backed out some to show the isolation of my landing spot:

 landing 2b

Incidently, I had a “Beowawe” post a while back (March 2009 to be more specific).  Of course, it’s chock full of fascinating information.  Feel free to check it out via the search tool.  Here’s my watershed analysis, showing that I landed in the Pine Creek watershed; on to the Humboldt River (25th hit).  For the record, the valley I landed in (with Pine Creek) is known as “Pine Valley.”

landing 3a

Zooming back a little, here’s a look at the entire Humboldt Watershed:

landing 3b

I added the Reese River for completeness’ sake, even though it has nothing to do with this landing.  Interestingly enough, while I’ve landed in the greater Humboldt watershed 25 times, I’ve only landed in the Reese River watershed once!  Seems peculiar, given how long the Reese River is.  

 

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

 

Here’s my usual GE shot showing Street View coverage:

 ge 1 showing sv

Here’s the shot from the orange dude standing on Route 278:

 ge sv landing

I realized that Route 278 continues north and ends up close to where Pine Creek empties in the Humboldt River.  Just for the heck of it, here’s a Street View shot from Route 278 (with Pine Creek directly adjacent), looking north to the Humboldt Valley:

ge sv mouth of pine creek

Here’s a shot of Mt Tenabo (from ColoradoCollege.edu), likely taken not far from my landing, looking west:

 mount-tenabo

From Wiki, about Mt Tenabo:

Mount Tenabo (Shoshoni: “Lookout Mountain”) is the principal peak in the Cortez Mountains. The Western Shoshone people assert that the mountain is of cultural and religious significance.

Silver ore was discovered at Mount Tenabo in 1862 and by the later half of the 1860s, there were at least 20 working silver mills.  Silver remained the principal mining commodity until the 1940s, when gold mining took over.

The Cortez Gold Mining operation opened in 1968, and is currently owned and operated by Barrick Gold. Since 2008, the Timbisha Shoshone tribe has been attempting to halt the expansion of the mine, saying that the damage to the land is irreversible and prevents the use of the lands for religious purposes.  The matter is still in the court system.

Back with GE, here’s an oblique shot looking east past Mt. Tenabo towards my landing:

 ge cortez mine mt tenabo

See the 2.5-mile scar on the landscape?  That’s the Cortez Mine discussed above, owned and operated by Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold producer.

They have an extensive website that includes a full presentation of their Cortez operations (which includes surface pit mining and an underground operation).  Here’s a cool picture of a fancy schmancy piece of underground mining equipment:

 barrick 01

Here’s one of blasting in the pit, with Mt. Tenabo in the background:

 barick 05

Here’s an overview shot of the pit, looking west:

 barrick 14

Wow.  Check out this cool picture of a big truck:

 barrick 16

And here’s a shot of the big trucks hauling ore to be processed (or hauling waste rock to be put wherever it is that they put it):

 barrick 13

Here’s some of a company write-up about the mining operations:

Cortez is one of the world’s largest and lowest cost gold mines, and the property also has excellent upside exploration potential.  The Cortez property covers approximately 2,800 square kilometers on one of the world’s most highly prospective mineral trends.

The mine produced 1.34 million ounces of gold in 2013 at all-in sustaining costs of $433 per ounce. In 2014, production is expected to be 880,000-920,000 ounces, primarily due to negative grade reconciliations which impacted production in the first half of 2014.

All-in sustaining costs are expected to be at the high end of the range of $750-$780 per ounce. In 2015, production is expected to be below one million ounces due to the sequencing and mining of ore and waste phases.

Proven and probable mineral reserves as at December 31, 2013, were 11.0 million ounces of gold.

Click HERE to go to Barrick’s page about the Cortez Mine.

Wow.  Pretty high finance going on here.  I looked up “all-in sustaining costs” and it is (I think) a comprehensive measure of the costs associated with producing an ounce of gold.  From Nasdaq, here’s a graph of gold costs over the last 3 years:

 nasdaq gold price

Check out 2013.  Prices were falling, but it still looks like they averaged about $1,400/oz.  Wow.  With all-in costs of only $433 for 2013, it looks like they made a few bucks (especially considering that they mined 1.34 million ounces).

OK, OK, so profits were way down in 2014.  But still!

Anyway – want to work there?  Here’s their promotional video about Cortez (actually very well done):

 

Enough about the mining operation.  There’s still the sticky issue of sacred Indian lands. 

Here’s what Earthworks“No Dirty Gold” (a webpage associated with the Western Shshone Nation) has to say:

Barrick Strikes Gold

In 2005, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved Barrick Gold’s request to explore 30,000 acres in an area around 15 miles from Mt. Tenabo, a site sacred to the Western Shoshone nation located in Nevada. Barrick Gold’s activities disturbed 250 acres of nationally recognized cultural historic sites.

Then in 2008, Barrick sought approval from the BLM for expansion of the Cortez gold mine directly onto Mt. Tenabo. The Cortez Hills Expansion Projection includes a new open pit, three new waste rock facilities, a new heap leach pad, new roads and facilities and the permanent loss of 817 acres of pinion trees.

Members of the Shoshone fear that project approval would threaten sacred Shoshone gravesites, disturb ritual grounds, harm important water sources, and reduce access to pine nuts, a traditional Western Shoshone food source that are harvested from the pinion trees.

In December, 2008, the BLM approved Barrick’s Cortez expansion onto Mt. Tenabo.  A year later, a federal appeals court issued an injunction to halt the mine, determining that the tribes had shown that the mine expansion would likely violate the National Environmental Policy Act.

However, this injunction was lifted in 2012, after a court found that Barrick Gold had corrected potential violations. The tribe is considering appealing this decision.

Click HERE to see the No Dirty Gold site about the mine.

 As is my custom, I’ll leave the controversy alone, except to say that nothing is easy and straightforward when there’s a clash of interests, values and cultures . . .

I’ll close with this GE Panoramio shot by Desert4wd, of Mineral Hill, an old mining area, taken about 10 miles east of my landing:

  pano Desert4wd mineral hill

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2015 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Scotts Bluff, Nebraska

Posted by graywacke on February 23, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now a once every three or 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 2158; A Landing A Day blog post number 586.

Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 46th straight western / midwestern landing (and rubbing salt in the wounds, it’s an OSer). . . NE; 60/55; 3/10; 149.9.

Here we go.   46 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east?  Just like my last post, I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 46th power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 9,216 that I would not land in the east 46 straight landings!!!   Phew. . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows a string of towns along Route 26:

 landing 2

I landed in the watershed of an unnamed tributary to the N Platte River (which probably has a name that I couldn’t find); on, of course, to the North Platte (29th hit); on to the Platte (63rd hit); on to the Missouri (392nd hit); on to the MM (847th hit).  Here’s my watershed map:

 landing 3

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

Route 29 runs north-south less than half a mile west of my landing:

 GE 1 sv map

Here’s the Street View shot from the point of view of the orange dude:

 GE SV landing

I headed a little further north on Route 29, and took this Street View shot looking SSE:

 GE SV N of landing

As you’d expect, I checked ‘out all of the towns on my local landing map (at least the ones in Nebraska), but couldn’t find anything that would be of burning interest to my readers.  So, I decided to feature Scotts Bluff (a rock formation), after which the town of Scottsbluff was named.

I’ll admit to some frustration here.  Landing God, give me a break!  Not only do I land out west all of the time, but I fairly recently (November 2014) landed nearby and also featured hunks of rock that stick up out of the prairie that a bunch of pioneers wrote about in their journals!  Enough already!  But just as the pioneers had to persevere, so must I.

With a little help from GE’s Street View, here goes nothing (well, not much, anyway):

It’s 1855 and you’re a pioneer on your way to Oregon.  You’ve been crossing the seemingly-endless prairie with few if any landmarks.  Your trail follows the North Platte River, keeping to the south bank.  Then, off to your left, you see a bump on the horizon (and please block out the telephone poles, fencing and paved road):

 SV courthouse & jail

Our guide (who had made the trip before) lets everyone know that we’re looking at Courthouse & Jail rocks.  We continue past the rocks (about five miles down the trail).  We take a little detour for a closer look:

 courthouse_jail_rocks-wiki1

We talk about the fact that we’re really getting out west now; we continue on for about 10 miles, and then see a sharp point in the distance:

 SV chimney

Our guide simply says, “Chimney Rock!”  After another five miles, we approach the rock and get a closer look:

 1024px-Chimney_Rock_NE  Mike Tigas

We’re hardly by Chimney rock and we see another landmark:

 SV Castle Rock

“Castle Rock it is!”   Another five miles later, we get a closer look:

 pano castle rock by bfgb

After we pass, we travel another seven or eight miles when we see this:

 SV Scotts Bluff

“You’re looking at Scotts Bluff!  Our trail leads right at the base of it.”  About five miles later, there we are:

 Saddlerock_Scotts-Bluff_NM_Nebraska_USA wiki

That’ll do for our little journey along the Oregon Trail.  Photo attributes:  Courthouse & Jail – Wiki (Caddywagon); Chimney – Wiki (Mike Tigas); Castle – Panoramio (bfgb); Scotts Bluff – Wiki (Decumanus).

Here’s a map (from the National Park Service) of our route and the various landmarks:

 PlatteValleyOregonTrailMap national park service

By the way, see “Mitchell Pass?”  That’s a gap between two bluffs where most of the travelers passed.  Here’s a lovely picture of the pass (this would be our travelers’ view looking back), by Linda Hyde Jackson (Bucknell.edu):

mitchells pass by Linda Hyde Jackson (Bucknell University)

Here’s a GE shot showing the landmarks and the various Street View vantage points I used along the way:

 GE rocks and viewpoints

I’ll close with this Trip Advisor shot of Scotts Bluff:

 scottsbluff-ne-was-named trip advisor

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Stonyford and Logoda, California

Posted by graywacke on February 20, 2015

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 2157; A Landing A Day blog post number 585.

Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 45th straight western / midwestern landing (but at least it’s a USer, and the second in a row at that). . . CA; 99/115; 4/10 (first time above 3/10 in 22 landings!); 149.5 (back below 150!).

But still.  45 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east?  Just like my last post, I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 45th power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 7,557 that I would not land in the east for 45 straight landings!!!   Phew. . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing shows that my two titular towns are way out in the middle of nowhere:

 landing 2

My watershed analysis shows that drainage from my landing makes its way into East Park Reservoir; on to the Stony Creek and (even though the map doesn’t shot it), on to the Sacramento River (29th hit):

 landing 3

Of course, the Sacramento flows south to San Francisco Bay (which, incidently, is fed from the south by the San Joaquin River and from the east by the Mokelumne River).  Didn’t know that?  Me neither.  Here’s a map:

 landing 3a

Anyway, it’s time for my spaceflight in.  The Eagles have landed:

 

A little rough around the edges.  My production skills have a way to go . . .

Here’s an oblique GE shot looking northwest:

GE 1

 

So, of course, I checked out the only two towns on my landing horizon. 

From StonyfordCa.org:

In its earliest incarnation as Smithville, Stonyford history dates back to 1863 when John Smith traveled from Adams County, Illinois, to this mountain-nested valley on the banks of Stony Creek. As reported in a locally written history, John Smith established a hotel, blacksmith shop, and the first lumber and flour mills in the area.

From those beginnings in 1863 to the present, Stonyford has grown hardly at all. There is no hotel in town any longer, and the only businesses are a grocery store-gas station and a bar and restaurant. The sign at the entrance to the town still says “Stonyford, Population 250.”

And then continuing with some straightforward honesty not often seen on municipal websites, this:

While an abundance of natural beauty is Stonyford’s strength, isolation is its weakness. The two closest towns of reasonable size are Willows and Colusa. Each is about 40 miles away. The closest cites with good shopping opportunities are Yuba City/Marysville, Chico, and Woodland. Each of these cities is 65-75 miles away. Sacramento is about 110 miles and the Oakland/San Francisco area about 165 miles distant.

 So how about Lodoga? From Wiki:

The postal authorities established a post office at Lodoga in 1898, closed it in 1913, reopened it later in 1913, closed it again in 1917, reopened it again in 1924 and closed it for good in 1954.

That’s the highlight of Lodoga’s history??  Here’s more:

The locality stands at the southern end of the East Park Reservoir, formed by the 1910 East Park Dam. The dam, the reservoir and other surrounding irrigation facilities were one of the first projects undertaken by the United States Bureau of Reclamation.

And that, dear friends, is that.

Fortunately, I landed in a pretty area, so here comes some Pano Pics.

Here’s one taken by Scott D a couple of miles north of my landing, looking west towards Snow Mountain:

 pano Scott D looking west, just north

And another by Scott D of East Park Reservoir:

 pano Scott D reservoir

Here’s a lovely landscape shot by Wanderlust_Biker, from a couple of miles north of my landing:

 pano wanderlust_biker

Here’s the closest Pano shot to my landing (about a half mile north), by Andy Tomaselli:

 pano Andy Tomaselli a half mile north

Switching gears . . .

A few days ago, I landed on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera.  I mean, like, actually landed.  Here are some pictures I took over the last couple of days of the incredible beauty right in front of our house (on Gaulding Cay Beach).

IMG_0356

 

IMG_0360 (2)


 

IMG_0367

IMG_0348

IMG_0383 (2)

 That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers