A Landing a Day

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Archive for March, 2011

Alta Vista and Alma, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on March 27, 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 LG is a cruel master – after 5 USers in a row, you guessed it:  5 OSers in a row with this landing in . . . KS; 58/52; 5/10; 8; 156.3.

Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Alta Vista and Alma.

Dan, you may remember Alma because of a previous landing back in 2008.  Was this the town you visited off of I-70 when you gave me a call?  Here’s a slightly expanded landing map, showing I-70:


Here’s an even broader view:


Anyway, I landed in the watershed of the Illinois Creek, on to the Mill Ck; to the Kansas R (57th hit); to the Missouri (361st hit); to the MM (769th hit).

Here’s my GE shot, showing a prairie/pasture setting rather than straight ahead agriculture:


Here’s a somewhat expanded view, showing clearly the watershed of the Illinois Creek:


Here’s a street view shot looking north, with my landing about a mile away:


Just to include a little local history, here’s a back-in-the-day picture of the Rock Island Railroad depot in Alta Vista:


Rather than feature the towns, I’m going to feature the geographic/geologic region in which I landed, the Flint Hills.   This region is not agricultural, as I noted above.  From Wiki:

Explorer Zebulon Pike first coined the name the Flint Hills in 1806 when he entered into his journal, “passed very ruff flint hills”. The underlying bedrock of the hills is a flinty limestone.

The bedrock of the Flint Hills were created approximately 250 million years ago during the Permian Period. During this time much of the Midwest, including Kansas and Oklahoma, were covered with shallow seas. As a result, much of the Flint Hills are composed of limestone (a rock created by the leftovers of limey sea critters like shell fish and coral) with plentiful fossils of these critters. Some of the bedrock is contains chert (i.e., flint).  Many of the honey-colored limestones have been used for building blocks. The non-chert-bearing limetones are best for this, since the chert is extremely hard to cut, yet it can fracture quite easily.

Beginning in the mid-19th century, homesteaders replaced the American Indian in the Flint Hills. Due to shallow outcroppings of limestone and chert, corn and wheat farming were not practical over much of the area and cattle ranching became the main agricultural activity in the region. Because the area was not ploughed over and is still sparsely developed today, the Flint Hills represent the last expanse of intact tallgrass prairie in the nation and the best opportunity for sustained preservation of this unique habitat that once covered the Great Plains.

Here’s a picture of Alma City Hall (marnox1, Panaramio), built from the local limestone:


For all of you weather fans (like me):  I’m sure you spend a fair amount of time checking out Doppler Radar (the maps showing the precipitation with shades of greens, yellows and reds representing rainfall intensity).  Anyway, just southeast of Alma is a Doppler Radar:


This is a beautiful area, so the rest of the post will be a picturesque photo album.  These are all Panaramio shots.  I’ll start with shot from west of Alma (by Pennington):


Here’s a butterfly bush from SE of Alma by lgpfort:


Just 2 miles east of my landing, here’s a shot by “srpouch”:


I’ll close with this lovely shot by prairypan, from about 3 miles north of my landing:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2011 A Landing A Day

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Lund and Preston, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on March 11, 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 cruel the LG can be!  Setting me up with a wonderful run of 5 USers in a row, only to be followed up by four OSers, with today’s landing in . . . NV; 77/70; 5/10; 7; 155.9.

Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Preston and Lund:


Here’s a broader view:


Here’s my GE shot, showing a vivid, varied desert landscape:


I landed in a valley between two mountain ridges, as shown in this oblique GE shot (looking west):


Here’s a truly wonderful Panaramio shot looking east across my landing valley:


I landed in the White Rock Ck (my 34th watershed with “rock” or “rocky” in its name); on to the Cattle Camp Wash; on to Steptoe Ck; on to Tailings Ck; on to Duck Ck; on to Goshute Lake.  This is the fourth time I’ve landed in the Goshute Lake watershed.  Water that flows into Goshute Lake does not flow out . . .

All I could find about Preston was from Ghosttowns.com:

The town of Preston grew out of a Mormon settlement founded in 1876.  The settlement began to grow rapidly after 1898 with the building of its first store and a post office. With the beginning of the 1900s, a sawmill, and a combination social hall—church, and a four-room cement school were built.

Preston has maintained a serene existence as ranching community through the decades. Preston still has a stable population of about 50. Submitted by: HBC

I stumbled on TheEdje blogspot.com, about a road rally that was held around Preston and Lund.  Here’s a picture, with the caption below:


The view standing on the eastside of Highway 318 looking South from Preston, Nevada toward Lund.  Highway 318 tracks along the westside of the Eagan Mountain Range at the northern end of the rally course down to the Pahroc Mountain Range near Hiko. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2008)

Here’s info on Lund, from Wiki:

Lund was named for Anthon H. Lund, a prominent historical figure from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, more commonly known as Mormons).  Lund was settled in 1898 on land that the United States government had given the LDS as recompense for land that had been confiscated under the Edmunds-Tucker Act.  The population of Lund as of 2005 is 156.

So, I need to check out the Edmunds-Tucker act.  From Wiki:

The Edmunds–Tucker Act of 1887 was passed in response to the dispute between the United States Congress and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) regarding polygamy.

The act disincorporated LDS Church on the grounds that they fostered polygamy. The act prohibited the practice of polygamy and punished it with a fine of from $500 to $800 and imprisonment of up to five years.   The act was enforced by the U.S. marshal and a host of deputies.

The act:

  • Directed the confiscation by the federal government of all church properties valued over a limit of $50,000.
  • Required an anti-polygamy oath for prospective voters, jurors and public officials.
  • Annulled territorial laws allowing illegitimate children to inherit.
  • Required civil marriage licenses (to aid in the prosecution of polygamy).
  • Abrogated the common law spousal privilege for polygamists, thus requiring wives to testify against their husbands
  • Removed local control in school textbook choice.

So, based on the Wiki history of Lund presented above, the Edmunds-Tucker Act must have also granted the LDSers some compensation for the confiscation of church property.  Amazingly interesting history.

I’ll close with a picture from Lund, looking south.  As a central New Jerseyan, I must admit that I would love to see mountains in the distance . . .


t’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2011 A Landing A Day

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Plains and Kismet, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on March 4, 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 –  Gee whiz.  Here we go again, with my third OSer in a row . . . KS; 57/52; 6/10; 6; 155.4.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Plains & Kismet:


Here’s a broader view:


For the 13th time, I landed in the Cimarron R watershed, on to the Arkansas (107th hit); on to the MM (768th hit).

Here’s my GE shot, showing the expected agricultural setting:


Plains & Kismet are pretty-much typical high plains towns – settled as agricultural hubs in the late 1800s as the railroads pushed through.  Plains has a claim to fame, as discussed in the Meade County Economic Development website:

From the book: “Plains, Kansas – 100 Years” by Joyce Knott:

In 1901 and 1902, Albert Hempel and Don T. Edwards surveyed and laid out the  main street of Plains, Kansas. Asked why they made it so wide, they answered, “There was plenty of no-good ground, so it just as well be in a street.”

Grand Avenue is nearly a half block wide. It is the widest main street in the United States, Bob Ripley once stated in his “Believe It or Not” column.

The street was unpaved until 1929, when the city council decided to pave half of each side of the street with bricks. Noticing that the street was twice as wide as most cities main streets, Simon Elliott, then mayor of the town, added a raised brick sidewalk down the center of the street. The walk, stretching three blocks through the center of town, is known as “Simon’s Monumnet.” The city doubled its on-street parking by allowing parking along both sides of “Simon’s Monument” as well as along the sides of the street.

Today the street, including 12 foot wide sidewalks along the sides, measures 155 feet, 5 inches across, store front to store front.

Here’s a picture of Main Street from the same website:


And here’s another, from Panaramio (by Marnox1, who points out that the trees in the distance are in the middle of the street):


Just down the road from Plains, here’s a picture from Panaramio, by “Scarulu 16” which is inexplicably labeled “Arco Iris Sobre El Hill:”


Here are some back-in-the-day shots of Plains from OldMeadeCounty.com, starting with an overview from the early 1900s:


Here’s a picture of Grand Avenue from the 1920s:

And this, a bunch of folks posing during a 1906 flood:

Moving on to Kismet –  I found a website from rootsweb/ancestry.com, about the Olin family.  (Kismet was founded by Alfred & Emeline Olin).  Here’s what they had to say:

Although no records have been located as to the origin of the name “Kismet” for the town, it has been surmised that the “fate or “the end” (which are dictionary meanings of “Kismet”) of the railroad as it traveled west hinged on its successful crossing of the Cimarron River just to the west of Kismet. The railroad made that crossing at Arkalon where several years later a train went into the river. At that time the track was built in a more direct route with the mighty “Samson of the Cimarron” bridge across the river.

Here’s a picture of the Samson bridge, also from Marnox1:


Here are some Kismet photos, from Dankalal.net, which presents a series of motorcycle travel blogs.  This, from a Nov 26, 2006 trip:

I’ll close with this wonderful picture of the Plains High School 1923 girl’s basketball team (from OldMeadeCounty):


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2011 A Landing A Day

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Dilkon, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on March 2, 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 –  Well, after 5 USers in a row, I’ve hit my second OSer in a row . . . AZ; 81/73; 6/10; 5; 155.0.  Here’s my landing map, which shows that I landed out in the middle of nowhere:


In a highly unusual move, I’m featuring a town (Dilkon) that is not in bold print on my landing map.  It turns out that Dilkon is quite substantial, with a population of over 1,000.  Anyway, here’s a broader view:


Here’s my GE shot, showing an unusual landscape, that I immediately took to be volcanic in nature (I was right).  Note that the prominent geological feature to the south is Yellow Butte:


Here’s an oblique view:


Here’s a Street View shot (looking north), with Yellow Butte on the right, and my landing about 1.5 miles away in the hills in the rear:


I landed in the watershed of the Coyote Wsh (my 8th Coyote watershed, so it becomes the 59th watershed with what I call a “common name.”)  The Coyote Wash flows to the Whe-Yol-Da Sah Wash (very cool name!); on to the Jadito Wash; on to the Corn Creek Wash (why not simply “Corn Creek?”); on to the Little Colorado River (15th hit); on to the Colorado (157th hit).

Even though the name “Dilkon” doesn’t sound Native American, it is (from Wiki):

Dilkon (Navajo: Tsézhin Dilkǫǫh), is a town in Navajo County AZ.  Its population was 1,265 at the 2000 census. The name of the town is said to be derived from the Navajo phrase “smooth black rock” or “bare surface”.

Here’s an aerial view of part of the town:


Here’s a shot of “Dilkon Hill,” just south of town (Panaramio, David Jer):


Here’s a picture of Yellow Butte (Blaine Farnsworth, Panaramio):


This is a truly spectacular area, as evidenced from some Panaramio shots.  Here’s a shot of some local buttes (Sci Adam):


And here are a couple of close-ups – first one of Shonto Butte by Raymond Coveney:


And this, by “stas 1992”:


It turns out that Dilkon has some notoriety in environmental circles.  I have lifted some excerpts from a book entitled “From the Ground Up:  Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement”  by Luke Cole & Sheila Foster.  This is an interesting story.  Being in the environmental field myself, I find myself a fence-sitter on the broad issues discussed here.  Sometimes local residents are irrationally negative; but even if that’s the case (which I don’t know for Dilkon),  one can fully understand their frustration and concern.


I’ll close with this truly lovely sunset picture, over the Navajo Nation, north of my landing (Maciej Strekowski):


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2011 A Landing A Day

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