A Landing a Day

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Archive for January, 2009

Holden, Utah

Posted by graywacke on January 31, 2009

First timers – check out “About Landng,” above.

Dan –  Two steps back, two steps forward, two steps back.  That translates to 2 OSers: AZ & AZ; 2 USers:  GA & TX; and 2 OSers:  MN and . . . UT; 58/45; 3/10; 1 (breaking a run of 12 4/10 or greater); 167.0. 

Curious about what part of Utah in which I landed?  Listen to my watershed entry:  Central Utah Canal (2nd hit); Sevier R (7th hit); Internal.  That’s right, the Sevier R winds through central UT, but just ends up in a patch of desert.

According to Utah Online, the Sevier is one of the most used river in the U.S.  That’s right, almost no water is “wasted.”  Nearly every drop is used (mainly for agricultural irrigation).  More specifically:

Less than 1 percent of the total precipitation that lands in the watershed is not consumed.

Here’s a map of the watershed:

 Sevier River Basin

My landing is right on the eastern border of the lower watershed (east of the “lake”).  Here’s my local map:


As you can see, I landed near Holden.  Here’s a broader view:


More from Utah Online:

Holden was first settled in 1855 and named Cedar Springs for the springs amongst the cedar trees that the community was built around. The town then assumed the name Buttermilk Fork because travelers passing through were encouraged to stop for a glass of cold buttermilk while they rested. Elijah E. Holden was an early settler and an honored member of the Mormon Battalion. He froze to death in the nearby mountains and it was decided to name the community in his honor. It was incorporated in 1923.

He froze to death?  Makes one wonder about the circumstances.  I suspect that early settlers generally knew how to handle themselves through a Utah winter.  So anyway, what about the Mormon Battalion?  From Wiki:

The Mormon Battalion was the only religious unit in American military history, serving from July 1846 to July 1847 during the Mexican-American War. The battalion was a volunteer unit of about 500 Latter-day Saint men led by Mormon company officers, commanded by regular army officers. The battalion eventually made a grueling march from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego, California.

The battalion’s march and service was instrumental in helping secure new lands in several Western states, especially the Gadsden Purchase of 1853 of much of southern Arizona.  The march also opened a southern wagon route to California.  Veterans of the battalion played significant roles in America’s westward expansion in California, Utah, Arizona and other parts of the West.

At the time they enlisted, Mormon leaders were seeking U.S. government aid for their migration west to the Rocky Mountains and Salt Lake Valley.  Under continued harrassment, they had fled Nauvoo, Illinois and were camped among the Potawatomi Indians, where they expected to spend the winter.

Brigham Young sought assistance from the federal government for the Mormon trek west and sent an emissary to Washington, who arrived in Washington only eight days after Congress had declared war on Mexico.  After several meetings President Polk agreed to assist the Mormons if  “five hundred to one thousand” men enlisted.

Brigham Young wrote a letter justifying the call-up to the Saints:

“The President wants to do us good and secure our confidence. The outfit of this five hundred men costs us nothing, and their pay will be sufficient to take their families over the mountains . . . the thing is from above for our own good.”

This is my second landing where I bumped into the Mormon Battalion.  Dan – remember Mormon Bar, (a July 2008 landing)?  It was on the American River in Cen CA, where many of the Mormon Battalion ended up looking for gold.  Remember, there was a scoundrel amongst the Mormons who ripped off his brethren.

So here’s a picture of a funky old garage in Holden.  I love the architecture.


Here’s the side view of the garage.  A little less architecturally pure . . .


I stumbled on a motorcycle travel blog.  Click HERE to see the whole blog (it’s pretty cool).  The motorcyclist spent one night camped out in the countryside near Holden.  Here’s a picture:


“Til next time . . .





© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Grand Marais, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on January 30, 2009

First timers, check out “About Landing,” above.

Dan –  Second only to MT on the OS list is another of the evil M&M&Ms, which is where I landed today . . . MN; 61/45; 4/10; 11; 166.4.  A new river, the Cascade, which flows into Lake Superior (12th hit); on to the St. Lawrence, of course (74th hit, solidly in 7th place on my river hits list, between the Arkansas with 84 hits and the Snake with 58 hits).

I landed up in the Arrowhead of MN, in the middle of nowhere.  Here’s a shot showing how much in the middle of nowhere I am.  For reference, the map is about 20 miles by 10 miles.


Here’s a broader view (my landing is the southern one):


As you can see, the nearest town is Grand Marais (pop 1400).  The more northern landing occurred on Halloween of 2007.  Back then, my emails to you were brief and to the point.  For old time’s sake, here’s the email I sent you:

Dan –  I landed in the “Boundary Waters” region of MN, where there are interconnected lakes everywhere.  It’s actually pretty hard to figure out which way the water is flowing, but I took my best guess, which landed me in two new watersheds:  the South Brule which flows to the Brule, which flows to Lk Superior.  So anyway:  MN; 42/30; 2/10; 182.3 (my highest since early June . . .)

That was landing 1269; today’s is 1638.  So, 369 landings ago, MN was still way OS.  My score was 182.3, so I’ve managed to get it down about 16 points . . .

Take another look at the above map.  See good ol’ Rt 61 running along the lake shore?  Remember my Como MS landing, where I mentioned that Rt 61 ended up going all the way to Canada.  Well, there it is . . .

Here’s an even broader view showing the location of Grand Marais:


Looks mighty cold . . .

So anyway, Grand Marais has a great website, and until further notice, that’s my source for the following:

Ya gotta love this place

Every nook and cranny has personality & authenticity.  One minute you’re in this timeless harbor village enjoying a cappuccino (or a bottle of wine), and the next you’re at the doorstep of millions of acres of national wilderness just waiting to be explored.

It’s safe to say, it’s like nowhere else on the planet. Except for, maybe, somewhere in New England.  But they have funny accents.

The Ojibwe called this location Kitchi-Bitobig, meaning “double body of water” (a reference to the two-sided harbor), and it was a Native American village for many years before any Europeans arrived. It is the translation from the French trappers’ dialect for this large bite out of Superior’s shore.  Literally, “great marsh” ; but in the trappers French dialect, it probably meant something closer to “great bay.”

Boy, does Kitchi-Bitobig get my vote!!  Anyway, here’s a picture of the entrance to the harbor:

 grand marais harbor

From the back-in-the-day part of the website, here’s a fur trading post:

 Fur Trading Post

And a family camping trip from 1910 (see lighthouse in background):


And this, about Rt 61:

The North Shore Scenic Drive is a destination unto itself. It begins in Duluth, Minnesota and follows the northeastern edge of Lake Superior for 154 unspoiled miles to Grand Portage. Highway 61 draws a paved line between the world’s largest freshwater lake and dramatic bedrock formations covered with boreal forest. It guides you past waterfalls, rugged cliffs, and beaches of rocks tumbled smooth by this inland sea.  There is a new wave of wildflowers every two weeks during the growing seasons – the lupines are stunning.

The star attraction, though, is the Big Lake herself. Depending on her mood, she greets you with sparkling azure waves, rolling walls of whitecaps, glassy stillness, power that emanates seemingly from earth’s center. Spend a little time here, and you’ll understand how she rules life along the shore.

Do it right, and the 2-hour journey from Duluth to Grand Marais will take 4 (hours, days or weeks, depending on your schedule!)

Here’s a nice shot of Rt 61:

 Rt 61

As mentioned above, I landed in the Cascade R watershed.  There’s a wonderful waterfalls just before the Cascade flows into Lake Superior (of course, right off of Rt 61).  Here’s a picture:

 Cascade River Falls

Here’s a shot of the Beaver House Bait Shop in Grand Marais:


And another, where you can more easily read the lower sign:


The Beaver House in Grand Marais is a quintessential example of the small independent fishing shop, with a home-made decor and a complete line of original tackle. The tasteful exterior decor seduces the timid with a promise of “Beaver Flicks” within. They are not the x-rated videos that those inclined toward the baser desires may surmise, but instead merely small lures comprised of a hook, a brightly colored spinning fin and a small float to keep it off the rocks. “Good for all fish! Guaranteed or your money back!”

Three more pictures of the lighthouse . . .

 light house 1

 light house 2

light house 3

Can you tell I’m a little taken with this place?



© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Farwell, Texas (and Texico, New Mexico)

Posted by graywacke on January 29, 2009

First time here and don’t know who “Dan” is?  Check out “About Landing,” above.

Dan –  I landed right near the border between two big USers – I just missed NM, and instead (preferably), landed in . . . TX; 111/144; 5/10; 10; 165.8.  I’m always amazed at just how OS TX is!   Similar to previous pronouncements:  If I landed in TX for 33 straight landings, it would still be OS!!  It’s almost enough to make me think there’s something less than random about my landings.  But I’ve checked and double checked, and the only explanation is the flukiness of randomness (I guess).

For the second time, I landed in the Blackwater Draw watershed, on to the Yellow Horse Draw (3rd hit); on to the North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River (phew!) (3rd hit); on to the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River (4th hit); on to the Brazos (19th hit).

I know it’s my custom to abbreviate, so I would normally have said “N Fk Dbl Mtn Fk Brazos R (and in fact, that’s what I have on my spreadsheet).  But I somehow enjoyed spelling the whole thing out!

So I landed just west of the twin cities of Farwell/Texico, located in TX/NM, respectively, pop 1400/1100, likewise respectively.  Saying “Farwell Texas” out loud isn’t anything special, but try “Texico New Mexico!”  Now that has a ring to it.  Here’s a map:


The yellow line in the above map is the NM/TX state line.  Here’s a broader view:


Did you know that Texico is a portmanteau?  (As are Texarkana and Delmarva.)  Here’s the definition of “portmanteau” :

A portmanteau is a word that fuses two or more words or morphemes to give a combined or loaded meaning.  Examples of portmanteaux are spork from spoon and fork, or guestimate from guess and estimate.

Are you kidding me?  Now I must check out “morpheme.”  Sounds like a drug . . .but it’s not:

a morpheme is the smallest lingual unit that carries a semantic interpretation.

How about “portmanteaux” as the plural of “portmanteau.”  Cool, eh?  Here’s some info on the origin of the word “portmanteau:”

This usage of the word was coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-Glass (1871). In the book, Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice about the nonsense words from Jabberwocky, saying, “Well, slithy means lithe and slimy … You see it’s like a portmanteau-there are two meanings packed up into one word.”  Carroll often used such words to humorous effect in his works.

Portemanteau, from Middle French porte (carry) and manteau (a coat or cover), formerly referred to a large travelling bag or suitcase with two compartments, hence the linguistic idea of fusing two words and their meanings into one.

Here are a few other border-town portmanteaux: 

Calexico; Florala; Illiana; Kanorado; Kentuckiana; Michiana; Monida; Tennga; and Virgilina.  We Americans can be so corny.   So Dan – we live near plenty of NJ/PA border towns – shouldn’t one be renamed Pennsyljersey or Jerseyvania?

OK, enough about portmanteaux!!   Moving right along, it turns out that both Texico, New Mexico (I like to say that!) and Farwell are pretty-much GD.  So, all I have are a few pictures of some interest.

Yesterday, I showed you the pretty courthouse in Zebulon.  Not to be outdone, here’s the Parmer County courthouse in Farwell:


Here’s a picture of the Parmer County Prison.  To be fair, I should try to find a picture of the Pike County prison in Zebulon (but I won’t).  Anyway, this building won’t win any architecture awards (but I suspect it’s a crime deterrent to the youth of Farwell.  When they drive by, they might say something like:  “Dude – what a creepy building – I never want to get stuck there . . .”)


Moving over to Texico New Mexico, here’s a picture of a funky defunct museum:


And this artsy shot of some railroad tracks:


That’ll do it . . .




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Zebulon, Georgia

Posted by graywacke on January 29, 2009

First time visitors, I suggest you check out “About Landing,” above.

Dan –  Well, after two AZs in a row, the LG has skedattled back to the good ol’ SE . . GA; 25/32; 5/10; 9; 166.5.

I landed in the Flint R watershed (4th hit); on to the Apalachicola (6th hit); on to the G of M.

I landed near the little crossroads town of Meansville, and just a little further from the more substantial town of Zebulon.  Here’s a map:


As you may recall, I’ve landed near various round towns in GA before, and Zebulon is certainly round.  As I recall, I could only find some lame explanation that had something to do with making sure that the railroad station was in the center of town.

Here’s a broader map view showing Zebulon:


Meansville is totally GD; Zebulon’s not much better, but they do have their own website:

City of Zebulon

Zebulon, the county seat of Pike County, was incorporated November 25, 1825. The city and county are named after Zebulon M. Pike, a hero of the War of 1812, explorer of the Louisiana Territory, and discoverer of Pike’s Peak in Colorado.

The Pike County courthouse in Zebulon was built in 1895 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

There have been two motion pictures filmed in Zebulon: Murder in Coweta County (1982) starring Andy Griffith and Johnny Cash and Tank (1983) starring James Garner. Both of these movies were filmed on the city square because of the courthouse’s historic features.

It is a very nice courthouse:


So, of course, I Googled Zebulon Pike.  It turns out he was a bit of a ne’er do well, although he led a very full (although short) life.  I found his involvement in the war of 1812 to be the most compelling story in his life.  This from a National Park Service website:

Pike’s chance for personal glory came when war was declared on Great Britain in 1812. He was promoted brigadier general in 1813, and given immediate command of troops slated to assault York, the capital of Upper Canada (today’s Toronto). His force of 1,700 men was ferried across Lake Ontario from Sackett’s Harbor, New York, and prepared to attack the 800 man garrison at York, which guarded important storehouses and government buildings

On April 27, 1813, Pike led the amphibious assault. There was light resistance at the landing place, but this was by design. The British commander, Maj. Gen. R.H. Sheaffe, had constructed and concealed a huge explosive mine, and hoped to lure the Americans off the beach and over the position of the mine before it was detonated.

The mine went off prematurely, however, and killed 42 British soldiers and 52 American soldiers; another 180 were wounded.  Gen. Pike was fatally wounded by a heavy rock thrown up by the mine, which pierced his back.  He was 34 years old.

The American forces won the day, but the treachery of the mine and the death of Pike put them in a vindictive mood. Someone began to set fire to all of the public buildings, burning them to the ground. The British army paid the Americans back a year later by burning the White House and U.S. Capitol in Washington in 1814.

Pike had always expected the possibility of death in battle. He wrote to his father: “If we go into Canada, you will hear of my fame or of my death – for I am determined to seek the ‘Bubble’ even in the cannon’s mouth.”

I’m always amazed by the beastiality of war; this is yet another example.  Anyway, I wonder what Zebulon meant by the “Bubble?”  Intriguing, eh?  It seems to me as though his concept of “bubble”  may have something to do with duty and obligation (or something more vague like an ethereal goodness).

Anyway, I don’t know why Pike County Georgia and the town of Zebulon are named after Zebulon Pike.  I can find no connection whatsoever.

Searching for a little more local information, I expanded my search to Barnesville (about 12 miles east of my landing).  Here’s a cool shot of FDR in Barnesville:


It turns out that FDR visited Warm Springs in 1924 (about 20 miles SW of my landing) as part of his polio therapy.  He soon became attached to the Georgia countryside and people, and ended up making many trips there.  In fact, between 1924 and 1940, he made 37 trips to Georgia.  The picture shows him making a speech as President in 1938 at the Gordon Military College (in front of 30,000 people), talking about the beginning of electrical service to local rural customers — made possible through the efforts of the Rural Electrification Administration.




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Wellton, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on January 28, 2009

If this is your first time here, you’ll need to go to “About Landing” to have a clue . . .

Dan –  Oh man.  Yesterday, I landed in AZ, a solid WBer.  What are the odds of doing it again?  Well, whatever they are, I landed in . . .  . AZ; 69/61; 5/10; 8; 167.1. 

For the second time, I landed in the Coyote Wash watershed (not yesterday, but about 3.5 years ago), on to the Gila (29th hit, tied for 18th place on my rivers list with the mighty Tennessee); and then, of course, on to the Colorado.

I landed south of Wellton.  Here’s a map:


Here’s a broader view:


Back on August 19th, 2005, I landed just about two miles away (as mentioned above, also in the Coyote Wash watershed); note that this landing was before I started saving the lat/long markers on my StreetAtlas map.

So, it turns out that Wellton is more-or-less one of those late 20th century / 21st century kind of towns.  It was probably pretty sleepy for most of the 20th century, but then was discovered by real estate types (especially those pandering to the older set).  Here’s a little history:

Wellton, founded in 1878 and incorporated in 1970, lies 29 miles east of Yuma, Arizona.  It is a center for business, services, and recreation for more than 5,000 residents in the valley and the surrounding area.  Winter and retired residents contribute mightily to the local economy.

Wellton (originally Well Town) was named for the time water wells were drilled to service the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Here’s a picture of the Coyote Wash Golf Course (and condo development):


Now this is more like it . . . here’s a picture of Wellton back-in-the-day.  Not much contrast with the above phot, eh?


Here’s a beautiful rainbow outside of Wellton:


I stumbled on a rather compelling on-line short story, which is about a 19th– century type of frontier bad guy who lived along the Coyote Wash, not far from where it flows to the Gila River (remarkably close to my landing).  The story is called “The Demons of Coyote Wash,” by Frederick Boling:


Take a look at my landing map above, and then click HERE if you want to read the story.  I recommend it.  (Remember, use ctrl+link if you want to keep this window open  . . .)



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Leupp, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on January 27, 2009

This is the first visit for somebody out there, right?  If so, please check out “About Landing,” above.

Dan –  Oh well, back to the WB . . . AZ; 68/61; 5/10; 7; 166.6.  I landed right next to the Little Colorado R (13th hit); on, of course, to the Colorado.  Here’s a map of my landing:


I landed in Cen-N AZ.  (Note that if I say “N-Cen,” it means I’m way up north; if I say “Cen-N,”  it means I’m in the northern part of the central part of the state).  Anyway, the map shows the landing very close to the “town” of Dennehotso.  Well, take a look at the map.  Funny thing, eh?  No roads, not even a trail leading to Dennehotso.  Of course, I Googled Dennehotso, and I got quite a bit of information about a Navajo town – 1700 people, a school, etc.  This didn’t make sense, and it turns out that the real town of Dennehotso AZ is quite a bit to the NE of my landing (and isn’t the “Dennehotso” on my landing map at all.)  So, I guess the bottom line is, I’ll forget Dennehotso for this landing, except for this about the word origin:

The name “Dennehotso” is a Navajo word that means “it is lush green” or “green meadow converging to upper end.”

Here’s a wider view, showing the relationship of my landing to the closest real town, Leupp (pop about 1000), as well as Flagstaff:


Anyway, here’s a beautiful picture from Leupp.  The picture’s caption is printed below:


The San Francisco Peaks viewed from Old Leupp.  This was the view that the Japanese American inmates at the Leupp Isolation Center observed daily during their six-month confinement in 1943.  To the Navajos, the peaks are Doko’oosliid, Abalone Shell Mountain, the Sacred Mountain of the West.

Here’s some more info:

The Leupp Isolation Center, in northeastern Arizona about 30 miles northwest of Winslow, was located at an abandoned Indian boarding school on the Navajo Indian Reservation.  Historical photographs show the boarding school, built in the 1920s, with substantial red sandstone buildings which housed 500 Navajo children.  The school was closed in early 1942, apparently due to its location in the flood plain of the Little Colorado River.   However, the US Government selected this location for the internment of Japanese Americans.  The site was bulldozed after the government was done with it.

Here’s a picture of the boarding school:


And here’s a modern picture of some ruins of the school (that evidently escaped being totally bulldozed):


But, drum roll please, the big story with this landing has to do with a apparently-minor place name on the close-in landing map, above.  Check it out, and you’ll see “Roden Crater” southwest of my landing.  FYI, it’s about 3 miles away. 

Being a geologist, I thought I’d Google it, and see what happens.  Boy was I surprised!  Here’s a write-up from deputy-dog.com:

For the past 30 years or so an astounding renovation has been underway below Roden Crater, a 3 km-wide dormant volcanic cinder cone located northeast of Flagstaff, the brilliance of which probably won’t be apparent until this large-scale artistic endeavor opens when ready, apparently in 2012.

The artist responsible, James Turrell, purchased the crater in 1979.  He studied ‘optics and perceptual psychology’ and is known as a sculptor of light.  Over the years, he has used natural and artificial light to help create his work (many in the form of optical illusions) and challenge people’s perceptions of the world around them.

Many of his pieces involve something called a “skyspace,” essentially a room which has had precisely calculated sections of the ceiling and/or walls removed in order for light to enter the room at a specific angle.

The Roden Crater project is an enormous task which is surely one of the most ambitious art projects ever undertaken.  After years of meticulous planning, Turrell set about sculpting and hollowing the upper parts of the volcano by removing endless tons of earth. He has since filled those spaces with numerous light-filled chambers and a huge 854-ft long concrete tunnel which serves as an entrance from the side of the volcano.

Depending on the location of these chambers and/or the current position of the sun, moon and stars, different light shows will be experienced by the viewer and various astronomical events will be given a truly unique viewpoint.

Here’s a picture of Roden Crater:


And a satellite view of the crater:


Here’s e picture of the project taken from the rim of the crater looking down (from deputy-dog):


Here are other pictures showing some of the various structures:




If this has piqued your interest, I suggest that you Google “Roden Crater.”  There are many, many references, including a NY Times article.  I don’t know about you, but I’m making the trip when it opens.  I wonder what the entry fee will be . . .

One last thing (on a personal note):  On a 1972 Lafayette College geology field trip, I visited Sunset Crater, a National Monument which is not far from (and is similar to) the Roden Crater (about 15 miles from Roden).  Sunset crater was formed about 1000 years ago, and I assume that Roden is of a similar age.  I wonder what the Native Americans thought of this wild volcanic activity? 

Anyway, we climbed to the top (about 1000 vertical feet up loose volcanic cinders), and then we ran all the way back down, screaming like banshees.  The trip down was so much fun – each step included a long slide in the loose cinders.  Guess what?  You can’t do that any more . . .

Here’s a picture of Sunset Crater:




© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Pickens, Mississippi

Posted by graywacke on January 25, 2009

Never been here before?  Check out “About Landing,” above.


Dan –  A good way to get rid of the bad taste in my mouth brought on by three OSers in a row is to land in the US-friendly Southeast.  That’s right – all of the southeast states are US:  AL (20/28), MS (24/26), GA (24/32), FL (23/35), LA (26/27) and SC (15/17).

 Today’s landing is in one of those that’s headed towards PS-land . . . MS; 25/26; 5/10; 6; 166.0.

Man, still hanging out in the mid 160’s.  Here’s a graphic from my landing spreadsheet showing the Score for my last 200 landings:


As you can see, I’ve been pretty much treading water the last 80 or so landings.  I wonder when the LG will see fit to get that Score down to 160.  We’ll see . . .

Back to the landing.  I landed in the Dry Ck watershed (my 13th landing in a watershed drained by a stream named “Dry Creek”; my 18th stream with the word “dry” in its name); on to the Big Cypress Ck (my 59th stream with the word “big” in its name); on to the Big Black R (4th hit); on to the MM.

I landed between the towns of Pickens, Midway, Ebenezer and Goodman (closest to Pickens).  I’m east of Highway 61 (remember my Como MS landing with the song by Mississippi Fred McDowell), but just about exactly 100 miles due south of that landing.  Here’s a map (oops – Midway is just off the map to the west):


Here’s a broader map view:


I fear that this is a GD area –  I could find nothing much in Google about any of these towns.  The one exception is the fact that like Como, this landing has a famous blues musician, one Elmore James.  Elmore was born in Richland, which is between Ebeneezer and Goodman.  He was born in Richland in 1918 and died of a heart attack in Chicago in 1963, at the age of 45.  I suspect he led a hard life.  Anyway, you can pick out his home town of Richland on the landing map.

Like Mississippi Fred, Elmore had a great influence on rock and roll musicians (and like Fred, Elmore was a slide guitar bluesman).  His songs were covered by the Allman Brothers and Jimi Hendrix, and he has been mentioned by the following artists as an inspiration to their music:  B.B. King, Eric Clapton, John Mayall and George Thorogood. 

As is my custom, I’ll provide a YouTube link for you to enjoy his music first hand.  I’ve picked “It Hurts Me Too,” a classic blues song about unrequited love.  I’ve now listened to this song three times, and I really like it.


As is also my custom, here are the words so you can follow along.  (Dan, as you know, one can hit ctrl+the link, and it’ll open up another window, allowing you to listen and read the words at the same time.)

It Hurts Me Too

You said you was hurtin, you almost lost your mind.
Now, the man you love, he hurt you all the time.
But, when things go wrong, oh, wrong with you,
It hurts me too.

You’ll love him more when you should love him less.
Why lick up behind him and take his mess?
But, when things go wrong, whoa, wrong with you,
It hurts me too.

He love another woman, yes, I love you,
But, you love him and stick to him like glue.
When things go wrong, oh, wrong with you,
It hurts me too.

Now, he better leave you or you better put him down.
No, I won’t stand to see you pushed around.
But, when things go wrong, oh, wrong with you,
It hurts me too.

Here’s a picture of Elmore:


Here’s a picture of his gravestone:


And, just to round things out, here’s a picture of an old kudzu-threatened garage in Midway:





© 2008 A Landing A Day

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Almena, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on January 24, 2009

First time here?  Check out “About Landing,” above.

NOTE:  I had to delete much of this post because of a website manager who demanded I delete all of the stuff I copied from his site.  This post is pretty much butchered now and doesn’t make much sense.  Oh well . . . .

Dan –  Gee whiz.  A very cool 4 USers in a row, but now, crashing the party comes the third WBer in a row (after SD & MT) . . . KS; 49/44; 4/10; 5; 166.7.  For the fourth time (count ’em, four), I landed in the Prairie Dog Creek watershed, on to the  Republican R (17th hit); on to the Kansas R (51st hit); on to the Missouri R.

So I landed near Almena (pop 469), in N-Cen KS right near the NE border.  Here’s a map (you can see the state border up at the top).


Here’s a broader view.


Remember I told you that the border between KS & NE is exactly on the 40th parallel?  Well, my latitude for this landing is 39.9369 . . .

So, Almena.  Here’s a shot of the town in 1924:

And here’s some info from a 1924 piece written by a 14-year old resident of Almena, Armida Gishwiller.  She starts with a list of commercial establishments and services in the town.

When Armida made this list, and said “But Not What We Will Have,” of course, she meant that the town would continue to grow and that there would be more and more services available in Almena.  But I fear that the moment these words were written, the curse of Armida Gishwiller was cast, and the town began its decline . . .

So, “Suitatorium?”  A Google search shows that it’s a word used most commonly in 19th century Kansas (and some in Nebraska and Florida), and that it is most typically a facility that repairs, cleans and presses clothes (although it looks like some suitatoriums might also sell custom-made clothes).

Notice that the most common item is “Insurance Agents” (6).  Who’d a thunk?

Here’s a nice shot of a general store in Fairhaven, 10 miles south of Almena:

And a couple of cool Almena storm shots.  First, a tornado (it’s far away, on the left):


Then, after the tornado stopped, this “Mothership” cloud remained:


Here’s the same cloud at sunset . . .


To see more storm photos (including close-ups of the tornado), click HERE (and scroll down to June 3rd).

I landed not far from the town of Long Island.  I thought the name was peculiar, so I took a quick look.  Well, a Kansas State Libraries website has three sentences about Long Island.  Check out the three sentences HERE.

I’m particularly interested in the second sentence.  It sounds like the good ship Minnie B plyed the waters around Long Island KS, right?  But, of course, that makes no sense, when you look at a map:


As you can see, Long Island, like Almena, is on the Prairie Dog Creek.  There’s no way a steamship is doing excursions on Prairie Dog Creek!!!

There’s another creek to the north of town, Elk Creek.  It seems to me that the name “Long Island” could have something to do with the fact that the town is nearly surrounded by water (oh, OK, by creeks).

But what about the Minnie B.?  What does that have to do with anything?  Was the town actually named after Long Island NY?  If so, does the Minnie B. have something to do with the naming of the town?   The captain of the ship moved to Kansas?  A passenger of the ship with fond memories of excursions in Long Island Sound moved to Kansas?  The Landing Nation wants to know!  FYI, I’ve emailed the website and asked for more information on the origin of the name.  Obviously, I’ll let you know if I hear anything . . .



© 2008 A Landing A Day

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Alberton, Montana

Posted by graywacke on January 24, 2009

There’s a first time for everything, including visiting “A Landing A Day.”  To figure out what’s going on, check out “About Landing,” above.

Dan –  Well, after my four USers in a row, a minor (hopefully) glitch, as I landed in my second WBer in a row.  Although I just missed ID by a few miles, I landed in my number-one nemesis . . . MT; 99/78; 4/10; 4; 166.1.  Check it out – MT is ony one hit away from 100!!  Texas only has 110 hits, and Texas is 82% bigger!!  You can see how far out of whack these two states are.  MT should have 78 hits and TX should have 143.  Oh, well . . .

So, I landed on the banks of the Clark Fork (14th hit), which flows to the Pend Oreille (15th hit), on to the Columbia.  I landed near the town of Alberton (pop 374), right along I-90.  Here’s a map showing my landing:


And here’s a broader view:


Here’s an aerial shot of the town:


From the town’s website:


When the Milwaukee railroad established its trans-continental line to the Pacific coast, Albert J. Earling chose the route on the north side of the river.  The Milwaukee railroad had determined that a train station was needed to service the steam engines that were being used at that time and the location of Alberton was selected.  Land for the railroad yards and town was bought from Henry & Catherine Brown who had homesteaded it in 1891. 

The Milwaukee railroad was built in 1908-09.  The name of the town at that time was Browntown.  It was then changed to Alberton, after both Alexander Albert (one of first settlers in this valley) and the aforementioned Albert Earling.
 Alberton is known as the gateway to the Alberton Gorge, favored by whitewater rafters, kayakers, and avid anglers.
This small town offers a nice break from interstate travel. Stop by and stay for a visit.

Note that they mentioned the railroad running on the north side of the river.  Today, it’s on the south side.  However, there is a “Railroad Avenue” in town (on the north side), that probably ran along the erstwhile rail line.

So, back in 1996, there was a nasty train derailment that probably made national news (although I must confess to not remembering this).  Anyway, from a local rag just after it happened:

Sometime between 4:00 and 4:15am, on Thursday morning, April 11, 1996, a 72-car train derailment occurred 1 mile west of Alberton, Montana.  Four tanker cars containing chlorine derailed and at least one pressurized chlorine tanker ruptured.  A dangerous plume of chlorine gas wafted across the Clark Fork river over Interstate 90 and into local residences.  I-90 remains closed.

At least one person died, and over 352 people have been hospitalized. Some patients remain in critical and serious condition. Approximately 1000 people were forced to flee their homes and have been evacuated from an 8 to 12 square mile zone.

People exposed to the toxic chemical fumes reported a number of health effects:  burning eyes and nose, lung irritation and inflammation, sore throats, difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing up yellow or green sputum, nose bleeds, coughing up blood, headaches and dizziness, and other symptoms or reactions including, depression, lack of motor skills, hopelessness, and anxiety. Exposed animals and livestock also developed reactions: including eye lesions, difficulty breathing, wheezing, indicative of lung irritation.

Do you think they listed all of the symptoms?  Depression & hopelessness?  Anxiety?  I wonder if those are specific reactions to chlorine gas.  Anyway, here’s a picture:


Moving along to more positive things.  Here’s where I’d gas up if I were in Alberton!! 


And here’s a lovely railroad picture,  just across the river from Alberton:





© 2008 A Landing A Day

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Long Lake & Leola South Dakota

Posted by graywacke on January 23, 2009

Visiting here for the first time?  Check out “About Landing,” above.

Dan –  OK, OK, so five in a row would be a little much.  So what the heck, why not a good ol’ solid WBer?  Well, how about . . . SD; 44/41; 4/10; 3; 165.6.  I landed in yet another Willow Creek watershed (my 12th); on to a new river, the Elm; on to the James (15th hit); on to the Missouri.

I landed between Long Lake (pop 60) and Leola (pop 461).  Here’s a map:


Here’s a broader view:


Well, it turns out that Long Lake is pretty much GD.  But Leola, now that’s another story.  I’ll start with a “Welcome to Leola” sign:


And move on to the Leola water tower:


Leola was founded in 1884 and named for Leola Haynes, the daughter of the surveyor (Captain E. D. Haynes) who first figured out what was where here in N-Cen SD.  Anyway, here’s a cool shot of the Leola School, back in the day:


Here’s a shot of a very cool Depression-era guy in the Leola CCC camp (one Richard Bender, who I think probably knew he was cool):


So, you may have noticed that Leola is the “Rhubarb Capital of the World.”  Well, check this very cool, up-scale logo:


From the Rhubarb Days website:

Every two years during the month of June, the little yet humble town of Leola, SD has a festival, which is otherwise known as Rhubarb Days. Leola is known as the “Rhubarb Capital of the World” and therefore the town holds a bi-annual festival to celebrate this interesting fruit. Events during this festival include crowning the new “Rhubarb Queen.” This festval also offers a variety of rhubarb cuisine and activities and events that are enjoyable for the entire family. This year’s festival will take place June 2nd, 2007.

I’d rank a trip to Rhubarb Days pretty high up on my vaguely-imagined High Plains Landing Site Tour . . .



© 2008 A Landing A Day

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