A Landing a Day

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Hobart, Washington

Posted by graywacke on May 14, 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’m jinxed.  I have no doubt about it.  My supposedly inexorable march to the 140s has once again been derailed.  And once again, the LG is messin’ wi’ me.  After sitting on the veritable brink (at 150.0), today’s landing marks my third straight OSer . . . WA; 46/44; 4/10; 1; 151.3.  I must stand up straight, throw my shoulders back, lift my head and move on . . .

Here’s my landing map, showing that I landed in an urban area:

I’ll step out a little more to show that I landed in the eastern ‘burbs of Seattle/Tacoma:

Here’s the broadest view:

I landed in the watershed of a new river, the Sammamish, which flows to Lake Washington (on the shores of which, I believe, Bill Gates lives).  Lake Washington is connected to the Puget Sound by the Lake Washington Ship Canal. This causes some consternation for me, because I like to define my watersheds as Mother Earth intended (before hydraulic engineers got into the act).  Here’s a map, showing Lake Washington and surrounding waterways as they are today.  Note the Sammamish coming in from the north:

Here’s a 1902 map, showing Mother Earth’s original configuration:

Here, it’s clear that Lake Washington discharged to the south into the Black R, on to the Duwamish R.  It looks like the Black River no longer exists!!  Note that the Cedar R used to flow to the Black, heading south.  Now, it flows into Lake Washington and makes it way to Puget Sound via the Ship Canal.  So anyway, I’ll add the ghostly Black R to my list of rivers (obviously, my first hit) as well as the Duwamish (also my first hit).

Moving right along – here’s a very-close-in GE shot, showing that I landed in the back yard of a house nestled all by itself near the acute angle formed by two roads (see landing map, also):

Here’s a Street View, showing the house:

Here’s a broader GE view, showing the low-density suburban area:

Because Mt. Rainier isn’t too far away, I had to do this oblique GE shot, with the majestic peak in the background:

So, I landed closest to Hobart (which garnered top billing).  I couldn’t find much about Hobart, although there is this post by Stan Orchard on Flickr.  First, Stan’s picture of Mt. Rainier, and then his write-up below:

Hobart = Heaven

For anyone who’s never been to Hobart in Washington State, this is the perfect place to view it.  A once thriving logging community is now a simple hamlet with mountains in the background and small farms, livestock, wildlife and families below.  The community you see between Mount Rainier and where I shot this is Hobart.  This trail takes you above it with panoramic views in all directions.  I could even see the highest skyscraper in downtown Seattle from here. It was behind me.

On this day it was quite breezy, but so incredibly warm. After recent record setting snow and torrential rain and flooding, it was like a dream come true in the middle of winter.

Hobart’s larger neighbor is Maple Valley.  From Wiki:

The area was first settled in 1879 by 3 men who were improving a trail and brought their families in. When a name for a future community was proposed, the names Vine Maple Valley and Maple Ridge were suggested. A vote was taken by writing the names on slips of paper and placing them in a hat. Vine Maple Valley won by 2/3, but the word “Vine” was later cut by the post office because it made the name too long.

The town’s early history mainly had to do with coal, lumber milling to build homes, and a railroad which ran through town. Coal was brought in from Black Diamond to the south, but the town itself also mined coal from Cedar Mountain. The mine was used as late as 1947.  More residents meant more lumber milling. More lumber milling meant more workers.

Note that you can see Black Diamond on the GE / Mt. Rainier shot above.  But anyway – coal, eh?  It turns out that coal mines underlie about 50,000 acres in central and western WA, including near my landing.  Some coal mines operated through the 1950s.  I never had a clue that coal was mined in WA.  Here’s a picture of a coal mine located just 7 or 8 miles SSE of my landing, not far from Black Diamond:

I’ll close with this shot of Mt. Rainier from a lake in Maple Valley:

That’ll do it. . .



© 2010 A Landing A Day

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