A Landing a Day

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Steele, North Dakota

Posted by graywacke on February 21, 2010

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 –  Enough with the upper Midwest already!  After ND and MN comes another . . . ND; 53/43; 4/10; 2; 153.0.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Driscoll, Steele & Sterling.  It turns out that Driscoll & Sterling are pretty much GD; thus this post features Steele.


Here’s a broader view:


Here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed in a vague-looking field.  It might be pasture, or it might be more-or-less open prairie land.

Anyway, here’s a GE Street View shot.  My landing is toward the distance, to the right of the dirt road you can see.


As with my last landing (when I landed right next to the Middle R, but was in the watershed of the Tamarac R), I find myself in an area with peculiar drainage.  Here’s a landing map showing only the streams:


As you can see, none of the streams connect to one another!  I surmised that water that landed on my landing spot would end up in Random Ck, but you’ll note that Random Ck just stops!  When I’m in a desert area, and a stream stops out in the middle of nowhere, I conclude that it’s “internally-drained.”  But here, in relatively wet central ND, there’s a different story.

I landed in a “sand hills” region, where the soils are so sandy that streams form, but then the water sinks into the sands, becoming groundwater.  The groundwater then continues to flow (very slowly) through the sand, but continuing downhill.  At some point, the groundwater comes back to the surface (as springs, or discharging into a lake or pond), and continues its merry way.

So anyway, I figure that the water from Random Ck flows northwest into the series of little lakes you can see and ends up as groundwater that surfaces in the east-to-west flowing stream (Long Lake Creek) that then flows into the more substantial north-south flowing stream (Apple Creek) at the western edge of the map.  Apple Ck keeps its act together and flows into the Missouri R (342nd hit); on to the MM (731st hit).

Moving on to Steele:  From the town’s website:

In 1864, the Northern Pacific Railroad Company was granted land (including Steele’s location) to aid in the construction of railroads. Wilbur F. Steele purchased that land from the railroad in 1878 and plotted the community of Steele.

Mr. Steele had hoped that the state capitol would be located in Steele, so he erected a three-story building to house the legislature.  Political maneuvering and prestige of the politicians won out for location in Bismarck. Mr. Steele sold the brick building to Kidder County on April 21, 1885, for $20,000, to be used as the courthouse. That building is the present Kidder County Courthouse.

Here’s a picture of the so-called “three-story building” (sorry, it looks to me like two-stories, and I can see it wasn’t enough to make Steele the State Capital):


Keeping in mind my discussion above of the “sand hills:”  right in Steele is a tourist attraction of some repute:  a giant sculpture of a sand hill crane.  Here’s a picture:


I’ll close with pretty shot taken outside of Steele (by storm-chaser Chuck Doswell).  Here’s what he has to say in his storm chasing log for 2001:

. . . From then on, the chase was boring, as the storms in ND moving northeastward were not even remotely likely to be tornadic, and the cap held over the rest of the area we chased. We did see some nearby lightning strikes as we were driving in the rain, but that was about it for excitement. Took time for a “photo op” at sunset, north of Steele, ND.

His log includes a wild story about being picked up for an illegal US-Canada border crossing.  Click here (and scroll down to June 25th) for the story . . .

Anyway, here’s Chuck’s lovely “photo op:”


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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