A Landing a Day

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Archive for January, 2009

Riddle, Idaho

Posted by graywacke on January 22, 2009

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


Dan –  From West Coast USer (CA) to East Coast USer (ME) to South Border USer (NM) to the USer island in the sea of OS WBers . . . ID; 38/44; 5/10; 2; 165.0.  Wow, quite the run, eh? 

The LG was certainly smiling on me, as I missed NV by just a few miles.  I landed in the Owyhee R basin (6th hit); on to the Snake (58th hit); on to the Columbia (117th hit).

I landed in the SW corner of ID, about equidistant from the towns of Owyhee NV (pop about 1,000) and Riddle ID (pop 145).  Here’s a map:


Here’s a broader view of my landing (it’s the landing closest to the SW corner of ID):


Owyhee is in the Duck Valley Indian Reservation (which is located in both ID and NV), and is about 75% Native American.  Of interest, as noted by Wiki, the NV portion of the Reservation is officially in the Pacific Time Zone.  However, the local NV residents have chosen to informally hang with ID and keep the entire Reservation on Mountain Time.  I don’t think I’ve heard of something like this happening anywhere else . . .

Here’s a cool shot of the Owyhee Confectionery, back in the day:


And here’s another shot of an Owyhee scene.  It’s a lot greener than I might imagine.


Riddle is totally GD . . .I have found absolutely nothing . . .Moving right along – I just noticed a geographic place name (a very small town?) near my landing:  “Dickshooter.”  Here’s the map, showing Dickshooter north of my landing:


Here’s some info on Dickshooter:

Dickshooter, Idaho is located in Owyhee County, in the extreme southwest corner of the state. It’s situated between Battle Creek and Deep Creek, about 24 miles northwest of Riddle, Idaho. The rugged, rural area (some have referred to it as desolate wilderness), near the Idaho-Oregon-Nevada border, offers many outdoor recreational opportunities.

Dickshooter received its rather suggestive name from the man — Dick Shooter — who initially established a homestead there.



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Playas, Animas & Rodeo New Mexico

Posted by graywacke on January 21, 2009

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

Dan –  The LG has decided to cut me a little slack, as I’m careening from edge to edge to edge of US-land.  First CA, then ME, now . . . NM; 60/66; 4/10; 1; 165.7.  Notice how this three-in-a-row as catapulted me up to 4/10.  Let’s see if I can get a streak going . . .

I don’t have much watershed infromation to speak of – I landed in the Indian Creek watershed, on to the Deer Creek.  And, as far as I can tell, Deer Creek just kind of ends, so I’ll call this an internally-drained landing.

So I landed in SW NM, in one of the most unpopulated regions of the lower 48 (at least based on my landing experience).  I’m more than 30 miles from the three closest towns:  Playas, Animas and Rodeo.  Here’s a map:


Oh my!!!  Check out this wonderful road sign, which ties the three towns mentioned above together so very tidily.  This is from a funky website “roadsignmath.com”:


Here’s what the website has to say about the sign:

This is the kind of simple, elegant math that inspired the creation of Road Sign Math. Simply wonderful!

20 + 30 = 50

This sign is found in Hachita, New Mexico on westbound Highway 9 at the intersection with Highway 146.

You can see where Hachita is on the above map.

So, here’s some interesting info about Playas:

It’s Official: New Mexico Tech Is New Owner of Playas, N.M.

by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M. September 29, 2004 — It’s official: New Mexico Tech, a state-supported research university in Socorro, is the new owner of Playas, N.M., a former Phelps Dodge company town located in southwest New Mexico that will now be converted into one of the nation’s top locations for counter-terrorism training.

Top executives from Phelps Dodge Corporation and New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López signed off today on the $5 million real estate transaction, making New Mexico Tech the only university known to literally own an entire town.

Negotiations between New Mexico Tech and Phelps Dodge to purchase the 640-acre township, along with its 259 homes, six apartment buildings, various community facilities, and surrounding 1,200 acres, had been ongoing for more than a year and a half.

Want to see a Phelps-Dodge 600′ tall smokestack in Playas get dynamited?  Click on the link below (and I suggest that you grab the hoodgy wodger thingy (with your cursor) that moves along the bottom of the video so you can speed things up a little (the smokestack doesn’t move an inch until almost 2 minutes into the video).


An entertainer who lives in the greater Animas / Rodeo area (and was married in Rodeo) is one Kip Calahan:


Here’s a YouTube link where she sings & waxes affectionately about the greater Animas area.  It shows a lot of scenery of the area; she sings and talks of her love for this desolate corner of NM.


As for Rodeo – from a local website –

Rodeo, New Mexico

Rodeo has been a boom town more than once and seems to be enjoying another boom in the beginning of this century. Land is reasonably priced and the climate is what is called four gentle seasons.   Rodeo has friendly people and lots of room to insure your privacy.  There are two or three places to buy groceries, a laundromat, a Post Office, a tavern that serves great food, and much more to come!

Hmmm – Reminds me of Eleuthera.  Anyway, here’s a picture of Rodeo:




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Howland, Maine

Posted by graywacke on January 19, 2009

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


Dan –  From a west-coast USer for the last landing (CA), on to an east-coast USer . . . ME; 16/19; 3/10; 6; 166.4.  For the third time, I landed in the Penobscot watershed (on to the AO).  Speaking of those three landings, they are in a remarkable cluster right next to the river itself.  Here’s a map (today’s landing is the southern-most):


And here’s a map with an expanded view, showing the landing cluster in the context of the entire state (today’s landing is the 45/68 landing marker).


I landed just north of the twin towns of Howland / West Enfield.  Howland is located where the Piscataquis River (I’ve never landed in this watershed) empties into the Penobscot.  Howland (which for some reason doesn’t show up on the first map, above) is a little bigger (pop 1300), and has an interesting famous son (from Wiki):

Dr. Percy Spencer was born and raised in Howland (born in 1894).  His father died in 1897, and his mother left him a short time later.  He lived with his aunt and uncle after that.  He never graduated from grammar school, but went to work in a mill as an apprentice at age 12, before joining the U.S. Navy in 1912 to learn wireless telegraphy.  He joined the Raytheon Company in the 1920s.

For Raytheon, he ended up working on magnetrons for the military.  Magnetrons are the devices used to generate microwave radio signals that are the core mechanism for radar.  In 1945, he was standing in front of an operating magnetron device and discovered that the microwaves it emitted had melted a chocolate bar in his pocket.   He then tested popcorn in front of the magnetron (turning up the power and standing out of the beam), and it quickly popped all over the room.  Development of the microwave oven grew out of these observations, and by 1947 a commercial oven was being sold by Raytheon.

He became Senior Vice President and a senior member of the Board of Directors at Raytheon.  He received 300 patents during his career at Raytheon; a building at Raytheon’s main campus in Waltham MA is named after him.

Quite the guy, eh?  Never even finished grammar school, and he ends up being incredibly successful as a scientist/engineer. . .

It turns out that Howland has another famous son, Scott Garland, aka “Scotty Too Hotty” or “Scotty 2 Hotty.”   Scott is a professional wrestler who has made is mark on the World Wrestling Federation circuit.  He has won many titles, but I think he may be retired now.  Here’s a picture:


Here’s a back-in-the-day picture of Howland, showing the Penobscot River in the foreground:


Just to have a pretty picture from the local area, here’s a cool shot of Cold Stream Pond, located about 2 miles east of my landing:




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Pahrump, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on January 18, 2009

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

Dan –  Phew.  I knew that this one might be close.  Here’s my lat/long:  36/116.  I knew I was way out west, and was only hoping that I was far enough west to avoid a WBer (which I did) and make it all the way to . . . CA; 76/87; 3/10; 5; 167.1.  I missed NV by only 7.5 miles.

Here’s a map:  My landing is the one west of Las Vegas and south of Pahrump. 


I landed in the Amargosa River basin for the 2nd time, which flows into Death Valley.  And, of course, any drop of water that flows into Death Valley sure ain’t makin’ it to no ocean.  This was the 5th time I landed in the Death Valley “watershed.”  Here’s a nice picture of the Amargosa right near my landing spot (after a sizable rainfall):


So, Pahrump is the closest town of any size.  From Wiki:

Until the 1960s, Pahrump had no telephone service and there were no paved roads in or out of the Pahrump Valley. However, as Las Vegas grew, real estate speculation became more popular in the area, which led to increased interest in Pahrump. This led to the introduction of telephone service and the construction of a paved highway, from Las Vegas to Pahrump, during the late 1960s. Later, this road was extended from Pahrump northward to US 95, near Amargosa Valley.   A second paved road was introduced that went from Pahrump to neighboring Shoshone, California, which provided a link to the Death Valley area, as well as a shorter route to those wishing to travel to Los Angeles or other areas in California.  In 1974, Pahrump’s first high school was constructed.

Since the late 1970s, Pahrump has grown almost exponentially, increasing from about 2000 residents in 1980 to almost 25,000 in 2000.

Wow.  Only dirt roads led to Pahrump until the late ’60s, and now, probably 30,000 people.

Here’s a picture of the Tecopa Cemetary (close to my landing site):





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Spring Hill, Tennessee

Posted by graywacke on January 16, 2009

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


Dan –  Yesterday, I said “the misery continues.”  Today, I say, “the misery continues, sort of.”   What that means is that I landed in a PSer, and my Score increased just a tenth.  Today’s landing state . . . TN; 23/22; 2/10; 4; 167.8 (highest since 12/1/08). 

A new river!!  The Duck, which flows to the Tennessee (29th hit); to the Ohio (100th hit); to the MM.

Oh my!!!  It’s the 100th hit for the Ohio.  Bells and whistles, please!!  FYI, Ohio is solidly in 5th place amongst river basins, with 4th place belonging to the Columbia (116 hits), and 6th place belonging to the Arkansas (84 hits).  As you mathematically-inclined types can see, the Ohio is right smack in the middle between the Columbia and Arkansas, separated by 16 hits from both.

So, here’s some news about the Duck.  This hit marks the 8th time that I’ve landed in a Duck Creek or Duck River watershed.  Therefore, “Duck” now makes it to my list of common stream names.  Congrats, Duck!!!

FYI, Duck joins Wood & Woody; Wolf, Town, Otter, Long, Falls & Falling, and Deer with 8 hits on the common stream name list. . .

There was yet one more remarkable then about this landing.  As often happens, I landed way out in the Atlantic Ocean somewhere for my first landing attempt, and then, for my second landing attempt, I landed a mere 5 miles from . . . Eleuthera!!!!   OK, it was off the southern tip, and currently, I’m up north, but this is amazing!!!  After 1600 landings, this is my closest landing ever to Eleuthera.  And it just so happened that I’m here. 

Here’s a map showing my Eleuthera near-miss:



Moving right along . . . I landed near the city of Spring Hill (population 7,700).  Here’s a broad view of my landing location (it’s the 35/87 lat/long in the central part of the state).


It turns out that a Civil War battle happened at Spring Hill.  Actually, it turns out to be a non-battle battle.  But regardless, this is the first time I remember a Civil War connection with a landing location.  Anyway:

On the night of November 28, 1864, Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee marched toward Spring Hill to attempt to cut Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield’s Union army’s supply line.  Minor skirmishes continued throughout the day as the Confederates advanced. On November 29, Hood’s infantry crossed Duck River and converged on Spring Hill.  

In the meantime, Schofield reinforced the troops holding the crossroads at Spring Hill. In late afternoon, the Federals repulsed a piecemeal Confederate infantry attack. During the night, the rest of Schofield’s command passed through Spring Hill, heading north to link up with additional Union troops.

Analysis:  The result of miscommunication and simply bad military management was that during the night, all of Schofield’s command, passed through Spring Hill while the Confederate commanders slept. The passage of the army did not go unnoticed, but no effort was made to block the pike.  By 6:00 a.m. on November 30, all of Schofield’s army was well north of Spring Hill and its vanguard had reached Franklin, where it began to build breastworks. In the morning Hood discovered Schofield’s escape, and after an angry conference with his subordinate commanders (during which he blamed all but himself for the failure), ordered his army to resume its pursuit, setting up the Battle of Franklin that afternoon.

This had been, perhaps, Hood’s best chance to isolate and defeat the Union army. The engagement has been described as “one of the most controversial non-fighting events of the entire war”. A Confederate lieutenant said afterwards, “The most charitable explanation is that the gods of war injected confusion into the heads of our leaders,” but historical speculation has attributed the failure to the following possibilities:

  • drunkenness among some generals,
  • Hood’s debilitation from ingesting laudanum after falling from his horse that day
  • the influence of Mrs. Jessie Peters, a notorious resident of Spring Hill whose dalliance with Confederate Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn a year earlier had led to his murder at the hands of her husband.

Well, there you have it.  Hood screwed up because his generals were drunk, or because he was on drugs (see below), or because somebody was messin’ around with Jesse.  Phew.  That’s why wars are lost.

Anyway, what is laudanum?  From Wiki:

Laudanum, also known as opium tincture or tincture of opium, is an alcoholic herbal preparation of opium. It is made by combining ethanol with opium.

In the 19th century, laudanum was used in many patent medicines to “relieve pain… to produce sleep… to allay irritation… to check excessive secretions… to support the system… [and] as a soporific.” The limited pharmacopoeia of the day meant that opium derivatives were among the most efficacious of available treatments, so laudanum was widely prescribed for ailments from colds to meningitis to cardiac diseases, in both adults and children.

Wow – So laudanum sounds like quite the substance!  So Dan, I know that you can KS without laudanum . . .

Well, I must – simply must – have at least one picture.  So here’s some countryside near Spring Hill:




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Leeds, North Dakota

Posted by graywacke on January 14, 2009

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

Dan –  The misery continues.   Yet another WBer . . . ND; 46/38; 2/10 (0/4); 3; 167.7.  My Score’s as high as it has been since December 12th

But here’s something kind of cool.  Remember yesterday, with my fourth reference to Roundup Montana, and the day before, with my third landing in the Meadow Valley Wash?   Today’s fluky thing is that I landed in Ken’s Creek watershed for the second time.  This is remarkable, considering how teeny Ken’s Creek is.  (My previous Ken’s Creek landing was only a couple of miles away from this one).

Anyway, Ken’s Creek flows into the Little Coulee R (or, more accurately, Ken’s Creek flows into Lake Ibsen, and Little Coulee R flows out of Lake Ibsen).  Not surprisingly, this was my second hit for the Little Coulee.  Anyway, the Little Coulee R flows into Tolna Coulee (still only 2nd hit); on to the Sheyenne (7th hit); on to the Red (31st hit); on to the Nelson (48th hit). 

Dan, I’m sure you know that the Nelson flows east through Canada to the Hudson Bay, but other readers may not be as geographically astute as you. . .

For my previous Ken’s Creek landing, I referenced York as the nearby town; this time, I’m a little closer to Leeds.  Here’s a map. 


Though not obvious, Ken’s Creek flows through Leeds, and into Lake Ibsen.  You’ll notice that it isn’t exactly clear what watershed my landing was in, but I’m quite sure that a drop of water at my landing spot would end up heading north to Ken’s Creek.  You’ll notice some small streams south of my landing spot that at first appear to flow south away from Leeds and away from Ken’s Creek.  But closer inspection shows that some high ground is present to the south, namely “The Buttes,” elevation 1878.

Here’s a map with a broader view:


From the town of Leeds website:

The residents and city officials of Leeds would like to welcome you to our peaceful, rural community.  Located on US Highway #2, Leeds is located 30 miles west of Devils Lake and within a short drive from the cities of Grand Forks and Minot.  Because of our convenient location, we are far enough away to avoid the hustle and bustle of city life, yet close enough to enjoy the conveniences that the cities have to offer.

Here in Leeds, children still play in the streets and folks wave to each other as they pass on the road.  Crime and pollution are virtually nonexistent, providing a safe environment for raising children.

If greeting your neighbors as you walk down the city streets and enjoying the safety and security of a rural community are things you enjoy, we invite you to explore our website  and find out why we think Leeds is the BEST place to call home.

I’m not going to argue.  Moving right along, here’s a hard-to-believe story from Leeds:

The Otter Tail Power Company received a call from a customer saying:

“My power is out. When you come to fix it be sure to bring a truck with a tall enough bucket to remove the deer”.

The customer service rep, of course, asked, “What deer”?

The customer replied “There is a deer on top of one of the electric poles on Highway 2 about 1/2 mile west of Leeds.  The service rep simply replied “We’ll dispatch someone right away to investigate the power outage. Thank you for the call”.

Upon completion of the call, the customer service rep proceeded to share the funny story with her coworkers in the office and they all had a good laugh.

Well, lo and behold, the serviceman who repaired the problem stopped by the customer service office the following day with these pictures.

Sure enough, the deer had been hit by a train & landed on top of a distribution feeder pole!

Here are the pictures:

 poor deer!

poor deer closeup


I couldn’t find much about Leeds, or York.  When I Googled “Churchs Ferry,” I found this picture of a USGS hydrologist.  This guy has a cool job.  Here’s the caption:

A U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic technician at Lake Irvine, near Churchs Ferry, North Dakota, loads equipment after collecting samples for water-quality analysis.

And here’s the picture:

 good job

That’ll do it.




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Roundup, Montana

Posted by graywacke on January 13, 2009

New to A Landing A Day?  Check out “About Landing,” above.


Dan –  Oh oh.  I’m not liking how things are going lately.  Three WBers in a row, giving me a 1/6.  And if I’m on a bad WBer run, then where’s more appropriate than . . . MT: 98/78; 2/10; 2; 167.2. 

For the second time, I landed in the Willow Ck watershed, on to the Musselshell R (11th hit); on to the Missouri. 

I landed near the town of Roundup (population around 2500; county seat of Musselshell County).  Believe it or not, this was the 4th time that Roundup was the town closest to my landing spot.  It turns out that my first three Roundup landings were way back when: 

Landing 193,  March 7, 2003

Landing 251,  July 2, 2003

Landing 328,  October 28, 2003

Wow – that’s an amazing run of landings so close to one another, geographically and in time.  Anyway, I waited more than five years and about 1300 landings to once again land near Roundup (this is Landing 1623).

Anyway, here’s a map:


From the Chamber of Commerce website:

According to historians, Roundup was so named because ranchers found the valley near the Musselshell River a natural place to “round up” their cattle in the fall of the year.

  The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (lovingly called the “Milwaukee” by local residents) reached Central Montana in 1907 when “Old Roundup” was nothing more than a little cow town. The railroad spurred both homestead filings and development of the rich local coal deposits. Roundup coal mines soon became the principal source of fuel for railroad steam locomotives throughout the northwest.

  In 1908, A.W. Eiselein began publishing the Roundup Record-Tribune, which has since become the oldest newspaper in Montana published by one family.  The pages of the newspaper record stories of “red light districts”, “greasy spoons”, and brawling bars. Tragic tales unfold around murders, manhunts, death from flu epidemics and other diseases.

 Life was far from easy in those early days and many homesteaders gave up and either returned to eastern homes or moved on to less challenging areas. However, Roundup continued to grow. In 1908 it had 800 people; by 1910 the number had grown to 1,513; in 1920 59 2,450 and in 1930 to 2,577 (17th among Montana cities.) Today, Roundup’s population remains around 2,500.

Here’s a picture of the town:


And a picture of a rainbow just outside of town:


And a picture of hale bales just outside of town:


And this wonderful 1939 picture of Montana cowboys.  I’m not sure if this has anything to do with Roundup, but it’s such a cool picture:






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Moapa, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on January 11, 2009

New to A Landing A Day?  Check out “About Landing,” above.


Dan –  Oh man.  It’s all my fault.  The LG is letting me know who’s in charge.  My last landing was NE.  Remember how I went on and on about how NV was unexpectedly PS, and about how maybe it would join the select group of US western states?  Well, you’ll never guess where I landed today . . . NV; 60/59; 3/10; 1; 166.6.

For the 3rd time, I landed in the Meadow Valley Wash watershed.  Wow, I’m almost tempted to call the Meadow Valley Wash a river.  After all, it’s about 65 miles long.  Well, I’ll think about it.  Anyway, the Meadow Valley Wsh flows into the Muddy R (4th hit) on to the Virgin (9th hit). 

The Meadow Valley Wsh flows into the Muddy near the towns of Moapa (the closest to my landing spot) and Glendale, although I think that it’s noteworthy that also nearby, right in the heart of Meadow Valley is the town of Carp.  Here’s a map showing my landing location, and the streams and the towns:


I landed in southern NV, about 50 miles N of Las Vegas.

About Carp, from Ghosttowns.com:

Carp is located in the lower Meadow Valley Wash.  The post office started under the name of Carpsdale June 29, 1918, but was rescinded. It then officially opened under the name of Cliffdale June 7, 1921 but was changed to Carp December 1, 1925.  Little remains except a railroad siding usually occupied by idling trains awaiting passage of a train traveling in the opposite direction on the busy transcontinental route, and the remains of the railroad’s watering reservoir.

Here’s the watering resevoir:


Here’s a cool rock formation near Carp:


Here’s a beautiful sandstone outcrop near Moapa:


And, finally, a cool shot of railroad tracks near Glendale:






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Eleuthera, Bahamas

Posted by graywacke on January 11, 2009

Dan –  OK, a quickie post on a real landing (where I just landed in an airplane):  Eleuthera, Bahamas.  This is such a cool place.  Here’s a satellite picture of Eleuthera – it’s the long skinny N-S island on the right:


The skinniest part of the island (towards the north, just south of the roughly triangular northern part of the island) is called “Glass Window Bridge.”  The island is only a couple of hundred feet wide here.  There used to be a natural bridge, and sailors on the Atlantic Ocean side of the bridge could look through the “window” and see the “glass” –  like Bahama Sea on the other side; thus the Glass Window Bridge.  This is perhaps my favorite spot in the world.  Here are some pictures:



Here’s a couple of shots of our beach (Gaulding Cay Beach).  It’s on the west side, just south of Glass Window.  Life is tough.






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Crofton, Nebraska

Posted by graywacke on January 9, 2009

First Timers:  Please check out “About Landing,” above.

Dan –  Well, since October 8th, my Score has been very consistent – between 168 and 164 – just hanging around, mostly around 165 and 166.  Anyway, I took another negative jog, landing in a bad ol’ solid WBer . . . NE; 50/41; 4/10; 2; 166.1.  By the way, here’s some big news on the WBer front.  While I was checking out NE’s status, I happened to see NV (which is alphabetically after NE in my spreadsheet, of course).  And NV is thinking seriously about leaving the WB club!  Right now, NV is PS, which really floored me, because I’ve always thought of NV as a solid WBer.  I must have landed in NV very rarely of late.  Let me check . . .

Well, it turns out that I’ve landed in NV only once since July, and that was my Golconda post, when NV was still OS.  But anyway, I’ve been saying for at least a year that all the western states except TX, NM, CA and ID were OS WBers.  Soon enough, I might be adding NV . . Well, enough about NV!!  Back to my NE landing . . .

So, I landed in the watershed of a couple of creeks (Howe Ck to Bazile Ck).  And Bazile Ck flows right into the Missouri . . .

So I landed near the town of Crofton.  Here’s a map:


And this is from the town’s website:

Welcome to Crofton, Nebraska…
…The Good Life Begins Here!

Crofton is home to 760 of the friendliest people in the state. Hometown spirit, beautiful scenery, excellent hunting grounds and close proximity to the Missouri River and Lewis & Clark Lake recreation areas provide activities for everyone. Thousands of annual tourists, vacationers and outdoor enthusiasts view first-hand why Crofton is…..
the best little town by a dam site!

Phew!  That’s quite the slogan . . .Here’s a picture of the nearby dam (the Gavins Point Dam):


The only picture I could find of Crofton is this one, of the Argo Hotel and Steak House.

argo hotel steakhouse-croftonnebraska

There’s not much else I can find, except for some cool storm pictures.

 Crofton Storm 1

Crofton Storm 2

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much else of interest . . .



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