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Archive for March, 2009

Gillette, Wyoming

Posted by graywacke on March 20, 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 – I’m getting a little bored here. First, one Nevada mining town after another, and now my second ALAD coal mining town in . . . WY; 62/54; 5/10; 15; 165.9.

For the second time, I landed in the teeny-weeny Threemile Creek watershed (the name of the creek is a pretty good hint as to just how teeny-weeny the watershed is); on to the Belle Fourche R (4th hit); on to the Cheyenne (16th hit); on to the Missouri.  My previous Threemile Creek landing was before I saved the lat/long markers on StreetAtlas, so you won’t see it on this landing map:

landing19

Two things about this map: the fairly major town to the north is inexplicably unlabeled, but the town is Gillette.  The unlabeled SW-NE trending stream south and east of my landing is the Belle Fourche River.

This landing isn’t too far north from the town of Wright, which was subject of a previous post (the one where I discussed the world’s largest mine, the Black Thunder Mine).  Anyway, there are plenty of other coal mines in the Gillette area, and I’m not going to discuss them.

Here’s a broader view featuring Gillette:

gillette

I’m inclined to make this a quickie. Here’s a picture of Gillette in 1904:

gillette-1904

And here’s a striking building mural located in Gillette:

gillette-cowboy

KS


Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Dawson, Georgia

Posted by graywacke on March 20, 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 –  Phew.  After 3 OSers in a row, back to the good ol’ SE, with all of those USers.  So, I landed in the land-of-the-round-towns, aka . . . GA; 27/33; 5/10; 14; 165.3.  I landed in the Ichawaynochaway Creek watershed.

Let’s try this together:  Ich-away-no-chaway.  Say it three times in a row . . .I like it!!

Anyway, from the Ichawaynochaway, on to the Flint R (5th hit, making the Flint the 129th river with 5 or more hits); on to the Apalachicola (7th hit).  The Apalachicola is also a fun name to pronounce!

About Ichawaynochaway Creek (from Wiki):

Ichawaynochaway Creek is in southwest Georgia. It flows south-southeasterly for approximately 65 miles (105 km), joining the Flint River 13 miles (21 km) southwest of Newton.

“Ichawaynochaway” is a Muskogee word that may have referred to either beavers or deer. Some authorities believe it means “the place where deer sleep.”

Ichawaynochaway Creek is commonly referred to as Nochaway Creek.

Here’s a picture of the creek:

ichawaynochaway1

And two pictures of huge turtles from the creek:

img_2286-large

snapper_compressed-full

Here’s my landing map:

landing18

As I mentioned, GA is the “land of the round towns,” and here’s a map showing all of the round towns near my landing:

round-towns

So, let me settle on Dawson (pop about 5000):

The only thing that really interests me is that Dawson is the home town of Otis Redding.  Otis wrote what is one of my all-time favorite songs:  Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.  Here are the words:

Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ come
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch ’em roll away again, yeah

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the ‘Frisco bay
‘Cause I’ve had nothing to live for
And look like nothin’s gonna come my way

So I’m just gonna sit on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

Look like nothing’s gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I’ll remain the same, yes

Sittin’ here resting my bones
And this loneliness won’t leave me alone
It’s two thousand miles I roamed
Just to make this dock my home

Now, I’m just gonna sit at the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

From Wiki:

(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” is a soul song written and performed by American soul singer Otis Redding, released posthumously in 1968.  It was the first posthumous single in U.S. chart history.

In August 1967, Redding wrote the first verse of the song, under the abbreviated title “Dock of the Bay,” at a houseboat on Waldo Pier in Sausalito, California.  While touring later in 1967, he continued to scribble lines of the song on napkins and hotel paper. In November of that year he joined producer and guitarist Steve Cropper.

Together, they completed the music and melancholy lyrics of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” From those sessions emerged Otis Redding’s final recordings, including “Dock of the Bay,” which was recorded on November 22, with additional overdubs on December 8. The result was a song quite different in style from most of Redding’s other recordings, but one with which he was very pleased.  While discussing his latest song with his wife, Redding stated that he wanted to “be a little different” with “The Dock of the Bay” and “change his style”.

Redding continued to tour after the recording sessions and, on December 10, the charter plane which was carrying him crashed into Lake Monona, outside Madison, Wisconsin. Redding and six others were killed. Only one passenger survived.

“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was released in January 1968 amid the fall-out of Redding’s death. The song shot to number one on the R&B charts in early 1968. By early summer of that year, “Dock of the Bay” topped the pop charts.  “Dock of the Bay” went on to gain success in countries across the world, and brought Redding the greatest success of his career. The song went on to win two Grammy Awards: Best R&B Song (for songwriting) and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance (for vocals).

In 1999, BMI named the song as the sixth-most performed song of the 20th century, with about six million performances. “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was ranked twenty-eighth on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, the second highest of four Redding songs on the list, after “Respect“.

And I must say that personally, this song has always spoken to me.  Here’s a YouTube version of the song with Otis’ co-writer Steve Cropper on Guitar and Guy Sebastian singing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nuk7xDVRm90

Here’s an interesting version of the song by Lisa Ono:

And, a picture of Otis . . .

071210_otisredding_hmed4phmedium

KS

Greg

© 2009 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.

oh-oh

So anyway, here’s my landing map:

landing17

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

drainage

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

caliente

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.

caliente-railroad-station

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:

train-station-portico

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

seen-better-days

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

carlsburgers300x200

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Potsdam, New York

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 –  Man.  I was oh-so-close to a new record, and then what happens?  First one OSer (NV), then another . . . NY; 33/28; 6/10; 12; 165.4.  I’ve had a bit of a landing cluster up near my birth-town of Watertown (in Jefferson County), as shown in this landing map.  Today’s landing is the northern-most in St. Lawrence County.

landing25

More precisely, here’s my close-in landing map, showing my close proximity to Potsdam:

landing16


And here’s a broader view:

potsdam

I landed in the watershed of a new river, the Raquette, on to the St. Lawrence (77th hit).  Of the 77 hits, 69 made it to the St. Lawrence via one of the Great Lakes.  Six came in through Lake Champlain (to the St. Lawrence via the Richelieu); and only two via other rivers that flow right into St. Lawrence (one of which was the Raquette).

So, it turns out that Potsdam has been part of my consciousness for my whole life.  My father’s sister and family are from Potsdam.  I must admit though, I’ve pretty much lost track of the clan (my dad died when I was a teenager, so it was easy for me to lose track of his side of the family).

Anyway, Potsdam:

discover_potsdam

A lot of Adirondack timber was floated down the Raquette to sawmills in Potsdam.  The town was largely built of beautiful “Potsdam” sandstone that provided the building materials for homes, schools and churches which can still be seen today.

Proud of being given the title of “The Educational and Cultural Center of Northern New York”, Potsdam is home to two institutions of higher education: the State University College at Potsdam, including the Crane School of Music, and Clarkson University.  In the Market Street historic district in the downtown area of the village are numerous small specialty shops and restaurants. The Potsdam Summer Festival, usually the second week of July, features outdoor concerts, foot races, and sidewalk sales.

Recreational opportunities abound from golf courses, to indoor ice arenas, from hiking along the river on the newly developed Red Sandstone Trail, to skiing the cross-country trails on the Clarkson University campus.

Speaking of Clarkson University, my Uncle Art was a Civil Engineering professor there.  Here’s a picture of the Raquette as it tumbles down out of the Adirondacks:

800px-raquette

And here, a little further downstream:

raquette-river-canoe-trip-from-ll-to-tupper-lake-168

Here’s an 1842 shot of Potsdam:

1842-view-of-potsdam

And here’s a turn of the century shot, featuring, I suspect, buildings constructed of red Potsdam Sandstone:

221nypotsdam11

Something that I stumbled on (and think is interesting) is that there are three rivers that maintain a long parallel course very close to one another near their mouths at the St. Lawrence.  The three rivers are the Grass, the Raquette and the St. Regis.  Here’s a map:

three-rivers2

Notice that the three rivers flow into the St. Lawrence within a few miles of each other.  I suspect that bedrock structure in the area keeps the watersheds separate (i.e., there are bedrock ridges that separate the valleys).

I couldn’t find a local geology map, but here’s the geologic map of New York.

newyork800

Here’s the northern section blown up:

newyorknorth2400

Notice the trend of the line that separates the blue-colored formation (the Theresa) from the yellow-colored formation (the Potsdam), way up in the far north.  I suspect that the same NE/SW trend is present within the Theresa formation.  This would result in NE/SW trending topography, and also result in NE/SW trending rivers like the St. Lawrence itself, as well as the Grass, the Raquette and the St. Regis.

My apologies for all of the geology; but hey, I’m a geologist . . .

FYI, the town of Potsdam is right near the southwestern pointy end of the major outcrop of the Potsdam formation (the yellow on the map).

Phew.  That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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McGill, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on March 17, 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 –  Are you kidding me?  So, I needed a USer to set a new record.  No, I didn’t get a new record.  And it was painful.  First, an AO landing, followed by a PO landing, followed by Canada landing, followed by another AO landing, followed by a landing in an OSer that was right next to my recent Ruth landing.  Remember Ruth?  It, as well as today’s landing, is in . . . NV; 64/61; 6/10; 11; 164.9.  Here’s my landing map:

lalnding

So, on February 6th, my landing was the western-most.  Today’s landing is the eastern-most.  As you see, there are two other landings (January 14, 2004, the northern-most landing, and April 14, 2007, the southern-most landing).

Here’s a wider view, centered on McGill:

mcgill


So, let me be honest.  I’m kind of sick of these mining-based east-central NV landings!!  (And, yes, McGill was a mining company town).

Before I go on, I need to finish my watershed business:  for the second time, I landed in the Spring Creek watershed, on to the Spring Valley, which doesn’t go anywhere (i.e., Internal).  Of course, the first time was the April 2007 landing.

So, I’m going to make this a short post.  Not far south from all of these landings is the Great Basin National Park.  I’m just going to make this post a photo album from the National Park website:

park1

park2

park3

park4

park5

park6

park7

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Deary, Idaho

Posted by graywacke on March 16, 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 –  Wow!  Four western OSers in a row:  TX, CO, CA and then . . . ID; 40/46; 7/10; 164.3.  And I’m only one OSer away from a new record.  It was way back on December 13th that I hit 164.0.  Tomorrow might be big.  We’ll see . . .

I landed in the watershed of a new river, the Potlatch.  The Potlatch flows to the Clearwater (6th hit); on, of course, to the Snake (60th hit); on to the Columbia.

Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Deary:

landing15

Here’s a broader view:

deary

Back to the Potlatch.  First, a picture of the Potlatch near Deary:

potlatch-near-deary

It turns out that Lewis & Clark were here (what a surprise).  From their journal:

We had left this creek [Potlatch River] about a mile and a half, and were passing the last of fifteen rapids [on the Clearwater River] which we had been fortunate enough to escape, when one of the canoes struck, and a hole being made in her side, she immediately filled and sunk. The men, several of whom could not swim, clung to the boat till one of our canoes could be unloaded, and with the assistance of an Indian boat, they were all brought to shore. All the goods were so much wet, that we were obliged to halt for the night [downstream of the Potlatch River], and spread them out to dry. …… We passed during our route of twenty miles to-day ……

From a L&C website, here are some basic facts:

The Potlatch River is one of the largest tributaries of the lower Clearwater River. The Potlatch has a length of 52 miles, contains 745 miles of tributary streams, and drains a watershed of approximately 335 square miles.

Getting back to Deary (and other nearby towns).  Check out my landing map.  You might notice Princeton and Harvard.  What else?  Well, here’s a zoomed-in map to help you to see Yale, Vassar and Stanford (Yale’s a little tough to see, but it’s up in the NW corner, kind of hiding behind the “9”.

yale-stanford-vassar

If you look back on my landing map, you can also see Smith Meadows (along with Vassar Meadows).  Just off my landing map, to the east, is Purdue Creek (which flows into the Potlatch).  So, to recap:  Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Vassar, Smith and Purdue.  Quite the line-up, eh?

I won’t be so pretentious as to rank the various institutions (although I am writing checks to Princeton, thanks to my youngest), but I can rank them based on their geographical significance in Northern Idaho:

Tied for first, Princeton & Harvard:

princeton


harvard

Third, Vassar:

vassar

Fourth, Stanford:

stanford

Fifth, Purdue (a creek’s not bad!):

purdue

And tied for Sixth (that would be last) –  Yale (sorry, but it’s nothing more than a rail siding) and Smith (it only has a meadow):

yale


smith

Here’s a write-up about the phenomenon (which doesn’t even mention Smith, which makes me believe that maybe the meadow was named for some guy named Smith):

ivy-league

I couldn’t find Cornell or Wellseley or Oxford anywhere.  Anyway, back to Deary (from palouse.net):

Deary, Idaho is the product of the Potlatch Lumber Company, just like other nearby towns.  In 1905, the engineers for the Potlatch Lumber Company surveyed the right-of-way for the railroad to the Bovill area.  When the settlers around Avon insisted on too high a price for their land, William Deary, the company’s general manager, decided to locate his station at the present site of Deary.

But unlike other company towns along the Washington, Idaho and Montana Railway Company, Deary was carved out of the timber by homesteaders and farmers.  Homesteaders came in the 1880’s and ’90’s.  They were mostly Scandinavians who had tried the upper Midwest first.  To these people a good farm had timber on it, and by the late nineteenth century in the Midwest, land parcels were small and the forests were dwindling.

The Homestead Act gave 160 acres to anyone who could clear forty acres, build upon it, and live there for five years.  This was called “proving up.”  In the white pine forest, that was a tall order.  Determined settlers did make the land productive, and gradually the area filled up.  If one person couldn’t make a go of it, there was someone else who had “jump the place”, adding acreage to his own.

Here’s a picture of Deary soon after its founding (note the horse & buggy):

horse-buggy-foregrounddeary__1

Here’s a modern picture of the town.   Are we looking down the same street?  What do you think?

My wife Jody just looked over my shoulder.  She had two comments:  1.) Yes, dummy, it’s the same picture.  Just look at the first building on the left.  It’s the same for both.  (She’s absolutely right).  2.)  Where’s Bryn Mawr?  (She went to Bryn Mawr and was offended that if Vassar and Smith could make the cut in Idaho, why not Bryn Mawr . . .)

deary1

Here’s a wonderful picture of a little girl from Deary and her chicken Steve (with the caption below):

girl with cat

A 5-year-old girl shields her face for a moment from a gust of wind with her favorite chicken, Steve, after running to catch him for 10 minutes on her father’s farm in Deary, Idaho. “One time I squished a chicken so hard that an egg fell out,” she said.

KS

Greg


© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Susanville, California

Posted by graywacke on March 14, 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 –  How about this?  My third western OSer in a row!  After TX and CO comes . . . CA; 78/90; 7/10 (wow, 7!); 9; 165.0.  I landed in a part of the country where I really haven’t had many hits – that’s the general area of NE CA and NW NV.  I’ll start with the broader view to let you know what I mean:

landing23

Today’s landing is N40 W 120.  You can see a large area devoid of landings mainly to the north of today’s landing.

I ended up with a pretty-much-nothing watershed entry, (ut; Little Mud Flat; Internal) as you can see by this map.  Note that Little Mud Flat is the unnamed “lake” just north of my landing.:

watershed

Anyway, here’s my landing map:

landing14

Except for Susanville (pop 13,500), all the towns are teeny (like Litchfield, Standish, and Wendel).  Janesville’s bigger (pop 3,000), but is all spread out, doesn’t have a town center (and, more importantly, is GD; i.e., Google-Deprived).

So, Susanville:

logo

The City of Susanville was founded in 1854.  In April 2008, the Susanville area was voted the Pacific Region’s Best Place to Live for Sportsman by Outdoor Life Magazine.

Here’s a 1950 shot of Susanville (the year I was born!):

susanville_1950

Here’s a picture of City Hall in Susanville:

city-hall

And this, of the Black Bear Diner in Susanville:

black-bear-diner-in-susanville

And this, of a picturesque barn just outside of Susanville:

70173762sglhqld0034barneastofsusanvilleview2

So, I landed just north of Honey Lake.  Here’s a picture:

honey-lake

From Wiki:

Honey Lake is located in Lassen County, California near the Nevada border. It is about 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Susanville.  The lake is relatively shallow, but has a very large surface area. The area is a high intermountain plateau with low rainfall and cold winters. The lake has large fluctuations in surface area and volume during the year and from year to year and during severe drought can dry up completely.

On average, Honey Lake has a surface area of about 190 km² (47,000 acres) and contains about 150,000,000 m³ (120,000 acre-feet) of water containing a very high concentration of mineral salts. During the summer, Honey Lake becomes an alkali flat although about 3,000 acres (12 km²) of open water are maintained.

Honey Lake was previously part of Lake Lahontan, an enormous endorheic lake that existed during the last ice age, covering much of northwestern Nevada, extending into northeastern California and southern Oregon. At its height about 12,700 years ago, it had a level approximately 115 meters (380 ft) above the current level of Honey Lake.

So, endorheic?  I know I’ve run into this word before.  Anyway, it means a closed drainage basin without an outflow.  Anyway, here’s more about the fascinating Lake lahontan (from Wiki), starting with a map:

wpdms_shdrlfi020l_lake_lahontan_b

(Honey Lake is just north of the word “Pyramid.”)  Back to Wiki:

Ancient Lake Lahontan was a large endorheic lake that existed during the ice age, covering much of northwestern Nevada, extending into northeastern California and southern Oregon. At its peak approximately 12,700 years ago, the lake had a surface area of over 8500 square miles. The depth of the lake was approximately 900 feet at present day Pyramid Lake, and 500 feet at the Black Rock Desert. Lake Lahontan, during this most recent glacial period, would have been one of the largest lakes in North America.

As the surface elevation dropped (due to climate change at the end of the Pleistocene epoch), the lake broke up into series of smaller lakes, most of which rapidly dried up leaving only a playa. These playas include the Black Rock Desert, the Carson Sink and the Humboldt Sink. The only modern day remnants existing as true lakes are Pyramid Lake ,Walker Lake, and Honey Lake. Winnemucca Lake has been dry since the 1930s and Honey Lake periodically desiccates.

The existence of the lake coincided roughly with the first appearance of humans in that region of North America. Archaeological evidence exists along the ancient lake shore of early human habitation.

It turns out that the Maidu Indians lived here before all of the rest of us folks of other colors and origins.  From the Honey Lake Maidu website:

The Northeastern Maidu, also known as the Mountain Maidu, live around a series of mountain valleys primarily in the drainage of the North Fork of the Feather River in the northern Sierra Nevada. These valleys include the American Valley near Quincy, Indian Valley near Greenville, Genesee Valley near Taylorsville, Big Meadows (now covered by Lake Almanor) and Mountain Meadows near Westwood, and Honey Lake Valley across the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada near Susanville.

For subsistence, the Maidu depended primarily on acorns, seeds berries, and roots, as well as on deer, pronghorn, wild fowl, and fish. Their political and social universe was defined mainly by the village or tribelet community, which consisted of a small group of neighboring villages under the authority of a male chief. Dixon (1905) observed that the area owned by each Maidu community was “very definite, and its exact limits were known and marked.”

At one time, the Maidu possessed a rich and complex oral tradition that began with the contest between Earthmaker (K’odojapem) and Coyote (Wepam wajsim) at creation and following the flood (Dixon 1912; Shipley 1991).   In his studies of Maidu oral tradition, Dixon (1905: 344) found “a complete absence, apparently, of any sort of migration legend, all portions of the stock declaring emphatically that they originated precisely in their present homes.”

Here’s a picture of some Maidu folks back in the day:

maidu

The Maidu are known for their baskets.  Here’s a back in the day picture:

maidu-baskets

Here’s the beginning of the oral Maidu creation story, as told by Leona Morales.  Leona told the story before she died in 1985:

” I am Leona Morales and I want to tell you a story that my old people told me.”

leona

“I was born in 1900 and I know a lot of my old people. My mother (Roxie Peconom) told me the story about a Maker who made this world. They called him Kodomyeponi. The Maidu called him that. My aunt told me stories about it as did my uncle. So I pieced the stories together and I think I got it just about down pat.

I’ll tell the story about the Maker, the man that made this world. He said one day – I don’t know what time it was – the birds and the flowers and even the brooks were singing. Even the little animals were so happy, dancing around. This is the story that was told to me. They were just singing, even the brooks were singing, trees were swaying, and the leaves were dancing in the trees. They were so happy. They saw a bright light in the west and said, “That’s what the old one told us. When we see the bright light in the west, he says, He’s coming. He’s coming. He’s going to make this world right.”

For his people, the old one told us that one day He would come. Now, I don’t know what the old one was, but that’s the way the story goes. Oh, he said, the birds were singing, everybody was just so happy because they had seen the light in the west. A real bright light, kept getting brighter and brighter. It seems like it started from Quincy way. Here was this man. He had a light over his head. He was walking.  He had a cane.”

There’s much more, and it’s very cool.   Click here to read the rest of the creation story (and more about the Honey Lake Maidu).

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Holly, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on March 14, 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 –  So, you probably recall that several former OS WBers had worked their way off of the OS list on to the US list.  Well, just 9 landings ago, I hit this state and I just hit it again, sending it off the OS list and on to the PS list.  The state. . . CO; 57/57; 6/10; 8; 165.6.

I landed in the Two Butte Ck watershed, which flows to the Arkansas (88th hit).  Of the last five landings, three have been in the Arkansas watershed.

Here’s my landing map:

landing12

And a broader view, featuring Holly:

holly

From Colorado.com:

Set on the grasslands near the Kansas border right along the Santa Fe Trail, Holly was first established as a ranching center. Hiram Holly, for whom the town is named, arrived in 1871 with 1,300 cattle, and his ranch was the first settlement in the area. After he sold the ranch to a private company, it grew in size to nearly 2.5 million acres.

Today, the ranching and farming life still holds sway; much of this town is built around the farm. Crops grown in the area include wheat, corn and sweet-tasting cantaloupe.  Farmers and friends gather downtown to share stories and shop. Visitors will find gift shops and a grocery store for stocking picnic baskets.  Farther out on Highway 50 are a sit-down restaurant and a hamburger stand.

I love the comment about the sit-down restaurant and hamburger stand.  Anyway, here’s an older view (not sure when) of Main St.:

co_holly02

And this shot of the Holly train station:

holly_co1

And this, to give you an idea of what the landscape outside of town looks like:

hollyco

In March of 2007, a devastating tornado struck Holly, resulting in two deaths and numerous injuries.  Here’s an incredible shot of the tornado itself:

holly-tornado

And menacing (but beautiful) storm clouds:

holly-tornado-storm-clouds

And some of the damage:

tornado-damage

Moving right along . . .mentioned above, the Santa Fe Trail followed the Arkansas River through the area of my landing.

Here’s a map of the Sante Fe Trail.  Holly is along the northern branch, just across the KS/CO border. santafetrailmaplarge

From Wiki:

The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th century transportation route through southwestern North America that connected Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. First used in 1821 by William Becknell, it served as a vital commercial and military highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in 1880.

In southwestern Kansas the trail gave a Santa Fe-bound traveler two options.  One of the branches, called the Mountain Route or the Upper Crossing (of the Arkansas River) continued to follow the Arkansas upstream in southeastern Colorado to Bent’s Fort.  At Bent’s Fort, the trail continued south into New Mexico to Las Vegas.

The other main branch, called the Cimarron Cutoff or Cimarron Crossing or Middle Crossing cut southwest across the Cimarron Desert to the valley of the Cimarron River, across the corner of the Oklahoma Panhandle, into New Mexico where it joined up with Mountain Route at Las Vegas. This route was generally very hazardous because it had very little water.

From Las Vegas, the reunited branches continued to Santa Fe.

Here’s a map showing the Trail near Coolidge KS, just east of Holly:

sf-trail-at-coolidge

(There’s a similar map for Holly, but it’s poor quality . . .)  Anyway, I’ll close with a picture of the Arkansas River in Colorado.  It’s quite a ways west of my landing, but all I could find.

arkansasriver1

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Sunray, Texas

Posted by graywacke on March 13, 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 –  Phew.  Based on my lat/long (N36, W101), I thought maybe KS, maybe OK.   What I didn’t expect that I would just manage to land in the very northern part of the panhandle of . . . TX; 115/147; 6/10; 7; 166.2.  For the 6th time, I landed in the Beaver R watershed; on to the North Canadian (12th hit); on to the Canadian (32nd hit); on to the Arkansas (87th hit); on to the MM.

Here’s my landing map, showing I landed north of Sunray:

landing11

Here’s a broader view:

sunray

From TexasEscapes.com:

History in a Pecan Shell

By Texas standards, Sunray arrived late; materializing with the oil boom of 1929.

Named after the Sunray Oil Company in 1931, the town had previously been known as Altman.  The town had a post office in 1930 and was incorporated in 1937.

The population has remained between 1,500 and 2,000 from the 1950s until the present.

Unfortunately for Sunray, its name is inexorably linked with a refinery explosion and fire that took the life of 19 people.  It happened in 1956.  From an AP story at the time:

Dumas (AP) — A petroleum tank farm explosion and fire killed 19 men yesterday and subsided today to a single fire in one tank.  Fifteen men burned to death almost instantly when a hot wall of fire shot across the ground when the first of four tanks exploded and burned. Four others died later of horrible burns.
Funerals were held today for at least seven of the victims — in Dumas and nearby Sunray.  Services were planned later in half a dozen Texas cities for the other victims.
Some 31 other persons were burned by the blast that shot an orange fireball thousands of feet and seared everything within a quarter-mile radius.  Only seven of the 31 remained on the serious list today.  Three were discharged from the hospital.
Spectators saw friends and relatives stumble moaning and crying, their clothing afire, from the smoke and flames at the Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. tank farm.  Ensuing explosions burned and shattered three other big storage tanks and blackened others nearby.
“The fiery blast snuffed out their lives and they crumpled in their tracks,” Editor BILL LASK of the Moore County News said.

BOB HAMILTON, a News reporter, said his hair almost caught fire 200 yards from the explosion. A shirtless boy stumbled out with his naked back in flames. He said the dead were caught in a “pool of fire.”

DR. JAMES L. JOHNSON of Amarillo, who was flying his light plane near Dumas when the tank exploded, saw the first fireball. He landed at Dumas and rushed to the hospital.

“I was watching the fire, which was about 20 miles away,” he said. “It was followed by a big mushroom of smoke — just like the kind in the atomic bomb pictures.”

Here’s a picture of the fire:

shamrock20oil20explosion201956202

It turns out that the explosion was a “BLEVE.”  From Wiki:

BLEVE (pronounced BLEV-ee), is an acronym for “boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion“.  This is a type of explosion that can occur when a vessel containing a pressurized liquid is ruptured. Such explosions can be extremely hazardous.

A BLEVE results from the rupture of a vessel containing a liquid substantially above its atmospheric boiling point. The substance is stored partly in liquid form, with a gaseous vapour above the liquid filling the remainder of the container.

If the vessel is ruptured – for example, due to corrosion, or failure under pressure – the vapour portion may rapidly leak, lowering the pressure inside the container. This sudden drop in pressure inside the container causes violent boiling of the liquid, which rapidly liberates large amounts of vapour in the process. The pressure of this vapour can be extremely high, causing a significant wave of overpressure (an explosion) which may completely destroy the storage vessel and project fragments over the surrounding area. BLEVEs can also be caused by an external fire near the storage vessel causing heating of the contents and pressure build-up.

Here’s a picture of the Sunray BLEVE:

sunrayd_l

To see a video of an actual BLEVE caused by a fire burning around a tanker truck, click here:

Staying on the dark side, this picture is all over the web.  It shows a worker at a carbon black plant in Sunray in 1942.

carbon_black_sunray_texas_2

Moving right along . . .here’s a sad house in Sunray:

house-near-sunray

I’ll close with a couple of Sunray atmospheric pictures:

bolt-in-sunray

rainbow-in-sunray

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Roy, Montana

Posted by graywacke on March 11, 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 –  For the 13th time in my last 142 landings, I landed in my old bugaboo . . . MT; 102/81; 5/10; 6; 166.9.  I just did the math, and over these last 142 landings, I’m landing in MT at about twice the rate that I should.  And, even 142 landings ago, MT was the number one OS state.  It just gets worse and worse . . .

For the second time, I landed in the Box Elder Ck watershed; on to the Flatwillow Ck (also 2nd hit); on to the Musselshell R (12th hit); on to the Missouri.

Here’s my landing map, showing proximity to the town of Roy:

 landing10

But before Roy, let me get back to the Musselshell.  The Musselshell is similar to yesterday’s river, the James, in that it is obviously way OS.  The Musselshell is not near as long (292 miles vs. 710 for the James), but hey, it’s in MT, so of course I’ve landed there way too much.

Here’s a map showing the Musselshell.  I’ve drawn in a very-approximate watershed boundary (and the dot is my approximate landing location):

 mt-rivers

So, Roy.  From the Russell Country Montana website (named after Charlie Russell (1864 – 1926), a well known Western Artist with his own museum in Great Falls MT):

Welcome to Roy, Montana

In 1915, Roy’s population was about four hundred, back when there was a homesteader on every 160 acres. Saturday night dances were the big thing.  People came by horseback or in a buggy.  Roy did not last long as a hub for community events, however.  The population dwindled during World War I, the 160-acre holdings were bought up, and today the area is predominately unpopulated cattle ranching land.

I don’t know the population of Roy, but the population of Roy’s zip code (which covers a large area, about 35 miles x 20 miles) is only 400.

I found two pictures of very early farm tractors in use around Roy:

 1914-track-near-roy

 pioneer30-60homesteadroymt1913

Here’s a picture of Black Butte (a volcanic rock formation), located a few miles south of Roy:

 black-butte

Here’s a lovely shot, showing Black Butte in the background:

 ranch-near-roy-black-butte-in-background

It turns out that the Montana Draft Horse and Mule Association had their 2007 “Spring Gathering” in Roy.  Here are some pictures of the event posted on their website:

mtdraft20073

Here’s a shot of a grain elevator down the road a piece from Roy (in Hilger):

 hilger202

And here’s the pièce de résistance, with the caption below the photo:

 whichwaytoroy202

Which way to Roy? Roads in central Montana apparently have to be well-signed to keep folks from getting lost!  Photo by Helen Eden.

This just might be my all time favorite ALAD photo!!!  It is what ALAD is all about!!  This is recent stuff:  the photo was taken in 2007, and look how clear the signs are!   This is an absolute must on my upcoming ALAD tour . . .

Anyway, to Uncle Dick Vetter (my Ma’s brother):  do you think that Art’s a relative?

KS

Greg

 © 2009 A Landing A Day

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