A Landing a Day

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Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Posted by graywacke on September 1, 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 2208; A Landing A Day blog post number 636.

Dan:  After landing in a USer that is barely a USer (CO; 74/75); I landed in an even edgier USer (now a PSer) . . . MO; 50/50; 6/10; 2; 149.7.  And my Score is back where it belongs (below 150).

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map, showing that I had little choice but to select Poplar Bluff as my titular town:

landing 2

You can see the Black River on the above map, and yes, that’s my watershed (10th hit).  Here’s a streams-only Street Atlas map showing that the Black discharges to the White (26th hit); on to the MM (861st hit):

landing 3

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in (from a slightly different angle).  Click below and hit the back button after viewing:

//screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=co1uYVf31j&w=820&v=3

GE Street View coverage is pretty good – I’m only a half mile away from my landing:

SV map

Here’s what the orange dude sees (OK, minus the big black arrow):

SV landing

I must admit to some consternation.  I mean, really.  I’m sure that Popular Bluff is a great little city (pop 17,000).  It’s in a pretty area, bills itself as the “Gateway to the Ozarks.”  The city website includes a message from Mayor Betty Absheer, extolling its virtues.  Here are some excerpts:

Welcome to the official website of the City of Poplar Bluff!

As you learn more about Poplar Bluff you’ll see it is a great place to live and raise a family, with a population of nearly 17,000 friendly residents. Poplar Bluff is the county seat and is centered in the middle of beautiful Butler County. Poplar Bluff is the gateway to the Ozarks nestled in southeast Missouri, in between St. Louis and Memphis.

The City of Poplar Bluff is a growing, dynamic environment in which new homes are popping up and businesses are thriving. As well as being an economic center, Poplar Bluff is also an entertainment center for the area.

I could go on about the many great attributes of Poplar Bluff, but our greatest attribute is our PEOPLE. That is what makes Poplar Bluff so special. It is an honor to serve as the mayor of this wonderful city.

I am absolutely sure that Poplar Bluff is a great place to live and work.  But as my regular readers know, I’m looking for a hook.  A story.  Something to grab my readers’ attention.  Well, Poplar Bluff, I fear, falls short in that regard. 

So how did the town get its name? From Wiki:

Poplar Bluff takes its name from a bluff that overlooks Black River. When first settled, the bluff was covered with tulip poplar trees.

Here’s a lovely shot of a tulip poplar leaf (from RitaKarl.net):

TinyTulipPoplarLeaf-709011

And a lovely shot of tulip poplars in my home state of NJ (Woodbine, to be more specific), from LouisDallaraPhotography.com:

poplar-trees_0348-edit

And the first white man to come to the general vicnity?  Hernando De Soto.  I’ve heard of Hernando, but know essentially nothing about him.  From Wiki (not a bad looking guy!):

800px-De_Soto_by_Telfer_&_Sartain

Hernando de Soto (1496 – 1542) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who led the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States (Florida, Georgia, Alabama and most likely Arkansas and Missouri), and the first documented European to have crossed the Mississippi River.

A vast undertaking, de Soto’s North American expedition ranged throughout the southeastern United States searching for gold, silver and a passage to China. De Soto died in 1542 on the banks of the Mississippi River in what is now Guachoya, Arkansas or Ferriday, Louisiana.

Prior to exploring North America, de Soto was part of the ruthless take-over of parts of Central and South America (on behalf of Spain).  Way to go Hernando!

He went back to Spain and organized an expedition to explore North America.  More about this trip, from Wiki:

Historians have worked to trace the route of de Soto’s expedition in North America, a controversial process over the years. Local politicians vied to have their localities associated with the expedition. The most widely used version of “De Soto’s Trail” comes from a study commissioned by the Congress of the United States. A committee chaired by the anthropologist John R. Swanton published The Final Report of the United States De Soto Expedition Commission in 1939.

Here’s a map from Wiki (which, incidently, doesn’t show him going as far north as Poplar Bluff.  Oh, well):

800px-DeSoto_Map_HRoe_2008

The expedition began in 1539 in Florida, ran out of steam with de Soto’s death in 1542, and ended when the remaining members tried to get back to Mexico City (the blue and green routes above).  Here’s what Wiki has to say about his demise:

De Soto died of a fever on May 21, 1542 on the western bank of the Mississippi River, in what is now Northern Louisiana or Southern Arkansas.

Since de Soto had encouraged the local natives to believe that he was an immortal sun god (as a ploy to gain their submission without conflict, though some of the natives had already become skeptical of de Soto’s deity claims), his men had to conceal his death.

The actual location of his burial is not known. According to one source, de Soto’s men hid his corpse in blankets weighted with sand and sank it in the middle of the Mississippi River during the night.

The expedition really fell on hard times after de Soto’s death.  From Wiki:

De Soto’s expedition had explored La Florida [what they called the entire region] for three years without finding the expected treasures or a hospitable site for colonization efforts. They had lost nearly half their men, most of the horses had been killed, the soldiers wore animal skins for clothing, and many were injured and in poor health.

The leaders came to a consensus (although not total) to abort the expedition and try to find a way home, either down the Mississippi River, or overland across Texas to the Spanish colony of Mexico City.

They decided that building boats would be too difficult and time-consuming, and that navigating the Gulf of Mexico too risky, so they headed overland to the southwest. Eventually they reached a region in present-day Texas that was dry. The native populations had thinned out to subsistence hunter-gatherers. There were no villages for the soldiers to raid for food and the army was too large to live off the land.

They were forced to backtrack to the more developed agricultural regions along the Mississippi. They began building seven brigantines.  They melted down all the iron, including horse tackle and slave shackles, to make nails for the boats. Winter came and went, and the spring floods delayed them another two months, but by July they set off down the Mississippi for the coast.

Taking about two weeks to make the journey, the expedition encountered hostile tribes along the whole course. Natives followed the boats in canoes, shooting arrows at the soldiers for days on end as they drifted through their territory. The Spanish had no effective offensive weapons on the water, as their crossbows had long ceased working. They relied on armor and sleeping mats to block the arrows. About 11 Spaniards were killed along this stretch and many more wounded.

On reaching the mouth of the Mississippi, they stayed close to the Gulf shore heading south and west. After about 50 days, they made it to the Spanish frontier town of Pánuco. There they rested for about a month, before continuing on to Mexico City.

Of the initial 700 participants, between 300 and 350 survived (311 is a commonly accepted figure). Most of the men stayed in the New World, settling in Mexico, Peru, Cuba and other Spanish colonies.

From the point of view of the Spanish, de Soto’s excursion to Florida was an utter failure. They acquired neither gold nor prosperity and founded no colonies.

There you have it.

I’ll close with a couple of Panoramio shots from town.  First this (by Drowsy) of the Rodgers Theater:

17260356

The art-deco theater was built in 1949 and could seat over 1100 people.  It closed in 1999, and is now owned by the City.  They are working hard to getting it restored to its former glory, getting funds by renting it out for shows and parties.

I’ll close with this funky shot of a railroad bridge over the Black River (by Timpel):

pano timpel

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Kit Carson, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on August 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 2207; A Landing A Day blog post number 635.

Dan:  After landing in Canada (just missing the northern-most tip of Maine), in the Gulf of Mexico (just missing Florida), in the Pacific Ocean and in Mexico, I finally settled down and managed to land in the lower 48 (and a USer at that) . . . CO; 74/75 (barely); 5/10; 1; 150.2.

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight on in to the high plains of eastern Colorado (click on the link and hit your back button after viewing):

//screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=co1TbCfrTg&w=784&v=3

While in GE, I noted that my drainage headed east and south.  But when I looked at my streams-only Street Atlas map, I could find just snippets of a stream that didn’t appear on the map as a continuum.  The stream’s name is Big Sandy Creek, and here’s the map with a pretty close approximation of its course:

landing 3a

 

You can see that the Big Sandy discharges to the Arkansas (118th hit).  Here’s an expanded view of the rest of the story:

landing 3b

Of course, the Arkansas ends up in the MM (860th hit).

The vicinity of my landing has some obvious agricultural areas, but mostly seens to be a more vague landscape.  So, of course I used GE Street View (SV) to get a closer look:

GE SV map

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

GE SV landing

 

I love it when the SV cam takes these high quality shots (with good lighting).  And, from a little research, it appears that we’re looking at native “Shortgrass Prairie” in the above photo.  Here’s a map from Wiki:

959px-US_Great_Plains_Map.svg

And here’s a little of the write-up:

The shortgrass prairie is an ecosystem of the North American Great Plains.  These rangelands were formerly maintained by grazing pressure of the “keystone species” of the great plains, the American bison. The semi-arid climate receives on average less precipitation than that which supports the tallgrass prairie formerly to the east.

So now, I guess it’s time to take a closer look at Kit Carson.  What better way to take a closer look, than to take a closer look?

GE Kit carson

And let’s take an even closer look at downtown (which is, of course, Main Street), via a SV tour:

//screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=co1tDKfr8i&w=1010&v=3

Here’s a highlight from Kit Carson that evidently isn’t on Main Street (GE Panoramio shot by RW Black):

pano RWBlack

Moving right along – I guess that it would be safe to assume that Kit Carson was named after . . ah . . .let me think . . . ah . . .Kit Carson.  Let’s check it out, but first this from KitCarsonColorado.com:

kc_watertower_sm

And this, from plain ol’ Colorado.com:

Known for trapping, scouting and fighting, Kit Carson — and the town named after him — represent the frontier spirit that was and is very much alive in the wild West.  Burned to the ground three times, this little-town-that-could is still known for its residents’ hard work and determination.

Founded in 1838, and at one time the western terminus for the Union Pacific Railroad, Kit Carson’s location has made it a commercial trade center. With wide tracts of prairie grassland and more than 400 active oil and gas wells, it’s no surprise that farming, cattle ranching and the production of oil are the area’s chief industries.

Downtown Kit Carson is quieter than in days gone by. The saloons are gone, and only a couple of cafes, hotels and a campground remain, but wandering the streets, one can almost hear spurs jingling and glasses clinking together.

So what about Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson?  Here’s a picture of him as a younger man, courtesy the Library of Congress:

uewb_03_img0149

And this, from PBS.org:

carson_film_landing

His real name was Christopher Carson.  And here’s his real signature:

585px-Kit_Carson_signature.svg

Staying with PBS.org, here are some excerpts from their article on Kit Carson:

Enshrined in popular mythology even in his own lifetime, Kit Carson was a trapper, scout, Indian agent, soldier and authentic legend of the West.

Born in 1809, Carson spent most of his early childhood in Boone’s Lick, Missouri. His father died when he was only nine years old, and he left home for Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1826.

From about 1828 to 1831, Carson used Taos, New Mexico, as a base camp for repeated fur-trapping expeditions that often took him as far West as California. Later in the 1830’s his trapping took him up the Rocky Mountains and throughout the West.

As was the case with many white trappers, Carson became somewhat integrated into the Indian world; he travelled and lived extensively among Indians, and his first two wives were Arapahoe and Cheyenne women.

The Good:

Carson was evidently unusual among trappers, however, for his self-restraint and temperate lifestyle. “Clean as a hound’s tooth,” according to one acquaintance, and a man whose “word was as sure as the sun comin’ up,” he was noted for an unassuming manner and implacable courage.

In 1842, while returning to Missouri to visit his family, Carson happened to meet John C. Fremont, who soon hired him as a guide. Over the next several years, Carson helped guide Fremont to Oregon and California, and through much of the Central Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin.

His service with Fremont, celebrated in Fremont’s widely-read reports of his expeditions, quickly made Kit Carson a national hero, presented in popular fiction as a rugged mountain man capable of superhuman feats.

Carson played a prominent and memorable role in the Civil War in New Mexico. He helped organize the New Mexico volunteer infantry, which saw action at Valverde in 1862. Most of his military actions, however, were directed against the Navajo Indians, many of whom had refused to be confined upon a distant reservation set up by the government.

The Bad:

Beginning in 1863 Carson waged a brutal economic war against the Navajo, marching through the heart of their territory to destroy their crops, orchards and livestock.

And the Ugly:

In 1864 most surrendered to Carson, who forced nearly 8,000 Navajo men, women and children to take what came to be called the “Long Walk” of 300 miles from Arizona to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where they remained in disease-ridden confinement until 1868.

After the Civil War, Carson moved to Colorado in the hope of expanding his ranching business. He died there in 1868, and the following year his remains were moved to a small cemetery near his old home in Taos.

ALAD note:  I’ve featured John Fremont prominently in four posts, and also featured the “Long Walk” in my December 2014 Ganada, Arizona post.

Here’s a short piece from my Ganado post:

One Navajo elder said of the Long Walk:

By slow stages we traveled eastward by present Gallup, Chusbbito and Bear Spring, which is now called Fort Wingate. You ask how they treated us?  If there was room the soldiers put the women and children on the wagons. Some even let them ride behind them on their horses. I have never been able to understand a people who killed you one day and on the next played with your children…

Here’s a old-time shot of a soldier guarding Navajos during the Long Walk:

nm-history-org-during-long-walk

I’ll close with this Pano shot by Dann Cianca, taken just east of Kit Carson (showing Shortgrass Prairie):

pano dann cianca

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Eagle River, Wisconsin

Posted by graywacke on August 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 2206; A Landing A Day blog post number 634.

Dan:  After three USers in a row, nothing takes the wind out of my sails like three OSers in a row, thanks to  this landing in . . . WI; 43/41 (not much of an OSers, but an OSer ne’re the less); 4/10; 3; 150.8.

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

 

 

And yes, as you can see above, the river that goes by the town is Eagle River.  Speaking of waterways, here’s my watershed analysis (and no, I did not land in the Eagle River watershed):

landing 3a

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of Kentuck Creek, on to Elvoy Creek and on to the Brule River (first hit ever!).  Zooming back, here’s the rest of the story:

landing 3b

The Brule discharges to the Menominee (5th hit, making the Menominee the 160th river on my list of rivers with 5 or more hits); to Green Bay, part of Lake Michigan (35th hit); and of course, on to the St. Lawrence (100th hit). 

Let us pause for a moment and offer the St. Lawrence River watershed congratulations for being the recipient of 100 landings.  The St. Lawrence is solidly in 7th place on my watershed list:

1.  Mississippi –  859  (includes the Missouri)
2.  Missouri – 398
3.  Colorado – 173
4.  Columbia – 153
5.  Ohio – 135
6.  Arkansas – 117
7.  St. Lawrence – 100
8.  Snake – 75
9.  Nelson – 63
10. Atchafalaya – 67

Time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight (click on the link below and hit “back” after viewing):

  //screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=co1b2DfqcY&w=784&v=3

It looks like I landed in the woods, in a beautiful area with lots of lakes.  I knew I couldn’t get a clean Street View shot of my landing, but I gave it a shot:

GE SV map

And the orange dude sees nothing but trees . . . .

GE SV

While perusing my titular candidates, Phelps and Conover fell by the wayside (being hookless).  Eagle River is not hookful, but it’ll have to do. 

I have nothing to say about the town’s history (founded in yada yada by yada yada, home to the logging industry yada yada, now more of a resort community yada yada).  The town bills itself as the Snowmobile Capital of the World (not just the U.S.).  From the C of C website:

Welcome to the Snowmobile Capital of the World®. With an abundant amount of snowfall annually it seems as if the snowmobiles out-number the cars.

Our area is proud to host the Amsoil World Championship Snowmobile Derby, the World Snowmobile Headquarters and the Eagle River “500”, over 500 miles of the best groomed trails you can find. You will experience the dedication and hard work local volunteers put into maintaining these trails courtesy of the Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club Inc. as well as other snowmobile clubs in the surrounding areas.

Over the last decade, SnowGoer magazine readers have consistently ranked the Eagle River area as “The Best Overall Snowmobiling Vacation Destination”. Ranked No.1 for “Best Trail Riding”, Ranked No.1 for “Best Trail Signing”, Ranked No.1 for “Best Area, Catering to Families”, Ranked No.1 for “Best Area Snowmobile Service Facilities”, Ranked No.1 for “Best Weekend or Daytrips” AND, Wisconsin Northwoods restaurants ranked as the BEST in the Nation’s Snowbelt.

Phew.  No doubt about it.

The Wiki “Notable People” list had a couple of names that caught my attention:  Charles Comiskey  (because I am somewhat of a White Sox fan and have watched the Sox at the old Comiskey Park) and Jinelle Zaugg-Siergiej (because of her unusal name and the fact that she’s an Olympic athlete).

I’ll start with Comiskey, who was a more colorful character than I realized.  First a quick overview from Wiki, starting with his 1887 baseball card:

comiskey 1887

Charles Comiskey (1859 – 1931) was a Major League Baseball player, manager and team owner. He was a key person in the formation of the American League, and was also founding owner of the Chicago White Sox.  Comiskey Park, the White Sox’ storied baseball stadium, was built under his guidance and named for him.

Comiskey’s reputation was permanently tarnished by his team’s involvement in the Black Sox Scandal, a conspiracy to “throw” the 1919 World Series which some have excused by allegations that his poor treatment of White Sox players fueled the conspiracy. In spite of the scandal, Comiskey was inducted as an executive into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.

Here’s the juiciest part of his career, as owner of the White Sox (from Wiki), starting with a picture of this era:

Comiskey as white sox owner

As owner of the White Sox from 1900 until his death in 1931, Comiskey oversaw building Comiskey Park in 1910 and winning five American League pennants (1900, 1901, 1906, 1917, 1919) and two World Series (1906, 1917).

He lost popularity with his players, whose views of him became hateful, and that is seen as a factor in the Black Sox scandal, when eight players on the AL champions conspired to “throw” the 1919 World Series to the NL champion Cincinnati Reds.

Comiskey was notoriously stingy (his defenders called him “frugal”), even forcing his players to pay to launder their own uniforms.  Traci Peterson notes that, in an era when professional athletes lacked free agency, the White Sox’s formidable players had little choice but to accept Comiskey’s substandard wages. She writes:

“Charles Risberg and Claude Williams made less than $3,000 a year. Joe Jackson and George Weaver made only $6,000 a year. Eddie Cicotte had been promised a $10,000 bonus if he could win 30 games in a season. When Cicotte closed in on the 30-game goal, Comiskey had him benched to keep him from reaching the mark.”

Comiskey’s stated reason for having manager Kid Gleason bench Cicotte was that with the Sox headed for the World Series he had to protect his star pitcher’s arm (Cicotte ended up with a 29-7 record for the 1919 season). In one incident, he promised his players a bonus for winning the 1919 pennant — the “bonus” turned out to be a case of flat champagne.

Switching to Wiki’s coverage of the Black Sox Scandal:

The Black Sox Scandal took place during the play of the 1919 World Series. The Chicago White Sox lost the series to the Cincinnati Reds, and eight White Sox players were later (in 1920) accused of intentionally losing games in exchange for $5,000 each from gamblers. The players were acquitted in court, but nevertheless, they were all banned for life from baseball.

It’s a very involved story – way more than I can go into, except to say that Shoeless Joe Jackson was the most famous player of the banned eight – perhaps the best player in baseball at the time (he finished with a lifetime 0.356 batting average, and was batting 0.382 in 1920 when he was suspended). Here’s what Wiki has to say:

During the 1919 series, Jackson had 12 hits (a Series record) and a .375 batting average—leading individual statistics for both teams. He committed no errors and threw out a runner at the plate.  In spite of his great series (hardly stats of someone who tried to lose), he confessed to a Grand Jury that he was part of the fix.  When leaving the courthouse, legend has it that a young boy said “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”

He later recanted, denying that he was involved.

Shoeless Joe was a big part of the movie “Field of Dreams,” which remains one of my all-time favorite movies (it makes me cry every time I see it).

Here’s a Wiki picture of Shoeless Joe:

ShoelessJoeJackson

 

So, Comiskey doesn’t come out looking great, but he was apparently quite the mover and shaker (and likely not that much worse than other owners when it came to player treatment).

Anyway, he retired (and died) in Eagle River . . .

Moving along to and Jinelle Zaugg-Siergiej.  First, let me say that she was born Jinell Zaugg, and was then married to a local hockey player of Russian heritage (you more-or-less pronounce his last name sair-gay). 

From Wiki:

Jinelle Lynn Zaugg (born 1986) was a member of the 2009–10 United States national women’s ice hockey team and won a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

OK – pretty cool.  Back to Wiki:

In high school, Zaugg played for the Northland Pines High School varsity boys’ hockey team (in Eagle River). She was on the team that won back-to-back Lumberjack Conference championships as a junior and senior.

Good for her, playing varsity hockey with the guys.  She went to the University of Wisconsin, where she led the Badgers to two national championships.

Add in an Olympic silver medal, and I’d say she did OK.  Here’s a picture with her Team USA Jersey:

jinelleQ

Like I said earlier, I landed in a beautiful area.  A gentleman named Gerd Klausmeyer has taken and posted some lovely GE Panoramio shots.  Here’s one of Long Lake, about 4 miles north of my landing:

pano gerd klausmeyer3

And here’s one of Gail Lake, about 2 miles north of my landing:

pano gerd klausmeyer

Funny that someone put the sign there.  And then, back up near Long Lake is Big Sandy Lake, and this shot:

pano gerd klausmeyer2

Great boat!!  Moving to Kentuck Lake (less than a mile south of my landing), I’ll close with a shot by Aaron Carlson:

pano kentuck lake aaron carlson

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Butte Valley, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on August 18, 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 2205; A Landing A Day blog post number 633.

Dan:  This is getting so ridiculous that even I am wondering about the randomness of the Microsoft Excel Random Number Generator, thanks to yet another OSer landing in . . . NV; 93/80; 4/10; 2; 150.4.  I won’t bore you with the statistical analysis.  Let me just say that I’ve had enough NV and UT landings to last me for the next, oh, say 100 landings . . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my “local” landing map:

landing 2

AYKM?  One hundred miles of nothing!?!

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in (click on the link and then hit the back button after viewing):

//screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=co1oYKfFuE&w=784&v=3

Here’s a static GE shot showing that I landed in Butte Valley:

ge 2 straight down

My drainage analysis is simple:  Butte Valley, Internal.

Here’s an oblique GE shot looking southwest:

ge 1 looking sw

To get a nice feel for the valley, check out this video that tells us that Butte Valley Ranch is for sale (7,300 acres for $6.5 million):

 

A little research, and I stumbled on the fact that a glacial-era lake once existed in the valley.  It is called Gale Lake and was about 75 feet deep.  Here’s a broad map showing most of Nevada and the glacial-era lakes:

nv lakes

Here’s a close-up of Lake Gale:

lake gale

You can tell I’m not very inspired.  I’m not going to talk geology.  I’m not going to talk history.  Harumpf.  In fact, I’m simply going to close this post with several Butte Valley Panoramio shots by my good buddy Ralph Maughan  (OK, he’s not my good buddy, but I’ve certainly featured many of his shots in my posts). Here’s a cool shot from several miles northeast of my landing, looking to the northwest (using a telephoto lens):

pano ralph maughan looking n

Here’s a shot closer to my landing (still north), looking west across Butte Valley:

pano ralph maughan n butte valley

Here’s a shot from the southern end of the valley:

pano ralph maughan S butte valley

I’ll close with this sunset shot, once again looking west from north of my landing.

pano ralph maughan sunset

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Tooele, Utah

Posted by graywacke on August 14, 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 2204; A Landing A Day blog post number 632.

Dan:  After three USers in a row, the Landing God did not want me getting overly optimistic (and wanted to push my Score back to 150), so He chose a solid OSer . . . UT; 83/61; 4/10; 1; 150.0.

I’m going to borrow a little write-up I posted the last time I landed in UT (Woodside).  I’ve just changed the numbers:

Since landing 2111, I’ve landed 94 times.  Over that span, I’ve landed in NV 11 times and in UT 8 times.  That’s 19/94, or 20% of my landings have been in those two states!   That’s in spite of the fact that these two states make up 6.4% of the area of the lower 48.  So I’m landing here at triple the rate that I should.  Oh well, moving right along . . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And here’s my funky-looking local landing map:

landing 2a

More about all of the “roads” just north of my landing later.  But you see that I landed quite near Tooele.  Except for those of you with special Utah knowledge, I suspect that no one reading this knows how to pronounce Tooele.  My first inclination is tool-ee.  Wrong.  As luck would have it, I found not one but two videos that absolutely provide the correct pronunciation.  First this, posted by Braden Cope, telling a true story of his Aunt & Uncle’s trip to Tooele:

 

And here’s a clip of comedian Jamie Maxfield talking about his hometown:

 

So, it’s officially:  too-ILL-ah!

 

Before continuing, here’s my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight into the Tooele Basin (click on the link and then hit the back button after viewing):

//screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=co12IZfFVq&w=784&v=3

Here’s an oblique GE shot of my landing, looking south:

ge 2

And this one, looking east:

ge 4

I have some not-so-faraway Street View coverage:

sv landing map

And here’s what the orange dude sees:

sv landing

Before proceeding further, let me zoom back with Street Atlas to give you a regional perspective on my landing:

landing 2b

You can see I’m not far from the Great Salt Lake, or Salt Lake City for that matter.  If you were to take a wild guess about where my site drainage ends up, you’d be right, and this is my 20th Great Salt Lake watershed landing.  But painstakingly tracking my drainage via the Google Earth elevation tool, I found out a little more, as shown on this streams-only Street Atlas map:

landing 3

So, no big deal, but it looks like I landed in the watershed of Fishing Creek.  Wait a second!  Fishing Creek?  Really?  Out here in the desert?  Here’s what Utah fish and game has to say:

fishing creek writeup

Make sure you have your fishing license!  And I like “Fishing Creek Fishing.”  And here’s what they say about the best times to go fishing here:

fishing creek best fishing times

Wow.  I wonder how they came up with that?  I’m sure it’s shoulder-to-shoulder anglers between 2:00 and 4:00 AM.

My guess is that there are no fish in Fishing Creek, but that likely there used to be.  I found a reference to “Fishing Creek Springs.”  I expect that historically, these springs supplied enough water to the creek to actually make it a fishing spot (as opposed to the Great Salt Lake, which has no fish).  Here’s a GE shot showing the approximate location of the springs:

fishing creek ge 1

And a closer view showing that the springs are the headwaters of visible stream channels:

fishing creek ge 2

There are quite a few green farm fields in the vicinity.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the water that irrigates those fields comes at the expense of the erstwhile fish in Fishing Creek . . .

“Upstream” of the springs, I was able to find Street View coverage of a ditch that hypothetically would carry water from my landing towards Fishing Creek:

sv drainage map

Here’s what the orange dude sees (note the ditch):

sv drainage

 

Moving right along – we need to take a GE look at the “roads” seen on my local landing map:

ge 1

And one somewhat closer.

ge 5

And one very much closer:

ge 3

Well, as I suspected, this turns out to be an ammunition/weapons depot (the Tooele Army Depot).  Each of the little structures (known as igloos) houses a cache of ammo (which probably extends underground away from each igloo).  Each cache is separate, so that if an explosion were to occur, it would be limited to a single cache.

This from Wiki caught my eye:

In 2009, the Tooele Army Depot was awarded the Army Energy and Water Management Award. This was based on conservation efforts which saved the Depot more than $60,000 and nearly 100 million gallons of water per year.

Two things:  1.  A saving of $60,000 is a joke at a huge military installation; and 2.  If they were able to save 100 million gallons per year, they must still use a lot of water.  So I’d say that the Depot is another reason Fishing Creek no longer has fish . . .

So what about Tooele?  From Wiki:

The Tooele Valley had no permanent settlement when Mormon pioneers entered the Great Salt Lake Valley in July 1847; it was covered with abundant tall grass. The Mormons first used the valley as wintering grounds for their herds.

During the nineteenth century, the town was primarily an agricultural community; its population was about 1,200 at the turn of the century.

Mining, ore smelting and the Depot combined to turn Tooele into an actual city.  Today’s population is about 32,000.

And how about the name?  From ExploreTooele.com:

The meaning of the word depends on whom you ask or what you’ve read.  It has been claimed that Tooele is named after a weed, an Indian chief, a shaman, a black bear, and an Austrian village.

When the area was first settled in the mid-1800s, the spelling used was “Tuilla.” But before 1870 it was changed to the current spelling.

There is no official public record of who changed the spelling, nor why. However, explorer Capt. Howard Stansbury, while mapping the area in 1849, wrote in his journal, “…This valley is called Tuilla Valley by the Mormons.” Early maps of the area feature the Tuilla spelling.

It turns out that in northern Spain there is a small town, “Tuilla.”  A mere coincidence?  It is entirely possible (even likely) that the origin of Tooele’s name hails from the native town of Father Silvestre Velez de Escalante.

The Franciscan friar from Tuilla explored Utah in 1776 while trying to secure a route between Santa Fe, NM and Monterey, CA.

That’s good enough for me — although why it isn’t still spelled “Tuilla,” which is true to the current pronunciation, is very mysterious.  Probably, someone tried to meld an Indian term with the existing Tuilla . . .

I’ll close with this beautiful winter shot from just north of Tooele, looking east (GE Panoramio photo by Danka.Js):

pano danka.j

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Arcadia, Florida

Posted by graywacke on August 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 2203; A Landing A Day blog post number 631.

Dan:  Three USers in a row (and 4/5), my Score below 150, all thanks to landing once again in . . . FL; 34/47; 5/10; 3; 149.7.  I say “once again,” because this is my third Florida landing out of the last twelve.

My regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows why I’m featuring Arcadia:

 landing 2

The Peace River (first hit ever!) is just west of my landing.  The Peace discharges directly to the Gulf of Mexico:

 landing 3

Here’s what Wiki has to say about the name of the river:

The river was called Rio de la Paz (River of Peace) on 16th century Spanish charts.  Later, the Seminole Indians call it Talakchopcohatchee, River of Long Peas (for the wild pea plants that grow along the river).

While it’s fun to think that “peas” evolved to “peace,” it looks like “peace” came first . . .

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to the peaceful Peace River valley:

 //screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=co1hqLfoq4&w=522&v=3

 

By the way, the Peace River is known as a great place to look for fossil shark teeth.  It’s a little bit of work, as you need to gather up stream-bed sediments and put them through a screen.  You can actually pay to join a fossil-hunting group, like FossilExpeditions.com.  Their header says “Guided Florida Fossil Trips – Disney It Ain’t!”  Here’s a picture from their site of a Peace River shark’s tooth:

 peacefulmeg1

And here’s how to go about it:

 caloosa1

I found a couple of GE Street View landing shots to share.  First this one:

 SV landing map

And here’s what the orange dude sees:

 SV landing

And then this one, showing the deadend street you’d go down if you were visiting my landing location:

 SV landing map 2

Here ‘tis:

 SV landing 2

Try as I might, finding a good Arcadia hook has proved futile.  One thing that immediately caught my eye (especially considering the focus in my most recent post on the cool architecture along Courthouse Square in Canton, Mississippi) is the cool old-school architecture present in downtown Arcadia (very atypical for Florida towns).

I’ll start with this shot I lifted from my Canton post (Pano shot by Ben Tate):

 pano ben tate 2

And now, this Pano shot by NKPhotos of downtown Arcadia:

 pano nkphotos

Looks like Canton and Arcadia should be Sister Cities!  And check out this 1926 Aracadia building (Pano shot by Asitrac):

 pano asitrac

Speaking of old buildings, here’s an even older (turn of the century) frame building in Arcadia (Pano shot by Sam Feltus):

 pano sam feltus

T.A. Cassel’s Famous Indian Remedy for Indigestion, eh?  Probably had a high alcohol content that made the sufferer feel better . . .

Here’s what Wiki has to say about the town’s name:

The Rev. James Madison (“Boss”) Hendry (1839–1922) named the town in honor of Arcadia Albritton (1861–1932), a daughter of pioneer settlers. Arcadia had baked him a cake for his birthday and he appreciated it so much that he named the city after her.

“Arcadia” is a region in Greece.  From Wiki, a map:

640px-Nomos_Arkadias

And continuing with some Wiki words:

Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece.   It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas and was the home of the god Pan. In European Renaissance arts, Arcadia was celebrated as an unspoiled, harmonious wilderness.

Gratuitously, here’s a Wiki shot of an Arcadian town, Leonidio, tucked in the valley:

 800px-Leonidi_from_west_1993

Looks like the American West, eh?  Well, not really.  Here’s another view of the same town from a different angle (from Summer-Greece.com):

 184

VisitFlorida.com has this to say about Arcadia (Florida, not Greece):

Howdy, partner. A secret to most, Florida has a rich history of cattle-raising, which means it also had – and continues to have – a large contingent of cowboys, known locally as Florida Crackers (for the sound made by their whips). Arcadia sits in the middle of Florida cowboy country and it is a place where the Old West meets the Old South.  Arcadia hosts three rodeos, the largest of which is the “Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo.”

Now wait a second.  As you may remember, I discussed the whole “Florida Cracker” concept in my fairly recent Bronson FL post, and I found nothing about the sound made by whips.  Here’s a Wiki quote from that post:

By the 1760s the English, both at home and in the American colonies, applied the term “cracker” to Scots-Irish and English American settlers of the remote southern back country, as noted in a letter to the Earl of Dartmouth: “I should explain to your Lordship what is meant by Crackers; a name they have got from being great boasters; they are a lawless set of rascals on the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia.

Anyway, the famous cowboy artist Frederic Remington visited Arcadia.  From CowboysAndIndians.com:

By the time he arrived in Arcadia to sketch and write, Remington was already familiar with the Western breed. Cowboys to him, he reported in his article, were what gems and porcelain were to others. But the fringe characters he observed in that part of Florida were something altogether different, and his first vision of them was unforgettable: “Two very emaciated Texas ponies pattered down the street, bearing wild-looking individuals, whose hanging hair and drooping hats and generally bedraggled appearance would remind you at once of the Spanish-moss which hangs so quietly and helplessly to the limbs of the oaks out in the swamps.”

Here’s his most famous portrait of a Florida Cracker:

 cracker-cowboy-8ce698f7

 

Anyway, I’ll close with a couple of Pano pictures of the Peace River in Arcadia.  First this, by JPK1977:

 pano jpk1977 peace river

I’ll close with sunset shot by nondaywalker:

 pano nondaywalker sunset over the peace r

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Canton, Mississippi

Posted by graywacke on August 5, 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 2202; A Landing A Day blog post number 630.

Dan:  Just one more USer, and my Score will be back where it belongs (below 150), thanks to this landing in . . . MS; 35/35 (note that MS is now “perfectly subscribed,” i.e.,  it’s a PSer); 5/10; 2; 150.2.

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2a

The big lake is the dammed-up Pearl River, but I need some creeks to get drainage from my landing to the lake:

 landing 3a

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of Red Cane Creek, on to the Fannegusha Creek (more about the name in a minute), on to the Pearl River (6th hit).  The Pearl (as you may or may not know) acts as the state boundary between MS & LA before discharging into the Gulf of Mexico:

 landing 3b

I love the name “Fannegusha,” and did a little research.  From the book Native American Place Names in Mississippi by Keith Baca, I found this:

 fannegusha

There you have it!  The Tasty Squirrel Creek!  Some Choctaw must have killed and cooked a particularly succulent squirrel near the creek at some time in the distant past . . .

Here’s my GE spaceflight on in to central Mississippi (click below and hit the back button after view):

//screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=co1elLf2Up&w=522&v=3 

And yes, there’s Street View coverage right next to my landing!  Here’s where I put the orange dude:

 SV map 1

And here’s what he sees:

 SV landing 1

For additional interest, I put Mr. Orange down the road past the intersection:

 SV map 2

And here’s what he sees from this vantage point:

 SV landing 2

Bilbro’s Corner, eh?  Of course I Googled it, and found this on MerchantCircle.com:

About Bilbro’s Corner

Bilbro’s Corner is located at 289 Highway 481, Pelahatchie, MS. This business is a Convenience Store and has 1 review(s) with a star rating of 5.0.

Here’s the 5-star review (by Mitch Tyner, Decemeber 2009):

“Unfortunately this old country store closed after being open for over 50 years.”

I moved the orange dude a few feet towards the intersection, and I could see what remains of the old Bilbro’s Corner Store:

 SV Bilbro's Corner

There you have it.

Based on my local landing map (and the farm country where I landed), it looks like I’m pretty much out in the boonies.  Well, not really.  Here’s an expanded landing map:

 landing 2b

Not only did I land in the greater Jackson area, you can see that there were many other towns (besides Canton) that I could have featured (including Jackson itself).  I spent an inordinate amount of time searching for possible hooks for the many smaller towns, and for Jackson as well. 

And even though I couldn’t find anything of compelling interest about Canton, Canton it is.

One thing that attracted me to Canton is the lovely town square.  Here’s a GE view from above:

 GE town square

That’s the old County Courthouse in the middle of the square; here’s a GE Panoramio shot by Ben Tate:

 pano Ben_Tate

Staying with Ben, here’s a shot of some of the businesses around the square:

 pano ben tate 2

And here’s a Street View shot of some more:

 SV town square 1

Here’s a cool perspective, from the town’s website homepage:

 from town website

Under Notable People, the Canton Wiki entry lists Elmore James.  As regular readers know, Elmore James is an old-school Delta Blues musician, who I have featured more than once on this blog.  Here’s what Wiki has to say about his connection to Canton (and nearby Jackson):

During World War II, James joined the United States Navy, was promoted to coxswain and took part in the invasion of Guam. Upon his discharge, James returned to central Mississippi and settled in the town of Canton with his adopted brother Robert Holston. Working in Robert’s electrical shop, he devised his unique electric sound, using parts from the shop and an unusual placement of two D’Armond pickups.  Around this time James learned that he had a serious heart condition.

He began recording with Trumpet Records in nearby Jackson in January 1951, first as sideman to the second Sonny Boy Williamson and also to their mutual friend Willie Love and possibly others, then debuting as a session leader in August with “Dust My Broom”, which was a surprise R&B hit in 1952.

As a left-brained white easterner, “Dust My Broom” makes no sense.  Wiki has a robust entry about the song (written by Robert Johnson) that includes this about the title phrase:

Attempts have been made to read a hoodoo significance into the phrase “dust my broom”.   However, bluesman Big Joe Williams, who knew Robert Johnson and was familiar with folk magic, explained it as “leaving for good … I’m putting you down, I won’t be back no more”.  Music writer Ted Gioia also likens the phrase to the biblical passages about shaking the dust from the feet and symbolizing “the rambling ways of the blues musician”.

Anyway, here’s a You Tube video of “Dust My Broom” from MusicAreaHQ, that includes the lyrics.

 

 

One must appreciate that this is 1952, and this raucus rock ‘n roll sound was brand new.  As an aside, it was music just like this (and probably including this very song) that caught the ear of four young lads in Liverpool . . .

The town’s website has this to say about how the town got its name:

There are two stories concerning the naming of Canton, and both attribute the name to Chinese origin. One states that Canton, Mississippi is the exact opposite side of the world as Canton, China, and was thus named. The other story states that the daughter of a Chinese family died in the area and the sympathetic community named the town for the family. There is really no more proof for one over the other, it’s just which one you wish to believe.

Quite frankly, I believe neither.  I mean, really.  First, Canton Mississippi has no valid claim to be on the exact opposite side of the world as Canton, China.  In fact, using a “Map Tunneling” tool, here’s what I found (the plus signs are exactly opposite of each other):

 map tunnel

So, central Mississippi is opposite the central Indian Ocean between Australia and Madagascar.  And I have trouble with the sweet but extremely unlikely story about the Chinese family.  Here’s ALAD’s official version:

Canton Mississippi was named by an early settler who traveled there from Canton, Ohio, which was settled about 20 years before Canton, Mississippi. 

JFTHOI*, here’s what Wiki has to say about how Canton, Ohio got its name:

Bezaleel Wells, [great name!] the surveyor who divided the land of the town, named it after Canton, China. The name was a memorial to a trader named John O’Donnell, whom Wells admired. O’Donnell had named his Maryland plantation after the Chinese city, as he had been the first person to transport goods from Canton to Baltimore.

*  Just for the heck of it

Moving right along . . .

The town’s website also says this (talking about the Courthouse Square):

In recent years, the beauty, uniqueness, and preservation efforts of our Courthouse Square and Historic District, with its beautiful homes, have attracted the attention of Hollywood. In addition to five major films* shot at least in part in Canton, PBS again chose the town for a segment of a six hour blues documentary on blues great Skip James to air in 2003.

* including Mississippi Burning and O Brother Where Art Thou

So I looked up Skip James, and it turns out he is from Bentonia.  This little town is northwest of Canton and is visible on my expanded local landing map, above.

From Wiki:

The “Bentonia School,” or “Bentonia Blues” is described as the unique, haunting, country blues style that originated in and immediately around the small town of Bentonia.

Bentonia was the hometown of Henry Stuckey, founder of the Bentonia style of Blues, and his two famous students, Skip James and Jack Owens.

Bentonia is also home of the historic Blue Front Café where owner Jimmy “Duck” Holmes (a student of Jack Owens) keeps it authentic, especially when he breaks out his box for an impromptu performance

The annual Bentonia Blues Festival is held the third Saturday of June in downtown Bentonia.  The festival’s Blues Stage is always set up in front of the world-famous Blue Front Café.

Here’s a video (posted by Frank Diaz) of Jimmy Duck Holmes playing Bentonia Blues in his very own Blue Front Café:

 

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot of the Blue Front Café (by Benz72):

 pano benz72

The placard marks the Café as one of the stops on the “Mississippi Blues Trail” (featured numerous times on ALAD).

Time to close this down, with the closest Panoramio shot to my landing (about 6 miles west, just east of the lake, by Bill Koplitz:

 pano bill koplitz

  

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Talco and Mount Vernon, Texas

Posted by graywacke on August 1, 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 2201; A Landing A Day blog post number 629.

Dan:  I see a pattern:  NV; TX; NV; and . . . TX; 162/193; 5/10; 1; 150.6.  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 the White Oak Creek; on to the Sulphur River (3rd hit); to the Red (60th hit):

 landing 3a

Although not shown, the Red makes its way to the Atchafalaya (67th hit).

Here’s my Google Earth spaceflight in to Northeast Texas (click below and then hit the back button after viewing):

 //screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=co1nlrf2fr&w=784&v=3

As is my wont, I went looking for the closest Street View shot of my stream (White Oak Creek).  Here’s what I found:

 GE SV map white oak creek upstream

And here’s what the orange dude sees:

 GE SV white oak upstream

Looks like a flood!  Just for the heck of it, I also looked at a much-further-downstream location (just south of Talco).  Here’s the Street View shot I found:

 GE SV White Oak near Talco

I suspect that few of my readers could guess what the silver stove pipe thing is.  But I, as a hydrogeologist/hydrologist immediately suspected that it’s a stream gauging station.  This is an automatic device that continually (or periodically) measures the elevation of the stream water surface (known as the “stage” of the stream).  Some smart folks have to put together a “stage-discharge relationship,” so that the flow (discharge) of the stream can be estimated simply by measuring the stage.

Anyway, a quick Google search and I found that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates a gauging station here.  Here’s a graphic from the gauge:

 NOAA stream gauging station

This shows the flow (in kcfs or thousands of cubic feet per second) versus time.  Notice that I lifted this not too long after some recent Texas floods . . .

Moving right along to Talco.  Check out this, from the Texas State Historical Association:

In 1910 postal officials asked that the name of the office be changed [from Goolesboro], since other offices in Texas had similar names [like Gouldsboro]. The new name, Talco, was taken from the initials appearing on the wrapper of a candy bar marketed by the Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana Candy Company.

How about that!  A town in Texas named after a candy company!  Perusing the internet to find some more information about the candy company, the only references that I could find were related to the naming of Talco, Texas.

Ever suspicious of such circular internet searches, I Googled the company name but without the word “Candy,” which makes sense, since “Talco” doesn’t include a place-holder for “candy.”  From the Texas State Historical Association, I found this:

The Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana Railway Company was chartered on September 4, 1897, by a group of Cass County businessmen who wanted to connect the Texas and Pacific Railway Company at Atlanta with the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad Company at Bloomburg, a distance of eight miles all within Cass County.

So, Cass County is one county to the east of Titus County, where I landed.  My guess is that Talco has nothing to do with candy, and everything to do with luring the railroad.  In fact, returning to the “Talco” entry for the Teas State Historical Association (and repeating a sentence quoted above):

The new name, Talco, was taken from the initials appearing on the wrapper of a candy bar marketed by the Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana Candy Company.  As construction on the Paris and Mount Pleasant Railroad began, it became obvious that Talco would be bypassed, so its residents laid out a new townsite closer to the railroad; the new site included a depot.

Wow.  The very next sentence after discussing the candy company, the write-up references the problem with a railway bypassing the town.  OK, so the names of the railroad companies don’t line up, but I guess that they were trying to lure the Talco Railway to Talco before the Mount Pleasant Railroad made the scene.

So the official ALAD position is that the name of the town never had anything to do with candy and has everything to do with the railroad.  Talco city fathers (and mothers), what do you think?  I know, I know – you’d rather be named after a candy company . . .

Moving right along . . . as I was checking out my nearby GE Panoramio photos, I found reference to “Selah Ranch.”  Curious, I Googled it, and found that it’s an upscale resort/retreat.  On their homepage, it is touted as a place to “Pause.  Reflect.  Restore Your Soul.”

Unexpectedly (and not entirely consistent with the “retreat” idea) the facility has two apparently world-class “disc golf” courses.  Here’s part of their write-up:

“Lakeside and Creekside rated #1 and #2 best courses in the WORLD,” by DG (Disc Golf) Course Review and home to the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) Amateur World Doubles Championship.

Disc golf is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports, and Selah Ranch is one of the best places in the world to enjoy it.  Whether you’re an experienced player looking for a great place to play, or just a beginner looking to have some fun, we’ve got you covered.

Hole #7 of Selah’s Lakeside Course was prominently featured in the Winter 2009 Issue of the PDGA magazine, “Disc Golfer.”

Disc golf is played like traditional golf, but instead of clubs, players use specially-designed high tech plastic discs.  And instead of hitting a ball into a little hole, disc golfers throw their discs into metal baskets.  To get started, you only need three discs — a driver, a mid range disc, and a putter, and we’ve got them available in our own Selah pro shop.

Then you just step out to the first tee, make your best throw, and off you go. Selah’s two disc golf courses are designed by John Houck, widely recognized as the world’s premier course designer.

Here’s the Creekside Course layout:

 CreeksideSmallWEB

And the GE view:

 GE creekside

And the Lakeside Course layout:

 Course-OV-2011

And the GE view:

 GE lakeside

Lakeside Hole #7 was highlighted in the above write-up, and you can see why when you look at the Lakeside Course layout.  Here’s a close-up GE view of the hole (which is par 5), and the way you’d make par (assuming two “putts”):

 GE Lakeside 7th hole

Here’s a You Tube video of a hole in one on one of the short holes on the Lakeside Course:

 

Just for the heck of it, here’s a video of the world record longest disc throw (obviously not near my landing):

 

Time to move along to Mount Vernon.  There’s not much to say about Mount Vernon, but it is the birthplace and hometown of one Dandy Don Meredith.  From Wiki:

Joseph Don “Dandy Don” Meredith (1938 – 2010) was an American football quarterback, sports commentator and actor. He spent all nine seasons of his professional playing career (1960–1968) with the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his last three years as a player.

He subsequently became a color analyst for NFL telecasts from 1970–1984. As an original member of ABC’s Monday Night Football broadcast team (with Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell), he famously played the role of Cosell’s comic foil.

While I do remember watching Dandy Don as a quarterback (I was a total Cleveland Browns fan at the time), my memories of him are much more associated with watching Monday Night Football games back in the day (and I remember enjoying Dandy Don and Howard).

Here’s the original broadcast team:

 t1larg.meridith.abc

And this quick video tribute, featuring his signature song (sung when the game was in the bag for one team) “Turn Out the Lights, the Party’s Over.”

 

A fairly length perusal of local GE panoramio shots pretty much comes up empty.  So, instead, I’ll close with this shot from the Salah Ranch website:

 salah lake shot

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Lovelock, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on July 28, 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 2200; A Landing A Day blog post number 628.

Dan:  AYKM?  Once again, I landed in that big bad OSer . . . NV; 92/79; 4/10; 1; 151.1.

I’m going to repeat my standard Nevada paragraph (most recently presented two landings ago), just updating the numbers and percentages a little:

Between landing 2121 and landing 2200 (80 landings), I’ve landed in NV 10 times!  Ten is 12.5% of 80.  Nevada’s area is 110,567 sq mi; that of the lower 48 is 3,061,363 sq. mi.  Nevada’s area is 3.6% of that of the lower 48.  So I’ve landed in Nevada at almost 4 times the rate that I should have over the last 80 landings.  That’s what Over-Subscribed (OS) is all about . . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2a

Without resorting to a streams-only map, you can see that I landed in the watershed of the Humboldt River (27th hit).  It goes without saying that the Humboldt River goes nowhere.

OK, so “nowhere” isn’t exactly correct.  Here’s the afore-mentioned streams-only map:

 landing 3a

I landed near the dead end of the Humboldt River.  If there’s enough flow, the water will make it to Toulon / Humboldt lakes.

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to the Humboldt Valley.  (Click below and hit the back button when you’re done).

//screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=coiuINfvWE&w=820&v=3

Of course, I checked out Street View coverage for bridges over the Humboldt.  Close to Lovelock, I found two spots:

 GE Humboldt SV shot map

Here’s the upstream Street View shot of the river:

 GE SV humboldt

For Nevada, I’d say this is quite the substantial river!  Now, let’s look at the downstream Street View shot of the river:

 GE SV humboldt 2

Oh oh.  What happened to all of the water?  I’ll zoom in to get a closer look at the river near the downstream shot:

 GE humboldt dam

So they dammed up the river and stole all of the water (reminds me a little of Joni Mitchell’s “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot”).  Anyway, what happens to the water?  This . . .

 GE farm land

A 15-mile stretch of farmland surrounding Lovelock.

So, what about Lovelock?  From Wiki:

The area around what would become Lovelock came to prominence as a lush way station on the Humboldt Trail to California. According to an 1849 description of what were then called the Big Meadows, “This marsh for three miles is certainly the liveliest place that one could witness in a lifetime. There is some two hundred and fifty wagons here all the time. Trains going out and others coming in and taking their places is the constant order of the day. Cattle and mules by the hundreds are surrounding us, in grass to their knees, all discoursing sweet music with the grinding of their jaws.”

A few settlers stopped on there to harvest the wild rye growing in the meadows and scythe the hay each fall, which they then sold on. Arriving there from California in 1866, the English settler George Lovelock (1824–1907) bought the squatters’ right for 320 acres and got with it the oldest water rights on the Humboldt River.

So, Lovelock’s raison d’etre is the Humboldt River and the wetlands / meadows that were present at the downstream end of the river.

Staying with the Humboldt for a little longer, I found a Nevada State publication entitled “Humboldt River Chronology.”  The publication emphasizes the fact that the Humboldt River is part of the “Great Basin.”  The Great Basin is a large area that is entirely internally-drained; i.e., precipitation that falls here never makes it to an ocean.  Here’s a map:

 great basin map

Funny thing.  I’ve been tracking watersheds and talking about internally-drained basins for years, but I’ve never formally addressed “The Great Basin” before.  It’s about time!  From the Nevada State publication:

The Humboldt River Basin lies wholly within a vast Intermountain region which was first recognized for its unique geophysical structure by John C. Frémont, who fittingly named it the “Great Basin”.  The  Great Basin is defined as an area of internal drainage systems bordered by the Rocky Mountains on the east, the Sierra Nevada on the west, the Columbia Plateau on the north and the Colorado Plateau on the south. Surface waters within this expansive area never reach the ocean, but are confined to closed basins which ultimately drain to terminal lakes, playas, or sinks.

The GreatBasin covers an area of approximately 205,780 square miles and includes nearly all of Nevada, much of eastern California, western Utah, southeastern Oregon, and portions of southern Idaho.

The Great Basin is characterized by considerable variation in its topography, with one record example for adjacent valley bottoms and mountain tops being the vertical relief of 11,331 feet between Badwater in Death Valley (282 feet below sea level) and nearby Telescope Peak in the Panamint Range (elevation 11,049 feet).

[Personal note:  During a 1972 Lafayette College geology field trip, I stood across Death Valley from Telescope Peak, gazing at the 11,331 feet of elevation difference right in front of me.]

The most extreme example of this variable topography within the Great Basin is the elevation difference of 14,744 feet over a distance of 84 miles which separates Death Valley from the summit of Mount Whitney (14,462 feet).

More typically, the difference between the Great Basin’s mountaintops and valley bottoms ranges from 3,800 feet to 7,600 feet with an average difference of 5,800 feet.

Back to Wiki, a little more about Lovelock:

Some twenty miles south of the town is the Lovelock Native Cave, a horseshoe-shaped cave of about 35 ft width and 150 ft length where Northern Paiute natives anciently deposited a number of duck decoys and other artifacts.

Could use a little editing.  Not a word about how ancient, and “anciently deposited” is a peculiar way to describe what the natives did to duck decoys.  But worth investigating.  From the Wiki entry about the cave:

The large rock shelter is next to the shore of the Pleistocene Lake Lahontan a large lake that covered much of Nevada during the most recent glacial epoch. It was formed by the lake’s currents and wave action. It was first a rock shelter. Eventually an earthquake collapsed the overhang of the mouth.

To give you an idea of how big the lake was, here’s a GE Panoramio shot by Baker7598 looking across the valley from the mouth of the cave.  Keep in mind that lake wave action helped form the cave:

pano baker7598

Back to the Wiki write-up:

The dry environment of the cave resulted in a wealth of well-preserved artifacts that provide a glimpse on how people lived in the area. Lovelock Cave was in use as early as 2580 BC but was not intensely inhabited until around 1000 BC.  People occupied Lovelock Cave for over 4,000 years.

In 1911 two miners, David Pugh and James Hart, were hired to mine for bat guano from the cave to be used as fertilizer. They removed a layer of guano estimated to be three to six feet deep, and dumped it in a heap outside of the cave. The miners were aware of the artifacts but only the most interesting specimens were saved.

L.L. Loud of the Paleontology Department at the University of California was contacted by the mining company when the refuse left by the ancient people proved so plentiful that fertilizer could no longer be collected.

The most renowned discovery at Lovelock Cave was a cache of eleven duck decoys. M.R. Harrington and L.L. Loud found when they were digging for the Museum of the American Indian in 1924. The remarkable decoys were made from bundled tule, a long grass-like herb, covered in feathers and painted.

Here’s a Wiki picture of one of the decoys by Mark R. Harrington:

Lovelock_Cave_decoy_Autry

Amazing!

Before closing this post out with my usual Panoramio shots, here’s a true confession.  I had finished up the draft of this post, and was typing the “tags.”  As I started to type “Lovelock,” Word Press finished it for me, saying “Lovelock Nevada.”  Oops, I thought, I landed here previously and never checked out my previous post!  Well, in fact I did land here previously (October 2009).  There’s just a minor bit of repetition, so I strongly recommend that upon finishing up this post, you type “Lovelock” in the search box, and check out my earlier post.  It’s excellent!

All righty then.  It’s time for some Panoramio shots from near my landing.  Here’s a shot just 1.5 miles NW of my landing by Nitro929:

 pano nitro929 1.5 mi ne

I’ll close with this shot taken a couple of miles north of my landing, looking west on Coal Canyon Road, heading down to the Humboldt Valley (by David Goulart):

 pano david goulart  2 mi nw

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Pampa, Texas

Posted by graywacke on July 24, 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 2199; A Landing A Day blog post number 627.

Dan:  This was one of those landings that took a long time, thanks to six water landings (five Atlantic Ocean and one Pacific Ocean), prior to really landing in . . . TX; 161/193; 5/10; 1; 150.8. 

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

Heaton and Hoover hardly exist, and I couldn’t find a hook for Lefors, so Pampa it is.

I’ll hold off on my watershed analysis until after we take a Google Earth spaceflight look-see.  (Click below and hit “back” after viewing):

//screencast-o-matic.com/embed?sc=cohbI2fjKz&w=784&v=3

 

Here’s a static GE shot of my landing:

 GE 1

Notice the change in landscape to the south?  Not surprisingly, drainage from my landing heads south towards the obvious stream channels.  Zooming back on my streams-only StreetAtlas map, I saw readily that there was a river to the south (identified shortly), and that a north-south creek would carry my runoff to the river.  But I was disappointed (but not surprised) that I couldn’t find a creek name on my StreetAtlas map.

But I did see that I had GE Street View coverage of a bridge over the unnamed creek:

 GE SV Map 1

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

 GE SV creek

A very long bridge over a very wide (but ill-defined) creek bed.  But there’s a sign that names the creek!  Try as I might, I couldn’t read it.  It kind of looked like it started with “Cant” and ended with “ent,” but that’s all I could get. 

I Googled everything I could imagine, but couldn’t get the name of the creek, until I took one more look at my StreetAtlas map . . .

 landing 3a

As you can see, the creek’s name is Cantonment Creek, and the map shows a short stub just before it discharges to the North Fork of the Red River (4th hit).  FYI, “cantonment” is “a military garrison or camp.”  Why it’s the name of this creek, I have no clue.  Anyway, here’s a broader view:

 landing 3b

The North Fork of the Red River discharges to (what else?) the Red River (59th hit).  With no map, you’re going to have to take my word for it that the Red discharges to the Atchafalaya (my favorite-sounding river; 66th hit).

Before moving on, I positioned the orange dude on a bridge over the North Fork:

 GE SV Map 2

First, here’s a shot showing an incredibly long bridge for a not-very-wide river:

 GE 6

Obviously, there must be some pretty ferocious storms that make the river fill its entire flood plain, necessitating a half-mile long bridge.  Anyway, here’s what the orange dude sees (strange lighting, eh?):

GE SV river

 Take a look back at the GE landing shot, presented much earlier in this post. Besides the circular irrigated farm fields, you can see three areas with some sort of development.  Here’s a closer view of the one to the northeast:

 GE 2

Still not sure what I was looking at, I zoomed in a little closer:

 GE 3

So now I know.  It’s a feed lot and all of those dots are cattle.  I also noticed this, at the southern end of the western-most feed lot:

 GE 4

Not sure what I was looking at, I zoomed in:

 GE 5

Now I really don’t know what I’m looking at!

Moving along to Pampa.  From Wiki:

In 1888, the Santa Fe Railroad was constructed through the area where Pampa would be established. A rail station and telegraph office was built, and the townsite was laid out by George Tyng, manager of the White Deer Lands ranch. The town was first called Glasgow, then Sutton, and then the name was changed to Pampa after the pampas grasslands of South America at Mr. Tyng’s suggestion.

Wow.  A town in Texas named after a grassland region in South America!  I’ll pay South America a quick visit.  I’ll start with a Wiki map by Jjw, followed by some Wiki words:

PAMPAS

The Pampas (from Quechua pampa, meaning “plain”) are fertile South American lowlands, covering about 290,000 sq mi that include portions of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.  The climate is mild, with precipitation ranging from 25 to 40 inches/year, more or less evenly distributed through the year, making the entire region appropriate for agriculture and cattle ranching.

Historically (beginning in the early 1800s), cattle herding was performed by Gauchos (South American cowboys).  The term is still prevalent today.

From Wiki, here’s a 1868 shot of a gaucho:

320px-Gaucho1868b

Moving right along:  two diametrically-opposed people caught my eye in the Pampa “Notable People” section of Wiki:  Woody Guthrie and T. Boone Pickens.

From Wiki, well into the “Early Life” portion of the entry on Woody:

In 1929 (at age 17), Woody Guthrie’s father sent for his son to come to Texas, but little changed for the aspiring musician. Guthrie was reluctant to attend high school classes in Pampa and spent much time learning songs by busking on the streets and reading in the library at Pampa’s city hall.

He was growing as a musician, gaining practice by regularly playing at dances with his father’s half-brother Jeff Guthrie, a fiddle player. At the library, he wrote a manuscript summarizing everything he had read on the basics of psychology. A librarian in Pampa shelved this manuscript under Guthrie’s name, but it was later lost in a library reorganization.

Other, more basic info:

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (1912 – 1967) was an American singer, songwriter and musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children’s songs, ballads and improvised works.

His best-known song is “This Land Is Your Land.”   Songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Hunter, Harry Chapin, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Andy Irvine, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jerry Garcia, Jay Farrar, Bob Weir, Jeff Tweedy, Bob Childers and Tom Paxton (and countless others) have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.

Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression when Guthrie traveled with displaced farmers from Oklahoma to California and learned their traditional folk and blues songs, earning him the nickname the “Dust Bowl Troubadour.”  Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States Communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any.

And then, this very cool quote (also from Wiki):

On the typescript submitted for copyright of “This Land Is Your Land”, Guthrie wrote:

“This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”

I found a NY Times article, (Aug 12, 2012 by Lawrence Downes) entitled “As Woody Turns 100, We Protest Too Little.”  Here’s the opening few paragraphs (after the iconic picture from the article):

19editorial-articleLarge

In October the Kennedy Center will throw a centennial party for Woody Guthrie, a star-studded concert with tickets topping out at $175. It will be America’s ultimate tribute to a beloved troubadour. “Through his unique music, words and style,” the Kennedy Center says, “Guthrie was able to bring attention and understanding to the critical issues of his day.”

Poor Woody. The life and music of America’s great hobo prophet, its Dust Bowl balladeer, boiled down to this: He brought attention to the critical issues of his day.

Maybe that’s what happens to dissidents who are dead long enough. They are reborn for folk tales and children’s books and PBS pledge drives. They become safe enough for the Postal Service. “For a man who fought all his life against being respectable, this comes as a stunning defeat,” Arlo Guthrie said in 1998, when his father was put on a 32-cent stamp.

Will Kaufman’s book “Woody Guthrie, American Radical” tried to set the record straight last year. The sentimental softening and warping of Woody’s reputation began early, even as he was dying, in the 1960s. But under the saintly folk hero has always been an angry vigilante — a fascist-hating, Communist-sympathizing rabble-rouser who liked to eviscerate his targets, sometimes with violent imagery. He was a man of many contradictions, but he was always against the rich and on the side of the oppressed.

Just for the heck of it, here’s Woody doing “Hobo’s Lullaby,” later covered by his son Arlo (who I saw in concert back in the day):

 

Now, on to T. Boone Pickens.  So Woody was against the rich and on the side of the oppressed.  If he were alive today, Woody would have nothing but disdain for T. Boone Pickens and his ilk.   Well, it turns out that T. Boone’s 68,000-acre country estate is north of Pampa, along the Canadian River.  Here’s just a little about T. Boone, from Wiki:

Thomas Boone Pickens, Jr. (born May 22, 1928), known as T. Boone Pickens, is an American business magnate and financier. Pickens chairs the hedge fund BP Capital Management. He was a well-known takeover operator and corporate raider during the 1980s. As of September 2014, Pickens has a net worth of $1 billion.

That’s all I need to know.  So, here’s a GE shot showing the location of the main house on his ranch:

 GE 7 t boone

Here’s a closer view, showing the location of the main house and some other house:

 GE8 t boone 2

The main house:

 GE8 t boone 3

The other house:

 GE8 t boone 4

From Forbes, here’s a closer view of the main house:

 0x600

OK, OK.  I guess you can tell that I’d rather talk about Woody Guthrie than T. Boone Pickens.  Cat’s out of the bag . . .

 I found a video of the implosion of a Celanese plant in Pampa.  I’m always a fan of destruction videos, so here goes:

 

As per usual, I’ll post some GE Panoramio photos.  First this scary shot by Bruce Da Moose of a 1982 tornado near Pampa:

 pano Bruce da Moose 1982 tornado

Here’s a shot by CatDaddy taken just down the road from the feed lot:

 pano CatDaddy harvesting wheat

And this old grain elevator, located just east of my landing (by pbft):

 pano pbft grain elevator

I’ll close with this shot by Jim Fay looking south near my landing, down the landscape formed by the eroding streams:

 pano Jim Fay dissected landscape

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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

 
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