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Othello, Hanford and the Channeled Scablands, Washington

Posted by graywacke on May 23, 2016

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

Landing number 2269; A Landing A Day blog post number 699.

Dan:  Today’s landing is my first in Washington since I changed my random lat/long approach; so, of course, it’s a USer and my Score went down (from 813 to a new record low, 778).  Haven’t a clue what I’m talking about?  Check out “About Landing (Revisited),” above.  Don’t care?  Don’t bother . . . (and just continue reading).

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

 

Here’s my streams-only map (check out the poetic names of my local streams):

landing 3

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of the Potholes East Canal; on to the Ringold Wasteway; on to the Columbia River (158th hit).  More about potholes (not the canal) in a while.  Also – I could find nothing about why the Ringold Wasteway is called the Ringold Wasteway, or, in fact why it’s called a wasteway at all . . .

It’s time for my spaceflight in to southeast Washington.  Click HERE, enjoy the flight, and then hit your back button.

Here’s my GE SV map:

ge sv landing map

 

And here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing

I don’t have to travel far to get a look at my local drainage:

ge sv drainage map

And here’s the view (of Potholes East Canal):

ge sv drainage

So, what about Othello?  I think I need to start with the name.   Well, the New York Times dug into that issue in a 2011 article by Katharine Q. Seelyeaug, entitled “All the Town’s a Stage Where the Bard’s Works Inspire Street Names.”

Before quoting from Ms. Seelyeaug’s piece, here’s a Street Atlas map of the north side of town:

sa othello

FYI, Desdemona is a character in Shakespeare’s “Othello.”  Elsinore is a town (and a castle) that was home to Hamlet (and, by the way, was featured in an ALAD post).  And Shelley?  Well, nothing to do with Shakespeare except that Percy Shelley joins Shakespeare as one of England’s most celebrated poets.

So, here are some excerpts from the NY Times article:

“Welcome to Othello” is emblazoned on the giant water tank that greets visitors driving in off the highway.

And there are others of his ilk lurking. Here is Hamlet Street. It intersects with Macbeth, and also with Desdemona. Running parallel to Hamlet is a street called Elsinore, evoking the gloom-and-doom castle that the melancholy Dane called home.

ny times troy eric griggs

LuAnn Morgan, secretary and archivist of the Othello Community Museum said of the town’s naming history:  the name “Othello” was proposed for the settlement’s first post office by Nettie B. Chavis, who homesteaded here from Tennessee in 1902.  Mrs. Chavis suggested the name in honor of a short-lived post office called Othello in Roane County, Tenn., that existed only from 1883 to 1890. Mrs. Chavis’s connection to the one in Tennessee — and why it was named Othello — are not clear.

Enough Othello; time to take a quick look at Hanford, which is actually the “Hanford Site.”  From Wiki:

The Hanford Site is a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex operated by the US federal government.  The Site occupies 586 square miles, roughly equivalent to half of the total area of Rhode Island.   Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, the site was home to the B Reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world.  Plutonium manufactured at the site was used in the first nuclear bomb, tested at the Trinity site, and in Fat Man, the bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan.

Here’s a GE shot of the facility (which is about 30 miles wide):

ge hanford

Back to Wiki:

During the Cold War, the project expanded to include nine nuclear reactors and five large plutonium processing complexes, which produced plutonium for most of the more than 60,000 weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Site Selection

In September 1942, the Army Corps of Engineers placed the newly formed Manhattan Project under the command of General Leslie R. Groves, charging him with the construction of industrial-size plants for manufacturing plutonium and uranium.  Groves recruited the DuPont Company to be the prime contractor for the construction of the plutonium production complex. DuPont recommended that it be located far away from the existing uranium production facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The ideal site was described by these criteria:

  • A large and remote tract of land
  • A “hazardous manufacturing area” of at least 12 by 16 miles
  • Space for laboratory facilities at least 8 miles from the nearest reactor or separations plant
  • No towns of more than 1,000 people closer than 20 miles from the hazardous rectangle
  • No main highway, railway, or employee village closer than 10 miles from the hazardous rectangle
  • A clean and abundant water supply
  • A large electric power supply
  • Ground that could bear heavy loads.

In December 1942, Groves dispatched his assistant Colonel Franklin T. Matthias and DuPont engineers to scout potential sites. Matthias reported that Hanford was “ideal in virtually all respects,” except for the farming towns of White Bluffs and Hanford, and several Indian reservations.  The federal government quickly acquired the land under its eminent domain authority and relocated some 1,500 residents.

The Hanford Site broke ground in March 1943 and immediately launched a massive and technically challenging construction project.  The construction workers (who reached a peak of 44,900 in June 1944) lived in a construction camp near the old Hanford townsite. The administrators and engineers lived in the government town established at Richland Village, which eventually had accommodation for 4,300 families and 25 dormitories.

Construction of the nuclear facilities proceeded rapidly. Before the end of the war in August 1945, there were 554 buildings at Hanford, including three nuclear reactors and three plutonium processing “canyons”, each 820 ft long.

The effort that went into this is simply amazing.  

The Hanford Site is one of the most notorious (if not the most notorious) environmental clean-up project in the United States.  Wiki claims it is the world’s largest clean-up, and quotes the following figures:  $13.4 billion spent through 2013; $3 billion/year for the following six years, and then $2 billion/year through 2046.  Total costs, well over $100 billion.  Phew.

Time to move to a subject near and dear to my heart, the scablands.  Regular ALAD readers probably know that I love to write about Glacial Lake Missoula and the massive flooding that occurred when a series of ice dams (that created the lake) broke.  I’ve talked about it in several posts, most notably my Missoula MT post and a Davenport WA post.  Anyway, here’s some background, from ForMontana.com:

One of the most fascinating events of the last ice age was a series of cataclysmic floods associated with Glacial Lake Missoula. The shorelines of the ancient lake can be seen along mountainsides around Missoula. In the photo shown above, the light snow on Mt. Jumbo makes it easier to see these ancient shorelines.  At times the lake was 950 feet deep where Missoula sits today (and up to 2000 feet deep in other areas).

Here’s what happened . . .

As the glacial ice moved south and reached its maximum about 18,000 years ago, it extended into western Montana and Idaho and it blocked the flow of the Clark Fork River.  The water began to build up behind (south of) the ice dam. This formed a huge lake that geologists have named “Glacial Lake Missoula.”

When the Lake Missoula was at its highest, the water was about 2,000 feet deep and contained about as much water as Lake Erie.  Once the water filled in the area behind the ice dam, the lake didn’t last for long.  Since ice floats, it doesn’t make for a very durable dam. Consequently, it was only a matter of time before the lake dislodged its ice dam. With the dam displaced, the 480 cubic miles of water impounded behind it would have been unleashed in a cataclysmic flash flood of incredible proportions.  The water would have thundered through present-day Spokane and continued across eastern Washington to the Columbia River, scouring the land as it swept through.

Geologists think that this happened many times. Once the front of the glacier was swept away by the water it had impounded, the lobe of ice grew back into the area and re-dammed the river. Geologists believe that at Lake Missoula formed and flooded at least 41 times between 15,500 and 13,200 years ago.

About 50 miles north of the my landing is a very cool feature called the Dry Falls.  During the flooding events, an unimaginable volume of water poured over this cliff (GE Panoramio shot by Jim Nieland):

pano jim nieland

So, I landed near channeled scablands (where the water cascaded after going over the above cliff). Here’s what Wiki has to say about them:

The Channeled Scablands are a relatively barren and soil-free landscape on the eastern side of the U.S. state of Washington that was scoured by floods unleashed when the ice dams that held back the glacial lake Missoula failed.

Geologist J Harlen Bretz coined the term “channeled scablands” in a series of papers written in the 1920s. The debate on the origin of the Scablands that ensued for four decades became one of the great controversies in the history of earth science.

His theories of how they were formed required short but immense floods, for which Bretz had no explanation. Bretz’s theories met with vehement opposition from geologists of the day.

In 1925, J.T. Pardee suggested to Bretz that the draining of a glacial lake could account for flows of the magnitude needed. Pardee continued his research over the next 30 years, collecting and analyzing evidence that eventually identified Lake Missoula as the source of the Missoula Floods and creator of the Channeled Scablands.

Pardee’s and Bretz’s theories were accepted only after decades of painstaking work and fierce scientific debate.  In 1979 Bretz received the highest medal of the Geological Society of America, the Penrose Medal, to recognize that he had developed one of the great ideas in the earth sciences.

“Potholes” (and thus the name of my local drainageway) are also a feature commonly found in scabland terrain.  They are near-circular depressions caused by eddies associated with the massive floods.  

Here’s a Scablands map (from Eastern Washington University), with the Othello area highlighted (the blue areas are Scablands).

dave-ewu-press-scabland-map

Here’s a GE shot showing the Channeled Scablands near my landing:

ge scablands

Here’s a classic Channeled Scablands shot (near Othello, check out the caption), from HugeFloods.com:

Drumheller_Channels

By the way, a perusal of HugeFloods.com is well worth a time investment. 

There are a ton of GE Panoramio shots from this area.  Here’s another classic Channeled Scablands shot (by C. Hansen):

pano C. Hansen

And another (by Desert Kudzu):

pano desert kudzu

There are numerous natural lakes in the vicinity, formed in depressions caused by the flooding. The next three Pano shots show some local lakes.  First this, by Marvin Martian:

pano marvin martian

And this, by Midnight Rider:

pano midnight rider

And this, by Walk and Talk.

pano walk and talk

I’ll close out this post with this cool shot by Steve G. Bisig:

The Harvest Full Moon rising over rock formations in Grant County, Washington on a late September Summer evening.

The Harvest Full Moon rising over rock formations in Grant County, Washington on a late September Summer evening.

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

 

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Bishop, Big Pine and the High Sierras, California

Posted by graywacke on May 19, 2016

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

Landing number 2268; A Landing A Day blog post number 698.

Dan:  This is my fourth California landing since changing my random lat/long procedure, and it was just enough to nudge CA from USer to OSer (of course, making my Score go up).  Curious as to what I’m talking about, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”  If you want the whole scoop, check out “About Landing.”

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

My streams-only map:

landing 3a

You can see that I landed in the watershed of Lamarck Creek, on to the Middle Fork of Bishop Creek; on to Bishop Ck.  Zooming back:

landing 3b

The Bishop makes its way to the Owens River (3rd hit).  The Owens is internally drained (note that it just dead-ends on the above map) and used to discharge to and maintain Owens Lake (nowhere to be seen on the above map).  But these days, Owens Lake is a shadow of its former self (more about this in a minute).   You can see I highlighted the Los Angeles Aqueduct.  More about this coming as well.

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to E-Cen CA and the High Sierras.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and click your back button.

Here’s an oblique GE shot, looking east down to Upper Lamarck lake (into which runoff from my landing site obviously goes):

ge landing looking east

But the more spectacular view is this one, looking west towards the spine of the High Sierras:

ge landing looking west

Pretty cool, eh?  By the way, the Sierra Nevada range stretches a long way north, past Lake Tahoe.  But the highest part of the Sierra Nevada (aka the High Sierras) are in the southern part of the range (which includes the vicinity of my landing down to Mount Whitney, about 50 miles south).

I have no decent Street View shot of my landing, but I could find a shot of the Middle Fork of the Bishop Creek:

ge sv mfbc map

And here’s what the orange dude sees (looking downstream):

ge sv mfbc down

And looking upstream:

ge sv mfbc up

So, Bishop Creek flows to the Owens River.  Here’s an Owens River watershed map from Wiki:

OwensRiverMap DEMIS Mapserver modified by Shannon1

At least this map shows Owens Lae.  And here’s what Wiki has to say:

In the early 1900s the Owens was the focus of the California Water Wars, fought between the city of Los Angeles and the inhabitants of Owens Valley over the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Obviously, LA won:

Since 1913, the Owens River has been diverted to Los Angeles, causing the ruin of the valley’s economy and the drying of Owens Lake.

Sometimes Wiki sounds like an editorial page (“the ruin of the valley’s economy . . .”).

Perusing GE, I found where the Owens is diverted to the LA Aqueduct:

ge aqueduct 1

 

Here’s a close-up:

ge aqueduct 2

 

And a Pano shot by Bruce Bernard of the Aqueduct:

pano bruce bernard aqueduct

Here’s some Wiki info on Owens Lake:

Unlike most dry lakes in the Basin and Range Province that have been dry for thousands of years, Owens held significant water until 1913, when much of the Owens River was diverted into the Los Angeles Aqueduct, causing Owens Lake to dry up by 1926.  Today, some of the flow of the river has been restored, and the lake now contains some water. Nevertheless, as of 2013, it is the largest single source of dust pollution in the United States.

Before the diversion of the Owens River, Owens Lake was up to 12 miles long and 8 miles wide, covering an area of up to 108 square miles. In the last few hundred years before the diversion, the lake had an average depth of 23 to 50 feet.

Here’s a Pano shot (by Eric Cobb) of Owens Lake today:

pano eric cobb

There you have it.

Switching to the town of Bishop website:

By 1905, the City of Los Angeles and all of Southern California was growing so rapidly it was running out of water.  Agents of the City of Los Angeles came to the Owens Valley and recognized it as source of water that could fuel that city’s rapid growth.  With the cooperation of the federal government, Los Angeles had acquired enough water rights and property and constructed an aqueduct so that it began exporting water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles in 1913.

The acquisition of these rights and the export of the water led many to believe the valley had been betrayed.  The battle between the Owens Valley and Los Angeles for control of the valley and its water is famous in the west and the subject of written works and movies.  Today, the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power – known as DWP – own the vast majority of the floor of the Owens Valley including around and in the City of Bishop.

Remember – this is the Bishop town website.  I’d say there’s bitterness to this day . . .

Moving south to Big Pine, from Wiki:

Big Pine has a significant geologic feature (an earthquake scarp) related to the 1872 Lone Pine earthquake.

So here’s some information about the quake from Wiki:

The 1872 Lone Pine earthquake struck on March 26 with an estimated magnitude of 7.4 to 7.9. Its epicenter was near Lone Pine, California in Owens Valley. Historical evidence detailing the damage it caused, fault scarps, and the geographic extent to which noticeable movement was felt led researchers to the high magnitude estimate. It was one of the largest earthquakes to hit California in recorded history and was similar in size to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

The earthquake resulted from sudden vertical movement of 15–20 feet and right-lateral movement of 35–40 feet on the Lone Pine Fault and part of the Owens Valley Fault. This particular event created fault scarps from north of Big Pine (55 mi north of Lone Pine), to 30 mi south of Lone Pine.

Here’s a picture of the scarp (from Wiki), which is the rocky slope in front of the person:

800px-Lone_Pine_fault_scarp-1200px

So that slope didn’t exist prior to the earthquake, and then it just popped up!

Back to the Wiki write-up:

The earthquake occurred on a Tuesday morning and leveled almost all the buildings in Lone Pine and nearby settlements.  Of the estimated 250–300 inhabitants of Lone Pine, 27 are known to have perished and 52 of the 59 houses were destroyed.

The quake was felt strongly as far away as Sacramento, where citizens were startled out of bed and into the streets. Giant rockslides in what is now Yosemite National Park woke naturalist John Muir, then living in Yosemite Valley, who reportedly ran out of his cabin shouting, “A noble earthquake!” and promptly made a moonlit survey of the fresh talus piles.

The shock was felt over most of California and much of Nevada. Thousands of aftershocks occurred, some severe.

All right.  Time for some GE Panoramio shots all from within a measley 1.5 miles of my landing!  These are all lake shots; here’s a GE shot with the lakes labeled:

ge pano shots

And to give you a sense of topography, here’s an oblique shot (looking west):

ge pano shots2

Even though the Wonder Lakes aren’t far, it would be quite the challenge to walk from my landing over the ridge to the lakes.

Anyway, I’ll start with Grass Lake, about 1.5 miles east of my landing. 

By Backpacknaked:

pano backpacknaked

By Maujds:

pano maujds

Moving to the Lower Lamarck Lake (less than a mile east of my landing).  By Duano:

pano Duane-O lower lamarck

By Jotakipik:

pano jotakipik lower lamarck

And now to Wonder Lakes (less than a mile northeast of my landing).  By Cam Stone:

pano cam stone

Also Cam Stone:

pano cam stone 2

Karen Najarian:

pano karen najarian

Professor Frink:

pano professor_frink

And we’ll close with Upper Lamarck Lake, adjacent to my landing.  By David Smeeth:

pano david e smeeth 2

Also by David Smeeth:

pano david e smeeth almost tropical

And finally, this by Bensz86 (with my landing somewhere in the upper right):

pano bensz86 lamarck lake 1

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

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Bowdon, Sykteston and Chaseley, North Dakota

Posted by graywacke on May 15, 2016

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

Landing number 2267; A Landing A Day blog post number 697.

Dan:  My third landing in North Dakota was a little too much (relative to its area), so it is OS and my Score went up a little (from 807 to 810).  No idea what I’m talking about?  Check out “About Landing (Revisited),” above.

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Rocky Run, which was named on my StreetAtlas map, but without a stream course.  I added the blue line:

landing 3a

You can see that the Rocky makes its way to the James River (21st hit).  Zooming back quite a bit, you can see that the James travels quite a distance before discharging to the Missouri (411th hit); on, of course, to the MM (887th hit):

landing 3b

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to central ND.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and then hit your back button.

I’ll combine the Street View (SV) of my landing with the SV of Rocky Run (or a tributary thereof):

ge sv map

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv

Of the five towns you can see on my local landing map, the three titular towns are interestingly related.  I’ll start with Bowdon.  From Wiki:

Bowdon (pop 131) was founded in 1899 by Richard Sykes, a landowner from England who named it after Bowdon, near Manchester where he lived.

I figured there wasn’t going to be much in the way of hooks for this landing, so I thought I’d check out Bowdon England.  Well, not much there, either.  I found a picture of a cool old house in Bowdon (from, of all places, the website of an electrical contractor in Bowdon – Anglo Electrical – who had worked on this house):

anglo electrical.co.uk bowdon house

Perusing the Wiki entry for Bowdon, I found this under “Notable People:”

Richard Sykes [already mentioned above] – local businessman and a pioneer of Rugby Football, lived in Bowdon and owned land in North Dakota, USA. He founded the town of Bowdon, North Dakota in 1899 which he named in tribute to his residence here.

I knew about North Dakota, but not about rugby.  Anyway, Richard Sykes has his own Wiki page:

Richard Sykes (1839 – 1923) was a pioneering rugby player who helped found two major clubs and became a landowner in North Dakota, founding five towns there.

Sykes spent 18 months in Heidelberg, Paris and Geneva. He returned to England and helped to form the Manchester Football Club in 1860, being the club’s first Captain. Then he went to America and over the years acquired considerable land holdings. He continued to live in England, but made annual trips to the States where he founded and named five North Dakota towns:

–  Sykeston, after his family
–  Bowdon, after his hometown
–  Edgeley, after his birthplace
–  Chaseley, after the English home of an old friend
–  Alfred, “because it was a good English name”.

He introduced rugby football to colleges and universities in the American west and also introduced golf links to the American northwest.

In 1904, at the age of 65 he married Fanny Elizabeth Walton of Broughton, Salford, and sailed for the United States on their wedding day to make their future home, settling at Montecito, California.

Excuse me!  Old Richard was quite the bon vivant!

A quick detour from ND & England:  You see above that Richard was an early settler in Montecito.  Check out what Wiki has to say about the place now:

Montecito (pop 8,965) is the home of a number of celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges, Rob Lowe, Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Barrymore, Megyn Price, and Eric Schmidt. It boasts some of the most spectacular and expensive real estate in the United States.

I randomly looked for real estate for sale in Montecito, and found this:

imagereader

imagereader (1)

It’s yours for only $13,650,000.  If you can’t quite afford that, don’t worry.  I’m sure the owner would accept an offer of $13,500,000 . . .

Going back to North Dakota, I’ll stick with towns near my landing founded by Mr. Sykes. 

Before leaving Bowdon, here’s a “Welcome to Bowdon” sign (sort of) by Mitch Wahlsten (Flickr screen shot, since Flickr’s not friendly about “save as”; I hope Mitch doesn’t mind):

flickr mitch Wahlsten bowdon

And here’s a cool tornado video taken just outside of Bowdon by Hillnado57:

 

Besides Bowdon, we have Chaseley (named after the English home of an old friend of Richard Sykes) and, of course, the irresistible town name (from Richard’s perspective), Sykeston.

Chaseley is veritably hookless.  All (and I mean all) I could find is this GE Panoramio shot by Jerry Reiswig:

pano jerry reiswig

 

Moving over to Sykeston, here’s another Flickr shot by Mitch:

flickr mitch Wahlsten sykeston

And here’s the banner from the town’s webpage:

welcome to sykeston

So, I guess I need to check out Travis Hafner.  From Wiki:

Travis “Pronk” Hafner (born 1977) is a former professional baseball player (a designated hitter and first baseman) who played from 2002 to 2013 for the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. He has the most home runs for a player born in North Dakota, and tied the MLB-record for grand slams in one season with 6.

His nickname, “Pronk”, was given to him by former teammate Bill Selby during spring training of 2001.  Some people referred to him as “The Project” and others  “Donkey” for the way he looked when running the bases.

[So, “Project” + “Donkey” = Pronk.]

In 2006, Malley’s Chocolates of Cleveland unveiled the ‘Pronk Bar’, a milk chocolate candy bar named in honor of Hafner.  Hafner’s own product, “Pronk Beef Jerky” hit shelves in mid-2007.

From Cleveland.com (by Dennis Manoloff of the Plain Delaer – April 8, 2013) here’s a nice little story:

On opening day for the Indians, Hafner returned to Cleveland as a Yankee.  In the first of a four-game series, he was 2-for-3 (with a three-run homerun in the first inning), two walks, four RBIs and three runs, leading the Yanks to a 11-6 victory. The only pitcher to solve the Pronk riddle was Tribe closer Chris Perez, who induced a sharp grounder to second baseman Jason Kipnis in shallow right field in the ninth.

When Hafner was introduced as part of the starting lineup during pregame ceremonies, he received a strong ovation. He tipped his cap multiple times:

New York Yankees Travis Hafner waves his cap as he is introduced to the Progressive Field crowd April 8, 2013 during the Cleveland Indians home opener. (John Kuntz / The Plain Dealer)

New York Yankees Travis Hafner waves his cap as he is introduced to the Progressive Field crowd April 8, 2013 during the Cleveland Indians home opener. (John Kuntz / The Plain Dealer)

And here are some snippets from his post-game interview:

http://video-embed.cleveland.com/services/player/bcpid1949055968001?bctid=2287221000001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAQBxUNqE~,xKBGzTdiYSSRqIKPsPdkNW3W_DNtPBTa

 

Seems like a really nice guy – I see why Sykeston is proud of him.

Time for some GE Pano shots.  Here’s one by DeVane Webster, of a funny little round house (about 10 miles SE of my landing).  It’s obvious someone really cares about the house:

pano DeVane Webster

To see it from another perspective, here’s a close-up GE shot of the house:

ge 1

Also about 10 miles S of my landing is this gem of a house (and a gem of a photo), by Scott Knox:

pano scott knox S of landing

Twelve miles due north of my landing is this shot by H. Frisco Rose (great name, and I agree entirely his decision to go by “Frisco,” regardless of what the “H” stands for):

pano h Frisco Rose

I’ll close with a couple of shots in Bowdon by JB The Milker (who I’ve featured in previous ND posts).  First a bank in downtown Bowdon:

pano jb the milker 2

And then this lovely winter barn shot:

pano jb the milker

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

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Artois, California

Posted by graywacke on May 11, 2016

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

Landing number 2266; A Landing A Day blog post number 696.

Dan:  Although this is my third California landing since I changed my random lat/long methodology 50 landings ago, CA is big enough that it was US (under subscribed), so my Score went down (from 829 to 807, a new record low).  Clueless about my crazy first sentence?  Check out the tab “About Landing (Revisited).”

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

My streams only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Logan Creek, on to the Calusa Drain, and then eventually to the Sacramento River (23rd hit).  Of course, the Sacramento empties into San Francisco Bay (34th hit):

landing 3

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight on in to Northern California.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, then hit your back button.

Here’s an oblique GE shot looking west past my landing:

ge 1

I landed in a desolate patch of real estate – the closest GE SV is about five miles away:

ge sv landing map

 

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing

What’s that 2.6 miles away?  

As for my drainage, I traced it on GE, and found the nearest SV shot from a bridge over a “stream”:

ge sv drainage map

Here’s what the orange dude sees (which I’ll call a tributary of Logan Creek):

ge sv drainage

I had three towns to check out – Willows, Elk Creek & Artois.  No surprise – based on the title of this post – Artois (pop 295) was the winner of the “what town do I feature?” contest.

In French, Artois would be pronounced something like are-TWAH.  But I suspect that the locals pronounce it differently.  I did some checking, and sure ‘nuf – they don’t use the French pronunciation.  I found a chat-room style internet conversation on Ancestry.com where they concluded that Artois is pronounced “Our Toys” by the locals.  I think they’re being a little too cute; I’ll bet it’s more like Are Toys.

So anyway, the town’s original name was Germantown, but was changed in 1918 to Artois.  According to Wiki:

Local belief is that a World War I troop train stopped to water at Gemantown and a riot ensued when the troops took offense at the name. The town was then renamed after the battles of Artois.

Note that it’s not the battle of Artois; rather it’s the battles of Artois.  Here’s the story:

The first battle of Artois (December 17, 1914 – January 13, 1915) was one of the early battles between the French and Germans.  It was an attempt by the French to break a trench / barbed wire warfare stalemate, and it was unsuccessful.  Neither side “won.”

The second battle of Artois was a much bigger deal (May 9, 1915 – June 18, 1915).  The French were joined by the British in an attempt to push back the Germans and capture a key rail supply line.  Once again, the effort failed.  Although no territory was gained by either side, the Germans won the war of attrition.  Here’s what Wiki says about casualties (injuries + deaths):

French sources put casualties at 102,500 of whom 35,000 were killed.  There were another 37,500 casualties incurred in secondary operations.  According to German sources, there were also 32,000 British casualties and 73,072 German casualties.

Unbelievable.  Here’s a picture of a French village caught in the crossfile (from WWIBattlefields.co.uk):

ww1battlefields.co.uk

And then there’s the third battle of Artois (September 15 – October 25, 1915).  This battle was similar to the second in terms of objective – i.e., capturing German railways.  Same old, same old.  Neither side “won,” and no significant territory was won or lost by either side.  Here are the grim casualty figures (including a nearby, associated battle):

French:            48,230
German:          51,100
British:            61,700

It’s hard to fathom.  There were hundreds of thousands of soldiers living in trenches, facing off across “no man’s land,” a sea of barbed wire.  Some general makes a decision, the word comes down to local commanders, and thousands and thousands of young men were ordered to advance.  And for what????

It turns out that the Artois region of France is famous for another reason, much closer to my interests than WWI.  From Wiki:

The name “Artois” stems from the ancient province in France where the method of boring artesian wells was first adopted.  [I assume that artesian could be loosely translated as “of Artois.”]

I searched for a geologic cross-section that shows exactly what an artesian well is and how it happens.  The state of Minnesota has an excellent one.  Here ‘tis:

flowingwell

A couple of important points:

  1. A “confining layer” consists of an impermeable soil or rock like clay or shale (water can’t flow through it).
  2. An aquifer consists of a permeable soil or rock like sand, limestone or sandstone (water can flow through this rock relatively easily).
  3. The recharge zone is where infiltrating rainfall and snowmelt can flow down through permeable soil into an aquifer.
  4. Although not labeled as such, the dashed line under the recharge area is also a water table.

Take a deep breath, and you’ll be able to figure out the differences between a water table well, an artesian well and a flowing artesian well – and how each of these three comes to be.  Don’t care?  Stick with shallow breaths . . .

Wiki says this about artesian wells:

Artesian wells were named after the former province of Artois in France, where many artesian wells were drilled by Carthusian monks from 1126.

What a very specific date!  I wonder how Wiki can be so sure that the first artesian well was drilled in 1126?

Time for some GE Panoramio shots. First this by A Dunn Photography (taken about 5 miles NE of my landing):

pano ADunnPhotography

And this one by Hank Hansen, appropriately entitled “Solitary Tree” (taken about 7 miles north):

pano hand hansen

 

I’ll close with this by genomexp, taken about 15 miles NW:

pano genomexp

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

 

S

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Lebo, Arvonia, Reading, Olivet and Melvern, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on May 7, 2016

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

Landing number 2265; A Landing A Day blog post number 695.

Dan:  This was my first Kansas landing since changing my random lat/long generation method.  So, of course, KS is a USer and my Score went down (from 865 to 829; a new record low).  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Check out “About Landing (Revisited),” above.

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

Here’s my local watershed map.  As you can see, I landed in the watershed of “Stream Perennial,” Street Atlas’ imaginative name for an unnamed stream, on to Melvern Lake (the dammed-up Marais des Cygnes River, 3rd hit):

landing 3a

Zooming back:

landing 3b

You can see that the Marais des Cygnes discharges to the Osage (10th hit); on to the Missouri (410th hit); and, of course, on to the MM (886th hit).

So, this was my third Marais des Cygnes watershed landing, although none of them happened since ALAD.  So, we need some information.  First, how to pronounce it (both proper French, and the local Americanized version), what the name means, and something about the name origin.

The meaning is the easy part.  It means Marsh of the Swans.  The origin is a little vague, but something about French trappers and there being many trumpeter swans in and around the watershed.

The pronunciation is where it gets interesting.  Here’s my best shot at the French (of course spoken with a perfect French accent):

Mah-RAY day SEEN-yah

I came across two American versions.  Two references said something like this:

MARE-ay day SIG-nees

But then Wiki mentioned that according to the Geographic Names Information System, one of the names of the river was Mary de Zene River, and had this to say:

It is most often pronounced Mare D’ Zeen river by those who live nearby it.

There you have it.  I vote for the Mare D’Zeen . . .

OK, it’s tme for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to eastern KS.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and then hit your back button.

Here’s my GE StreetView map:

ge sv landing map

 

And here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing

I put him up near Melvern Lake, and here’s the view:

ge sv lake

This is going to be one of those lack-luster little bit of this, little bit of that sort of posts.  (Started already by my discussion of the Marais Des Cygnes).

So, I landed closest to Lebo (pop 915).  It’s a typical prairie town that flourished once the railroad came through, but then faded through the depression (but is hanging in there).  Here are some back-in-the-day pictures of Main Street from the town’s website:

lebo main st

lebo main st 3

lebo main st 2

I’ll move a few miles north to Arvonia (shown on GE, but not on Street Atlas):

ge arvonia

Arvonia (pop <10) is one of those towns that the railroad by-passed, which was a death sentence.  Back in the pre-railroad days, it had three stores, one hotel, one blacksmith and wagon shop, a post-office, two churches and a schoolhouse. There are a few buildings still there, including a church and the schoolhouse (from OsageCountyOnline.com):

051915-arvonia osage county online

The white building is the one-room schoolhouse.  Here’s another current Arvonia shot, from ExploreKansas.blogspot.com:

arvonia 022

Arvonia has Welsh roots, and its name comes from the Welsh town of Carnarvon (note the “arvon” part of the name).  Amazingly, I’ve featured Carnarvon, Wales (also spelled Caernarfon) in yet another one of my great posts.  My examination of Wales was triggered by landing near Carnarvon, Iowa.  Want to read it?  Just type “Carnarvon” in the search box.

Time to move to Reading (pop 231, named after Reading, Pennsylvania).  Here’s a little history from the town website:

Early on the morning of March 3rd, 1933, Warren Bryan, Reading City Marshall, walked towards the Santa Fe train Depot.  Light from his lantern caused the sidewalk to appear to be sprinkled with diamonds.  When he got closer, he could see that it was shattered glass fragments, not diamoneds and that the windows had been blown out.

It turns out that an attempt had been made to rob the station.  A dynamite explosion had damaged the office interior and shattered the thirty seven window panes.  The safe (with the door blown off) contained only a few dollars, which was recovered in the debris, leading the officers to believe the thieves were frightened away after the explosion.  A hole was torn two feet square in the floor under the safe.

The Depot was torn down, and a new one built in 1935 (which still stands).

Here’s a back-in-the-day shot of the Albert J. Stratton drugstore (from KansasMemory.org), taken in the late 1880s:

kansas memory.org

My final stop is Olivet (pop 67).  The town has a Facebook page, and here’s a photo posted there (my favorite of all the back-in-the-day shots):

67660_138545056193676_1533210_n

I included Melvern (pop 385) only because it was named after the Malvern Hills in England, and Wiki had this lovely picture of the hills (by David Martyn Hunt):

Malvern_Hills_-_England (1)

I had to go a little far afield (about 18 miles east) to find a GE Panoramio shot worthy of closing out this post (by Steven Spring, of an old one-room school):

pano steven spring

 

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

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Scranton, Pennsylvania

Posted by graywacke on May 3, 2016

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

Landing number 2264; A Landing A Day blog post number 694.

Dan:  After three OSers, I hit a state with zero landings since I changed my random lat/long procedure.  I go way back with Pennsylvania – my family roots are in Belvidere NJ (just across the Delaware River from PA); I went to college in PA (Lafayette in Easton); my summer jobs while in college were in the Poconos and my first real job was in Bethlehem.  I currently live in Jersey pretty close to the Delaware, so forays into PA are common.

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Gardner Creek; on to the beautiful Susquehanna (22nd hit):

landing 3

The Susquehanna (of course), discharges into the Chesapeake Bay.

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) space flight in to NE Pennsylvania.  Click HERE, enjoy the flight and hit your back button.

The yellow landing push pins are for all of my landings since January 2013.  See that there are only two in Pennsylvania?  And see how close they are?

The nearby landing is my April 4, 2015 Nanticoke landing.  What a great post!  When I’ve said that in the past, I might have been exaggerating a little, but not this time!  It has a fair dose of geology, covering water gaps and anthracite coal; but it also features an other-wordly abandoned all-concrete town.  Check it out – you’ll enjoy it, and it’ll give you some good background for today’s post.

I have good GE SV coverage:

ge sv landing map

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing

I was able to get a SV look of Gardner Creek, just before it discharges into the Susquehanna:

ge sv creek map

And here’s the view:

ge sv creek

I found this GE SV shot of the Susquehanna some miles south of my landing (in Pittstown):

ge sv river

I headed over to GE Panoramio to get this view of the Susquehanna, taken much closer (just west) of my landing by Tom Lutkowski:

pano Tom Lutkowski

So, of course I researched Scranton, looking for a hook (beyond the anthracite coal mining, already featured in my Nanticoke post).  But nothing really jumped out at me.  OK, so according to Wiki some pretty famous people have a Scranton connection:  Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton (the Rodham’s are from Scranton, and she lived nearby for some time as a kid), B.F. Skinner (the famous psychologist) and one of the Woolworth brothers (co-founder of Woolworth’s). 

But I’m burned out on politics, and I’ve never been one for esoteric psychology, and don’t really care about Woolworths.  But what caught my eye (as I was reading about the anthracite coal mining history of the region, was this (from Wiki):

The Knox Mine Disaster of January 1959 virtually shut down the mining industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and it never recovered. The event eliminated thousands of jobs as the waters of the Susquehanna River flooded the mines.

Oh my.  The river broke in to an underground mine?  Sounds terrible . . .

As a geologist, I like cross sections, so I’ll start with one (from the Mine Safety & Health Administration):

mine safety and health administration x section

They were mining the Pittston Bed, going from right to left (east to west) on the cross section (the black portion of the bed was never mined).  As you can see, the bed sloped up towards the river.  It actually caved in just east of the river bank, but obviously enough soil caved in that the river came rushing in.

Here’s what it looked like (courtesy the Pittston Progress):

pittstown progress 1

The built a new rail siding so that rail cars could be run into the hole (with the hopes of plugging it):

pittstown progress 2

pittstown progress 3

This effort was to no avail. 

I found a video (from JP Videos) that you simply MUST WATCH:

 

From Wiki:

Eventually, an estimated 10 billion gallons of water filled the mines. Ten people were indicted in the disaster’s aftermath, including the mine superintendent, Robert Dougherty, owner Louis Fabrizio, secret owner August J. Lippi who was also the president of District 1 of the United Mine Workers, and three union officials. These six served jail time.

I was only 8 when this happened, so I have no memory of it.  But it’s possible that I was watching the Huntley Brinkley Report with my parents, when this news story was covered . . .

Time for some GE Panoramio shots.  I’ll start with this, of Falling Springs Reservoir a couple of miles south of my landing, by AcidAlias:

pano bradnowell

And just downstream from Falling Springs Reservoir is the Falling Springs Waterfall, by PaWaterfalls:

pano PaWaterfalls

I’ll close with shot of the top of the mountain just northeast of my landing, by Brad Nowell:

pano acidalias

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

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Colorado City, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on April 29, 2016

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

Landing number 2263; A Landing A Day blog post number 693.

Dan:  This landing in AZ marks  my third OSer in a row (and my third landing in AZ since changing my random lat/long procedure).  As always, an OSer pushes my Score higher (in this case, from 886 to 891).  No clue what I’m talking about?  Check out the tab “About Landing (Revisited).

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

I’ll be using Google Earth (GE) to track my drainage, so it’s time for my GE spaceflight in to to NW Arizona.  Click HERE, fasten your seat belts, and enjoy the trip (and then click your back button).

My drainage pathway was pretty obvious on GE:

ge ft pierce wash

I knew the drainage way was called the Fort Pierce Wash thanks to this Street Atlas map:

landing 3a

This was my 3rd hit for the Fort Pierce Wash; on to the Virgin R (12th hit).

As you can see below, the Virgin makes its way to the Colorado (177th hit) via Lake Meade:

landing 3b

I wanted to check out the Fort Pierce Wash a little, but all I could find was a watershed map from the USEPA.  For reference, the distance from St. George to Springdale is about 30 miles, so it looks like the watershed is about 35 miles x 50 miles, or 1,750 square miles:

us epa ft pierce watershed map

The nearest GE Street View shot of the wash is way the heck up in Utah near St. George.  Here’s ‘tis:

ge sv ft pierce

While perusing GE, I noticed a very interesting portion of the Wash (in the upper left portion of the GE drainage shot from the beginning of this post).  Here it is, with the location of a Panoramio photo highlighted:

ge ft pierce 2

And here’s the photo, by Acroskey:

pano acroskrey

As dry as it is now, it’s hard to imagine all of the stream flow needed to carve the canyon.  Most of the erosion probably happened during the much wetter most recent glacial epoch . . . 

Fort Pierce itself is in Utah, about a half hour outside of St. George.  Here’s a little history from SouthwestBackCountry.wordpress.com:

Fort Pierce is a fort that saw no action. It was constructed in 1866 to protect livestock and to protect the springs located just below the fort. The rock walls were originally 8 feet high. There was no top on the fort and 16 port holes in the wall gave the inhabitants a good crossfire in all directions should the fort be attacked by Indians, which it never was.

And a pic:

l_6bb78f07248f412e9ad43289a95cde67

Moving right along.  The only town in the vicinity of my landing (see my local landing map above) is Colorado City (pop 4,800).  Cane Beds hardly exists.  I opened up Wiki and was immediately intrigued:

Colorado City, formerly known as Short Creek (still sometimes called “The Creek,” was founded in 1913 by members of the Council of Friends, a breakaway group from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church, aka the Mormons). The Council of Friends membership desired a remote location where they could practice plural marriage (polygamy), which had been publicly abandoned by the LDS Church in 1890.

The article then goes on to talk about Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints (FDLS), which is the leading branch of Mormon-based polygamy.  Warren (who’s in jail for the rest of his life after being convicted of two felony counts of child sexual assault) remains the Prophet of the FLDS Church.  Evidently, the FLDS Church has a membership of 7,000 – 10,000, quite a few of whom live in the Colorado City / Hildale area (Hildale is just across the state border in Utah).  Many others are in Eldorado TX, the site of an FLDS temple.

Back to Wiki for this tidbit:

The Colorado City/Hildale area has the world’s highest incidence of fumarase deficiency, an extremely rare genetic condition which causes severe intellectual disability. Geneticists attribute this to the prevalence of cousin marriage between descendants of two of the town’s founders, Joseph Smith Jessop and John Y. Barlow.  At least half the double community’s roughly 8,000 inhabitants are descended from one or both.

Phew.  I dutifully Googled FLDS Church History and spent a lot of perusal time, including watching an entire ABC News 20/20 report on the FLDS.  Pretty compelling stuff.  Click HERE if you want to watch it (there are some parts not suitable for all audiences). 

Enough!  Time for some GE Panoramio shots.  I’ll start with this one, entitled “Hell’s Rainbow,” shot in (of all places) Colorado City (by Joe Pledger):

pano joe Pledger sunset hell's rainbow

I’ll close with this great photo (the most positive part of this entire post), taken just three miles of my landing by John Gillett:

pano john gillett 3 mi s sundog

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

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Blanca, Blanca Peak and the Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on April 25, 2016

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

Landing number 2262; A Landing A Day blog post number 692.

Dan:  This is my 3rd landing in Colorado since I changed my random lat/long procedure.  No surprise, CO is an OSer, and my Score went up from 881 to 886.

Not a clue what I’m talking about?  Check out the tab “About Landing (Revisited).”

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

As you’ll see when we get to Google Earth (GE), there are no discernible streams close to my landing.  But I’m sure that I landed in the watershed of the Rio Grande (46th hit):

landing 3

Of course, the Rio Grande becomes the border between Tex & Mex on its way to the G of M.

It’s time for my GE spaceflight in to S-Cen Colorado.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip and then hit your back button.

Here’s a GE shot showing the two geological features that I’ll be writing about (and more importantly, showing pictures of):

ge 1

I maneuvered GE into a low angle position, looking east past my landing towards Blanca Peak:

ge 2

And then I reversed things, looking past Blanca Peak towards my landing:

ge 3

Pretty dramatic eh?

Here’s my GE Street View (SV) coverage:

ge sv landing map

And here’s what the orange dude sees.

ge sv landing

I had to go way south to find SV coverage of the Rio Grande:

ge rio sv map

And here’s the view (looking downstream):

ge rio sv

Before talking about mountains and sand dunes, I’ll hit the town of Blanca.  Sorry Fort Garland (named after a 19th century Indian-fighting outpost), but I found your town hookless.

I’ll start with this great shot of Main Street, Blanca, in 1910 (from the town website):

blanca 1910

I positioned GE SV in about the same position on Main Street.  The large building visible in 1910 is still there in the current shot (it’s the first building on the right, mostly hidden by the trees):

blanca same view today

Wiki has a bizarre entry under “History.”  Here it is, in its entirety:

The town, named for Blanca Peak, was founded in August 1908 from a land lottery in the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado. It was incorporated in 1909.

In the mid-1990s Polish settlers set up shop at the Red Rocks General Store selling liquor, beer, polish sausages, and other eastern European goods. Blanca is the region’s main supplier of bilberry syrup.  Blanca is known for elk hunting and alpine trout fishing.

I don’t know what to think about the mention of the mid 1990s Polish settlers. . .

Moving on to Blanca Peak.  Geologically, it’s a huge hunk of granite that’s part of the Sangre de Cristo Range, and tops off at elevation 14,351 feet. 

Here’s a little factoid from Wiki:

Blanca Peak is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude.

I won’t argue with that. Time for some GE Panoramio shots of the mountain.  I’ll start with this, by Charles Baxter:

pano blanca charles baxter

By IGHook:

pano blanca ighook

By Pat Plampin:

pano blanca pat plampin

And finally, by ArdenZ:

pano blanca ardenz

Time to move a little north and check out Great Sand Dunes National Park.

I’ll start with a short video I found on the town website of nearby Alamosa (located about 20 miles west of Blanca):

 

Enough background?  I think so.  Time for some Pano shots.  I’ll start with this, by Kathaneni:

pano dunes kethaneni2

Kathaneni got a little closer:

pano dunes kethaneni

Here’s the stream that runs along the base of the dunes (talked about in the video; the one you have to cross after you park your car), by rblekicki:

pano dunes rblekicki

And here’s a close-up of the eroding edge of the stream (by Wild Panoramic):

pano dunes wild panoramic

Sand and mountains, take 1 (by Peter Connolly):

pano dunes peter connolly

And I’ll close with sand and mountains, take 2 (by koikecolousa:

pano dunes koikecolousa

Spectacular area, spectacular photography.

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

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Mountain, North Dakota

Posted by graywacke on April 19, 2016

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

Landing number 2261; A Landing A Day blog post number 691.

Dan:  Like Colorado and California (my last two landings), this was my second hit since I changed my random lat/long procedure (44 landings ago).  But unlike Colorado & California, 2 hits pushes ND into OSer territory (it’s about the fact that ND is smaller than CO & CA).  Confused?  Probably only you, Dan and Jordan and I really understand).

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map (showing that I am very local to Mountain):

landing 2

As you can see in the above map, I landed right next to Cart Creek (and obviously in the Cart Creek watershed).  My StreetAtlas map doesn’t show the actual path of Cart Creek, so I had to go to Google Earth (GE).  It showed that Cart Creek heads southeast.  Here’s a StreetView map with the approximate course of Cart Creek drawn in by yours truly:

landing 3

As you can see, Cart Creek discharges into the North Branch of the Park River (1st hit ever!); on to the Middle Branch of the Park River (1st hit ever!); on to the Park River (1st hit ever!); on to the Red River of the North (47th hit).

As you recall from only 8 landings ago (when I last landed in ND and also in the Red River watershed), the Red flows on to the Nelson R (65th hit), and eventually to Hudson Bay.

Time for my GE space flight in to NE ND. Click HERE, enjoy the trip, then hit your back button.

Here’s a GE shot showing SV coverage:

ge sv landing map

And here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing

Cart Creek crosses the north-south road through Mountain just east of my landing, but there’s really nothing to see (maybe there’s a long culvert, the ends of which cannot be seen from the road).  The Creek doesn’t come into its own until about 10 miles downstream:

ge sv cart ck map

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv cart ck

Let me go back to my extremely-local landing map:

landing 2

For a teeny town, there are some interesting street name phenomena here.  For example, one might live on the corner of Main & Main (Street & Avenue, of course), or the corner of 2nd & 3rd.  And by the way, while there’s a 2nd Avenue, there’s no 1st or 3rd Avenues (verified by Google Maps).

And I see a Hill Street.  Maybe someone felt a little sheepish about naming the town “Mountain,” when there’s no such thing anywhere in Northeast ND!

Let’s see what Wiki has to say about Mountain:

The community was the destination of many Icelandic immigrants who began arriving about 1878.  Mountain was laid out in 1884.  The city was named on account of its lofty elevation.  A post office called Mountain has been in operation since 1881.

OK, I guess I need to look and see if there’s a “mountain” (or any other lofty elevation) anywhere close to Mountain.  I’ll cruise around the vicinity using GE and their elevation tool. 

Well, here are some elevations I marked on the map:

ge elev

It’s pretty obvious – the land slopes up from east to west, with the slopes getting much steeper west of town (near the county line).

So, it looks like the steeper slopes are wooded. I’ll zoom back and take a broader look:

ge woods

 

By using the GE elevation tool, I could see that the steepest slopes are consistently along the north-south strip of woods, which makes sense, since back in the day, the steep slopes weren’t good for farming (and didn’t get cleared).

So, I’m a geologist, and I’m sure that something must be going on that some geologist or other has figured out.  So, after a bit of an internet search, I found a USGS geologic map of Cavalier County – the county just west of Mountain.  Here’s a portion of the geologic map:

geo 2

The dark-colored geologic unit (which seems like it lines up with the woods/steeper slopes) is Unit 5.  Here’s what the key on the map says about Unit 5:

geo 1

I’ll go back to GE.  I made the GE shot below line up with the geologic map from above.  Use the jog in the county line as a point of comparison:

ge geo

I love it.  Want to know why there’s a north-south slope west of town?  Ask a geologist.  I’m sure the guy who made the geologic map can tell the whole geologic story – like why there’s a geologic unit that trends north-south, and why it has caused the steep slope.

Here’s a low angle oblique GE shot looking west past Mountain and past my landing.  Don’t see much in the way of mountains, eh?  You can just see the woods (and the slope) near the county line in the far distance.

ge 3

Here’s another low-angle oblique GE shot looking west much closer to the slope:

ge 2

There’s the slope!  Anyway, here’s my bottom line:  There is no reason for Mountain to be called Mountain!!  I might call it “Foot of Steep Wooded Slope, North Dakota.”

As I speculated earlier, I think that Hill Street was named by someone who felt embarrassed that the town was named Mountain, when all there is is a gentle hillside about 3 miles west of town . . .

OK, back to Wiki:

Geir Haarde, a former prime minister of Iceland, attended the Annual 2 August Celebration in 2007.

There’s an annual 2 August Celebration?  Here’s a 2007 article from the NDTourism.com:

Huge Icelandic festival this weekend in NE North Dakota

By: Heather Lemoine

This weekend is the 112th annual Deuce of August Icelandic celebration in Mountain, North Dakota.  If you aren’t familiar with Mountain, it’s a town of 130 people that more than quadruples in size with this celebration of Icelandic heritage and culture.

So why the 2nd of August?  Here are some excerpts from August2nd.com:

In 1874, Iceland had been under harsh Danish rule for hundreds of years and the people wanted their freedom. A man named Jon Sigurdsson was determined to get it for them.

Sigurdson became a member (and then president) of the Parliament in Iceland. He hammered away at the Danish government until finally, in January 1874, King Kristjan the Ninth of Denmark made the announcement that he would visit Iceland during the summer of 1874, and that he would bring a new constitution for Iceland. He decreed that the Icelandic Parliament should be called into session from August the first to the seventh.

On August the Second, he asked the Icelandic clergy to have services in every church in the land. On that day, he would hand over the New Constitution to Parliament.  Sigurdson advised the leaders to accept the constitution because it was a step in the right direction, even though it was inadequate. But he cautioned the people never to lose their desire for independence. His rallying cry was “Aldrei ad vikja” (Never let down).

A small group of Icelandic people who immigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the early 1870s held a celebration on August 2, 1874, to celebrate this event. The Icelandic community of Winnipeg held a celebration on the second of August in the year 1890 and called it, “The Day of the Icelanders.” While August the second was never declared a legal national holiday in Iceland, this day has been traditionally celebrated by Canadian and US Icelandic settlers.

Here’s a video about the Manitoba August 2nd Icelandic Celebration (held in Gimli, north of Winnipeg).  OK.  I realize I didn’t land in Manitoba, but how many August 2nd Icelandic Celebration videos are out there?

 

While perusing my landing vicinity for GE Panoramio shots, I came across this, just 3 miles north of my landing (by Dean “Burning7Chrome” Corso):

92461369

He labeled his photo “Cavalier AFS PARCS (Phased Array Radar)”.  A little Google research, and I discovered that this facility (AFS = Air Force Station) is part of our most high-tech missile detection system (and that PARCS actually stands for “Perimeter Acquisition Radar Characterization System.”

Staying with GE Panoramio photos:  I’m generally not big on miscellaneous church shots, but I found three that caught my fancy.  I’ll start with this Icelandic heritage church by TallMikeJensen:

pano tallmikejensen

Here’s another by ColdStart73620:

pano coldstart73620

And finally, this, by Scott Knox.

pano scott knox

I’ll close with yet one more view of my favorite Northeast ND geologic feature (by dixon215, taken north of Mountain, looking west):

pano dixon215

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

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Julesburg, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on April 14, 2016

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

Landing number 2260; A Landing A Day blog post number 690.

Dan:  The next paragraph will be the same as the first paragraph for landing 2259 (my last landing), just changing California to Colorado (and the numbers a little): 

Colorado’s a big state with only one previous hit (since I changed my random lat/long procedure 44 landings ago).  Based on its area, it should have 1.46 hits, so it was clearly undersubscribed prior to today’s landing.  The result?  My Score dropped from 892 to 877 (a new record low). 

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

I had to use the Google Earth (GE) elevation tool to figure out my watershed, so I’ll jump right to my GE spaceflight in to NE Colorado.  Click HERE, enjoy the flight, then hit your back button.

I knew that the South Platte River was close to my landing (unnamed stream north of my landing on my local landing map), and I figured that runoff from my landing spot would head there.  But using the GE elevation tool, I realized that runoff would be heading steadily to the southeast – away from the South Platte.

I had to “travel” this way for about 50 miles before I finally found an entrenched stream:

ge watershed

So, more or less, I landed in the watershed of Frenchman (Frenchman’s? Creek; 3rd hit).  Frenchman Creek makes its way to the Republican River (23rd hit):

 

landing 3

You’ll have to trust me here:  The Republican discharges to the Kansas (61st hit); on to the Missouri (409th hit); and of course, on to the granddaddy of them all, the MM (885th hit).

GE SV coverage wasn’t all that bad, considering the out-in-the-boonies nature of my landing:

ge landing sv map

And here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge landing sv

Of course, I had to go far, far away from my landing to get SV coverage showing Frenchman Creek:

ge frenchmans sv map

And, in spite of a huge watershed, Frenchman Creek ain’t much (as the orange dude sees it):

ge frenchmans sv

Finding my titular town was not easy.  Let me show you (once again) my local landing map:

landing 2

Towns, towns and more towns.  Each one checked out by yours truly, looking for the elusive hook.  The last town I looked at was Julesburg.  Before Julesburg, I was slipping deeper and deeper into despair.  But then, there was Julesburg.

So, Wiki starts out with a standard line, saying how Julesburg was named for a Jules Beni.  OK, so it’s a little unusual for a town to be named after a first name. 

But in Wiki, “Jules Beni” was in blue, so it was clickable.  Here’s the first line of Wiki’s Jules Beni entry:

Jules Beni (died 1861) was a western outlaw who robbed stagecoaches in the Colorado Territory.

Very interesting.  A town named after an outlaw.  But it gets better.  Back to Wiki:

Beni was involved in illegal activities linked to his trading post near Lodgepole Creek, Colorado, which was called by one Eastern journalist the “wickedest city on the plains.” By 1858, the city had grown rapidly with the addition of a stagecoach station, which was eventually named Julesburg by the townspeople in honor of Beni.

However upon Beni’s appointment as manager of the station the stagecoach lines were robbed constantly. As the robbers usually targeted specific stages carrying money and other valuable cargo, Beni soon was suspected of involvement and eventually replaced by gunman Jack Slade.

Jack Slade [working for Central Overland, a stage coach company] was tracking down horse thieves, including Jules Beni [evidently, stage coaches weren’t the only think Jules robbed].  Slade caught up with him at Julesburg, but Beni shot Slade five times. Everybody thought that Slade was dead and several angry townsfolk chased Beni out of Julesburg. When they returned, they found Slade struggling to his feet, having miraculously recovered.

Beni continued to steal horses and Slade vowed to hunt him down. Beni attempted to ambush Slade at Slade’s own ranch at Cold Springs. But Slade found out about the planned ambush and, along with some of his cowboys, captured Beni. Slade did not take Beni to authorities but instead shot him dead while he was tied to a fence post.

Slade himself met a violent end (surprise, surprise).  From Wiki:

Slade’s ferocious reputation, combined with a drinking problem, caused his downfall: He was fired by his employer, stage coach operator Central Overland, for drunkenness in November 1862.  During a drunken spree in Virginia City, Montana, he was lynched by local vigilantes on March 10, 1864, for disturbing the peace.

The wild, wild west, indeed.

Well, it’s time for some GE Panoramio shots.  I’ll start with this, by Porter1, taken about 15 miles S of my landing:

pano porter1 15 mi S

Here’s a scary storm cloud, taken by Cowboy3030 about 9 miles S of my landing:

pano cowboy3030 9 mi S

Here’s a gorgeous shot by QKC, taken about 8 miles NW of my landing:

pano QKC 8 mi SW

I’ll close with this shot of a dirt road, looking north (due north, I suspect) across the South Platte River valley, by ChrisF66:

pano chrisf66 8 mi NW

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

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

 
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