A Landing a Day

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Colchester, Connecticut

Posted by graywacke on March 14, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a twice-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 in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Dan – I’ve slipped to 0/4 with this little OSer . . . CT; 6/4; 4/10; 2; 155.7.  As you can see, this was only my 6th landing here; but ratios dictate that I shouldn’t have landed there more than 4 times.  Oh, well.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 col - landing1

A closer-in view shows my proximity to Colchester:

 col - landing2

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot, showing that I landed in someone’s backyard!

 col - GE1

And . . . drum roll please . . . when I check GE StreetView, bingo!  And StreetView put my landing pin mysteriously hovering behind the house:

 col - GE2

I backed up a little, and took this shot past my landing, looking south towards McDonald’s Pond (just past McDonald Road, the road near my landing):

 col - GE3

I landed in the watershed of two new rivers!  For the first time ever, I landed in the Deep River watershed, on to the Nantic River (also first time ever), on to the Thames (third hit), which runs below an I-95 bridge on its way to the Long Island Sound (which I and some of my readers, I’m sure have gone over).  The two new rivers are numbers 1106 and 1107. 

 No offense, Colchester, but I couldn’t really find much of particular interest, although there is a cool burger joint call Harry’s Place.  Here’s a Panoramio picture by Earl53:

col - harry's place pano earl53

It actually was reviewed in the NY Times by Christopher Brooks:

 Harry’s Place, established in 1920, may be the least ostentatious of businesses to bear a National Register of Historic Places plaque. Yet the hordes who are drawn to it daily are there for the eats, not its historic significance.

Harry Schmuckler of nearby Salem was the Harry who opened the joint, though he sold it in the 1930s and it has been run by the Garet family since 1978. While the bread-and-butter sales remain griddle-fried quarter-pound patties and crispy-skinned frankfurters, Harry’s Place offers a large selection of comfort foods.

At the high end is a lobster roll, a plentiful blend of buttery claw and arm meat served in a griddle-toasted roll. Also available are corn chowder, lobster bisque and fried clam bellies. And among an army of sides are crispy crinkle-cut fries and house-made potato chips. Perhaps most surprising of all, Harry’s offers Wi-Fi, with the daily login code posted by the front window.

Actually, it sounds like it’s a cut above most burger joints.  Here’s another review, this one by Michael Stern for Roadfood.com, starting with Stern’s picture of a burger:

 col - harry's place roadfood review by michael stern

Hamburgers are cooked on the hot, oily griddle as a round patty a little smaller than a baseball, then they are flattened out with a spatula. Despite getting squished, the hamburgers remain thick enough to be overwhelmingly juicy. Hot dogs are cooked on the same grill, and they’re plump and tasty ones, especially satisfying when bedded atop some of Harry’s chili sauce.

It’s just before dinner as I’m writing this, and I’m hungry . . .

Moving right along, and searching for a little local interest, I found a nearby town with an unusual name – Moodus (about 8 miles southwest).  Moodus actually means “the Place of Bad Noises.”  Check this out, from Wiki:

Moodus is infamous in Connecticut for the strange noises coming from the woods which have been termed “Moodus noises,” and are attributed to shallow micro-earthquakes.

In Legendary Connecticut, author David Philips asserts that the Moodus noises were the source of an indigenous religious cult important to local Native Americans.  Local Algonquin chiefs (Sachems) would gather around Mt. Tom [a nearby hill] in order to experience the living presence of the god Hobomock.  The Algonquins called the area  Matchitmoodus, meaning “the Place of Bad Noises,” since Hobomock was considered an evil deity.

The local high school’s athletic teams are dubbed the “Noises.”

We’ll add a little legitimate science to the discussion; check out this, from the US Geological Survey:

Historic Earthquake Near Moodus, Connecticut
May 16, 1791
Intensity VII

Largest Earthquake in Connecticut

 The region around Moodus, near the Connecticut River northeast of New Haven, has been the location of a series of local seismic disturbances since this country was settled. This region has been referred to in Indian tradition as Morehemoodus, or “place of noises.”  The first reported earthquake began on May 16 with two heavy shocks in quick succession. Stone walls were shaken down, tops of chimneys were knocked off, and latched doors were thrown open. A fissure several meters long formed in the ground. In a short time, 30 lighter shocks occurred, and more than 100 continued during the night. The quake was felt in Boston and New York City.

There seems to be no other theories of the origin of the bad noises, so I’ll have to go along with earthquake theory, I guess.  Anyway, I’ll close with this Panoramio shot of Chapman’s Falls (about 5 miles south of my landing) by Chris Sanfino:

 col - chris sanfino - 5 mi s chapman falls


That’ll do it.




© 2013 A Landing A Day

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