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Archive for June, 2009

Tipton, Indiana

Posted by graywacke on June 28, 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 – Wow. Really cruising now, with five, count ‘em, five USers in a row. Today’s is . . . IN; 15/21; 6; 4; 157.0.

As you’ll see in my landing map, I practically landed in Cicero Creek; on to the White R (7th hit, and this is one of 9 “White River” watersheds in which I’ve landed); on to the Wabash (20th hit); on to the Ohio (109th hit); on to the MM (690th hit).

Here’s my landing map:

landing

Here’ a broader view, showing my landing in central IN (N40/W86). Notice the dearth of landings in the southern part of IN; thus IN is quite US . . .

landing2

So, you can see I landed just outside of Tipton (pop 5400). From the Tipton County website:

John Tipton, for whom Tipton County and its county seat were named, was born in eastern Tennessee in 1786. In 1807 he migrated with his family across Kentucky and settled in what is now Harrison County, Indiana, near the Ohio River.

In 1809, John became an ensign in a militia company of mounted riflemen known as “Yellow Jackets”. He served under General Harrison’s command and participated in the Battle of Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811. Immediately after the Yellow Jacket victory, Ensign Tipton became a Captain and later a Brigadier General.

Five years after his death in 1839, Tipton County was organized and so named to honor him. In 1847, the name of the county seat also became Tipton in his honor.

So, John and his Yellow Jackets were part of the famous Battle of Tippecanoe. I know nothing about this battle. Well, here’s some info from Wiki:

The Battle of Tippecanoe was fought on November 7, 1811, between United States forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and forces of Tecumseh’s growing American Indian confederation led by his brother, Tenskwatawa. In response to rising tensions with the tribes and threats of war, an American force of militia and regulars set out to launch a preemptive strike on the headquarters of the confederacy. The battle took place outside Prophetstown, at the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers.

Although the Americans were victorious both tactically (as they held their ground and Prophetstown was destroyed the next morning) and strategically (Tecumseh’s confederacy never recovered), the win was costly as the tribes attacked with fewer men and sustained fewer casualties. The battle was the culmination of rising tensions in a period sometimes called Tecumseh’s War, which continued until Tecumseh’s death in 1813. In addition to serving as an important political and symbolic victory for the American forces, Tippecanoe dealt a devastating blow to Tecumseh’s confederacy, which never regained its former strength. Public opinion in the United States blamed the Native American uprising on British interference and helped catalyze the War of 1812, which broke out only six months later.

FYI, I’ve landed only once in the Tippecanoe R watershed. Also, the Tippecanoe flows into the Wabash just NE of Lafayette IN. There’s a little town there called “Battle Ground.”

Here’s a close-up of the town of Battle Ground and surrounding land (which is about 45 miles from my landing). I guess that the actual battlefield was at the confluence of the two rivers. The NE-SW trending river is the Wabash; the Tippecanoe flows into the Wabash from the north (near the intersection of Sugar Ck Road & Rt 25).

Tippecanoe Battle Ground

Back to Tipton. The big annual event in Tipton is the Tipton County Pork Festival:

pork festival

The menu’s  a bit limited, but you can bet it’s good (as long as you like pork):

menu

Hmmmm . . . I wonder if the sandwiches are pork sandwiches?

Here’s a shot of the incredibly-impressive Tipton County Courthouse:

courthouse

I’ll close with this shot of where I’d stop for lunch & a fill-up when I’m in Tipton:

eat here and get gas

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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McCleary, Washington

Posted by graywacke on June 26, 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 landed in an erstwhile member of the old WBer club. Thanks to a dearth of landings in this state, it has recently managed to slip into US-land (barely), and is now PS . . . WA; 41/41; 5; 5; 157.7. Notice that it’s a new record low Score (although my Score dropped a measly 0.2, rather than the usual 0.7 or 0.6 . . .)

For the second time, I landed in the watershed of an unnamed tributary of the E Fk of the Wildcat Ck (on to the Wildcat Ck; on to the Cloquallum Ck; on to the Chehalis R (4th hit); on to the PO.

If you were reading carefully, you realize that I must have landed very close to a previous landing, which is indeed true (because for the second time I landed in the watershed of a teeny unnamed tributary of a teeny creek). Check out my landing map:

landing

Check out this broader view (you can just make out the second lat/long marker):

landing2

You can see there’s a huge hunk of WA real estate with only these two landings!!

And here’s the broadest view:

McCleary_WA

From the town’s website:

mccleary wa

The City of McCleary was founded as a logging camp in the late 1898 and was incorporated on January 6, 1943. McCleary currently has a population of 1,555.

After coming to the area to log cedar, Henry McCleary built his first mill in 1906. In 1923 the plant broke all records by producing over 300,000 doors in sixty days, an average of six boxcars of doors a day.

On December 31, 1941, McCleary sold the mill and the town to Simpson Logging. Simpson upgraded the utilities and sold the light and water plants to the new City for $6,000 the following year. The door plant currently employs nearly 300 and manufactures high-quality wood doors.

So this is the town that doors built! Also, I like the line “McCleary sold the mill and the town . . .”

You’ll notice on the town website header that there’s an event called the “McCleary Bear Festival.” Hmmmm . . . I wonder what that is . . .

bear fest

The McCleary Bear Festival Was dreamed up in 1958 by Norman Porter, then editor of the McCleary Stimulator, the home town newspaper. It wasn’t that he disliked bears, but he and other residents of this area knew that bears liked to eat the soft cambium layer of the inner bark of young evergreen trees.

They especially crave this delicacy when they emerge from hibernation, and to satisfy their hunger they often strip a tree of all its bark, causing it to die. The idea of a bear festival started with a remark by a friend of Porter’s by the name of Roy Craft, then editor of the Skamania County Pioneer in Stevenson, Washington, who claimed that Skamania bears, if properly cooked, were the world’s most delicious.

Porter countered with the claim that Grays Harbor’s bears were the tops. The two agreed to meet head-on in a bear-tasting contest in McCleary. Civic minded McClearians got interested, formed committees and decided to stage something more than just a bear-eating contest. Working with Porter, they created the First Annual Second Growth and Bear Festival. It not only helped to rid the forests of unwanted surplus bears, but also supplied the Festival with bear for the barbecue.

The Simpson Timber Company always replants harvested land for future use of the timber industry, as do all other timber companies in the Northwest. It is these young trees that bears find so tasty and damage readily each spring. In 1966, fifteen bears went into the communal pot. Now selected portions of inspected bear meat is combined with beef to provide the distinctive flavor associated with McCleary Bear Stew.

By the ninth annual Bear Festival, 4,000 visitors were gathered in McCleary. The cooking crew by then had grown to several local sportsmen who started two days ahead of time to make sure the bear stew was ready on time. Now we host as many as 12,000 people from ail over the United States and Canada who have heard one way or another about the big three-day celebration on the second weekend of July.

A total of 400-600 pounds of meat go into the stew with 50 pounds of that being beef for flavoring. There are also hundreds of pounds of potatoes, carrots, onions and a large kettle of “special” spicy sauce cooked just right with seasonings that are added just before serving.

The stew is cooked in enormous iron kettles on outdoor stoves in the City Park. This is one case where too many chefs don’t spoil the stew, for it takes about 40 people to handle the cooking chores; taking ’round the clock shifts watching and stirring and adding the right ingredients at the right time to make the stew just right. The menu also calls for a ton of watermelon, 6,000 rolls, and baked beans by the kettles full.

I’d travel a long way to try bear stew. Maybe not all the way from NJ to McCleary, though . . .

Anyway, I couldn’t find too much else of great interest, just two photos of old trains. First, this one that shows a 1907 vintage locomotive in a picture taken in 1950. Boy, they don’t make ‘em like they used to . . .

1907 train shot in 1950!

And this, yet another old locomotive; this picture likely taken much earlier than 1950. It looks like building railroad lines was an intrinsic part of timbering back-in-the-day . . .

old timber train

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Franklin, North Carolina

Posted by graywacke on June 24, 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 – Ding! Ding! Ding! That’s right, as promised; another US; another record low Score . . . NC; 30/31; 5; 2; 157.9. As you remember, NC has been the only SE state that has been OS for quite a while. But recently (obviously), it has crept up into US-land. So I landed way out in the far western part of the state, in the Great Smoky Mountain region. Here’s my landing map:

landing

Did you note? Franklin is a round town! My first NC round town, I’m sure. Off the top of my head, GA far and away has the most round towns, but I’ve landed near at least one in SC and TX (and maybe AL).

Here’s a broader view:

franklin

So, for the second landing in a row, a new river: this landing, the Cullasaja; on to the Little Tennessee (5th hit, making the Little Tennessee the 133rd river on my list of rivers with 5 or more hits); on to the Tennessee (33rd hit); on to the Ohio (107th hit); on, of course, to the MM (362nd hit).

Here’s a picture of the Cullasaja Falls on the Cullasaja River:

275px-Cullasaja

So, I landed near Franklin.

franklin

From Wiki:

The Town of Franklin is a unique village nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. Franklin is the county seat and was founded in 1855 and named for an eighteenth century political leader, Jesse Franklin. An ancient Indian Mound located in the heart of town serves as a reminder of an earlier time when the Cherokee lived in and around what is now called Franklin. Streets with names like Wayah, Ulco, Iotla and Watauga reflect Indian heritage.

Evidence of the bustling community’s growth is found in the census figures. In 1890 the population was only 281, now it is over 3,600. Census figures for each decade show a steady increase. Franklin is fast becoming a choice retirement place with a summer population increasing to double the number of year round residents.

Here’s a shot of downtown Franklin:

downtown

I’ll end with a series of beautiful photos from right around Franklin, beginning with a couple of more shots of Cullasaja Falls:

waterfall

WaterfallNCFranklin-full

And these, two shots from the same spot:

FranklinOverlook-full

FranklinOverlookSunriseNC-full

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Brunswick, Georgia

Posted by graywacke on June 22, 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 – Well, after a solid western USer (CA), here’s a solid southeastern USer . . . GA; 30/34; 5; 1; 158.6. This puts me within 0.2 of a new record low Score.

A new river, the Turtle, on to the AO. Here’s my landing map:

landing

Here’s a broader view, featuring Brunswick:

Brunswick_GA

As you can see on my landing map, I landed near Thalmann (actually, you can’t see it, because the name is mostly covered up by my lat/long marker), but it turns out that Thalmann is GD, as is Waynesville, as is Arco. So, I’ll focus on Brunswick.

It turns out that Brunswick has an incredibly robust Wiki entry. It has way to much information for me to present here, but I’ll provide the quick Wiki summary:

Brunswick is located in southeastern Georgia on a harbor on the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 30 miles (50 km) north of Florida. It was founded in 1771 and incorporated in 1856. In 1789, George Washington proclaimed Brunswick one of the five original ports of entry for the United States.

In 2007, the city proper had an estimated population of 16,235 and an estimated metropolitan population of 101,792. The Port of Brunswick is the fourth-largest automobile port in the eastern United States. The city’s economy encompasses manufacturing, agricultural processing, and bulk cargoes. Tourism constitutes the largest industry in Brunswick and the Golden Isles. Brunswick is the center of Georgia’s shrimp and crab industry, attributing to the city’s nickname, the “Shrimp Capital of the World.”

Let me check out the “Golden Isles.” Once again, from Wiki:

The Golden Isles of Georgia are a group of three barrier islands on the 100-mile-long coast of Georgia on the Atlantic Ocean. They include St. Simons Island, Sea Island and Jekyll Island.

Since the American Civil War these islands have become elite resorts frequented by some of the nation’s wealthiest families. These three islands also have permanent residents: in the 2000 census, St. Simons Island was the most populated with 13,000 residents.

Annual temperatures average 66.5o, with January lows of 42o and August highs of 91o. This pleasant climate has led to the islands becoming a major attraction for Northerners from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, who seek the mild winters the Golden Isles offer. The islands’ good weather and natural beauty have made the area an exclusive place to live. Many other people come to the islands for their beaches, wetlands, sub-tropical forests, and water recreation every year.

The average single-family dwelling on Sea Island sells for $3.4 million. St. Simons Island is more affordable, with the average household selling for $299,850. Jekyll Island is the least expensive, with houses selling at an average of $208,000.

The islands also hosted the 2004 G8 Summit at the Cloister Resort and Hotel on Sea Island.

Here’s a Google Earth shot of the general vicinity of Brunswick & the Golden Isles:

vicinity aerial photo

Here’s a shot of the dock at the Cloister Resort on Sea Island.  Simply mahvelous, dahling!

35_cloister_dock

Here’s a shot of the Sidney Lanier Bridge over the mouth of the Turtle River in Brunswick:

bridge

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Esparto, California

Posted by graywacke on June 20, 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 – Seems like I’m getting just enough USers to more-or-less stay under 160. Today’s USer is . . . CA; 81/93; 4/10; 5; 159.3. For the 22nd time, I landed in the Sacramento R watershed (of course, on to the San Francisco Bay). Here’s my landing map:

landing

Here’s a somewhat broader view, showing my landing’s proximity to Sacramento and San Francisco (today’s landing is lat/long 38/122):

landing2

I landed near the town of Esparto (pop about 2000).

From Wiki:

Vaca Valley Railroad officials gave the name Esperanza (“hope” in Spanish) to their station in 1875, but when the post office was established in 1890 the name had to be changed because there was already an Esperanza in Tulare County. The name Esparto was chosen as the new name, and it means “feather grass” in Spanish.

From the Esparto Chamber of Commerce website:

esparto

2009 esparto almond festival

The Capay Valley Almond Festival 2009 will be in the towns of Esparto, Capay, Brooks, Guinda and Rumsey. Entertainment, crafts, good food and fun for all members of the family are provided. It is a wonderful time to see the beauty of the whole Capay Valley and to meet many of the wonderful people who live and work in the area.

The Almond Tree is the most mysterious nut tree and is mentioned in the bible in the book of Numbers 17:8. Its crop is very valuable to our state and California is the only place in North America that grows almonds commercially. A $2 billion industry, more than 6,000 growers devote an estimated 530,000 acres in the Central Valley to almonds — California’s largest tree nut crop — in a stretch of land extending from below Bakersfield in the south to Red Bluff in the north. For more information about almonds and recipes go to http://www.almondboard.com.

Here’s a back-in-the-day shot of the 1916 Almond Festival:

first esparto almond festival 1916

And this interesting factoid about almonds:

Almonds Become Number One Ingredient Nut in Products Worldwide

06/04/2009

(Modesto, Calif., June 5, 2009) – According to the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), almonds became the leading nut introduced in new products worldwide in 2008, with 160 more new product introductions than peanuts and 423 more new products than hazelnuts.

Here’s a lovely shot of almond tree blossoms:

Almond_blossoms_branch

Here’s a back-in-the-day shot of the Esparto train station (note horses):

esparto train station

And here’s where smart shoppers shop in Esparto:

esparto super market

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Seeley Lake, Montana

Posted by graywacke on June 18, 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 – Well, if there’s one no-doubt-about-it OSer, it’s . . . MT; 105/84; 4; 4; 160.0. A new river, the Clearwater. (Although this is the third Clearwater R. The largest watershed is in ID; on to the Snake, of course; the other one is in MN.)  On to the Blackfoot R (4th hit); on to the Clark Fork (15th hit); on to the Pend Oreille (16th hit); on to the Columbia (125th hit).

Here’s my landing map:

landing

I’ll step out a little, so you can see that I’m in W-Cen MT (today’s lat/long is 47/113):

landing2

So, I landed near Seeley Lake. I was unable to find anything substantial about the history of Seeley Lake, except something vaguely connecting the area with the timber industry. But regardless, this is a beautiful corner of the earth, so here are some pictures of the general vicinity of Seeley Lake (from a local website):

header

seeley 1

seeley2


seeley4

seeley5

seeley6

Gorgeous, eh?

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Hillsboro, North Dakota

Posted by graywacke on June 16, 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 – It seems like I’ve been landing in the watershed of the Red River of the North quite a bit lately. Well, today’s landing is in . . . ND; 48/40; 4/10; 3; 159.5. Here’s my landing map:

landing

You’ll note the Goose R (2nd hit); on to the Red (37th hit); on to the Nelson (54th hit); on to the Hudson Bay.

And here’s a broader view, featuring Hillsboro:

hillsboro

From Wiki:

The area along the Goose River that is now Hillsboro was first settled by German and Norwegian settlers around 1870. In 1880, the present day site of Hillsboro was founded under the name “Comstock”. Local folklore tells of the residents of nearby Caledonia, North Dakota turning away a shabby surveyor because of his appearance. This man was then offered hospitality by residents in the tiny settlement of Comstock. The man turned out to be railroad baron James J. Hill.

Hill was so impressed by the kindness showed to him by the residents of this small community that he decided to place his Great Northern Railroad there instead of in Caledonia. The name of Comstock was changed to “Hill City” in September 1880 in honor of Mr. Hill. The city was then renamed “Hillsboro” in 1881 after it was discovered that there was already a “Hill City” in South Dakota.

Dan – of course you know that my full name is James Gregory Hill, so James J. Hill has a certain ring to it! Well, if that James Hill is a relative, none of his money made it my way . . .

So, here’s a picture of Main St., Hillsboro:

downtown

Here’s a back-in-day day picture of the town taken from the top of the old courthouse:

hillsboro from old courthouse

And this, a picture of the Traill theater. (The extra “L” is because Hillsboro is the county seat of Traill County.)

Traill theater

And this, of some recent flooding. Awesome whirlpool! I wonder where the water’s going?  One might think a sewer manhole cover is gone, and the water is rushing down the sewer.  But that doesn’t really make sense to me, because sewers always go downhill, and they always discharge into some stream or river.  There’s a big flood, so the streams & rivers are at a very high elevation, which effectively backs up all of the sewers.  Mysterious indeed!

Flooding on the Hillsboro Subdivision 03-25-09

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Hardin and Batchtown, Illinois

Posted by graywacke on June 15, 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 ashamed to admit that this post got buried somehow and wasn’t published when it should have.  It actually belongs right after Crockett TX and before Carlin NV.  Oops!  Well, moving right along . . .

Wow. This excellent trend is continuing, although this time, my landed kicked a USer into PS-land . . . IL; 32/32; 6/10; 16; 158.5.

Here’s my landing map, showing that I landed in Bailey Lake, adjacent to the MM:

landing

I’ll zoom out a little more:

landing2

You can see that I landed between the towns of Hardin and Batchtown; and that I landed in what appears to be an interesting stretch of land that lies between the MM & the Illinois R. I’ll zoom out a little more, just showing the waterways:

landing3

Let me tell you – if you’re in the land between the rivers, you’re pretty well hemmed in. At Hardin, there’s a bridge across the Illinois, but that’s it for either river (besides ferries). There’s one ferry across the Illinois down near its mouth (and one north of Hardin), and there are two ferries across the Mississippi; one at the southern-most point in the above map, and the other is just south of Batch.

Son of a gun, if I didn’t find a blog (Dane’s Notes on Boats) that addresses this very thing.  Although you can click here to go to the blog, I’ve cut-and-pasted the post:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The River Ferries of Calhoun County, Illinois

Brussels Ferry across the Illinois

Elaine and I recently camped at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton Illinois. A mile or so south of the park the Brussels ferry shuttles vehicles across the Illinois River into Calhoun County, Illinois. Calhoun County is a sliver of land bounded by rivers on three sides: the Mississippi River on the west side, the Illinois River on the east, and the confluence of both rivers at the south end.

The influence of the rivers is evident in the lush crops, large orchards, and abundant wildlife. During the winter months eagle watching is a popular pastime. The topography is varied with bluffs, rolling hills and flat bottom lands

On warm spring weekends the roads are filled with people from the St. Louis area, which is 30 miles to the south. One of the attractions to the area is its remoteness. Being surrounded by rivers the county’s access is limited to one fixed bridge and four car ferries.

Brussels ferry 2

The Brussels ferry, The Belle of Calhoun.

Two of the ferries cross the Illinois River. The Brussels ferry, north of Grafton, Illinois and the Kampsville ferry at Kampsville. Both of these ferries are run by the Illinois Department of Transportation and are free.

The other two ferries cross the Mississippi River, the Winfield ferry at Batchtown and the Golden Eagle ferry near Golden Eagle, Illinois. Fees are charged for the Mississippi ferries.

golden eagle ferry

Other area ferries are the Grafton ferry in Grafton, Illinois and the Ste. Genevieve ferry in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri about thirty miles south of St. Louis.

deer plain

“Deer Plain”

If you’re unsure about car ferries the only bridge into the county is in Hardin, Illinois. Built in 1930 and recently renovated this vertical lift bridge is eligible to be on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a unique bridge and worth the side trip.

The area around the confluence of the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Illinois rivers is one of the country’s best kept secrets. For more information on this beautiful area see http://www.greatriverroad.com/mgrindex.htm

Speaking of the bridge at Hardin, here are a couple of pictures and a write-up from the above-referenced Great River Road website:

Joe Page bridge in hardin

joe page bridge open

The Great River Road (Highway 100) crosses the Illinois River at Hardin. Linking Calhoun and Greene Counties is the vertical lift Joe Page Bridge. Its lift span, 308 feet 9 inches long, is the largest span of this type in the world.  A vertical lift bridge uses a system of counterweights and cables to raise an inner section. This section remains horizontal as it is raised upward, allowing river traffic to pass beneath the bridge.

The lift is operated by by two 50-horsepower motors and is equipped with a gasoline engine in case of emergency. Approximately five million pounds of steel and 9,000 cubic yards of concrete were used in its construction. At 1,728 feet in length it is the longest bridge in Illinois.

Pretty impressive stats on the bridge!!

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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St. Anthony, Idaho

Posted by graywacke on June 14, 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 – You know this state as one of my most consistent USers . . . ID; 42/47; 4/10; 2; 159.1. Another USer and I’ll be right about there for a new record low Score. We’ll see.

Anyway, no surprise: I’ve landed in the Snake R basin. For the 3rd time, I landed in the Henry’s Fk watershed; on to the Snake (63rd hit); on to the Columbia (124th hit).

Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Henry’s Fk and the town of St. Anthony:

landing

Here’s a slightly expanded view, showing my proximity to Rexburg, amongst other towns:

landing2

Here’s the broadest view, featuring St. Anthony:

st anthony

I did quite a bit of Google research on St. Anthony, and was unable to find out basic information like why the town is called St. Anthony. So, sorry all of you St. Anthony fans, but I’m going to concentrate instead on Rexburg, located only 10 miles S of my landing.

Dan, you may or may not know, but I’ve been to Rexburg twice. I don’t mean just passing through; no, I’ve actually been to Rexburg as a destination city.   It just so happens that my son-in-law Sherman is a Rexburg native!

Besides Sherman’s family, what is most memorable about Rexburg is the famous flood caused by the failure of the Teton Dam.   And, yes, I visited the Flood museum in Rexburg on one of my visits:

From Wiki:

The Teton Dam was a federally built earthen dam on the Teton River in southeastern Idaho, USA which when filling for the first time suffered a catastrophic failure on June 5, 1976. The collapse of the dam resulted in the deaths of 11 people[1] and 13,000 head of cattle. The dam cost about USD $100 million to build, and the federal government paid over $300 million in claims related to the dam failure. Total damage estimates have ranged up to $2 billion.[2] The dam was never rebuilt.

As one might expect, the failure has been studied and studied and studied. I don’t find the details all that interesting. But what is incredibly fascinating is the following series of photos, taken by Mrs. Olson who was picnicking just below the dam.  The leak is the brown streak on the left:

teton1

Oh my!!  It’s getting much worse:

teton2

And worse yet, as the erosion is rapidly heading towards the crest of the dam!

teton3

Oh no!!!   Look at the water rushing down the slope!

teton4

The dam has been breached!!!

teton5

It’s all but over now . . .

teton6

teton7

teton8

teton9

Teton_Dam_failure

Here’s water sweeping across farmland:

teton10

And this shot of Rexburg:

teton11

Wow.

I’ll close with a picture of Henry’s Fork in St. Anthony:

henrys fk in st anthony

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Fairplay, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on June 12, 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 – Well, this old time WBer that actually dipped its toe into US-land has sashayed back to OS-land . . . CO; 61/59; 4/10; 1; 159.8.

For the 16th time, I landed in the S Platte R watershed; on to the Platte (49th hit); on to the Missouri (327th hit).

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

landing

Here’s a broader view, showing that I landed pretty much smack dab in the middle of CO:

fairlplay

A couple of landings ago (Carlin NV), I featured gold mining. Son of a gun if I didn’t land in another gold mining area. This about Fairplay, from the town’s website:

The town was named by gold prospectors who settled it in 1859 when they were driven from nearby Tarryall by miners who had staked more claims than they could work. In “Fair Play” every man would have an equal chance to stake a claim. Visitors aware of the town’s gold-mining roots will find it impossible to miss the remains of the industry that mark the surrounding country side. Anyone interested in the history of the old west and western mining should visit the South Park City Museum in Fairplay.

South Park, eh? From Wiki:

South Park is a high intermontane grassland basin, approximately 10,000 ft (3,000 m) in elevation, in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. It encompasses approximately 1,000 square miles around the headwaters of the South Platte River. The largest town in the basin is Fairplay, which sits near the northern end.

“South Park City” (mentioned earlier) is really just the name of the old-time mining town & museum located in Fairplay. Here’s a picture, with the caption below:

fairlplay & south park

View of Fairplay and South Park looking south from State Highway 9. The historic buildings of South Park City, an open air museum, are in the foreground.

I’m not really a fan of the “South Park” TV series (it’s not that I don’t like it, but rather that I’ve never watched it).  Anyway, it turns out that there is a connection. From Wiki:

The town has become mildly famous in recent years as the town depicted in the South Park animated television series on Comedy Central. Although the geographical references contained in several episodes imply that Fairplay is the model for South Park, it is much smaller and more rustic than its fictional counterpart, which has a more suburban character. Co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are both from Colorado.

Here’s a picture of the Fairplay gold dredge. It’s called a “boat” but I don’t think it floats (and I have no clue how it was moved around the river bed). The caption is below:

dredging for gold at fairplay

Fairplay dredge at Fairplay, Colorado. Slide showing the Fairplay dredge boat, which mined the Fairplay placer along the South Platte River. This dredge boat was built by the Yuba Manufacturing Company and shipped to Fairplay, Colorado in sections. The South Platte Dredging Company used it to mine the Fairplay placer along the South Platte River starting in 1941. The Fairplay dredge was electrically operated and was the largest dredge in Colorado. The dredge had over 100 buckets that fed gravel from the river bottom into the dredge’s interior where it was milled. The stacker then deposited the tailings along the river channel. The dredge mined up to 15,000 cubic yards of placer gravels per day and could reach to a depth of 105 feet. Dredge operations were suspended in 1942 and resumed in 1945, and finally shut down permanently in 1952.

Here’s a picture of the Park County Courthouse in Fairplay, one of the more modest county courthouses I’ve run across:

park county courthouse fairplay

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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