A Landing a Day

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Archive for March, 2010

Kadoka, South Dakota

Posted by graywacke on March 6, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (now pretty much an every-other-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 –  Now I’m smack in the middle of the 152’s, thanks to  . . . SD; 50/47; 4/10; 1; 152.5.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to I-90 and Kadoka:


Here’s a broader view:


For the second time, this was a Bad landing.  What I mean is, this was my second landing in the Bad River watershed; on to the Missouri (344th hit); on to the MM (734th hit).

Here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed out in what appears to be a non-agricultural prairie land:


Here’s a Street View shot, looking off towards my landing, which is about 0.2 mile away (to the left of the ravine).  This shot pretty much confirms my thoughts about non-agricultural prairie:


Here’s a shot (looking south towards the badlands) of the I-90 exit directly south of my landing:


From the Kadoka town website:

The City of Kadoka, known as the “Gateway to the Badlands”, graciously welcomes you to our community!  Established in 1906, Kadoka is located on the east edge of the Badlands National Park. Kadoka is the Lakota word meaning “hole in the wall”.  The Indians thought Kadoka was a fitting name because it sits at the mouth of a gap leading into the Badlands.  Kadoka is the friendliest town along I-90!

Duh – it just hit me that there’s likely a connection between the Bad River and badlands . . . Anyway, Here’s a shot of the badlands just south of I-90 (southwest of my landing):


Here’s how Wiki describes badlands:

A badlands is a type of arid terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded.  They are often difficult to navigate by foot. Badlands often have a spectacular color display.

The term “badlands” originates in North America. The Lakota called the topography “Makhóšiča“, literally bad land, while French trappers called it “les mauvaises terres à traverser” – “the bad lands to cross”. The term badlands is also apt: badlands contain steep slopes, loose dry soil, slick clay, and deep sand, all of which impede travel and other uses. Badlands form in arid regions with infrequent but intense rain-showers, sparse vegetation, and soft sediments: a recipe for massive erosion.

Some of the most famous fossil beds are found in badlands, where erosion rapidly exposes the sedimentary layers and the scant cover of vegetation makes surveying and fossil hunting relatively easy.

Here’s a shot of the Kadoka train depot:


I’ll close with this picture (from SkyChaser.com), taken south of Kadoka:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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Jennings, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on March 4, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (now pretty much an every-other-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 dipped my toe into the 151s, only to step back to the good ol’ 152s with this landing in . . . KS; 54/50; 5/10; 2; 152.1.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to the tiny (pop 180) town of Jennings:


Here’s a broader view:


Unbelievably, this was my 5th landing in the Prairie Dog Creek watershed, on to the Republican R (20th hit); to the Kansas R (54th hit); to the Missouri (343rd hit); to the MM (733rd hit).

Here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed in what appears to be nonagricultural prairie:


Here’s the welcome to Jennings sign, where people are obviously proud of their Czech heritage:

So, Jennings has 22 business, eh?  With a population of 180, that works out to one business for every 8 people. . . .

About Jennings, from one of two town websites:

The city of Jennings was named after Warren Jennings and was founded in May 1888. The town started with very few businesses but grew quickly.

The Rock Island railroad was important to the town and the old station still stands by the tracks. Standing beside the tracks looking off toward Norton, you can imagine hearing the Rock Island Rocket approaching. The Rock Island Rocket served Jennings and Decatur County with 21.7 miles of track. The route taken by the Rocket was along the Prairie Dog Creek. The Rock Island Line terminated March 31, 1980. The railroad is still maintained for use today.

Jennings has a proud Czech heritage and was the home of the Kolache Festival. Bohemian costumes were worn and the menu for the day was Czechoslovakian food with “all the kolaches you could eat.” At its peak the Festival drew 5,000 people to Jennings.

Jennings is proud to have celebrated its 100th birthday. The town and its residents still believe in the future of Jennings.

Here’s a picture of the afore-mentioned (but not very impressive) Jennings railway station:

The above write-up mentions an erstwhile kolache festival.  I wouldn’t know  kolache if I fell over one.  From Wiki:

Kolache (also spelled kolace, kolach, or kolacky) is a type of pastry consisting of fillings ranging from fruits (including poppy seed, raspberry, and apricot) to cheeses and/or meats inside a bread roll. Originally only a sweet dessert from Central Europe, they have become popular in parts of the United States. Several cities, including Prague, Oklahoma; Caldwell, Texas; and East Bernard, Texas, hold annual Kolache Festival celebrations, while Montgomery, Minnesota, is the “Kolacky capital of the world”

The Kolache Festival in Jennings has gone by the wayside; otherwise, maybe the town would have made it to Wiki.

More about kolache, from AngelFire.com:

“The Czech people are famous for their pastries, one of which is the kolache…The fillings–poppyseed, pineapple, apricot, cottage cheese and prune are prepared before baking.  No one uses a recipe. Kolaches are made from a formula handed down from generation to generation in Czech families.”

Inspite of the fact that “no one uses a recipe,” here’s an account from AngelFire about an anomalous written recipe:

How the written recipe came to be as recounted by Patricia Rektorik Sprinkle: “In the spring before my wedding, I started collecting things I thought I would need for my kitchen. One of them was a recipe for kolaches, of course. I asked my Grandma, Johanna (Jennie) Mrazek Rektorik, but she did not have a written recipe.  Grandma made her kolaches without measuring anything! A few months later, she told me she had found a recipe that looked close to how she did it.  It was from the Progressive Farmer Magazine.

From the recipe in the Progressive Farmer, I developed a “novice’s version” of the recipe for those who are just starting to make kolaches.

Kolache–A Guide for the Novice by Susan Rektorik Henley

1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Packages of yeast
1/2 Cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees)
2 Cups milk
1/2 Cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
2 Teaspoons salt
2 Egg yolks
1/2 Cup sugar
6 1/4 Cups flour, sifted
1 1/2 Sticks of melted butter

After a lengthy discussion of the details of making kolaches, here’s the last step:

Remove the kolaches from the oven and slather with melted butter.

Click here for the entire recipe.

Here are a couple of pictures of kolaches:


I’ll close with this shot of the Town Hall & library (much more impressive than the train station!):

That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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Electra, Texas

Posted by graywacke on March 2, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (now pretty much an every-other-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’ve been landing here quite a bit, in  . . . TX; 132/163; 5/10; 1; 151.6.  I just double-checked on my gut feeling and found that in the last 75 landings, I’ve landed in TX 11 times.  This works out to one TX landing for every 6.8 landings.  Based on the ratio of the area of TX to the area of the lower 48 (268,601 sq. mi. vs. 3,061,636 sq. mi.), the ratio should be one TX landing for every 11.4 landings.  So indeed, I have been landing in TX at a higher-than-expected rate . . .

Here’s my landing map, showing my close proximity to Electra:


Here’s a broader view, showing that I wasn’t at all far from OK (and the boundary river, the Red).


Speaking of rivers, for the third time, I landed in the Wichita R watershed; on, of course, to the Red (46th hit); on to the Atchafalaya (53rd hit).

Here’s my GE shot, showing I landed in a rural, lightly-developed area.  I have no clue about the dirt roads that appear to be associated with the house that’s to the NE of my landing.

I was able to access a Street View photo where the driveway hits the road right next to my landing.  So, my landing is just to the left of the dirt road, back in the scrub vegetation you see in the distance.


From Wiki, about Electra:

Electra‘s population was 3,168 at the 2000 census and estimated it to be 2,891 as of 2006.  Electra claims the title of Pump Jack Capital of Texas, a title made official by the state in 2001,and has celebrated an annual Pump Jack Festival since 2002.

[Don’t know what a pump jack is?  More about this later.]

Daniel Waggoner started a ranch in present-day Electra in 1852. Around thirty years later, the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway was built, and its railroad tracks ran through the area. In 1885, Waggoner’s son, W.T. Waggoner, successfully lobbied railroad executives to build a railroad station at the site. By this time, the Waggoner ranch covered a half-million acres.

Up until this time, the town was called Waggoner, but following the building of the station and a post office in 1889, it was dubbed Beaver Switch, after the nearby Beaver Creek. The opening of 56,000 acres of land north of the railroad station brought more farmers to the area. The town was renamed again in 1907, this time after Waggoner’s daughter Electra.

Here’s some more history from TexasCook.com:

In 1900-1901 Waggoner tried to find artesian water for his cattle, first about 2 blocks north of the railroad station (then his pasture).  Instead of water, he got black, greasy stuff and abandoned it.

He then hired Gates Brothers well diggers to go 2000 feet just 2 blocks south of the station, but when they also got oil, he ordered them off and threatened to not pay them. They gave him legal troubles but left the hole.  It was still there in 1923.  An open hole with oil rising nearly to the top.

That pesky oil kept getting in Mr. Waggoner’s way.  Anyway, So, what’s a pump jack?  It’s a low-rate oil pump.  Here’s a picture:

For those (like me) who might be curious about how one works, here’s a schematic:

Note that the standing valve and the traveling valves are both ball check valves (see how the ball is in different positions in each valve for the different strokes).  Working together, they manage to lift a little bit of oil towards the surface on each stroke.

It turns out that Electra has an annual Goat Barbeque.  From the town’s website:

In a small town, you often have to make your own fun. That’s exactly what a small group of recent high school graduates did in 1977.

Dennis Teaff, a 1972 graduate of EHS, had been deer hunting for several years in Brady, TX. He would always come back and tell his friends about the great barbecue goat that he had eaten there. No one took him at his word, so in the fall of 1976, he purchased a hindquarter from the meat market in Brady to bring back to cook. As luck would have it (bad luck), his hunting buddies cooked and ate the goat while he was hunting. When he returned to Electra, the cookout that was planned upon his return was postponed until the next spring since there was no goat available in this area at that time.

In the spring of 1977, when it was time for the first Goat BBQ, no one could locate a goat. So, being the enterprising young man that he was, Dennis spotted a goat in a pipe yard (location not disclosed!), enlisted a getaway driver, and took the goat for the good of the group. They met on the Red River at Bridgetown to cook the stolen goat and enjoy a weekend of fun. And so began what has become a major event in Electra.

Amazing, that in a Chamber of Commerce website, there’s this information about how Dennis Teaff stole, cooked and ate a goat!!   Anyway, here are some pictures from a recent Electra Goat BBQ, starting with some “cookers:”

Here’s a shot of some goat BBQ:

I’ll close with this 1912 shot of Electra:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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