A Landing a Day

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for October, 2009

Waverly, Ohio

Posted by graywacke on October 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 –  Before I do my usual landing thing, I must comment on the lengthy gap between landings.  I mean, really – this blog is called “A Landing A Day!”  Well, you’ve noted that it has kind of become “A Landing Every Other Day.”  That is until this week.  Work got a little crazy, and then,  Bam!  Willow & and the kids come for a four day visit.  (For those who don’t know me, Willow is my daughter, and she has three daughters of her own, ages 5, 3 & 6 months).

I’ve got to sneak in a landing today, because tomorrow, we’re headed off to Eleuthera for a week.  OK, so on to today’s landing . . .

I landed in a state that has been an OSer for as long as I can remember.  But, as sometimes happen, the LG decides to avoid a particular state for an extended period of time.  When that happens, it slowly creeps up into US-land.  This is what happened to . . .OH; 24/24 (but now it’s PS!); 3/10; 8; 152.5.

Here’s my landing map (today’s landing is the centrally-located one.  The other happened back in February of 2006.

landing

I landed in the boonies, down in southern OH as you can see here:

landing2

Here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed in wooded uplands.  This looks like a classic Appalachian landscape, where the fertile bottomlands are farmed.  It looks bucolic.  I bet there are some nice properties down in the hollers.  In fact, the road you can see just north of my landing is “Trainers Hollow Road.”

GE

Interestingly, I found a map showing the town of Waverly’s relationship to Appalachia.  I’m not sure exactly how Appalachia is defined; I know that in Ohio, Appalachia is the non-glaciated portion of the state.  The glaciers kind of ripped off the hill tops and filled in the valleys, so it’s much flatter in the glaciated areas (which begin not far west of my landing spot.)

appalachia

Here’s an expanded GE shot.  You can see the edge of Appalachia, just west of my landing:  the less heavily forested area is not Appalachia – it’s flatter and more intensely farmed:

GE2


Anyway, I landed in the Chenoweth Ck watershed, on to Sunfish Ck, on to the Scioto R (5th hit, making the Scioto the 138th river on my list of rivers with five or more hits); to the Ohio (114th hit); to the MM (711th hit).

I’ve had a very difficult time in trying to decide which town to “feature.”  I’m closest to Latham, which is nothing more than a crossroads and is predictably GD.  The nearest town of substance is Waverly.  While I’m sure Waverly’s a very pleasant (probably sleepy) little southern OH town, I couldn’t find too much of interest.  I did find out that the Ohio & Erie canal ran through Waverly.  Here’s a picture of the canal in operation:

Ohio_Canal

Here’s some info from Wiki:

The Ohio and Erie Canal was constructed in the early 1800s, and connected the Cuyahoga River at Akron (which flows north into Lake Erie at Cleveland) with the Ohio River near Portsmouth.

The canal enjoyed a golden period of prosperity from the 1830s to the early 1860s, with a peak in revenue between 1852 and 1855. During the 1840s, Ohio was the third most prosperous state, owing much of that growth to the canal. Immediately following the Civil War, it became apparent that railroads would take the canal’s business. From 1861 until 1879, Ohio leased its canals to private owners who earned revenue from dwindling boat operation and the sale of water to factories and towns.

When the state took the canals back in 1879, it discovered that they had not been maintained, and that state lands surrounding the canals had been illegally sold to private owners. In many cases, canals were filled in for “health reasons”, only to find a newly laid railroad track on their right of way.  Much State land was given away for free to politically savvy private owners.

In 1913, much of the canal system was abandoned after critical sections were destroyed by severe flooding.

Here’s a shot of the mural in the Waverly Post Office:

PO mural

So anyway, the section of the canal in Waverly suffered the fate of most sections, and was filled in.  I’ll close with this turn-of-the-century shot showing the canal in Waverly when it still had water.  The caption says that this picture is about in the location of the Subway restaurant in Waverly:

canal in waverly where the Subway is located

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ione, Washington

Posted by graywacke on October 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 –  Today, I turned a PSer into an OSer . . . WA; 43/42; 2/10; 7; 153.1.  When I saw the lat/long, I knew I had a chance to land in the ID panhandle.  It gave me great pain to see how close I landed to ID (perhaps my longest-running USer), as shown on my landing map:

landing

For reference, the border is only 2 miles east of my landing.  The waterway you can see right next to my landing is Granite Ck, which flows into Priest Lake.   Flowing out of Priest Lake is a new river, the Priest R (the 1037th river), on to the Pend Oreille (18th hit); on to the Columbia (129th hit).   Of moderate interest:  This is only the 2nd time that I landed in the Pend Oreille watershed without also landing in the Clark Fork watershed.

I’ve often wondered, but not known, how locals pronounce “Pend Oreille.”  I think it’s “Ponderay.”  I’ve also wondered, but not known, how Pend Oreille got it’s name (and what it means).  From Wiki:

The Pend d’Oreilles, also known as the Kalispel, are a tribe of Native Americans who lived around the Pend Oreille River, and Priest Lake.  The name Pend d’Oreille is of French origin, meaning “hangs from ears”, which refers to the large shell earrings that these people wore.

Very cool.  I can’t believe I’ve landed in this watershed 18 times and never bothered to find out the pronunciation and the name origin . . .

Here’s a broader view of my landing location:

landing2

Here’s the GE image, showing that I landed in the woods just north of Granite Creek:

GE

OK.  So now it’s time to cue in the Twilight Zone music:  doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo, etc.  I guess you noticed, eh?  For the second landing in a row (and the third in the last 18 landings), I’ve landed near Ione.  First OR, then NV, now WA.  What’s more, for the fourth landing of my last 18, I’ve landed near a town named after an Edward Bulwer-Lytton character (now I’m including Zanoni MO).  I’m speechless.

If I were superstitious, I’d say I have a psychic connection with the ghost of old Edward.  Especially considering his penchant for the occult, some might think I should pay attention.  Well, it is true that in my Zanoni post I said that I’d start reading Zanoni.  Here’s what I wrote:

“So, now I’ll have to give Zanoni a shot, although I’m not overly optimistic that I’ll be able to hang in there for the whole book.  I’ll let you know.”

I haven’t begun reading Zanoni (I’ll first have to download it from Google Books).  I think maybe Edward noticed (and was offended by) this lapse.  So he hooked up with the LG and sent me two Iones in a row.  OK, Big Ed, I got the message.  I’ll start reading Zanoni . . .

Back to my landing.  I selected Ione as my reference town, not just because it was Ione, but because it’s the only one of the WA towns shown on my landing map that has any substance at all.  But it turns out that it’s terribly GD.   I did find a travel blog written by one Ivan Cockrum, who chronicled a day in Ione (as part of a bicycle trip across America).  It makes for interesting reading.  Here’s just a minor snippet:

I stopped for a rest day at Ione, so I had some time to poke around. More than many places I’ve visited, Ione left a peculiar impression on me. My first sight of Ione was the burned building on the southern edge of town. A prominent poster tacked to the ruin announced that the fire was caused by arson, and offered a reward for information. After visiting, I’m still unsure whether or not to consider it as an appropriate metaphor for the town.

Like a fish climbing up onto land, Ione (pop 400 something) appears to be a town at the cusp of a make-or-break evolutionary leap, struggling to metamorphose from a backwoods logging/mining town to a vacation destination. Decrepit houses sit empty as the old institutions of the town die off. Even the local Grange chapter, that bastion of rural social life, has been boarded up and its building put up for sale. But, among all the decaying single story buildings can be found a pair of new two-story motels. And indeed, Ione is ideally situated on a wide bend of the Pend Oreille river that is beautiful in summer. In Autumn, the local chapter of the Lion’s Club fires up a historic train line for scenic tours. I don’t know how the area fares for winter sports.

After checking in [a local motel], I rode around town. Ione’s downtown is only a few blocks square. You can see it all in under an hour. By bicycle, in a few minutes. It’s telling that Wikipedia has nothing to offer about Ione but census information. The post you’re reading is probably the longest thing written about it in some time . . .

I totally agree with Ivan’s last two sentences.  Here’s the shot from his motel room:

03-riverside-706186

By the way, Ivan has a well written, insightful and funny blog.  Click here to check out his Ione WA post.

Moving right along.  I’m going to wander over the state line into ID, and check out Priest Lake.  I’ll start with a GE image (showing a healthy mountain range just east of the lake), then show you some pictures and call it a day:

GE2

priest-lake-aerial-m

priest_lake

800px-Sunset_CavanaughBay_PriestLake

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ione, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on October 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 –  Back to the doldrums with a landing in . . . NV: 71/65; 2/10; 6; 152.7.  Here’s my landing map, showing that I landed out in the boonies (which is typical for NV):

landing

If you look just east of Rt. 21, you’ll see a new river, the Reese.  The Reese discharges to (what else?) the Humboldt (22nd hit) and, of course, the Humboldt discharges into the Humboldt Lake which doesn’t go anywhere.  The Reese is my 1036th river.

I just realized that I failed to mention that I have passed a landmark:  1800 landings (since 4/1/99).  Today’s landing is 1804, so I’m a little tardy with this announcement.

Here’s today’s GE shot.  I hope you appreciate that I’ve included a scale (albeit hand-made).  I note that the GE drawing tool puts a slightly curved line rather than a straight line on the photo.  The earth’s curvature???  Anyway, looks like desert scrub to me, with a little east-to-west drainage south of my landing.

GE

So, I’ll start with the Reese (it being a new river and all).  From Wiki (starting with a rather pathetic map):

NVMap-doton-ReeseRiver

The Reese River is a tributary of the Humboldt River, located in central Nevada.  In its upper reaches, the Reese River is a fast-flowing mountain stream surrounded by relatively lush growth including Aspen groves and cottonwood trees. Once it exits the Toiyabe Range it becomes a slow, muddy stream and in most years dwindles into a chain of shallow pools long before it reaches the Humboldt River.  Its waters are used for irrigation by scattered farms along its lower reaches.

The river is named after John Reese, who explored the area in 1854 as part of the expedition of Colonel Edward Steptoe.

Here’s a picture of the afore-mentioned upper reaches of the river.  What a great spot!

reese

And this, of the lower Reese River Valley (what a difference!)

reese river valley

Here’s a broader view showing my landing location:

landing2

You’ll see on my landing map (quite a ways back) that I landed near Ione, and, south of Ione, the “town” of Berlin and the Berlin Icthyosaur State Park and south of Berlin, the “town” of Gransville.  the State Park sounds interesting to a geologist like me.  But first:  speaking of interesting, you may recall that I recently landed near another Ione, in OR (see 9/11/09 post).  In that post, I said nothing about the origin of the name Ione.  This, from Ghosttowns.com about Ione NV:

In the novel, “The Last Days of Pompeii”, there is a heroine whose name is Ione. When it became time to give the camp a name, a scholarly miner came up with the name Ione.

From Wiki, on “The Last Days of Pompeii:”

The Last Days of Pompeii is a novel written by the baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1834. Once a very widely read book and now relatively neglected, it culminates in the cataclysmic destruction of the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The novel uses its characters to contrast the decadent culture of first-century Rome with both older cultures and coming trends. The protagonist, Glaucus, represents the Greeks who have been subordinated by Rome, and his nemesis Arbaces the still older culture of Egypt. Olinthus is the chief representative of the nascent Christian religion, which is presented favorably but not uncritically. The Witch of Vesuvius, though she has no supernatural powers, shows Bulwer-Lytton’s interest in the occult – a theme which would emerge in his later writing, particularly The Coming Race. (Note from me:  and also Zanoni!!!!)

Are you kidding me!?!?  This is too strange.  My loyal readers will no doubt remember Zanoni, Missouri.  Zanoni was named after an “occult”  novel written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (and the name of the lead charcter in the novel).  In my Zanoni post, I spent some time discussing this unusual occult novel with a cult following.   (I suspect occult novels typically have cult followings . . .)   Amazingly, I’ve landed in two towns named after Edward Bulwer-Lytton characters!!!!

Anyway, there are three ghost towns near my landing:  Ione, Berlin and Grantsville.  All three have more or less the same story:  a vein of gold was discovered, the town & mine works springs up; the vein is depleted; bye-bye town.  Here’s the welcome-to-Ione sign:

welcome to ione

Before I show some shots of the ghostowns, here’s a cool shot of some not-so-ghostly buildings in Berlin:

berlin nevada__l

Here are some undifferentiated shots of the three ghostowns:

ghost1

ghost2

ghost3

ghost4

ghost5

And how about Berlin-Icthyosaur State Park?  Here’s the road to the park:

road to berlin ichthyosaur state park

This about Icthyosaurs:

Ichthyosaurs (ICK-thee-o-soars) were prehistoric marine reptiles ranging in size from about two to over seventy feet in length. Very fish-like in appearance and locomotion, they bore their young alive and had amazingly large eyes in relation to the rest of the body. Like all reptiles, Ichthyosaur was air breathing and in this way resembles (but is not related to) modern day whales and dolphins.

Living at about the same time as the dinosaurs, Ichthyosaur fossils are found on all continents except Antarctica. Of all the Ichthyosaurs discovered, the ichthyosaurs at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park, are among the largest specimens known reaching fifty feet in length.

The fossilized remains of these Ichthyosaurs were discovered by Dr. Siemon Muller in 1928 in a naturally eroded area of what is now the park. A total of about 40 Ichthyosaurs have been discovered in various locations throughout the park.

Here’s a picture of a fossil of an ichthyosaur spine (I guess X marks the spot!):

ich2

Here’s a life-size representation of an ichthyosaur at the park:

to scale ichthyosaur at the park

And another view of the same (with a better view of the big eye):

ich

Here’s a  great shot of another fossil in the state park:

another fossil in the state park

I’ll close with this shot of a “trailer” in the Reese Valley.  It has a chimney, and likely a wood-burning stove.  Looks like perfectly fine accomodations to me . . .

Reese_River_Valley_142_1997

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Refugio, Texas

Posted by graywacke on October 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 –  A little breather here, as I landed in the heart of US-land . . . TX; 124/158; 3/10; 5; 152.3.  Here’s my landing map, showing that I’ve landed around here twice before:

landing


As you can see, I landed in the Medio Ck watershed, on to the Mission R (2nd hit); on to the G of M.  Here’s an expanded view, showing the proximity of the same three landings shown above to the south TX coast:

landing2

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot:

GE

I don’t know how to describe this except as South Texas scrubland.  I assume all of the roads are old abandoned oil field roads.

Anyway, as you can see on my landing map, I landed between Beeville, Refugio, Woodsboro, Skidmore and Papalote.

After a little Google perusal, I’ve settle on Refugio (partly because I like the name).  Speaking of the name, it’s important for my readers to pronounce place names correctly.  So, here we go now, repeat after me:  “re-fury-oh,” with the accent on the “fury.”  For those Spanish speakers, of course, it would be pronounced re-fuhio, but when in Texas . . .

There’s a connection between the Mission River and history of the town of Refugio.  From Wiki:

In 1795, Spanish friars relocated the Refugio Mission from a site south of present-day Victoria to the banks of the Mission River, a move that probably gave the river its name.

On March 14, 1836, during the Texas Revolution, a detachment of about 120 Texans (called Texians back then) under the command of Amon Butler King took a defensive position in one of the groves along the riverbank and repulsed repeated attacks of Mexican General José de Urrea’s troops (about 1500 strong) during the Battle of Refugio.

Because the day’s fighting nearly exhausted their supplies of gunpowder, King ordered his men to escape that night by swimming across the Mission River; they thus wetted the little powder that remained. The next day a party of Urrea’s men overtook and captured King and his troops. The Texians were returned to the Mission, where they were executed on March 16.

The Mission remained at Refugio until 1830.  So, how about that battle.  It makes me realize how little I know about the “Texas Revolution.”   From Wiki:

The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was a military conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 1835 to April, 1836, about a year and a half.

Animosity between the Mexican government and the American settlers in Texas (who were called Texians), began when Mexican President Santa Anna abolished the Constitution of 1824 and proclaimed a new one in its place. The new laws were unpopular throughout Mexico, leading to violence in several states.

War began in Texas on October 2, 1835, with the Battle of Gonzales. The Texians (who were a majority in present-day Texas) realized that the general unrest could give them the opportunity for independence.  Early Texian successes at La Bahia and San Antonio were soon met with defeat a few months later, under the crushing offensive of Santa Anna.

(The offensive included the Battle of Refugio as well as the famous Battle of the Alamo, where almost all of the Texian defenders, estimated at 182–257 men, were killed, including James Bowie and Davy Crockett.)

The war ended at the Battle of San Jacinto where General Sam Houston led the Texian Army to victory in 18 minutes over a portion of the Mexican Army under Santa Anna, who was captured shortly after the battle.  The conclusion of the war resulted in the creation of the Republic of Texas.

OK, OK, I have to check out this 18 minute victory.  From Wiki:

The Battle of San Jacinto, fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas, was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution.  Led by General Sam Houston, the Texas Army engaged and defeated General Santa Anna‘s Mexican forces in a fight that lasted just 18 minutes. About 700 of the Mexican soldiers were killed and 730 captured, while only nine Texans died.

Wiki goes on and on, but basically the Texians managed to sneak up on the main body of Mexican troops in tall grass.  They totally surprised (and massacred) the unwary and unsuspecting Mexicans (yelling “Remember the Alamo”).

After the Texian victory, the Republic of Texas remained an independent nation until 1845, when it became a state of the Union.  As you might expect, there’s quite a bit of history here also, but I’ll say no more than that Sam Houston served two terms as president, and the capital was moved from Columbia (now a small town south of Houston called West Columbia) to Houston to Austin.

Phew.  Sorry about the dry history, but I felt like it was something I needed to learn.  Whether or not my readers care, I know not . . .

Actually, I’m not yet leaving history behind, with these photos of the King’s Men Monument in Refugio (as mentioned previously, Amon King led the Texians at the Battle of Refugio):

Refugio Memorial

Here’s a close-up of the statue:

Refugio Memorial close-up

I’m not sure what this well-built fellow is supposed to represent, but anyway, the plaque at the base of the statue says ” Erected by the State of Texas in memory of Captain Amon B. King and other Texan soldiers killed in action or captured and afterwards slain as a result of the fighting at Refugio, March 14-15, 1836.”

Moving from traditional history to baseball history, I must let you know that one of the most famous pitchers of all time is from Refugio:  Nolan Ryan.  His accomplishments are legendary.

NolanRyan_001

From Wiki:

Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. (born January 31, 1947 in Refugio, Texas) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher and current president of the Texas Rangers.

Ryan played in a major league record 27 seasons for the New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers, from 1966 to 1993.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

Ryan, a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher, threw pitches that were regularly recorded above 100 mph (160 km/h), even past the age of 40.

While his lifetime winning percentage was a relatively pedestrian .526, Ryan was an eight-time MLB All-Star, and his 5,714 career strikeouts rank first in baseball history.  He leads the runner-up, Randy Johnson, by 856 strikeouts as of June 23, 2009. Similarly, Ryan’s 2,795 bases on balls lead second-place Steve Carlton by 962—walking over 50% more hitters than any other pitcher in Major League history.

Ryan is the all-time leader in no-hitters with seven, three more than any other pitcher.  He is tied with Bob Feller for most one-hitters, with 12. Ryan also pitched 18 two-hitters. Perhaps interesting to note, despite the seven no-hitters he has not thrown any of baseball’s perfect games.

Personally, I remember my team the Phillies beating Nolan Ryan and the Astros in a memorable National League Championship Series game back in 1980 (the last year before 2008 that the Phil’s won the World Series).  From Wiki:

In the fifth and final game of the series, Ryan and the Astros held a 5–2 lead entering the 8th inning. But Ryan allowed three consecutive singles before walking in the third run. The Houston bullpen allowed the Phillies to take a 7–5 lead, and only a game-tying Astro rally permitted Ryan to escape the loss.

OK, OK, so technically speaking the Phillies didn’t beat Nolan Ryan, but they did win the game in the 10th inning (in one of the most exciting games ever played).

I’ll close with this shot of the full moon over Refugio (I’ll have to take the photographer’s word on the location . . .)

trip-2003-04-14-TX-Refugio-Full-moon-640

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Coon Valley, Wisconsin

Posted by graywacke on October 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 –  Back in the day, a landing here meant my score went down.  But, alas, this is one of those bad boys that has slipped from US to PS to OS.  The state? . . . . WI; 35/33; 3/10; 4; 152.9.

It seems like this is a good time to revisit my September 23rd post (Hahira, Georgia).  I was on quite the roll, and my Score was a record low 150.3.  So, here’s a quote from that post:

“Presuming that I break into the 140’s sooner than later, I will have passed through the 150’s at relative breakneck speed.  When the breakthrough happens, I’ll be discussing it in greater detail (I’m sure you can’t wait).  Of course, I fear that I’ve jinxed myself even talking about the 140’s.  We’ll see . . .”

Well, it’s apparent that I did, in fact, jinx myself.  Since that landing, I’ve gone 1/8.  I know that I will, some day, break into the 140’s, but I do believe that it’s going to take a while . . .

Here’s the Google Earth view of my landing, showing I landed in a grove of trees on a farm:

GE

Here’s my landing map, which shows that the farm I landed on is just northeast of the town of Coon Valley:

landing

Coon Valley is named after Coon Creek, which flows through the town (and is the creek near my landing that you can see on the Google Earth image).   Coon Creek flows into the MM (710th hit) at the town of Stoddard (see landing map).  Yes, what looks like a lake is actually part of the Mighty Mississippi (more about the lake-like aspect follows).

Let me start with Stoddard.  From Wiki:

Stoddard was originally founded as a farming community. It is notable as one of the few communities along the Mississippi River to not be a trading post or stop on any riverboats. The river was originally one mile west of Stoddard, but when Lock and Dam No. 8 was built in 1937, the ensuing lake flooded the lowlands, literally bringing the river to the town.

Imagine!  You own an ordinary piece of land on the west side of Stoddard, when suddenly, you have waterfront property!  Anyway, you can see the “lake” that begins north of Genoa, caused by the Lock and Dam No. 8 (located just south of Genoa).  Here’s a closer view, so you can exactly where the lock and dam are:

landing2

Here’s an aerial photo, looking downstream toward the L&D:

800px-Mississippi_River_Lock_and_Dam_number_8

Here’s a close-up of the L&D itself:

lockdam08x02

Why were the locks and dams built?  From the US Army Corps of Engineers:

To achieve a 9-foot channel in the Upper Mississippi River, the construction of a system of navigation locks and dams was authorized in 1930. Dams are built on rivers to hold back water and form deeper navigation “pools.” Most pools in the United States are maintained at a constant minimum water depth of 9 feet for safe navigation. Dams allow river vessels to use a series of locks to “step” up or down the river from one water level to another.

I couldn’t find out much about Coon Valley (pop about 800), but I found a few pictures.  I’ll start with my usual “broader view:”

coon valley

Then, this 1938 view of town:

thumb_1938convalleywis0a1

And then this more modern view:

800px-Coon_Valley,_WI._Spring_2008

Here’s a nice aerial shot of the town:

thumb_coonvalletcolorareialaaa

Here’s a view of Coon Creek flooding in 1954:

1954coonValleyHwy14

And this bucolic winter scene in the Valley:

Coon Valley Wisconsin

Speaking of bucolic, here are some cattle on a hillside outside of town:

coon_creek_pasture

I’ll close with this photographic study in black and white of some old outbuildings near Coon Valley:

Picket-fence-and-log-building,-Norskedalen,-Coon-Valley,-Wisconsin-1989-0904c

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Okemah, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on October 10, 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 –  My slump continues, and I’m on a 1/7 run with my latest landing in . . . OK; 49/41; 3/10; 3; 152.5.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Clearview, Pharoh, Weleetka and Okemah:

landing

Here’s a broader view, featuring Okemah:

Okemah_OK

For the 13th time, I landed in the North Canadian R watershed; on to the Canadian (34th hit); on to the Arkansas (96th hit); on the MM (709th hit).

I quickly decided to feature Okemah (I’ll say why in just a minute).  This area was familiar to me, as this landing is close to my Henryetta OK landing (July 10th).  I actually mentioned Pharoh & Weleetka in my Henryetta post.  Anyway, once again, I’m not featuring Pharoh or Weleetka, but rather Okemah.  Why?  Because Okemah has quite the famous son:  Woody Guthrie.   From WoodyGuthrie.com:

650px-Woody_Guthrie_2

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was born on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma. His father – a cowboy, land speculator, and local politician – taught Woody Western songs, Indian songs, and Scottish folk tunes. His Kansas-born mother, also musically inclined, had an equally profound effect on Woody.

woody's birthplace

Woody Guthrie House in Okemah

In 1920, oil was discovered nearby and overnight Okemah was transformed into an “oil boom” town, bringing thousands of workers, gamblers and hustlers to the once sleepy farm town. Within a few years, the oil flow suddenly stopped and Okemah suffered a severe economic turnaround, leaving the town and its inhabitants “busted, disgusted, and not to be trusted.”

Here’s a picture of a gusher (bubblin’ crude)  just outside of Okemah:

Gusher_Okemah_OK_1922

Back to Woody’s bio . . .

In 1931, when Okemah’s boomtown period went bust, Woody left for Texas. In the panhandle town of Pampa, he fell in love with Mary Jennings, the younger sister of a friend and musician named Matt Jennings. Woody and Mary were married in 1933, and together had three children, Gwen, Sue and Bill.

If the Great Depression made it hard for Woody to support his family, the onslaught of the Great Dust Storm period, which hit the Great Plains in 1935, made it impossible. Drought and dust forced thousands of desperate farmers and unemployed workers from Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, and Georgia to head west in search of work. Woody, like hundreds of “dustbowl refugees,” hit Route 66, also looking for a way to support his family, who remained back in Pampa.

Moneyless and hungry, Woody hitchhiked, rode freight trains, and even walked his way to California, taking whatever small jobs he could. In exchange for bed and board, Woody painted signs and played guitar and sang in saloons along the way, developing a love for traveling the open road—a lifelong habit he would often repeat.

There’s much more bio, but that’s enough for me.  Moving right along, Woody has some great quotes.  Here’s one:

A folk song is what’s wrong and how to fix it – who’s hungry and where the food is or who’s out of work and where the job is or who’s broke and where the money is or who’s carrying a gun and where the peace is. – WG

And here’s another:


woody_quote

Far and away, Woody’s most famous song is “This Land Is My Land.”  Here are the words (and I suggest you read them all):

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

You can readily pick up his wanderlust and his affinity for the common man.  I love the verse about the No Trespassing sign!

If you’d like to hear Woody singing the song, click here:

Every year, there’s a Woody Guthrie folk music festival in Okemah.  Here’s the poster for this year’s:

Woody Fest 2009

Here’s a shot of downtown Okemah today:

okemah_pic

I’ll close with a shot of three water towers in Okemah:

OKOKEhotcold_0834

Evidently, the “Hot” and “Cold” gag is not unique to Okemah (but one that I’ve never seen before).

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Coupeville, Washington

Posted by graywacke on October 9, 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 –  Phew.  I finally landed in a USer, although now it’s a PSer . . . WA; 42/42; 4/10; 2; 152.1.  Check out this unusual landing map:

landing

Here’s a broader view, showing that I actually landed in an arm of Puget Sound, not far from Seattle:

landing2

Here’s a Google Earth shot of my landing:

GE

I landed in a body of water known as “Saratoga Passage.”  This is one of those borderline landings; what I mean is that I suppose I could call this a water landing that doesn’t count (where I’d normally discard the landing and try again, hoping for land).  But I’m surrounded by land, and likely in an area that is counted as part of the area of the State of Washington.  Anyway, I don’t really have a watershed entry at all, since I’m already at sea level in salt water.  If I were on a boat and I wanted to get to the Pacific Ocean, I’d have to head out the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which separates Washington from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.   Here’s a broader view, showing the Strait (the arrow points to my landing spot):

landing3

You can see that landed near Coupeville (pop 1723), the county seat of Island County, which includes Whidbey Island (to the west of my landing) and Camano Island (to the east).

From Wiki:

Whidbey Island is one of two major islands (and nine altogether) that make up Island County, Washington.  The island forms the northern boundary of Puget Sound.

Whidbey Island is home to 58,211 residents (according to the 2000 census),[1] also known as Whidbey Islanders. An estimated 29,000 of Whidbey Islanders live in rural locations.

Whidbey Island has an area of 169 mi², making it the 40th largest island in the United States (although it’s the fifth largest island in the contiguous United States).

Whidbey Island was once inhabited by members of the Lower Skagit, Swinomish, Suquamish, Snohomish and other Native American tribes.  In May of 1792, Joseph Whidbey along with Peter Puget and George Vancouver, began to map and explore the areas of Puget Sound.  Whidbey circumnavigated the island in June, and as a reward, had the island named after him.

Camano Island is a large island in Island County, Washington, between Whidbey Island and the mainland. The body of water separating Whidbey Island and Camano Island is called Saratoga Passage.

[That’s where I landed!!]

There were 13,358 residents on the island as of the 2000 census, but the population peaks at 17,000 during the summer months with retired “snowbirds.”  The island has a total land area of 40 sq mi, though it was larger before the Great Slide of 1825.

Camano Island is named for the Spanish explorer Jacinto Caamaño.  Charles Wilkes, during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838-1842, named it MacDonough Island in honor of Thomas MacDonough for his victory of the Battle of Lake Champlain during the War of 1812. Following this theme, Wilkes named the body of water between Camano and Whidbey Island after MacDonough’s flagship the Saratoga. When Henry Kellett reorganized the official British Admiralty charts in 1847, he removed Wilkes’ name MacDonough and bestowed the name Camano. Wilkes’ name Saratoga Passage was retained.

Notice the reference to the “Great Slide” of 1825?  From Wiki:

In 1825 a tragic event occurred in Possession Sound (an arm of Puget sound located south of Camano Island). A large piece of the southern tip of Camano Island slid into the Sound — an event known as the Great Slide. A resultant tsunami from the slide drowned many Indian residents of nearby Hat Island.

Hat Island (aka Gedney Island), and the southern end of Camano Island are shown on this map.  As shown on the map, “Camano Head” must be right where the Great Slide occurred.

landing4

So, how about Coupeville?  Well, I can’t find much of particular interest beyond how beautiful it is here.  Here’s a shot of Penns Cove at Coupeville:

penn_cove021103

I think I’ll just make the rest of the post a photo tour.  First, several shots of Whidbey:

whidbey1

whidbey2

Here’s a picture of the bridge that one needs to cross to get to Whidbey Island by car:

whidbey3

Here’s a wonderful picture from Whidbey looking over to Camano, with the photographer’s caption below:

view of camano from whidbey

Something I saw on my morning walk; two horses getting started on a day of eating and hanging out together.  The water you see is Penn Cove and then Saratoga Passage. After that comes Camano Island followed by the Cascade Range.

I can locate the location of the above photo pretty well.  Here’s a map with an arrow showing the approximate location of the photographer.  As you can see, I landed in the water just behind and to the right of the point that juts out in the center of the picture.

landing5

I’ll close with a sunset shot from Camano:

camano island sunset

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mexican Hat, Utah

Posted by graywacke on October 5, 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 –  This ugly stretch of OSers is continuing (up to 0/5) with today’s landing in . . . UT; 62/50; 4/10; 1; 152.6.  Note that after 12 in a row with 5/10+, I’m now at 4/10.  We’ll see how long this negative string goes.

Anyway, here’s my landing map:

landing

Wow, for the third time recently, I’ve landed in a total wilderness area.  As my loyal readers will recall, I recently landed in the Tonto National Forest in AZ, and then, few landings later, I landed in Glacier National Park.  Today, I landed in the absolutely breathtaking canyonlands of SE UT.   As you can see on my landing map, there are no roads anyplace close.  What is close is the San Juan River.  From my general geography/geology knowledge, I know that the San Juan has a wonderful canyon associated with it.

So, I went to Google Earth, and very accurately located my landing.  Check out where I landed!!!!!!

Google earth landing

I zoomed back a little . . .

google earth landing2

And zoomed back a little more. . . .

google earth landing3

Google Earth is truly amazing.  It really looks like the view is from an airplane.  Notice the little blue square right next to my landing?  That’s a photo posted on Google Earth.  With great anticipation, I clicked on it, since I knew I was going to have a view very local to my landing.  Here it is:

mouth of gulch where it meets the san juan

I’m blown away by my ability to take such an intimate look at my landing.  By the way, if you look back at my landing map, you can see that the above photo is of “Grand Gulch.”

I guess I should take care of a little watershed business . . . this was my 15th landing in the San Juan watershed, on to the Colorado (145th hit).

Anyway, here’s a somewhat broader view, showing my proximity to Mexican Hat:

landing2

Hmmmm.  See that funky part of Rt 261 north of Mexican Hat?  I need to zoom in on that!  Wow.  Take a look at this stretch of the road!

switch back road

So, I Googled “Rt 261 Utah switchbacks” and I found that this stretch of road traverses what is known as the Moki (or Mokee) Dugway.  Here’s a picture, with the caption below:

800px-Moki_Dugway

The Moki Dugway is part of Highway 261 about 24 miles south of Natural Bridges National Monument. The Moki Dugway gets its name from the carved hand- and foot-holds on cliff faces throughout the region created by the ancient Native Americans. Worn step-like paths can be found leading up cliffs to food storage areas, dwellings, springs, or up steep escarpments like the one shown here. This view shows switchbacks and the modern highway cuts along Utah Highway 261 where the highway crosses the southern escarpment of Cedar Mesa.

Here’s a sign before the road takes the plunge:

moki dugway

So, I guess I need to check out Mexican Hat.  From AmericanSouthwest.com:

After passing the eroded mesas of Monument Valley, highway US 163 crosses 20 miles of rather flat landscape past scattered Navajo houses to Mexican Hat, a small settlement named after a curious formation nearby consisting of a large flat rock 60 feet in diameter perched precariously on a much smaller base at the top of a small hill. The village itself is small, home to fewer than 100 people and offering few facilities, but the surrounding scenery is exceptional and not often visited, featuring 1,200 foot sandstone cliffs at the edge of Cedar Mesa, deep, layered canyons of the San Juan River, vast sandy desert plains, and a wide valley studded with isolated red rock buttes and mesas.

The three main sites of interest near Mexican Hat are the overlook at Muley Point, the entrenched river meanders at Goosenecks State Park and the red sandstone formations of Valley of the Gods.

So check out this picture of the Mexican Hat (before we check out the three main points of interest):

53 Mexican Hat, Utah

And this, of the San Juan River in Gooseneck State Park.

goosenecks

I remember studying this formation in geology class.  What happened is this:  ages ago, the San Juan was close to sea level, and was meandering its way along, as rivers do on floodplains close to sea level.  And then the Colorado Plateau began to uplift.  The meandering river was lifted in place, and the meanders cut down into the rock below.

I saw “Valley of the Gods Road” on my Moki Dugway map (you can too – see map above).  Here’s a supposed picture of sunrise at the Valley of the Gods (I say “supposed” because this picture looks doctored . . )”

sunrise at the valley of the gods

Muley Point is the other attraction near Mexican Hat.  Here’s the view from the Point:

Muley Point

This has been one inspirational landing.  I’ll close with a sunset shot also from Muley Point:

Muley Point Sunset


That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Lovelock, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on October 2, 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 –  The situation’s getting a little more serious now – yes, I’m on an 0/4 run due to my landing in . . . NV; 70/65; 5/10 (0/4); 12; 152.1.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Lovelock and the Humboldt River:

aalanding

This was my 21st landing in the Humboldt R watershed; this time I landed fairly close to the end of the Humboldt, where it runs into Humboldt Lake (about 12 miles S of my landing).  Of course, no water leaves Humboldt Lake; it just soaks in and/or evaporates.  Here’s a map, showing my proximity to Humboldt Lake:

aalanding2

I’ve discussed the Humboldt before; it’s the longest internally-drained river in the U.S., with a length of about 300 miles (all within Nevada).  Staying with the Humboldt, I’ll present some photos of the river and the lake.  I’ll start with these two shots of the river, just upstream from where it empties into the lake.  Note that it is often dry; obviously these pictures were taken after significant desert rains:

aahumboldt upstream from lake

aahumbold river upstream from lake

Here’s a shot of the lake itself (taken at the same time as the river pictures):

aalake humboldt

A gentleman named Lawrence K. Hersh, a photographer, railroad lover and historian, put together a book entitled “Central Pacific Railroad Across Nevada, 1868 and 1997 Photographic Comparatives.”  Two of the comparative photos are taken near Humboldt Lake.  First this picture from 1868, with Mr. Hersh’s caption below the picture:

aa1868

Photo number 316, “End of Track, near Humboldt Lake,” circa 1868, is an excellent view to the southwest, showing a construction train stopped, headed eastbound, with lots of tents in the foreground.  These tents were probably occupied by Chinese, whose contribution to the construction of this railroad made the Transcontinental Railroad a reality. The railroad grade parallels the west side of Humboldt Lake.

Here’s his 1997 shot taken from the same place, with his caption below:

aa1997

Photo number 97316, taken in May of 1997, shows the general spot Alfred A. Hart photographed in 1868, from atop the sand hill on the east side of the railroad grade. This is one of my favorite photo sites. I can spend hours exploring this area, thinking only of going back in time, while standing on top of the sand hill. It appears as if the trail seen in the foreground of photo 316 can still be seen in today’s photo.

On to the town of Lovelock.  From the town’s website:

Lovelock, Nevada (the County Seat of Pershing County) lies in a meadow valley with the Humboldt Range to the east and the Trinity and Seven Troughs ranges to the north and west. This valley was known to settlers as Big Meadows because of the abundance of grass and water. It was favored as a resting place before continuing on to California and Oregon.

In 1868, the history of Lovelock changed with the building of the Central Pacific Railroad through Pershing County. Like many Nevada railroad towns, Lovelock had a thriving Chinese population and a large mining community. By 1900, Lovelock featured a school, churches and a business district.

On March 19, 1919, Pershing County was created and Lovelock was named the county seat. Pershing County is named after General John J. Pershing, a World War I hero, and the town is named for George Lovelock, an early homesteader and storekeeper.

Here’s an overview photo of downtown Lovelock:

lovelock view

The impressive-looking building in the above picture is the courthouse.  Here’s a close-up:

01_courthouse

Heading back in time again, here’s an excerpt from an 1849 journal entry, written by a visitor to Lovelock (then referred to as Big Meadows):

“This marsh for three miles is certainly the liveliest place that one could witness in a lifetime. There are some two hundred and fifty wagons here all the time. Wagon trains going out and others coming in and taking their places is the constant order of the day. Cattle and mules by the hundreds are surrounding us, in grass to their knees, all discoursing sweet music with the grinding of their jaws.

“Men are seen hurrying in many different ways and everybody attending to his own business. Some mowing, some reaping, some packing the grass, others spreading it out to dry, or collecting that already dry and fixing it for transportation.  In fact the joyous laugh and the familiar sound of the whetted scythe gives an air of happiness and contentment around that must carry the wearied travelers through to the “Promised Land.” The scene reminds one of a large encampment of the army, divided off into separate and distinct parties, everybody minding his own business and letting other people alone.”

I really enjoyed the above piece and the expression of pure joy!  How about the cattle and mules, “all discoursing sweet music with the grinding of their jaws . . .”

Moving right along – I stumbled on an interesting road trip blog, with a lovely photo taken near Lovelock:

rain and sunlight near lovelock

In addition to the travel blog, the author’s website contains much about baseball (statistics, scorekeeping and history).  Baseball is obviously his passion.  Click here to check it out.

I’ll close with this shot of the Trinity Range, just west of my landing:

Trinity Range

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »