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Archive for April, 2009

Valdosta, Georgia

Posted by graywacke on April 27, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) 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,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan – I’m back to flirting with a new record low Score. I’m only 0.3 away, so we’ll have to see what tomorrow brings. But today brought . . . GA; 28/33; 5/10; 1; 161.1.

Oh my!! Two new rivers, numbers 1008 and 1009: the Alapahoochee, on to the Alapaha; on to the Suwannee (3rd hit). Great names, eh? Say them out loud: “The Alapahoochee on to the Alapaha on to the Suwanee.” Music to my ears . . .

I’ll start with a very-close-in map:

landing27

Note how I landed smack dab in the middle of Mud Swamp.  Doesn’t sound very inviting . . .

And then this map, showing how close I landed to the substantial city of Valdosta.

landing28

I’ve heard of Valdosta before, but I don’t really know anything about it. I guess that’s soon to change . . .

But first, here’s a broader view:

valdosta_ga

From the Valdosta city website:

In 1837, the city of Troupville became the Lowandes county seat. When the Gulf and Atlantic Railroad decided to put a right-of-way four miles south of Troupville, the citizens of Troupville made an interesting move to ensure the future prosperity of their town–they picked it up and moved it four miles.

The town was then renamed Valdosta, in honor of “Val d’Aosta,” the plantation home of former Governor George Troup. In 1860, Valdosta was incorporated as the new seat of county government.

Valdosta’s history has been closely tied to the soil. The sandy loam allowed the city to become the inland capital for Sea Island cotton. When cotton crops were devastated by the boll weevil in the early 1900s, other crops such as pecans, peanuts, and tobacco rose in popularity.

Fast Facts

Valdosta is the 11th largest city in Georgia.

Valdosta has a population is over 48,000+.

The composer of “Jingle Bells,” James Lord Pierpoint, was from Valdosta.

Famous gunfighter and gambler, Doc Holliday, was from Valdosta.

The Valdosta High School Wildcat football team, which has won more games than any other high school in the nation, has given rise to the city’s nickname — “Winnersville.”

I’m most interested in Jingle Bells, Doc Holliday and the incredible fact about the high school football team.

First, Jingle Bells.   It was written in 1857 in Boston. Of course, it makes sense that Mr. Pierpoint didn’t write the song in southern Georgia. Anyway, here are all of the original verses. Note that later verses (the ones we don’t know) get more interesting . . .

“Dashing thro’ the snow,
In a one-horse open sleigh,
O’er the hills we go,
Laughing all the way;
Bells on bob tail ring,
Making spirits bright,
Oh what sport to ride and sing
A sleighing song to night.

Jingle bells, Jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what joy it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, Jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what joy it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.

A day or two ago,
I thought I’d take a ride,
And soon Miss Fannie Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank;
Misfortune seemed his lot,
He got into a drifted bank,
And we, we got upsot.

A day or two ago,
The story I must tell
I went out on the snow
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away.

Now the ground is white
Go it while you’re young,
Take the girls to night
And sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bob tailed bay
Two forty as his speed.
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack, you’ll take the lead.”

Now Doc Holliday. Wow, there was more to ol’ Doc than I ever realized. From Wiki (with some serious editing to make the story more concise):

John Henry “Doc” Holliday (August 14, 1852 – November 8, 1887) was an American dentist, gambler and gunfighter of the American Old West, who is usually remembered for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

“Doc” Holliday was born in Griffin, Georgia. Fourteen years later, the family moved to Valdosta, Georgia, where Holliday attended the Valdosta Institute. There he received a strong classical secondary education in rhetoric, grammar, mathematics, history, and languages – principally Latin, but also French and some ancient Greek.

In 1870, the nineteen-year-old Holliday left home to begin dental school in Philadelphia. On March 1, 1872, he received the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery.  Later that year, he opened a dental office with Arthur C. Ford in Atlanta.  While in Atlanta, Holliday resided with his uncle and his family while beginning his career as a dentist there.

Wow, so far, Doc doesn’t sound like a wild west icon. Continuing from an edited Wiki:

In 1873, he went to Dallas, Texas, where he opened a dental office. He soon began gambling and realized this was a more profitable source of income. In 1874, Holliday and 12 others were indicted in Dallas for illegal gambling. He was arrested in Dallas in 1875 after trading gunfire with a saloon-keeper, but no one was injured and he was found not guilty. He moved his offices to Denison, Texas, and after being found guilty of, and fined for, “gaming” in Dallas, he decided to leave the state.

OK, now we’re beginning to see the real Doc. Continuing from an edited Wiki:

In the years that followed, Holliday had many more such disagreements, fueled by a hot temper and an attitude that death by gun or knife was better than by tuberculosis. Also, there was the practical matter that a professional gambler, working on his own at the edge of the law, had to be able to back up disputed points of play with at least a threat of force. Holliday continued traveling on the western mining frontier, where gambling was most likely to be lucrative and legal. Holliday was in Denver, Cheyenne, and Deadwood (site of the gold rush in the Dakota Territory) in the fall of 1876.

By 1877, Holliday was in Fort Griffin, Texas, where Wyatt Earp first met him. The two began to form an unlikely friendship; Earp more even-tempered and controlled, Holliday more hot-headed and impulsive. This friendship was cemented in 1878 in Dodge City, Kansas, when Holliday defended Earp in a saloon against a handful of cowboys out to kill Wyatt.

Holliday was still practicing dentistry on the side from his rooms in Dodge City, as indicated in an 1878 Dodge newspaper advertisement (he promised money back for less than complete customer satisfaction).

So, next comes episodes of various outlaw shoot-outs, culminating with the famous “Gunfight at the OK Corral.”  It’s quite the narrative, and a little too much for my post.  I invite any of my readers to do a simple Google search to learn more.

Here’s what Wiki says about his death:

Holliday spent the rest of his life in Colorado. After a stay in Leadville, he suffered from the effects of the high altitude; as a result of this and his increasing dependence on alcohol and laudanum, often taken by consumptives to ease their symptoms, his health, and evidently his gambling skills, began to deteriorate.

In 1887, prematurely gray and badly ailing, Holliday made his way to the Hotel Glenwood near the hot springs of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He hoped to take advantage of the reputed curative power of the waters, but the sulfurous fumes from the spring may have done his lungs more harm than good. As he lay dying, Holliday allegedly asked for a drink of whiskey. Amused, he looked at his bootless feet as he died – no one ever thought that he would die in bed, with his boots off. His reputed last words were, “Well I’ll be damned. This is funny.”

So, moving right along to Valdosta H.S. football.  How ‘bout them Wildcats!  From Wiki:

In 2001, Valdosta High School’s football coach, Mike O’Brien, told a national gathering of coaches:

“Our program is 86 years old, and has been through 12 head coaches. We have only been below a .500 winning percentage five out of the 86 years. We have accumulated 39 region championships, 23 state championships, and six national championships. Here is a little fact to help you better understand how tough our region is. A team from our region has either won or played for a state championship 40 times in last 52 years. Valdosta is the winningest high school football team in America. Our record is 782-160-33. To put that into a better perspective for you, we could lose every game for the next 60 years and still have a winning percentage above .500. Of course if this were to occur I would no longer be the coach.”

Great stuff. On a personal note, I went to Zanesville High School in Zanesville, OH (although I graduated from Belvidere High School in NJ). Anyway, I remember something that goes like this: “from 1950 until the present (aka 1967, when I was a Junior), ZHS did not have a losing record in any of the four major sports: football, basketball, track & baseball.”  I remember all of the pride that went with that . . .

Wow. This post has many words and no pictures. Well, here’s a few, starting with my traditional Main Street back-in-the-day shot:

ga_valdosta03

Here’s the truly-imposing Lowandes County Courthouse in Valdosta:

lowndes-co-courthouse

And I’ll close with the following shot of a pleasant country stroll interrupted (at the Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area near Valdosta).  Doesn’t look like there’s a lot of “management” going on  . . .

gator-at-grand-bay-wma

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Warroads, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on April 26, 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 – Well, back to an old OS standby . . . MN; 63/47; 4/10; 2; 162.3. Here’s my landing map, showing proximity to Warroads and the famous Lake of the Woods (the most northern in the lower 48).

landing25

Here’s a slightly broader view, showing that funky piece of the United States that inexplicably juts up above the 49th parallel.

landing26

OK, so maybe not inexplicably. From Wiki:

The Northwest Angle, known simply as the Angle by locals, and coterminous with Angle Township, is a part of northern Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota that is the only part of the United States outside Alaska that is north of the 49th parallel. That parallel is the northern boundary of the 48 contiguous states extending eastward from the west coast along the northern boundaries of Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and part of Minnesota to the Northwest Angle.

Farther east, U.S. territory does not extend that far north. Map projections sometimes create a superficial appearance that Maine extends farther north than that; that appearance does not occur in maps in which parallels of latitude are straight lines. The Northwest Angle cannot be reached from the rest of the United States without either going through or flying over Canada or crossing or flying over water-specifically, the Lake of the Woods.

A portion of the Angle is held in trust by the Red Lake Indian Reservation (Ojibwa). The total population of the Angle was 152 at the 2000 census.

The Treaty of Paris, concluded between the United States and Great Britain at the end of the American Revolutionary War, stated that the boundary between U.S. territory and the British possessions to the north would run “…through the Lake of the Woods to the most northwestern most point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the river Mississippi…”

The parties did not suspect that the source of the Mississippi, Lake Itasca (then unknown to European explorers), was south of that point, and that thus the entire Mississippi was too far south to be intersected by a line running west from the Lake of the Woods.  A factor in this mistake was the use of the Mitchell Map during the treaty negotiations; that map showed the Mississippi extending far to the north. In the Anglo-American Convention of 1818, the error was corrected by having the boundary run due south from the northwest point of the lake to the 49th parallel and then westward along it.

When a survey team led by David Thompson finally located the northwestern most point of the lake and surveyed this north-south line, it was found to intersect other bays of the lake and therefore cut off a portion of U.S. territory, now known as the Northwest Angle.

OK, so maybe that’s not the clearest explanation, but I hope you get the idea.  Anyway, here’s a broader view, showing you just how far north I landed:

warroad

For only the second time, I landed in the Roseau River watershed, on to the Red River of the North (33rd hit); on to the Nelson (50th hit); on to Henry Hudson’s Bay. Here’s a picture of the Roseau:

roseau-river

So, I landed near Warroad. Hmmm. War Road. I wonder if the name is about a war road, or was the town founded by Henry Warroad. From Wiki:

The name Warroad seems to come from the practice of Indian tribes using the location, which is now the town, as a route to war upon each other. In the 20th century, the town had a strong commercial fishing industry, which gradually turned to sport fishing and tourism.

So, War Road wins, although it appears to be an English translation of an Indian word.

Although you wouldn’t expect it so far north, Warroad got walloped by a tornado! Here’s a picture:

warroad-tornado

And, from Wiki:

On August 5, 2006, Warroad was hit by an F3 tornado which caused substantial damage to the city and resorts in the well known areas surrounding the famed Lake of the Woods. Although devastating, not a single human casualty was reported. The storm produced a path of destruction approximately 3 miles long and 600 yards wide, destroying much of the infrastructure in its path.

I’ll close with a picture of the sea wall out on the Lake of the Woods.

sea-wall-at-warroad

If this shot is looking north, somewhere out there is Canada (and the only part of the U.S. that’s north of the 49th parallel . . . )

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Skykomish, Washington (Revisited, Take 2)

Posted by graywacke on April 24, 2009

Dan –  I love it when a knowledgeable local reads one of my posts and then posts a meaningful comment.  Here’s the comment from Derek T. about Skykomish:

FYI, you can discover more about Skykomish, WA and the Sky River Valley (where Skykomish is located) here: http://www.skyvalleychronicle.com.

Just the other day we published a story about a new book out that chronicles the history of the upper valley area (which includes Skykomish and the spot where you landed) from 1890 to present day. That story can be found here: http://www.skyvalleychronicle.com/?t=News_inside_display&nid=53047.

Actually the comment that you “landed along a pretty desolate stretch of U.S. Route 2 in Washington” is not quite correct. On either side of U.S. Highway 2 where you landed is an area teeming with some of the best high country hiking trails, campgrounds, pristine mountain lakes and streams, hunting grounds, etc. in the continental U.S. Think Swiss Alps and you’ll get the idea. The area is just up the road a piece from the new Sky River Wilderness area and is indeed gorgeous and overflowing with both human and animal activity.

There is also a famous ghost that lives in the old Skykomish Hotel building, as you will read in the story about the new book.

Best regards,

Derek T.

By the way, Derek, when I said “desolate,” I only meant with regards to a lack of large towns.  Believe, me I could tell the area is incredibly rich with natural beauty.  Anyway, thanks for the info.

Later, Dan . . .

KS

Greg

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Springfield, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on April 24, 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 – Well, the LG couldn’t go so far as to grant me two record low Scores in a row. For the third time since I began this blog, I landed in the far SE corner of . . . CO; 60/58; 4/10; 1; 161.8.

As is typical for this part of the country, I landed in the Arkansas R watershed (92nd hit).  I love my creek watersheds: The Antelope; on to the Horse; on to the Bear. I’m sure you’re curious, so I’ll tell you: This was my 7th watershed drained by an “Antelope” stream; my 16th for a “Horse” stream; and my 12th for a “Bear” stream. This puts “Antelope” right on the verge of making my “Common Stream Name” list.

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

landing20

Here’s a somewhat broader view, showing quite the cluster in SE CO (today’s landing is 37/102):

landing24

Here’s my more traditional broader view:

springfield-map

Springfield is yet another one of those late-19th century towns that sprang up all over the Great Plains, tied to the expansion of railroads.  But, they’ve got a good local website, where I got the following back-in-the-day pictures. Here are a couple of really-old Main St. shot:

springfield4

springfield6


And, just so you know what progress is all about, here’s a more-modern Main St. shot:

streetmain

And here’s a wonderful little corner of the general vicinity of Springfield:

hole400

As my ALAD regulars know, I enjoy storm pictures from the Great Plains. I’ll start with a dust bowl shot from the 1930’s:

dust-storm

Here’s a more recent one from outside of Springfield:

storm-cloud-near-springfield

And this, for Spagets, a rainbow over Springfield:

rainbow

But here’s the ultimate: an amazing photo taken outside of Springfield.  This is the best weather shot that I’ve come across here on ALAD (notice the shadow of the photographer):

rainbow-lightening

Wow.  I’m so blown away by this picture.  .  . .

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Skykomish, Washington (revisited)

Posted by graywacke on April 23, 2009

Dan –  “Loser Son” posted the following comment associated with the recent Skykomish post:  “Cool post overall.  That airport seems sort of peculiar though.  Doesn’t really make much sense to put an airport there.  And where are there any roads going to it, or a radio tower?  Or a building?”

I’m not really sure what a radio tower has to do with anything.  He may have meant “control tower,” but small rural airports don’t have control towers.  Anyway, to more-or-less answer his query, here’s a closer-in view of the airport.

airport

And an even-closer view:

airport2

There seems to be a bit of a resort community surrounding the lake.  Who knows who financed the airport – maybe some rich guy with a plane who wanted to be able to get to his lakeside villa easily.

None of the lakeside development showed up on that aerial photo of the airport.  I guess the trees pretty much hide everything . . .

KS

Greg

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Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Posted by graywacke on April 23, 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 that! A SE landing means a US landing which means a new record Score . . . NC; 29/30; 5/10; 4; 161.3. Here’s my landing map:

landing19

You can see that I landed just outside of Elizabeth City on the banks of the Pasquotank River. I zoomed out a little to show you the regional setting of the landing:

landing23

The Pasquotank flows to the Albermarle Sound. You can see that the landing is near the northern end of the OBX (aka, the Outer Banks). By the way, the Pasquotank is a new river, the 1007th river. FYI, I’ve had 8 new rivers in my last 7 landings . . .

Here’s a broader view:

elizabeth-city

About E-City  (from Wiki):

Elizabeth City is a city in North Carolina. The population was 17,188 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Pasquotank County.

Elizabeth City was founded in 1793 on land acquired from Adam and Elizabeth Tooley. The town was named Elizabeth.

Although some say the town was named for Queen Elizabeth, I have to believe it was for Elizabeth Rooley.

From the town’s website:

The narrows of the Pasquotank River is that location where the Pasquotank River narrows to less than one-fifth of a mile. The earliest reference refers to it as ”Shingle Landing.” The deep water on the west bank made it a natural location for loading and off-loading water craft. In 1764, a law designated ”The Narrows” of the Pasquotank River as an inspection station for ”hemp, flax, flax seed, pork, beef, rice, flour, indigo, butter, tar, pitch, turpentine, staves, leading, lumber and shingles. ”

So, I guess if you had wheat or corn or lard or beeswax, (or any number of other items), you wouldn’t have to worry about an inspection at The Narrows . . .

And here’s an aerial photo of Elizabeth City:

e-city-aerial-photo

There’s a blimp manufacturing facility in E-City. Here’s a picture:

blimp-hangar

I’ll close with a picture of the Museum of the Albemarle on the waterfront in Elizabeth City:

elizabeth-city-moth-boats-10000
KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Skykomish, Washington

Posted by graywacke on April 22, 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 – Somewhat like CO, this former WBer has been right on the OS/PS/US line. Today, it lurched from US to PS . . . WA; 40/40; 5/10; 3; 162.0. Well, once again, I’m only one USer away from a new record.

Here’s my landing map, showing that I landed along a pretty desolate stretch of U.S. Route 2 in Washington.

landing18

Most of the towns are nothing more than dots on the map, although Skykomish seems to have a couple of side streets. Here’s a broader view, featuring Skykomish:

skykomish

I landed in the watershed of a new river, the Wenatchee (my 1006th river); on to the Columbia.  That’s Lake Wenatchee ENE of my landing, with the Wenatchee R exiting the lake to the east.

Here’s a closer-in landing map that doesn’t show any towns:

landing17

Do you note a peculiarity about this map? You can see that we’re in the mountains (quite a few named peaks in the area) and that the major road, Route 2, wends a rather circuitous path, typically indicating response to topography.

But then, you’ll note a very straight stretch of railroad tracks. Hmmmm. What would explain that? A tunnel? But wait, that straight stretch is almost 8 miles long. No tunnel would be that long, would it?

Yes.

That’s right, the Cascade Tunnel. From Wiki:

The first Cascade Tunnel was a 2.6-mile (4.2 km) long single track railroad tunnel at Stevens Pass through the Cascade Mountains approximately 65 miles (105 km) to the east of Everett, Washington. It was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1900 to avoid problems caused by heavy winter snowfalls on the original line that had eight Zig Zags (switchbacks). The second tunnel, a 7.8-mile (12.5 km) replacement of the earlier tunnel, was put in service on January 12, 1929 and is still in operation.

Here’s a map from Wiki, showing the original switch-backs, and then both tunnels:

cascade_tunnel_stevens_pass

Here’s a shot of the old tunnel:

old-cascade-tunnel

And this, of the new tunnel.

new-cascade-tunnel

Seems like a tight fit, eh?

I landed near Lake Wenatchee, which is a gorgeous lake. I’ll start with a shot of the Wenatchee airport near the lake:

lakewenatchee_airport

Here’s a nice shot of the lake itself:

lake-wenatchee

I’ll close with shots of the Skykomish Depot and the old Skykomish Hotel (1905):

800px-skykomish_wa_railway_station_03

1905-skykomish-hotel

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Jacksonville, Vermont

Posted by graywacke on April 21, 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 – There are these two tiny eastern states, right next to each other, and they’re both OSers. One (NH) is 10/5, and the other is nearly as OS . . . VT; 8/5; 5/10; 2; 162.6. Man, that’s a combined 18/10 for these guys. Anyway, here’s my landing map:

landing16

You see I’m very close to Jacksonville, but not far from Brattleboro. Here’s a broader view, featuring Jacksonville:

jacksonville

The big story is that I have three . . . count ‘em . . . three new watersheds! The E Fk of the North R flows to the North R; on to the Deerfield R; on to the Connecticut (9th hit); on to the AO. For those of keeping track, these are rivers 1003, 1004 an 1005. . . .

First, Brattleboro. From Wiki:

Brattleboro is a town in Windham County, Vermont, located in the southeast corner of the state, along the state line with New Hampshire. The population was 12,005 at the 2000 census. It is situated along the Connecticut River, at the mouth of the West River.

The town was chartered on 26 December 1753. Brattleboro originated with the founding of Fort Dummer in 1724. The town was chartered in 1753.

The Brattleboro postmaster issued the first postal stamps in the United States in 1846.

The town was the home of Rudyard Kipling’s wife.  Kipling himself lived for a time in the town.

The first person ever to receive a Social Security benefit check, issued on January 31, 1940 was Ida May Fuller from Brattleboro. Her check number was 00-000-001 and it was for $22.54.

Hey, I’m impressed (although maybe I’m easily impressed), but Brattleboro issued the first stamp, was the home of Rudyard Kipling’s wife, and the home of the first S.S. check! A peculiar little factoid line-up!!

Back to Jacksonville.  Here’s a covered bridge:

bridge-in-jacksonville

And a scene along Rt 100 in Jacksonville (surely not far from the Rts 100 & 112 intersection):

rt-100-jacksonville

Back to Brattleboro. I was doing my usual Google Image search when I saw this lovely picture of a rainbow in Brattleboro (Spagets, this is for you):

rainbow-in-brattleboro

I was somewhat taken aback when I saw that this picture was connected to the following article. Excerpt from OpEdNews.com (May 5, 2008):

UPDATE: Brattleboro Vermont Votes to Indict Bush and Cheney
Measure Passes 2012 to 1795 in Heavy Voting

7:45 pm EDT.  Brattleboro becomes one of the first cities, perhaps the first, in the United States to indict President Bush and Vice President Cheney for “crimes against the constitution.”  The measure was voted on today in Brattleboro. Turnout was heavy, nearing 50%, and activists were out in strength to help get people to the polls.

The measure is symbolic since neither Bush nor Cheney have any plans to visit Vermont soon.

I guess that means that neither Bush nor Cheney can ever visit Brattleboro without fear of arrest.  I doubt they’re losing any sleep over it . . .
KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Fort Worth, Texas

Posted by graywacke on April 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 – For the second time since ALAD came into being, I’ve landed in the Metroplex.  Not just any Metroplex. Theeee Metroplex . . . TX; 119/150; 5/10; 1; 162.1.   For the 4th time, I landed in the W Fk of the Trinity R; on to the Trinity (9th hit); on to the G of M.


Here’s my landing map, showing that I landed in SE Fort Worth:

landing15

And here’s a broader view:

fortworth_tx

So here’s a little history from a Fort Worth website:

Fort Worth began as an army outpost in 1849, established to protect settlers from Indian attacks. Soon, Fort Worth became the last major stop on the legendary Chisholm Trail, the dusty path where millions of cattle were driven North to market. The history of Fort Worth includes the wild era of “Hell’s Half Acre,” an area of town filled with gambling parlors, saloons, and dance halls. Later, the railroad transformed the Fort Worth Stockyards into a premier livestock center. And when oil began to gush in West Texas, Fort Worth was at the center of the wheeling and dealing.
Known as “Cowtown” for its rough-and-rowdy roots, Fort Worth still celebrates its colorful Western history and heritage today.

Focusing on the Chisholm Trail, from Wiki:

The Chisholm Trail was a dirt trail used in the later 19th century to drive cattle overland from ranches in Texas to Kansas railheads. The trail stretched from southern Texas across the Red River, and on to the railhead of the Kansas Pacific Railway in Abilene, Kansas, where the cattle would be sold and shipped eastward.
The trail is named for Jesse Chisholm who had built several trading posts in what is now western Oklahoma before the American Civil War. He died in 1868, too soon to ever drive cattle on the trail.
Here’s a map:

chisholm-trail1


Notice El Reno on the map? Ironic, isn’t it, that just two landings ago, I mentioned El Reno as the landing place that would symmetrically hem-in Oklahoma City?

Here’s a picture of some still-existing Chisholm Trail wagon ruts along Brushy Creek in Texas.

chishom-trail-ruts

Guess what? I landed in the very same Brushy Creek watershed once, back in September of 2006.

You’ll note that I landed right next to a lake in Fort Worth (Lake Arlington).  I’ll close with a picture of a corner of the lake:

lake-arlington

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Moncks Corner, South Carolina

Posted by graywacke on April 19, 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 – When things are going bad, one area of the country never lets me down – the Southeast.  Today’s SE USer . . . SC; 16/18; 4/10; 4; 162.8.  Here’s my landing map, showing proximity to Moncks Corner and Lake Moultrie:

landing13

You can see that the West Br of the Cooper River was dammed to make Lake Moultrie, and one would think that I landed in the Cooper River watershed. Well, one would be wrong. For those of you who know your Charleston SC geography (Charleston is about 30 miles SE of my landing), the city is bounded by two rivers: to the north, the Cooper and to the south, the Ashley. Well, it turns out that the divided between the two watersheds is very close to my landing spot.

As is my custom, here’s a map showing the watershed divide; the Cooper to the east and the Ashley to the west:

divide

My watershed entry is as follows: Wassamassaw Swamp (great name!); to the Cypress Swamp; to the Great Cypress Scamp; to a new river (the 1002nd) – the Ashley; which flows into Charleston Bay.

I just Googled wassamassaw, and found out something wonderful that I hadn’t noticed: look closely at the word “wassamassaw.” See anything striking? No? It’s a palindrome!! From the “wordie.org” website:

Wassamassaw: The name of a swamp in South Carolina, north of Charleston (the northern extension of the Cypress Swamp). Legend has it that the Indian meaning of this palindrome is “the worst place ever seen”.

The “Wassamassaw” wordie.org website entry had a link to the word “detartrated” (another palindrome). Here’s what the link had to say:

It is time to determine the meaning of the palindrome “detartrated.” Tartrated means containing tartar. Tartar is a white crystalline salt KHC4H4O6 found in grapes. So “detartrated” means having the tartar removed, usually in reference to grapes or wine.

There is another meaning, however, suggested by a 1968 paper in Google Scholar entitled “The technique of detartration and curettage in the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases.” Yes, removal of tartar from teeth is detartration. Therefore, every time the dentist cleans our teeth, we have been detartrated!

Wordie.org links go on and on, so I think I’ll stop here . . .

Anyway, Moncks Corner is a fairly substantial town, pop 6000. I’m not finding much on the town, but I did find my usual picture of the train depot (from city-data.com, photographer Rachel Chapman):

moncks-corner-depot1

Here’s an interesting photo, with the caption underneath:

mission-in-the-swamp

The mission in the swamp, from The Patriot with Mel Gibson. The set was at Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, SC.

And this interesting local news story from 2007:

On September 17th, a 59 year old man got his arm bitten off by a 12-foot (3.7 m), 600 lb (270 kg) alligator while swimming in Lake Moultrie. Some nurses, who were at a picnic nearby were able to stop the bleeding until help arrived. Doctors at Medical University of South Carolina were not able to reattach his arm.

When I’m on my ALAD tour and stop by Lake Moultrie, I think I’ll pass on swimming . . .

Here’s a moody shot of the lake:

lake-moultrie

And here’s David Graham, a very happy fisherman with a very large carp caught in the lake:

big-carp-from-lake-moultrie

And a couple of alligators in the lake (maybe one of which ate the arm of that poor guy):

sunbather-old-santee-canal-park

another-gator-in-santee-canal-park

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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