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. . .
© 2011 A Landing A Day