A Landing a Day

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Caliente, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on March 18, 2009

First timer? In this once-a-day 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), please see “About Landing,” above.

Dan –  The LG is really messin’ wi’ me.  For the fourth time in the last 17 landings, I landed in . . . NV; 65/61; 5/10; 13; 166.0.  This puts me at 0/3 since I announced that I was only one USer away from a new record low Score.

For the fourth time, I landed in the Meadow Valley Wash.  From Wiki:

Meadow Valley Wash is a river in southern Nevada, approximately 110 mi (177 km) long.  It provides the principal drainage of the southeastern portion of the state northeast of Las Vegas. Formerly a tributary of the Virgin River, it now empties into Lake Mead on the Colorado River.

The wash has provided a green valley in the surrounding arid region that has been attractive to Native Americans and later to early Mormon settlers. A railroad was constructed along the wash in 1903 but was destroyed by floods in 1910.

How about that, just as I was thinking of declaring the Wash a River, Wiki confirms that I should do so.  I have been calling the Wash a tributary of the Virgin River, and will continue to do so, although, according to StreetAtlas, the Wash empties first into the Muddy R (5th hit, making it the 128th river with 5 or more hits); then on to the Virgin (10th hit); on to the Colorado.

Here’s a picture of the Meadow Valley Wash doing its thing – that is, washing out adjacent railroad tracks after a flood.


So anyway, here’s my landing map:


You can’t really see where the Wash is, so I’ve removed streets and railroads for this view:


Anyway, you see that I landed near Caliente (pop 1100).  Here’s a broader view:


From the town’s website:

The meadow area around the junction of Meadow Valley Wash and Clover Creek was originally settled in the early 1860’s by Ike and Dow Barton, two Negro slaves who had escaped from Arkansas. In the early 1870’s the area was known as Dutch Flat. In 1874, ranchers Charles and William Culverwell purchased land in the area and named it Culverwell Ranch. It was later referred to as “Culverwell.”

Culverwell became “Calientes” (the Spanish word for hot) after the hot springs found in a cave at the base of the surrounding mountains. The town was surveyed, and on August 3, 1901, a post office opened and postal officials renamed the town Caliente.  A railroad line was completed in 1905, and by 1910, Caliente was the largest town in Lincoln County with 1,755 residents.

A two-story wooden structure served as a train depot until burning down in one of Caliente’s disastrous fires. In 1923, the impressive Caliente Train Depot was built, a classic Mission-style building constructed of tan stucco. This two-story building included the railroad station, private offices and a community center on the first floor, while the second level featured a hotel.


Within a few years, Caliente grew to more than 5,000 residents. For more than 40 years, Caliente was one of the major division points on the railroad line. When steam engines were replaced by diesel locomotives in the 1940’s, the division point moved to Las Vegas. Without the depot as a main railroad stop, the town’s growth dwindled but not its spirit.

A town steeped in history, Caliente has many stories to tell and was one of the favorite writing spots for western novelist Zane Grey.

Zane Grey, eh?  It just so happened that I used to live in Zanesville OH on Convers Avenue.  Just up the street from me was the Zane Grey birthplace.  (By the way, Zanesville was not named after Zane Grey, but rather after Ebeneezer Zane, a pioneer trail-maker.)

Anyway, here’s a close-up of the train station portico:


Here’s an establishment that saw better days back when the train station was more active:


Let me close with a picture of this fine eatery in Caliente:




© 2009 A Landing A Day


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