A Landing a Day

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for January, 2011

Zenia and Mad River, California

Posted by graywacke on January 31, 2011

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week 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 –  How about that?!  I’m now 3/4 with this US landing in . . . CA; 89/104; 4/10; 155.9.  Note that even with my 3/4, I’m still at 4/10.  No where to go but up (unless, of course, I hit a string of OSers . . .)

Here’s my landing map showing that I landed near a reservoir, but near no towns.  That’s the Mad River flowing into the reservoir from the south.


Here’s a broader view, showing my proximity to Zenia and the town of Mad River:


Here’s the broadest view:


Obviously, I landed in the watershed of the Mad River.  This happens to be the first time I’ve ever landed in this watershed, making it my 1087th river watershed.  The Mad flows into the P.O., at the town of McKinleyville.  Here’s a picture of the Mad as it enters the Pacific Ocean:


Here’s my GE shot:


And an oblique GE shot, looking north:


Fortunately, GE had StreetView coverage for the road that runs right next to my landing.  I just downloaded a new version of GE; it actually put my “landing” label on the StreetView shot.   Note that the label is just in the direction of my landing, not my landing spot itself (which is about 200’ further up the hill).  Here ’tis:


Here’s a Panaramio  shot (by luv4drv944) of Ruth Reservoir from across the lake from my landing.  My landing is up the valley you can see off to the left:


A couple of more shots of the lake, first this one plucked anomalously from the net:


And this one, from TrinityCam.com / Dwight Glass:


So, this about Zenia, from Wiki:

Zenia is an unincorporated community in Trinity County, California.  Zenia has had a post office since 1899.  Zenia was first named Poison Camp after larkspur in the area which poisoned their cattle. Postmaster George Croyden named the community Zenia after a girl. [Come on!  What girl?]

So, larkspur is poisonous, eh?  From Wiki:

All parts of the larkspur plant contain an alkaloid delphinine and are very poisonous, causing vomiting when eaten, and death in larger amounts. In small amounts, extracts of the plant have been used in herbal medicine.

Larkspur, especially tall larkspur, is a significant cause of cattle poisoning on rangelands in the western United States.  Larkspur is more common in high-elevation areas, and many ranchers will delay moving cattle onto such ranges until late summer when the toxicity of the plants is reduced.  Death is through cardiotoxic and neuromuscular blocking effects, and can occur within a few hours of ingestion.

And, of course, I must include a picture of larkspur:

From HumboldtSearch.com about the community of Mad River:

Mad River (an old gold-mining town) is located near the downstream end of Ruth Lake. The Mad River flows peacefully and tranquilly straight through the center of the town and makes one feel as if the town was built around the river. The opportunities for water-sports are everywhere with tubing and fishing being high on the list. Mad River is only a few short hours drive from San Francisco so this makes escaping back to the past as easy as jumping on the highway.  Take a trip to see one of the real frontier outposts of the Gold Rush of the 1800’s.

While checking out Mad River, I stumbled across a cool motorcycle travel blog:  “4 Guys Ride the 4 Corners.”  These guys from Maryland left home in June 2010 and went to:

The first corner:  Key West; and then on to

The second corner:  south of San Diego; and then on to

The third corner:  Blaine WA; and then on to

The fourth corner:  Madawaska ME.

As a geography type of guy, I really appreciate what they did.  Anyway, on their leg from San Diego to Blaine, It just so happens that they ended up in Mad River.  Here’s their shot of the Welcome to Mad River sign:


They ate lunch here:


Notice that Mad River Towing puts their signs everywhere.  Anyway, here’s what they had to say about lunch:

. . . yet the town was packed with people. All kinds of people stopped here for lunch. The town was so small, Ron said, “you could throw a good size tarp over the entire thing and cover it.”

Click here to check out their blog.

I’ll close with this picture of the Mad River (from Red Horse Graphics, redhorseinc.com):


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2011 A Landing A Day

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

Virginia Dale, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on January 26, 2011

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week 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.  What a close call.  My lat/long (N41 / W106) looked to me like it had OSer WY written all over it.  But lo and behold, I just missed WY and managed instead to land in a USer . . . CO; 65/66 (just barely US); 4/10; 2; 156.5.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Virginia Dale and the WY state line:

Here’s a broader view:


You’ll note that I ignored Red Feathers Lakes, south of my landing.  It turns out that Red Feathers Lakes is pretty much just a resort community with no real history (OK, OK, I’ll include a picture or two).  But Virginia Dale in fact has some substance; more later.

But first, I landed in the Sand Ck watershed (my 27th watershed with “Sand” or “Sandy” in its name); on to the Laramie R (5th hit, making the Laramie my 142nd river on my list of rivers with 5 or more hits); on to the N Platte R (26th hit); on to the Platte (57th hit); to the Missouri (360th hit) to the MM (766th hit).

Here’s my GE shot, showing a meadow/wooded landscape, cut by a series of roads or trails:


Here’s an oblique GE shot (looking south) to give you a better idea of the landscape:


There were a couple of GE Panaromio shots taken about 2 miles west of my landing that featured the Sand Creek watershed (by K Croteau).  Here they are:


Pretty nifty landscapes, eh?

As promised above, here’s some info about Virginia Dale (from Wiki):

Virginia Dale is a tiny unincorporated town located in north-central Larimer County, Colorado, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  In the late 19th century, it was the site of a famous stage coach stop of the Overland Trail. Today largely nothing remains of the original settlement.

The town was founded in 1862 by Jack Slade as a coach stop / re-supply center on the Overland Trail.  Slade named the post after his wife Virginia.  The post became widely known around the country by newspaper writers and other travelers. The town was described by Mark Twain in his novel Roughing It.

From 1864 to 1866, the town also served as a camping place for emigrant trains moving westward.  In 1865 Vice President Schuyler Colfax was detained at the post by Native American raids.

After the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1867, the stage sto. 287p was abandoned. Settlers began moving into the area in 1872, establishing the first school in 1874. The first church was built in 1880. The community was formerly the site of a post office and cafe along Highway 287 until the 1990s, when the cafe and post office were shut down.

The original stage station still stands a short distance east of Rt 287.

Here’s a picture (from Ghosttowns.com / Jay Warburton) of the afore-mentioned original stage station:


Some more local color from www.over-land.com:

Virginia Dale was a bustling home station in 1862. A number of Overland Stage employees called it “home”: hostlers, stable boys, guards, and drivers, in addition to Jack and Virginia Slade.  Life at Virginia Dale was definitely less monotonous than at any of swing stations–stages arriving and leaving at all hours, many meals being prepared, fears of Indian raids, fierce snow storms in winter, torrential rain in spring causing washouts on the trail, and always windy!

There was also a lively social life at most of the home stations, and Virginia Dale was no exception. Dances were held, and men and women would come from many miles around, using coach, wagon, or horseback. Music was provided at many of the stations by piano; and many of the drivers and stock tenders played the fiddle or guitar, and would have been able to provide a variety of music for dancing–which often lasted all night.

Warehouses on the grounds were filled to capacity with supplies of hay, grains, canned and dried fruits, and meats. Virginia Dale had the reputation of being one of the best supplied stations along the Overland Trail.

Here’s a picture (from Wiki) of the closed café / post office at Virginia Dale:


Here’s a Panaramio shot (by RMC Sparran) looking west from near Red Feathers Lakes toward the Rockies:


As promised, I’ll close with a couple of pretty pictures from the Red Feathers Lakes (both Panaramio shots by D Miles RB).  First, this of Dowdy Lake:


I’ll close with this sunrise shot, also of Dowdy Lake:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2011 A Landing A Day

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

Sentinel and Retrop, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on January 22, 2011

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week 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 could use a nice 3/3 about now, but instead, I’m mired in a 6/19, with my latest OSer . . . OK; 54/44; 4/10; 1; 157.1.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Sentinel and a town with a fascinating name – Retrop:


Hint about the name Retrop.  If “redrum” rings a bell from “The Shining,” you’ll be able to figure out Retrop.

Here’s a broader view:


I landed in the watershed of the Elk Ck (my 11th stream name with “elk” or “elkhorn” in it; more specifically, my 6th “Elk Creek); on to the N Fk of the Red R (3rd hit); to the Red R (49th hit); to the Atchafalaya (56th hit).

Here’s my GE view, showing that I landed in a farm field:


Here’s a StreetView shot, showing where the north-south road crosses Elk Ck about 1.5 mi east of my landing:


I couldn’t much of particular interest about Sentinel.  (As always, this is when I hasten to add that I’m sure that Sentinel is a fine little town!)  It was founded around the turn of the century, and was named “Sentinel” after a newspaper, the Herald-Sentinel.  The maximum population of Sentinel was in 1930 (1,269).  The 2000 population was 859.

I found quite the real estate bargain in Sentinel – this house, at 512 S 2nd Street (3 bedrooms, 2 baths) is on the market for $25,000.  Who knows?  They might accept a lower offer . . .


Moving over to Retrop, from Wiki:

Retrop is a small Oklahoma community, which was named after an original community (Old Retrop), which is one mile south and one mile east near the Retrop Cemetery. The Retrop Post Office (located at Old Retrop) existed from January 12, 1900, until February 28, 1905.

The name is a reverse spelling of the surname of the first postmaster, Ira J. Porter.  [It turns out he tried to name the town “Porter” but the name was already taken.]

From RedRiverHistorian.com is this picture of an old store in Old Retrop:


Here’s some additional information from the same website:

Though the post office had been abandoned by 1905, Retrop still maintained a general store [see above picture], school, and several residences. Like many other Oklahoma towns, Retrop lived through hard times during the Dust Bowl years. By the mid 1940s, the town’s store had closed.

Today, two locations mark the location of Retrop. The newer community lies at the junction of Oklahoma highways 6 and 55. Old Retrop sits a mile off of the highways, its abandoned houses standing in silent testimony of the little town it once was.

I’ll close with this shot from Retrop (also from RedRiverHistorian.com), entitled “Ghost Buick:”


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2011 A Landing A Day

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

Fredericksburg, Texas

Posted by graywacke on January 15, 2011

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week 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 –  How about this?  For the third time in the last eight landings, I’ve landed in the unassailably US state of . . . TX; 139/170; 5/10; 1; 156.6.

Here’s my landing map, showing the proximity to Fredericksburg and Willow City:


My watershed entry shows this plethora of creeks:  I landed in the Riley Ck watershed; on to Landrum Ck; on to Crabapple Ck; on to Sandy Ck (my 26th watershed with “Sand” or “Sandy” in its name); on to the Colorado R.  Of course, this isn’t the Colorado R; rather it’s a TX river that flows directly to the G of M.

Here’s a very close-in GE view, showing that I landed on the edge of what appears to be some sort of right-of-way:


Here’s a broader GE view:


I went to StreetView to look at the right-of-way.  Here ‘tis – a high tension power line:


Here’s a Panaramio picture (by Phillip C. Marshall) of the Texas countryside, not far from my landing:


So, I checked out Fredericksburg (pop 11,305) on (what else) Wiki.  Here are some excerpts:

Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 and named after Prince Frederick of Prussia. Old-time German residents often referred to Fredericksburg as Fritztown, a nickname that is still used in some businesses.  The town was founded by Baron Otfried Hans von Meusebach, Commissioner General of the “Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas.”  The emigration was Germans fleeing the social, political and economic turmoil in Germany at the time.

Enough history.  More from Wiki:

Balanced Rock was a famous local landmark that perched atop Bear Mountain ten miles north of Fredericksburg.  The natural wonder stone pillar, about the size of a small elephant, precariously balanced on its small tip.  It fell prey to vandals who dynamited it off its base in April 1986.

Are you kidding me!?!  OK, this isn’t as bad as the Taliban and the Buddha statues in Afghanistan, but give me a break!  I would have no sympathy for the scoundrels who perpetrated this atrocity!

Here’s a picture of Balanced Rock back when it was still balanced:


Back to Wiki:

Fifteen miles north of Fredericksburg is the geographical landmark Enchanted Rock. The Rock is a huge, pink granite exfoliation dome, that rises 425 feet above ground, and covers 640 acres (2.6 km2). It is one of the largest batholiths (underground rock formation uncovered by erosion) in the United States. Declared a National Natural Landmark in 1970, the State of Texas opened it in 1994 as Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The same year, Enchanted Rock was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Here’s a Panaramio picture of Enchanted Rock:

And, from Scott Sheriden at the Kent State University geography department (as opposed to the geology department where I got my Master’s Degree), this very cool photo from the top of Enchanted Rock:


Moving on to Willow City –  there’s a scenic “loop” roadway that passes through Willow City (called, of all things, the Willow City Loop).  Here’s a map:


From TripAdvisor.com, I found this post (authored by “trumpetguru”):

Scenic, rustic, beautiful, just a few words to describe the Willow City Loop.

Only 10-15 minutes up HWY 16 from Fredericksburg, this drive is a must see if you are in the area from March 1 – Memorial Day. The drive down I-10 to get to Fredericksburg was memorable. My wife and I saw MILES of bluebonnets, sunflowers, and indian paintbrush along the median and in the hills.

This was nothing compared to the beauty that awaited us. Here you will find fields upon fields, acres upon acres of wildflowers, some stretching (LITERALLY!) as far as the eye can see. . . .Shutterbugs, professional photographers, families on a drive, you will all love this wonderful drive.

Here are three photographs of the Willow City Loop from trumpetguru:


I’ll close with this very peculiar GE Panaramio “photo” of the Willow City Loop (by Gregory Effinger).  It looks very much like a painting, but perhaps it’s a photo done over to look like a painting.  Anyway, here ‘tis:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2011 A Landing A Day

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

Lake Luzerne, New York

Posted by graywacke on January 9, 2011

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week 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 –  Oh my.  I’m slipping fast (1/6) with this landing in . . . .NY; 39/32; 4/10; 1; 157.2.  As much as it pains me to say this, 157.2 is my highest Score since 7/11/09!!  Will I ever get out of the 150s?  The LG assures me that I (or a successor) will.

Here’s my landing map, showing that I landed just north of the town of Lake Luzerne, right along the Hudson River:


Obviously I landed in the watershed of the Hudson (14th hit).

My landing is right at the southern edge of the Adirondacks.  Here’s a broader view:


My GE shot shows a generally wooded landscape, although a little bit of urbanization is obvious:


Here’s a shot of the Hudson at the town of Lake Luzerne:


Here’s a shot a little further upstream.  My landing is in the woods straight ahead:


The town of Lake Luzerne (known simply as “Luzerne” prior to 1963) is an old logging town.  While perusing the town’s website, I came across this description of Luzerne from the late 1700s:

Luzerne village is located in a sandy, piney region, entirely free from miasma or malaria, and for this reason is highly recommended by physicians for all who are liable to pulmonary complaints. It has an elevation of between seven and eight hundred feet above tide-water, and about four hundred feet above Lake George. In the purity of its atmosphere it is unsurpassed. The difference in the moisture between this and the seashore is shown by the hydrometer to be twenty degrees.

Children and others who have been brought here almost at the very point of death, have recovered, and shortly put on the full blush of vigorous health.

I fear that such claims of the towns curative powers have not stood the test of time.  Anyway, from AskArt.com is this picture of a painting of Lake Luzerne by George Herbert McCord (1848 – 1909):


Here’s a lovely Panaramio picture of the lake:


I’ll close with this Panaramio shot of the Hudson (with Adirondack chairs) at Lake Luzerne:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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

Westbrook, Storden and Jeffers, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on January 5, 2011

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week 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 slide continues (I’m now 1/5) with this landing in another long-time OSer . . . MN; 70/53; 5/10; 4; 156.8.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to a small town triumvirate, including Westbrook, Storden and Jeffers:


Here’s a broader view:


Here’s my GE shot, showing an inevitable agricultural setting.  It looks like I landed on a farm that includes the entire one mile by one mile area enclosed by the roads:


Here’s a close-up of the farm compound, which appears to be entirely enclosed by trees.  Looks pretty upscale from here – what’s known in these parts as a “prosperous” farm.


There’s StreetView coverage from the north-south road running along the western margin of the property.  Here’s a shot from that road, looking east.  You can see what are likely the trees surrounding the farmstead.  My landing is a little to the right.


I landed in the Highwater Ck watershed (my 27th “blank-water” watershed name category, which includes such all-time favorites as Whitewater, Clearwater and Coldwater); on to the Cottonwood R (2nd hit); on to the Minnesota (12th hit); to the MM (765th hit).

I must confess I couldn’t find much of particular interest about any of the three towns.  They’re all tiny:  Westbrook population 755; Storden 274 and Jeffers 396.

I did stumble on the Jeffers Petroglyphs (near Jeffers, of course).  From jefferspetroglyphs.com:

The Jeffers Petroglyphs are approximately 2000 American Indian images carved in quartzite outcrops. This historic site contains 80 acres of native and restored prairie. It is located in southwestern Minnesota where the Sioux quartzite bedrock is exposed along an east-west trending ridge up to 50 feet high, three miles wide, and 25 miles long. Archaeologists date the carvings from as far back as 5000 years old to 250 years old. This area was purchased by the US government by treaty from the Dakota in 1851.
Jeffers Petroglyphs is a living sacred site used by people for thousands of years. Today American Indians visit and worship at this sacred site. Many of those people whose ancestors are known to have lived in this area (the Iowa, Arapaho, Cheyenne and Dakota peoples) come to pray at this sacred site. Elders from these Nations, along with archaeologists, rock art conservators, botanists, and Minnesota Historical Society staff guide the public interpretation and preservation of Jeffers Petroglyphs Historic Site.

Elders have told us that Jeffers Petroglyphs tells the story of the survival of people in a formidable environment for thousands of years. It speaks of their deep connection with the land and their creator. It speaks of spirituality thousands of years old.

Here’s a picture of the some of the outcrop, although you can’t really see the individual glyphs very well:


Here’s a cool shot of a hand petroglyph:


Moving along, here’s a back-in-the-day shot of Westbrook (from lakesnwoods.com):


From Panaramio, by Rogiero Lopes Gamberini (great name!), here’s a shot of the Welcome to Storden sign:


And this, from the Storden town website, of the view of the town from Highway 30:


Here’s a Panaramio shot by J.C. Shephard of a wind turbine between Jeffers & Storden:

Also by J.C. is this, of the Westbrook train depot:

I’ll close with this Panaramio shot (from just south of my landing, as this makes any difference), by Kurt Lightner:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2011 A Landing A Day

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