A Landing a Day

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for November, 2008

Tunnelton, West Virginia

Posted by graywacke on November 30, 2008

Dan –  After a string of WBers (interrupted only by ID), I finally landed back East.  But to no avail, as I landed in a PS state that has now joined OS-land . . . WV; 14/13; 2/10; 10; 167.8.

But, two new rivers!  The Tygart Valley R, on to the Mongahela, which, as I’m sure you know, joins up with the Allegheny in downtown Pittsburgh to form the Ohio (98th hit).

I also liked the series of creek watersheds I landed in:  The Left Fork of the LIttle Sandy Ck, which joins up with the Right Fork of the Little Sandy Ck to form (what else?) Little Sandy Ck; which flows into (what else?) Sandy Ck.  Sandy Ck then flows into the Tygart Valley R.  Although all rivers are masters of their own valleys, this is the first river watershed I’ve landed in that actually has “valley” in its name.

Here’s a picture of the Tygart Valley river at Moatsvlle, near where the Sandy Ck joins the River:

Tygart Valley River

I landed just south of Tunnelton (2000 pop 536).  From WVExp.com:

A community in Preston County, incorporated in 1807. So named because of its location at the eastern end of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) tunnel at the point, then the longest tunnel in the world. Tunnelton was formerly known as Cassady’s Summit.
Tunnelton was built on land acquired by Hon. Jame C. McGrew who, perceiving the advantageous position, built the first house and the first store which furnished the nucleus for the future town. It was largely supported at first by timber and lumber industry, to which was added a large tannery in 1858. Later Mr. McGrew, after opening mines and constructing tramways and other structures, began to mine and ship coal to supply the increasing demand in eastern cites; but he was forced to abandon his enterprises by a discirmination in freight rates in favor of other mines farther west in which the railroad officials were interested. The first post office immediately followed the opening of the railroad.



Oh my!  The longest tunnel in the world!!  And then, poor Mr. McGrew got McScrewed by the railroads.  Here’s a picture of the tunnel (called the Kingwood Tunnel), which was bored in 1852 and abandoned and sealed in 1950.  (So, this tunnel died the year I was born.  Yet another interesting 1950 occurrence:  the name of the Tygart River was changed to the Tygart Valley River!)

Kingwood Tunnel

Here’s a poster produced back in the day . . .

Cool Old Poster

Here’s the only picture I could find of Tunnelton proper:


So, the brick building used to be a . . . bank?



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Hot Springs, MT

Posted by graywacke on November 30, 2008

This is my landing from 11/27/08.

Dan –  The misery continues.  As long as the misery is continuing, it might as well come from the evil M&M&M.  Of the three, it’s most likely to be . . . . MT; 96/76; 2/10; 9; 167.3. 

For the 8th time, I landed in the Flathead R watershed, on to the Clark Fork (13th hit); on to the Pend Oreille (14th hit); on to the Columbia.  The only time I landed in the Pend Oreille watershed without landing in the Clark Fork watershed was a landing in NE WA back in November of 2004, when I landed in the watershed of a creek that flowed directly into the Pend Oreille.

Anyway, I landed near the town of Hot Springs (2000 pop. 531), in NW MT.  From the town’s website:


The Story of Hot Springs goes back long before the establishment of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai (CS&K) Reservation, and the opening of the reservation to homesteaders in 1910. The Pond d’Orielle Indians knew of the healing waters even before trappers and settlers discovered them, and called them “Big Medicine.”

 The town itself has a checkered history, having begun life as Pineville in the 1890s, literally cheek to cheek with another small town, Camas. The Hot Springs post office was opened in 1913, and as Hot Springs grew, Camas shrank. As the fame of our wonderful hot mineral springs grew, accommodations were built to house our international visitors and in 1948 the tribes completed their beautiful new bathhouse and swimming pool complex. At our peek, our population was over 1,000 residents.


 But hard times hit the town. Fire destroyed most of main street in 1918, and again in 1931. The sawmill also burnt down. The hospital was closed. Finally , in 1985, the tribes closed the bathhouse, dealing a devastating blow to our economy. Shortly thereafter the Hot Springs Mercantile burned to the ground. To top off the bad news, cattle prices sagged the area logging was severely curtailed. The population of the town dropped to about 400 by 1990.

Back in the day . . .




They say, “Close only counts in horseshoes,” but we know better. We still hope the CS&K Tribes will see the economic possibilities of reopening the bathhouse under professional management in the near future. Meanwhile, our quiet community has attracted painters, potters, jewelry makers, and other craftsmen to become permanent residents. The population is up to about 600 happy people, and growing. Every year thousands of people find relief from stress, soothe their aches and pains, meet old friends and make new ones, while soaking in our mineral waters and mud.


 We still stand behind our motto:   “Limp in, leap out.”


The picture below is apparently taken in Hot Springs.  Note the names under the photo identifying who’s in the picture.


Cool picture, bogus ID's

It seems pretty apparent that the names of the people are bogus.  Teddy Roosevelt with Wyatt Earp and Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid??  I don’t think so . . .although a guy named Jason Leaf has spent half of his life studying the photo and has done a side-by-side comparison of actual pictures vs. the above, and thinks that a couple of people are correct, including Butch Cassidy and Liver Eating Johnson.  We all know Butch, but who the heck is Liver Eating Johnson? (he’s pictured below and is the 3rd seated gentlemen from the left in the above photo). 

Liver-Eating Johnson

From DamnInteresting.com:

From the cloudy reservoir of history it is often difficult to separate legend from reality, and such is the case with the story of the infamous American mountain man John Johnston. It is certain that throughout his life he was known by many names, but most famously he came to be known at the time as “Crow Killer” and “Liver-Eating Johnson.”

Soon the scalped bodies of Crow warriors began to appear throughout the Northern Rockies and the plains of Wyoming and Montana. Each had had his liver cut out, and presumably eaten by the killer. Eventually other mountain men and Indians learned of Johnston’s ongoing vengeance slayings, and he soon became known as “Liver-Eating Johnson” . Also known as “The Crow Killer,” he was waging a mortal, solitary battle against the whole Crow tribe, and no Crow warrior was safe from his wrath.
The story goes on and on, and becomes less believable, so I’ll think I’ll spare you.
I like a landscape shot, so here ’tis (from Mt. Baldy, near Hot Springs):
From Mt. Baldy, near Hot Springs
Oh, all right, I also like to show old abandoned cars near my landing:Old Plymouth near Hot Springs




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Norman, NE

Posted by graywacke on November 29, 2008

This landing occurred on 11/26/08.  To learn what this blog is all about, see “About Landing.”

Dan –  Still in the doldrums, with yet another WBer . . . NE; 49/43; 3/10; 8; 166.8.  For the fourth time, I landed in the Little Blue R watershed; on to the Big Blue (12th hit); on to the Kansas (49th hit, putting the Kansas in a solid 9th place).


Typical for NE, I landed in an area dominated by little agricultural/railroad towns, all struggling for their very existence.  Today, it was Norman. Norman has 49 people; 48 white folks and one “other.”


I like the street names in the town.  Here’s a complete list:  Norman Ave, Christen Ave, Ellen Ave, Main Ave, Jessie St, May St and Pine St.  The avenues run E-W and the streets N-S. So what do you think?  The Norman family founded the town, and family members Jessie, Christen, Ellen and May were honored by having streets named after them.  And then, what the heck, Pine and Main were thrown in for good measure.


I couldn’t find much about the town per se, but I did find a couple items of some interest.  First, a nasty tornado struck Norman in 1903.


Norman, NE Tornado, May 1903






Hastings, Neb., May 26. — A series of heavy storms, two of which developed into the worst tornadoes that have visited Southern Nebraska for years, passed over portions of Clay, Franklyn and Kearney counties in the night. Fifteen persons lost their lives, twenty odd were more or less seriously injured and a number of others received minor injuries. Every dwelling and outbuilding in the path of the tornado was blown to pieces and the financial loss thus far accounted for will reach about $60,000.


The dead are: Daniel McCurdy, Robert McCurdy, Mrs. John Wehlever, Mrs. Earl Bacon, Mrs. C. A. Tipple, near Norman; Lutheran minister, name unknown; Mrs. John Peters; Mrs. Chris. Lamers and mother, near Upland; Mr. and Mrs. James Muman and child, Frank Quigg, Flaro Palmer and John Palmer of Pauline.


Near Norman, at the home of Daniel McCurdy, a number of relatives and friends were spending the day and not an inmate escaped death or serious injury. Two miles south of Upland, German Lutheran services were being held in a schoolhouse when the storm struck and demolished it, killing four of the occupants, including the minister, and injuring a number of others. . . .


The Iowa Recorder, Greene, Iowa, 27 May 1903


I love the “more or less seriously injured” and buildings were “blown to pieces” and financial loss will reach the staggering figure of about $60,000 and there was a dead Lutheran minister, name unknown, and folks at the home of Dan McCurdy are called “inmates.”


Moving right along, to an EOSS landing that occurred just outside of Norman!!!!  Hmmm, what the heck is an EOSS landing?  Well, read on . . .


What is EOSS

Edge of Space Sciences (EOSS) is a Denver, Colorado based non-profit organization that promotes science and education by exploring frontiers in amateur radio and high altitude balloons.

What We Do

Our members utilize amateur radio and balloons to advance scientific study of the upper atmosphere. We regularly work with educators, offering valuable opportunities to enhance their students’ studies of science, mathematics and technology through real, hands-on experience.

EOSS has conducted as many as thirteen balloon projects in a year, sending radio-equipped payloads deep into the stratosphere over eastern Colorado. Our typical apogee of 95,000 feet is above 99% of the Earth’s atmospheric mass, where the sky is black and the highest clouds remain far below. VHF and UHF radio signals transmitted from this height are received as far as 400 miles away!

Sometimes called the “Edge of Space”, this largely unexplored territory offers a wealth of opportunities for scientific observation and has even served as a reasonable approximation to outer space for testing prototype spacecraft. Gas balloons are the most practical means to get there, since rockets can visit it only briefly, and it is unattainable by ground-based aircraft. Because of the low cost of balloon flight expendables and recovery of payloads, one local high school teacher characterized EOSS as the “Poor Man’s Space Program”.

Below is the projected and actual flight paths for EOSS-119.  Norman is between the Actual Landing Site and the Predicted Landing Site.  How about that, they had a landing site and so did I!  (My landing was a little SSE of Norman, actually closer to the Predicted Landing Site than to the Actual Landing Site.  Oh, well.


Below is a picture of the launch, up near Doniphan NE:

EOSS-119 Balloon Launch

FYI, Doniphan is about 30 miles NE of Norman.  It seems strange that the wind was blowing towards the SW. 

Anyway, here’s a picture of a happy fellow at the site of the balloon recovery:

EOSS-119 Landing Site

Below are many excited people who have congregated at the EOSS-119 landing site (if only they knew how close they were to my landing site, they’d have twice the reason to congregate!!!)

Near Landing Site(s)






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

Yellow Pine, Idaho

Posted by graywacke on November 28, 2008

Note:  This entry is a couple of days old (it’s my 11/25/08 landing).  I only do one landing per day, but thought I’d start with this one.  I’ll be catching up soon.  Read “About Landing” to figure out what this is all about . . .


Dan –  So, I looked at the lat/long – N45, W115 – and I thought:  “damn, a WBer.”  But then, I had a glimmer of hope (typically dashed in similar situations) that it could be ID.  But then, it was  . . . ID; 36/43; 3/10; 7; 166.3. 


 I landed in the Middle Fk of the Salmon R watershed (4th hit), on to the Salmon (10th hit), to the Snake (56th) to the Columbia (92nd). 


 I landed near Yellow Pine, home of the famous Yellow Pine Harmonica Fest.


 So Dan, if the above sounds familiar (especially the part about the Yellow Pine Harmonica Fest), it’s because I cut-and-pasted my 2/18/08 email to you, and only changed the numbers as appropriate.  I landed a mere 3.5 miles away from my February landing.


 But here’s the big story on Action News:  As reported in February of 2008, the 2007 Yellow Pine Harmonica Fest was canceled at the last minute due to supposed “fire code violations.”   But the Fest is back!!  The 2008 festival was held in August, and was a roaring success!!


 Harmonica Fest 2008/9

A summer music festival hidden in the backwoods… 


Yellow Pine

Idaho – USA,


Population 40








 …Everyone is getting into the act!


 20th! Annual Yellow Pine

Harmonica Contest & Festival


Aug. 7
th, 8th, 9th, 2009              Make your plans to attend now!!











  This is a picture of Harmonica Fest 2008.  Wow!  Look at the crowds!  They actually close down Main Street for three days!! 


 From the same website, this about the Village of Yellow Pine:


 The village of Yellow Pine is high in the Idaho mountains (alt. 4,765 ft), 150 miles north of Boise, surrounded by national forests… and is known as the “Gateway to the Central Idaho Wilderness Area.”  You’ll see dirt streets, a real live “little red schoolhouse” (fondly known as The University of Yellow Pine), a wooded RV park, rustic cabins, country store, hotel, gas pumps, three tavern/cafes, and the Community Hall and Fire Hall. 


 The Pioneer Cemetery (which contains many historic grave stones) is in the forest near the Yellow Pine campground, about 1/4 mile from town. 


  cemetery sign


I love that “Dead End Road” has equal billing to the cemetery. 

If there’s a fire in Yellow Pine, don’t worry, this fine fire truck will be zooming to the scene:












 Yellow Pine's only firetruck??



Here’s a nice shot of Main St. looking in the opposite direction than the crowd shot above (and, obviously, when there’s no Harmonica Fest going on.



Main St.






Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »