A Landing a Day

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for May, 2013

Fort Griffin, Texas

Posted by graywacke on May 29, 2013

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

 Landing number 2016; A Landing A Day blog post number 434.

 Dan –  The USers keep on rollin’ (5/6) as I landed, for the fourth time in the last 21 landings, in . . . TX; 147/177; 6/10; 2; 151.1.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 alb landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows that I landed very close to Fort Griffin (which gets the post title, even though it isn’t really a town), and not too far from Albany:

 alb landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows a scrubby arid scene (and no StreetView shots anywhere close):

 alb ge 1

I landed in the watershed of Jackson Branch; on to the Clear Fork of the Brazos River (4th hit); on (of course) to the Brazos (27th hit).

 About Fort Griffin (from Wiki):

Fort Griffin was a Cavalry fort established in the late 1860s to provide protection from early Comanche and Kiowa raids. It was named for Charles Griffin, a former Civil War Union general.

OK.  Nothing exciting here.  My interest is more about the town that sprung up outside of the fort.  Moving over to LegendsOfAmerica.com, here are some excerpts from an article about the Fort:

Though there is little left of old Fort Griffin and even less of the settlement that formed below the bluff, Fort Griffin was one of the wildest places in all of the Old West.

Almost immediately after the fort was completed, a new settlement began at the bottom of the hill, first called “The Bottom,” “The Flat” or “Hidetown,” before it took on the name of the fort. In addition to the honest pioneers who settled the area, in flooded a number of ruffians and outlaws.

Some of these many people would later become well-known in the annals of history, including Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, who first met in Fort Griffin. Also there was the infamous gunfighter, John Wesley Hardin. “Marshaling” the lawless town was outlaw/lawman John M. Larn as sheriff, and his deputy, John Selman who, in the mid 1870’s, were working both sides of the law by controlling the vigilantes and rustling cattle.

John Larn; however, would be killed by those same vigilantes inside his own jail in Fort Griffin.  Selman, on the other hand, quickly disappeared and almost two decades later would kill John Wesley Hardin. During these lawless times, the settlement was so decadent that it was labeled “Babylon on the Brazos.”

Oh my!  Fertile material for some research and elaboration.  What caught my eye was John Wesley Hardin.  Being a child of the 60s, I am, of course familiar with the song “John Wesley Harding” by Bob Dylan (and the album of the same name).  The first hurdle:  “Hardin” vs. “Harding.”  From Wiki:

. . .  Dylan has had a well-documented interest in outlaw cowboys, including Jesse James and Billy the Kid.   John Wesley Hardin was another late-19th century outlaw, and Dylan has stated that he chose John Wesley Hardin for his protagonist over other badmen because his name “[fit] in the tempo” of the song.  Dylan added the “g” to the end of Hardin’s name by mistake.

 Bob, Bob.  You added a “g”  by mistake??  Come on.  Here’s a slightly revised album cover:

boot_alternate_JWH_front

And here’s Dylan’s take on Mr. Harding:

John Wesley Harding
Was a friend to the poor
He trav’led with a gun in ev’ry hand
All along this countryside
He opened a many a door
But he was never known
To hurt a honest man.

It was down in Chaynee County
A time they talk about
With his lady by his side
He took a stand
And soon the situation there
Was all but straightened out
For he was always known
To lend a helping hand.

All across the telegraph
His name it did resound
But no charge held against him
Could they prove
And there was no man around
Who could track or chain him down
He was never known
To make a foolish move.

I could find no You Tube videos with Bob singing his own song.  But you can click HERE for a cover (and the words scroll by).

 Obvoiusly, Bob has a very sympathetic take on Mr. Hardin.  Is history as kind?  Evidently not.  From History.com (This Day in History, August 19th):

John Wesley Hardin, one of the bloodiest killers of the Old West, is murdered by an off-duty policeman in a saloon in El Paso, Texas.

Born in central Texas on May 26, 1853, Hardin killed his first man when he was only 15 during the violent period of post-Civil War reconstruction. During the next 10 years, he killed at least 20 more men, and some have suggested the total might have been as high as 40.

In 1878, Hardin was convicted of killing a Texas sheriff and sent to the Texas state prison in Huntsville. Prison life seems to have calmed Hardin–during his 14 years behind bars, he studied law. Released in 1892, he settled down in Gonzales where he worked as an attorney and tried, unsuccessfully, to win political office. Eventually, Hardin relocated to the violent town of El Paso, where, since the demands for his legal services were limited, he spent more time arguing in saloons than in court.

In 1895, the sheriff of El Paso tried to make the town a bit less deadly by outlawing the carrying of guns within city limits. In August of that year, Hardin’s girlfriend ran was caught with a gun in the city and arrested by El Paso office, John Selman. Hardin, who had never learned completely to control his vicious temper, became angry. Bystanders overhead him threaten Selman for bothering his girl. Not long after, on this day in 1895, Selman went looking for Hardin. He found the famous gunman throwing dice at the bar of the Acme saloon. Without a word, Selman walked up behind Hardin and killed him with a shot in the head.

Whether Selman was acting out of anger, self-protection, or perhaps to burnish his own reputation as a gunslinger remains unclear. Regardless, an El Paso jury apparently felt that Selman had done the town a favor. The jurors acquitted him of any wrongdoing.

So:  Selman and Harding had at least one thing in common:  Fort Griffin!

 There isn’t much to see at the Fort, but here’s a cool shot of some ruins (Wiki):

Fort_Griffin_State_Historic_Site_in_2009

Here’s Shaunissy’s Saloon (where Doc Holliday met Wyatt Earp), from LegendsOfAmerica.com:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nearby Albany stages an annual musical extravaganza called the Fort Griffin Fandangle, which is quite the production.  It’s all about the colorful history of the Fort & town.  It changes every year, but is put on by 300 or so townspeople.  They put on the show two weekends in a row (a total of six shows), with a total attendance of 10,000 for the two weekends. 

 From Wiki:

The Dallas Morning News describes Fandangle, accordingly: “as professional as a multi-million dollar Broadway musical, with sets and costumes to match.” The Abilene Reporter-News calls the program “Frontier history served up with genuine earthiness, spiced by rare humor.”

 From the Fort Griffin Fandangle website, this shot of the action:

2010Carriage_Street_of_Ftg

 Getting back to Fort Griffin proper (and I’ll close with this) – it turns out that the Fort is the home to the official State of Texas Longhorn Herd, with this as a prime example.

  1

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

West Point, Illinois

Posted by graywacke on May 26, 2013

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

 Landing number 2015; A Landing A Day blog post number 433.

Dan –  Getting a bit of a USer roll (4/5) with this landing in . . . IL; 36/37; 5/10; 1; 151.7.  Here’s my regional landing map, showing that I landed close to the Mississippi, and close to the IL/IA/MO triple point:

 wp landing 1

My closer in shot shows my proximity to (as usual) a bunch of small towns:

 wp landing 2

The larger towns (in Illinois) near my landing are Warsaw (pop 1,800), Hamilton (pop 3,000) and Carthage (pop 2,700).  Keokuk is in IA, so I’m not going there.  Not ending up with a clear winner, my post title went to West Point (pop 195 ) by dint of its proximity alone (and hey, it got the closing picture, as you’ll see).

 Before I go any further with my typical ALAD material, I’d like to pause and note that I’ve landed in IL two times in a row.  No big deal, one might say, and I suppose that one would be correct.  But, since I keep track of all things landing (and therefore keep track of the times where I’ve landed in the same state twice in a row), I’ll digress a little with a few facts:

 1.  Out of 2016 landings, this was my 49th double.  That works out to one double every 41 landings.

 2.  I’ve had more TX doubles than any other state (7), followed by CA and MT (5 each), then NM and WY (4 each), MO, NV and UT (3 each); and by AZ (twice).  For thirteen other states (now including IL), it has happened once.

 3.  I had a crazy stretch between landings 1080 and 1093 (a mere 13 landings) where I had four sets of doubles (MT, NE, KY and CA).

 4.  I had a sense that pre-blog, I had doubles more frequently than post-blog (I began blogging on landing 1583).  A little math shows that my rate of doubles pre-blog was once per 36 landings, and my rate of doubles post-blog is once per 72 landings!  Twice the rate!  No wonder I had that sense!  This is yet another fluky statistical anomaly of the type that people grab on to when they’re looking for meaning in statistics, like “the Landing God has clearly decided to grant me fewer doubles now that I’m blogging . . .”

 Hmmm.  I’ve never had a triple.  Maybe next landing?  (But it would be much more likely with a bigger state!)

 Here’s my Google Earth shot, showing that I landed right at the edge of field:

 wp ge 1

Unfortunately, there is no StreetView coverage on the nearby road.

 I landed in the watershed of rather substantial creek, Bear Creek (43 mile-long stream with a 570 square mile watershed), which flows directly into the Mississippi.  The number 19 comes up twice with reference to the creek:  1) this was my 19th stream / river named “Bear,” and 2) this was my 19th landing that I landed in a creek that flowed directly to the Mississippi, rather than into a tributary river.  Here’s a GE StreetView shot of Bear Creek near the Mississippi R:

 wp bear creek near MM

As I was looking at information associated with the local towns, I realized that I stumbled into a hotbed of Mormon history.  Expanding my landing map to the north a little, you can see that I can also include the town of Nauvoo:

 wp landing 3

As any regular reader of my blog knows:  especially for western landings, I periodically and unavoidably bump into various events and places that involve the Mormons.  Well, although not a particularly western landing, this time I hit the mother lode.

 I’m going to be talking about Joseph Smith who I assume needs no introduction.  But just in case, he’s the founder and spiritual leader of the Mormon religion (the church known as the Church of the Latter Day Saints).  Here’s a much abbreviated early history of the Joseph Smith story.  After leaving New York, where he was born and received his divine inspiration – the Golden Tablets (and translating the book of Mormon from the Golden Tablets), etc.   Joseph Smith’s travels took him west to Missouri, picking up followers as he traveled.  He hoped that Missouri was the promised land for him and his followers, but the “Mormon Wars” resulted in a hasty retreat back east across the Mississippi.  They ended up in the town of Commerce, which Joseph renamed Nauvoo, more or less Hebrew for beautiful place.

 A Mormon temple was built in Nauvoo, and it soon became a bustling Mormon community.  But the Mormon detractors (like those in Missouri) were distrustful of the Mormon ways (to say the least).  A leading detractor was one Thomas Sharp, the editor of the Warsaw Sentinel, who published a series of articles that helped inflame anti-Mormon passions.  One thing led to another, and Joseph Smith was arrested and put in prison in Carthage.  A gang of locals, bent on taking matters into their own hands, stormed the prison and killed both Joseph smith and his brother Hyrum.

 Thomas Sharp and four others were arrested for the murders, and put on trial.  After a judge ruled that no Mormons should be on the jury, all of the accused were acquitted, and the murder of Joseph Smith was never “solved.”

 After the killing of the Smith Brothers, there was a bit of a power struggle; but Brigham Young became the heir apparent, and led the Mormons west where they eventually settled in Salt Lake City.  The rest is history . . . .

 By the way, the old Nauvoo Temple fell into disrepair after the Mormons were driven out of Illinois, and eventually burned down.  A new temple was rebuilt (that looks like the original) – it was dedicated in 2002.

 Obviously (I think, obviously) I’m not a Mormon, but I do find the history of this very recent, very American phenomenon to be fascinating.  A very casual Google search of the towns and history near my landing can keep anyone busy for a long time, piecing together the various story lines.  You can see that I did a little reading and decided to tell the story in my own words rather than attempting to pare down the voluminous materials that I could have copied and pasted (even using only Wikipedia).

 I mentioned Warsaw above; well, I found a nice piece of You Tube Warsaw history (very well done, by the by) that talks about Thomas Sharp, and the history of Warsaw in general.  It was a project by a Western Illinois University student, who posts by the moniker CrazyLegz70.  Click HERE for the piece:

 I’ll close with a couple of Panoramio shots.  First, this by SethMo38

wp pano sethmo38

I landed closest to the little burg of West Point.  I’ll close with a Panoramio shot by LSessions of the West Point Town Hall:

 wp ge pano lsessions

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

McHenry, Illinois

Posted by graywacke on May 23, 2013

tFirst 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.

 Landing number 2015; A Landing A Day blog post number 433.

Dan –  Putting me at 3/4 is my first landing in this USer since landing 1912 . . IL; 35/37; 4/10; 5; 152.3.  Here’s my regional landing map, showing that I landed not far from Chicago:

 mc landing 1

My closer-in map shows my proximity to the fair city of McHenry (pop 25,000; Wonderlake is much smaller (pop 1,300):

 mc landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows that I landed in a farm field, fairly close to a road that I was hoping had StreetView coverage:

 mc ge 1

And yes!  StreetView coverage indeed!

 mc ge streetview of landing

I love it when the big yellow push-pin shows up (and the cow doesn’t seem too upset about it)!

 The site drainage from the yellow push-pin is towards us in the above photo,  and on to Boone Ck; then on to the Fox R (2nd hit); to the Illinois R (17th hit); to the MM (793rd hit).

 Here’s a GE StreetView shot of the Fox River in McHenry:

 mc ge streetview of fox r

I zoomed way out on GE to give you a perspective of my landing (looking west) in reference to Chicago and Lake Michigan:

 mc chicago

I must tell you what happened as I realized that I landed near McHenry.  I was in front of my laptop on the kitchen table, with the Phillies vs. Pirates game on in the background.  When I realized where I landed, I let out an involuntary (and rather loud) “WHOA?!?!”

 Jody (my wife for those who don’t know me) was upstairs reading, and she yelled down “What happened?  Did the Phillies score?.”

 “No, I responded, but I’ll come upstairs and tell you where I landed.”

 So what’s the big deal?  I never lived there (although I did live in suburban Chicago; more about that later).  It turns out that I worked on a project near McHenry, but not just any project:  it was a class action lawsuit about an alleged cancer cluster in nearby McCullom Lake (see landing map, above).

 I hesitate to talk about this much.  The lawsuit is, of course, on the public record; and anyone can Google it and find out quite a bit.  Anyway, I was an expert hydrogeologist for the McCullom Lake Plaintiffs; and it was a very intense experience.  I think I’ll leave it there . . .

 Of my 35 landings in IL, this was only the third time I was even remotely close to Chicago.  Once, I landed west of Kankakee (50 mi south of Chicago), and once, near Mendota (75 mi west of Chicago).  But this landing, I was the closest yet, only about 40 miles NW. 

 So, while perusing GE, I couldn’t help but take a look at the old homestead:  the corner of East Ave. and Erie St. in Oak Park (a close-in western suburb of Chicago, where I lived from 1955 to 1960).  Our house faced East Avenue, and we looked across the street at the Oak Park River Forest High School.  Here’s the view from Erie:

 mc east and erie

No, that isn’t my house on the right.  That’s the house of my erstwhile best friend, Pete Stege (pronounced steg-ee).  My house was across the street . . . uh . . . right where the tennis court is . . .

 A German family lived in the gray house next to Pete (German accents and all; they had a son who was older who I didn’t play with).  I remember great excitement when the Dad bought a Volkswagen (first one we’d ever seen!) and gave Pete and me a ride in it.

 We played out in the street all the time (mostly on Erie between the Steges and the uh, tennis courts) because there wasn’t much traffic)  – baseball, kickball, kick the can, whatever.  Innocent times, those 1950s.

 Here’s another view from Erie, looking back the other way.  My house was on the right, and you can see the High School beyond the trees. 

 mc east and erie 2

Here’s another view looking back towards my house used to be that shows good ol’ East Avenue is pretty much gone, and has been replaced by a driveway / pedestrian walkway.  Change is good . . .

 mc east and erie 3

So far, this post has been all about me, and not much about McHenry.  But even though McHenry is a sizable community, it appears to be pretty much hookless (i.e., without a hook item of interest for me to write about).  However, heading northeast out of McHenry are many lakes, known collectively as the Chain O’Lakes.  The Chain O’Lakes are part of a larger lake system in this part of IL and neighboring WI:

 mc landing region of lakes

This, about Chain O’Lakes, from Wiki:

The Chain O’Lakes is a waterway system in northeast Illinois composed of 15 lakes connected by the Fox River and man-made channels. Encompassing more than 7,100 acres of water and  488 miles of shoreline, the Chain is the busiest inland recreational waterway per acre in the United States.   Located about an hour’s drive from the cities of ChicagoMilwaukee, and Rockford, the lakes are popular with boaters and fishermen drawing weekend crowds of 30,000 and holiday crowds of 100,000 people.

 Here’s a pretty soft geological explanation for the lakes, also from Wiki:

 The Chain O’Lakes were formed when the Wisconsin glacier melted, leaving behind many of the lakes now present in the Fox River Valley, including those in the Chain.

 I knew they were a result of the glaciers before Wiki told me so.  How, you might ask?  Let me digress a moment and talk about lake formation in general.  Geologically speaking (at least in the tectonically-stable eastern half of the country), lakes are unexpected interlopers on the geologic landscape, and they’re temporary, at that.

 You can start with any long-term geologically-formed landscape (un-glaciated), be it long eroded vestiges of former high mountains (like the Appalachians), a plateau (like the Allegheny Plateau of western Pennsylvania), or depositional landscapes, like coastal plains.  All of these landscapes have one thing in common:  they all have valleys and streams, but no lakes!  That’s because, as drainage patterns carve and shape the landscape, they naturally develop a drainage system whereby a drop of water continually runs downhill seeking the ocean (no lakes).

 Lakes only occur when something disrupts the natural drainage pattern, like a huge old glacier gouging out rock and dumping debris willy-nilly all over the landscape.  So, in the south, the only lakes are man-made.  But in the glaciated north, the landscape is strewn with lakes:  Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes!  The Great Lakes!  And, of course, the Chain O’Lakes!

 All lakes are temporary, because rivers and streams that flow into the lakes bring in sediment that is deposited in the lakes, slowly but surely filling them up.

Anyway, I’ll close with the sunset shot over nearby Wonderful Lake (not one of the Chain O’Lakes, but certainly a glacial lake); a Panoramio shot by WizFish:

 mc wizfish

 

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Atkins, Arkansas

Posted by graywacke on May 20, 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.

 Landing number 2014; A Landing A Day blog post number 432.

Dan –  Well, 2/3 isn’t that special, but I’ll take it with this USer landing in . . . AR; 28/35; 3/10; 4; 152.8.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 rus landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows many small towns:

 rus landing 2

Russellville is by far the largest (pop 28,000).  In distant second place is Atkins (pop 2,900), followed by Dover (1,300).    Jerusalem, Hattieville, Blackwell, Moreland, Hector and Scotsville are simply crossroads; not really towns at all.  As you can see by the post title, little ol’ Atkins gets the nod, thanks to pickles (more about this, of course).

 My GE shot shows that I landed in the woods, but nearby are cleared areas with long thin buildings:

 rus ge 1

I’ve seen similar long thin buildings before.  Likely chicken coops  . . .

 I backed way out for this GE shot, which shows mixed woods & agriculture, for the most part.  I’ll be taking a closer look at the wooded area further north in a while:

 rus ge 2

I landed in the watershed of the North Branch of Point Remove Creek; on to the Point Remove Ck; on to the Arkansas R (110th hit); on to the MM (792nd hit).  Hmmmm – “Point Remove” is certainly an interesting name that deserves a little research.

 After reading an on-line article from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture (encyclopediaofarkansas.net), I have gathered that the confluence of Point Remove Creek and the Arkansas River was used as the initial point for the legal description of the extent of Cherokee lands based on a treaty in 1817.  The confluence marked the beginning of the “Cherokee Boundary Line” that served as the eastern border of the land set aside for the Cherokee.

 I hate to say it, but the article is less than clear about the name origins.  It seems to imply that when the Indians were given the boot and shipped out west to Oklahoma (as yet one more Indian treaty was tossed into the wastebasket of history), the point on the map that marked the beginning of the Cherokee Boundary Line was removed:  i.e., “Point Remove.”  Pretty wild explanation if true.

 An alternate explanation is also presented (now quoting with minor editing):

In his book Journal of Travels into the Arkansas Territory during the year 1819, naturalist Thomas Nuttall identifies the location as “Point Remu,” perhaps indicating that the name was a corruption of the French term for “eddy” or “whirlpool.” [The French term is “remous,” and as all of us takers of high school French know, the “s” is silent.]  William Lovely used the term “Point Remove” in a public document in 1813, where the point was designated as the southeastern corner of the Arkansas Cherokee reservation.

 Well, the latter explanation seems to hold sway, given the dates (Point Remove designated as the corner of the reservation in 1813, before the treaty was signed) and the fact that it seems unlikely that a geographic name would be based on erasing a point (and a line) from a map . . .

Anyway, here’s a GE Panoramio shot of an abandoned bridge over the Point Remove Creek, near its confluence with the Arkansas (that is, right near Point Remu), by tr4driver:

rus pano by tr4driver  point remove ck near confluence

 Moving right along, it seems as though Atkins has quite the connection with pickles.  From Wiki:

In 1945, the Goldsmith Pickle Company invested $75,000 to build a pickle plant in town; townspeople raised an additional $15,000 to build and equip the plant. What became the Atkins Pickle Company sustained the local economy for more than half a century. The poultry industry has played a role as well. Many people around town built broiler houses to serve a number of poultry-processing plants, one of which went into operation in the vacant pickle plant in 2004.

I left in the part about the chickens, to verify my speculation about the long skinny buildings in my GE shot.  Anyway, this is town that pickles built.  But there’s more . . .

From the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture from an article by Gearld David Austin, son of the famous “Fatman:”

In 1960, Bernell “Fatman” Austin (born on February 26,1921) leased a parcel of land east of Atkins (Pope County) from Griffin Oil Co. for ten dollars a month and began building a drive-in restaurant. The Duchess Drive In, a small pink building, opened for business in April 1960, just across the highway from Atkins Pickle Plant, the pickle capital of Arkansas. As business increased, with U.S. 64 being the main road to Little Rock (Pulaski County), Austin started toying with the idea of a gimmick to attract additional business.

The first fried dill pickles ever sold anywhere were sold in the summer of 1963 at fifteen cents for an order of fifteen slices. They still did not taste or look just as Austin had hoped, so he continued to research and develop his idea of the perfect product.

By late summer, he had perfected the pickle to what it is today: a large pickle sliced lengthwise and breaded in the family’s secret recipe, then deep-fried to a golden texture. Soon, the fried dill pickle was known for miles in every direction. As the fried dill pickle gained popularity, many other restaurants, especially in the South, began to copy Austin’s creation, using the hamburger-sliced pickle, but to this day, none have been able to copy his secret breading.

I also stumbled on an article about fried pickles from the Weekender, a free Sioux City IA newspaper, from an article by Earl Horlyk:

lochner's

Derek Lochner is happily getting his full-on, deep-fried freak-on.

“C’mon, everything tastes better after it’s been swimming in grease,” he said with a smile.

At Lochner’s The House of Q (2520 Transit Ave.), patrons can chow down on such grease-kissed munchables as deep-fried okra, jalapenos, even mac and cheese.

“The only thing I didn’t like was the deep-fried cornbread,” a House of Q waitress interjected. “Other than that, Derek will pretty much deep fry anything.”

But the most popular fried appetizer on the House of Q’s menu are its deep-fried pickles.

Greasy greens

Legend has it that fried pickles — simply put, a sliced pickle that’s been battered and deep-fried — was popularized by Bernell “Fatman” Austin at his Atkins, Arkansas, drive-in in 1963.

A food commonly found at fairs in the South and Midwest, deep-fried pickles were something that Lochner knew he wanted to put on the menu ever since he set up shop in Morningside in 2010.

“It took a while to get the hang of things,” he admitted, “but I think I’ve perfected our recipe.”

The recipe begins with a homemade batter that’s made with beer and a bunch of special seasoning. The trick comes in dabbing the pickle free of moisture with a paper towel. Then, dunk it into a deep-fried bath.

“That way, the batter really adheres to the pickle,” Lochner noted.  “A plate of deep-fried spears is practically a meal all itself,” he said, snacking on one of his creations. “And the perfect dip is with our homemade chipotle ranch dressing.”

Searching Google images for fried pickles, one can see hundreds of similar-looking photos, but one stood out, from the Sweet Life website by food blogger Vianney Rodrigues, who’s motto is:  “Join me as I celebrate Life, Food and Familia all from the Sweet State of Texas.”  Click HERE to check out her fried pickle recipe (and peruse the rest of her site while you’re there).  Anyway, here’s the most appetizing photo of fried pickles that I could find:

deep-fried-pickles-006-685x1024

 Way back, I mentioned the woodsy area north of my landing.  It turns out to be a land of waterfalls.  I’ll close with some great waterfall shots, all from GE Panoramio.  First, this one of Sugartree Grotto by MooreMonkeys:

mooremonkeys sugartree grotto

I’ll close with three shots by Zack Andrews.  First, this of Whiskey Chute Falls:

zack andrews whiskey chute falls

Then, this of Schoolhouse Falls:

zack andrews schoolhouse falls

And finally, this of Ursa Falls:

 zack andrews ursa falls

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Davenport, Washington

Posted by graywacke on May 18, 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.

 Landing number 2013; A Landing A Day blog post number 431.

Dan –  Two USers in a row?  Not with this landing in  . . . WA; 50/47; 3/10; 3; 153.4.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 dave landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows that I have no choice but to feature Davenport:

 dave landing 2

I landed in the watershed of the Bluestem Ck; on to Crab Ck; on to the mighty Columbia (141st hit).

 Interesting, that Crab Creek.  Check out this map that shows how far it is from my landing to the spot where Crab Ck discharges into the Columbia:

 dave landing 3

Phew!  That’s one long creek!  From Wiki:

 Crab Creek is 163 miles long and drains a watershed in eastern Washington of 5,097 square miles. It is sometimes referred to as the “longest ephemeral stream in North America”.

Huh.  Not only is it the longest “creek” where I’ve landed in (I think), but, according to Wiki, it’s the longest ephemeral stream in North America.  On the outside chance that you don’t know what ephemeral means, it means that the creek flows only sometimes, after snowmelt or large rain events (but is dry at other times).

 Must not be much rain out there, eh? Nearby Spokane gets 16.5” per year.  I would think that’d be enough to keep such a large watershed going . . .

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot, which shows a agricultural landscape, with interesting-looking ripples in the topography:

dave ge 1

Here’s a GE StreetView shot that was taken on a road quite a few miles north of my landing.  Although it’s a little far away, it shows the typical look of the countryside:

dave ge streetview n of landing

 Well, it turns out that Davenport is hook challenged, meaning I can’t find anything to write about.  If a town comes up empty, what can I lean on?  Geology, of course!  I landed in the middle of the Columbia River Basin Flood Basalt province.  Say what?  Well, returning to one of my favorite websites (which I strongly recommended in my Missoula MT post), here’s an excerpt from HugeFloods.com:

The Columbia Basin of eastern Washington is plastered with deep layers of a fine grained black rock known as basalt. The basalt is lava that cooled and hardened after it flooded over the landscape.  These astounding lava floods occurred on a scale unequalled anywhere else on the entire planet.

When we think of lava flows, images of Hawaii’s volcanoes come to mind. Oozing red masses, capped with smudgy gray outer surfaces, slowly drizzle down mountainsides like streams of molasses. This provides exciting volcano footage for television documentaries. But the lava outflows from Hawaiian volcanoes rank as puny by comparison to the volumes of molten material that bubbled up from below the surface in the Pacific Northwest’s interior regions.

Lava began flowing in the Columbia Basin about 17 million years ago and continued until about 6 million years ago. In all, there may have been 300 individual outbreaks. Each lava flood was separated by thousands of years in which nothing happened.

The cumulative effect was staggering. By the time these eruptions ceased, most of the Columbia Basin was coated with basalt rock at least one mile thick. In the central and southern Yakima Valley the accumulated basalt measures three miles in depth.

 From the same website, here’s a map showing the extent of the basalt:

Basalt_Map

Wow.  And for all you non-geologists out there, you have to realize that 17 million years ago is nothing (let alone 6 million years ago).  Practically yesterday, geologically-speaking.  Imagine being there, and watching it happen. 

 Anyway, I guess there’s some speculation that the basalt is associated with the big hotspot that underlies Yellowstone . . .

 Here’s a GE regional GE shot that actually provides some additional geological info:

 dave ge 2

Note that there are agricultural areas (like where I landed), and then there are areas where it looks like the landscape has been disrupted by drainage of some sort.  Well, these darker areas are the channeled scablands; the terrain that was scoured by the huge floods caused when the glacial ice dams that caused Glacial Lake Missoula gave way.  See my Missourla MT post for an extensive discussion of this whole phenomenon.

 Anyway, here’s a scablands map (from Eastern Washington University).  The blue areas are the scablands, and Davenport is visible along Route 2 in the north central part of the map.  You can see that there are “islands” of non-scabland areas, like south and east of Davenport where I landed.  Today, these are agricultural areas because they weren’t eroded and sculpted by the huge floods.

 dave ewu press scabland map

I’ll close with a couple of GE Panoramio shots.  First this by Helbert Vogelzang, showing some hay bales (although wheat is the money crop in these parts):

 dave pano helbert vogelzang

And then this, by “iwasborn2balive,” showing what I assume is a springtime shot of new growth:

 dave pano iwasborn2balive

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Palacios, Texas

Posted by graywacke on May 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.

 Landing number 2013; A Landing A Day blog post number 431.

Dan –  After a 1/7 string, I’m happy to land in the granddaddy of USers . . . TX; 146/177; 4/10; 2; 153.0.  Here’s my regional landing map, showing I landed right on the coast:

 landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows my proximity to the Tres Palacios River and to the town of Palacios:

 landing 2

I landed near a ditch that runs south and then east to Cash’s Creek, which flows to the Tres Palacios River.  It’s a little tough to differentiate river from bay where the creek discharges (into the “finger” east & a little south of my landing).  When in doubt, I’ll take the river hit, especially since I’ve never landed in the Tres Palacios watershed before.

 I’ve been throwing around “Palacios” quite a bit, and most of you have (in your mind) probably been attempting to pronounce it as it’s spelled, maybe with a bit of a Spanish accent:  pa-la-cee-os.  Well, we’re in Texas, and you can just forget your feeble attempt at a Spanish accent (unless, of course, you’re Latino; in which case I apologize!)

 Anyway, homegrown Texans evidently pronounce “Palacios” so that it rhymes with “splashes.”  I love it.  I can imagine that there’s at least a hint of the “a” after the “p” (then, rhyming with spalashes).

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot, which shows an expected agricultural setting.  The two ponds might be fish farms, which I’ll discuss more later.

ge 1

Here’s a GE StreetView shot, looking west toward my landing (about 3/4 of a mile away):

ge sv less than a mile away, looking west

 From TexasEscapes, about Palacios:

The name: Trespalacios is Spanish for Three Palaces. The town was named after the bay and the bay was named after a mirage supposedly seen by shipwrecked Spanish sailors. They imagined seeing three palaces on shore which disappeared as they approached. It’s a much more colorful story than simply admitting that it was simply named after Jose Felix Trespalacios, an early Mexican governor of Texas. Somewhere along the way (around 1902) two palaces were lost and the town is now simply Palacios.

I like this town, and would happily spend a weekend there if it weren’t 1500 miles from my home in NJ (as the crow flies).  Here are a series of pictures from the local Chamber of Commerce website (which is very well done and makes me want to visit):

 newslider1

 newslider2

newslider3

newslider4

newslider6

Hmmm.  More bird species than anywhere, eh?  Oh, all right:

Untitled

To visit the Chamber of Commerce site yourself, click HERE.

The population is diverse, and includes a large population of Vietnamese, likely attracted here by the shrimp industry.  Speaking of the shrimp industry, let me back up a little more on my landing map, so you can see Matagorda Bay:

 landing 3

And this, about the Bay, from Wiki:

 The Matagorda Bay system is a renowned fishing location in the region, due to its status as a nutrient-rich estuary. The mainstays of the settlements on the bay include seafood processing, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.Commercial fishermen specialize in oyster, blue crab, and shrimp.  Palacios houses the largest blue crab processing plant in the United States, and is home to the only individually quick frozen shrimp plant in Texas.

The most obvious part of the shrimp industry involves shrimpers heading out in their boats.  But there is also a shrimp and catfish farming industry in the area.  I poked around GE, and in addition to the two ponds just north of my landing, I found the following shot of what I think is a much larger complex of fish / shrimp farm lagoons:

 ge shrimp

Here’s a screen shot of the home page of Palacio’s own Bower’s Shrimp & Fish:

 bowers

Basically, I think that farm-raised seafood is a great idea, although I know that the industry has its detractors.  I’m not going to wade into the issue; I just hope that the industry can provide high quality alternatives to open water fish & shrimp.  In the big picture, it seems to me that seafood farming is way better than depleting natural populations . . .

 I’ll close with a couple of pictures.  First, this of the Palacios waterfront, by Nick West (PalaciosTexas.com):

 8-2-00girlsail

And this sunset shot of the Palcios waterfront pavillion, by Harleyrider (from Weather Underground):

 weather underground by harleyrider

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

Yuma, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on May 11, 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.

 Landing number 2012; A Landing A Day blog post number 430.

 Dan –  Well, up until now, I had avoided this large OSer, but now is the time for a visit to . . . AZ; 82/75; 4/10 (1/7); 1; 153.6.  Here’s my regional landing map, showing that by the barest margin, I managed to stay in the good ol’ US of A:

 y landing 1

My closer-in map shows my proximity to the border, to the Colorado River, to Yuma and, from the Mexican perspective, to the city of San Luis Rio Colorado:

 y landing 2

My GE shot shows a true desert landscape:

 y ge 1

Zooming out quite a ways, you can see some mountains to the north, and a green swath surrounding the Colorado River (and also that I landed a mere three miles north of the border):

 y ge 2

To give you more of a feel for the landscape, here’s an oblique GE shot looking NE past my landing towards some mountains:

 y ge 5

There’s a Mexican Highway along the border.  Here’s a Panoramio shot from the road (by M Trejo S) that is more-or-less looking past my landing.  I think it was shot with a telephoto lens, which makes the distant mountains look closer.  The border fence is prominent:

 y by m trejo s  from road in MX looking past my landing

I knew figuring out the drainage was going to be a bit of an issue.  I mean, really, Yuma only gets 3 inches of rain a year (and is very hot).  This, about the climate, from Wiki:

 Yuma is the hottest cities of any size in Arizona, with average July high temperatures of 107 °F. Average January highs are around 70 °F. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Yuma is the sunniest place on earth. Of the possible 4,456 hours of daylight each year, the sun shines in Yuma for roughly 4,174 hours, or about 94% of the time.

 On average Yuma receives about 3 inches of rain annually. The driest year at Yuma Airport has been 2007 with only 0.15 inches.

 So, of course, no streams show up on StreetAtlas, and I had to use the GE elevation tool to figure out which way was downhill from my landing.  I found that the hypothetical runoff from my landing location would head west southwest in a fairly straight line, as shown on this GE shot:

 y ge 3

The white spot at the end of the yellow line is a dry basin with no outlet.  Here’s a GE close-up of the basin, which GE was kind enough to label Laguna Prieta:

 y ge 4

As best as I can figure, Laguna Prieta means dark, or black lagoon. 

 Anyway, here’s a GE Panoramio shot (by Miguel Angel Lara) of some guys four-wheelin’ in the salt at the bottom of the Laguna Prieta:

 y sobre la sal by miguel angel lara

With a white salt bottom, I don’t know why it’s called Laguna Prieta.  

Here’s another Panoramio shot, also by Miguel, showing the same jeep scotting up a sand dune near Laguna Prieta:

y laguna prieta by miguel angel lara just n of the basin

It turns out that there’s a whole field of big dunes out there, as shown on this GE shot:

y ge 7 

Here’s a closer-in view of some of the dunes.  You realize that these are mighty big dunes.  Imagine a two mile hike along the yellow line:

y ge 6

There are also You Tube videos (tagged “Laguna Prieta”) of guys driving their jeeps up and down the dunes.  Click HERE to check out a race that starts with  “Uno, Dos, Tres!” (the only words I know in Spanish . . .)

 And this one (after an inexplicable display of what appears to be toilet paper unrolled out of a window of a truck in the midst of many hoots & hollers) gives you a feel for the landscape near Prieta Laguna (some pretty awesome sand dunes).  Click HERE.

Speaking of awesome sand dunes, here’s a GE Panoramio shots of the dunes, by the same Miguel Angel Lara:

 y by miguel angel lara

Here’s another dune Panoramio shot, this one by Antonia Magana:

y by antonia magana

Moving right along . . . sorry, Yuma, but I really want to focus on the Colorado River delta, located some tens of miles south and west of my landing.  Here’s some background info from Wiki:

 Until the early 20th century the Colorado River ran free from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado into the Gulf of California.  Significant quantities of nourishing silt from throughout the Colorado River Basin were carried downstream, creating the vast Colorado River Delta.

Prior to the construction of major dams along its route, the Colorado River fed one of the largest desert estuaries in the world. Spread across the northernmost end of the Gulf of California, the Colorado River delta’s vast wetlands once covered nearly 2,000,000 acres and supported a large population of plant, bird, and marine life.  In contrast to the surrounding Sonoran Desert, the Colorado River delta’s abundance was striking.

The construction of Hoover Dam in the 1930s marked the beginning of the modern era for the Colorado River Delta. For six years, as Lake Mead filled behind the dam, virtually no freshwater reached the delta.  This ecologically devastating event was repeated from 1963 to 1981 as Lake Powell filled behind the Glen Canyon Dam.

The loss of freshwater flows to the delta over the twentieth century has reduced delta wetlands to about 5 percent of their original extent.

Here’s a GE shot, showing the southern part of the former wetlands, and the extent of the current wetlands (the green area to the north is irrigated cropland):

 y ge 8

 I found a compelling  video about the delta by Alexandra Cousteau, posted on the Blue Legacy website.  It’s entitled “What Happens When a River Doesn’t Reach the Sea?”  It’s short, and I highly recommend that you click HERE to see it.

 It’s ironic.  I’m in the environmental field, and while I’m not a wetlands expert, I’ve run into wetlands issues here and there throughout my career.  The USEPA (admirably so) has lead the charge to protect existing wetlands.  Individual states all have comprehensive wetlands protection laws as well.  Very small wetland areas (like what could fit in your back yard) are typically protected.

 Because of two dams (Hoover Dam and the Glen Canyon Dam, both funded by the Federal Government), nearly 2,000,000 acres of wetlands have been destroyed.  Phew.  That’s bigger than the state of Delaware.

 I know, I know.  Much good has come from the use of the Colorado’s water, both as a water supply and for irrigation.  But still . . .

 A late breaking story I just read in the NY Times is that the U.S. and Mexico have reached an agreement that will allow more water to flow down to the delta, and also includes a once-a-year pulse of flow that will allow the river to (drum roll please) make it all the way to the sea.

 I usually close my posts with a hopefully beautiful or meaningful picture.  This time, I’m going to close with some prose.  Here’s an excerpt from a 1949 book written by Aldo Leopold, entitled A Sand County Almanac.  While you’re reading, be aware that “he” refers to the Colorado River (before the dams):

 On the map the delta was bisected by the river, but in fact the river was nowhere and everywhere, for he could not decide which of a hundred green lagoons offered the most pleasant and least speedy path to the gulf. So he traveled them all, and so did we. He divided and rejoined, he twisted and turned, he meandered in awesome jungles, he all but ran in circles, he dallied with lovely groves, he got lost and was glad of it, and so were we. For the last word in procrastination, go travel with a river reluctant to lose his freedom in the sea.

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

Earling, Iowa

Posted by graywacke on May 8, 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.

 Landing number 2011; A Landing A Day blog post number 429.

Dan –  My 43rd landing in this OSer puts me at 1/6 . . . IA; 43/37; 5/10; 11; 153.2.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 earl landing 1

And, what the heck, here’s a big picture map showing all my landings (including the foreign landings and the water “landings”), since I started using StreetAtlas 2013 in January:

 earl landing 4

Today’s landing is part of the tight little cluster of three landings around western IA and eastern NE (the more northern IA landing.  You can also see the NM cluster (4 landings).

 Here’s my closer-in landing map, showing that I landed in the middle of a bunch of small towns:

 earl landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows a lovely palette of green and beige:

 earl ge 1

Stepping back, the loveliness of the palette remains:

 earl ge 2

Here’s a GE StreetView shot looking south towards my landing, which is about a half mile away:

 earl ge streetview 0.5 mi n

Looks like I probably landed in a cornfield, eh?  But I think that the GE aerial shot is a springtime shot when the land is plowed, but the corn hasn’t come up yet – as evidenced by this close-in oblique shot of my landing (looking south):

 earl ge 3

Anyway, drainage leading away from my landing heads west into Pigeon Creek, which flows southwest directly into the Missouri (371st hit); and on to the MM (791st hit).

 As is my wont, I did a quick Google search to see which town has the best hook.  It was pretty slim pickings, but the winner is (as you know by the post title) – Earling.  As you’ll soon see, what went on in Earling is a little . . . different.

 But first, this GE shot, showing that Earling is carved out of the same lovely palette:

 earl ge 4

From Wiki, about how the town got its name:

The town was platted in 1882 and was named Marathon.  However, when the Post Office informed the town that Marathon was already taken, the name of the town was changed to Earling, in honor of Albert J. Earling who was division superintendent of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway.

 I think there are hundreds of Midwestern towns named after railroad executives.  I mean, what better way to make sure the railroad passes by your little settlement?  But really:  Earling??

 OK, enough of that.  But here’s the juicy story about Earling, from Wiki:

Earling is well known in paranormal circles for being the site of a 1928 exorcism. Over 23 days in 1928, a Roman Catholic Capuchin named Theophilus Riesinger worked to exorcise demons from Emma Schmidt at the local Franciscan convent. During the exorcism Schmidt reportedly flew across the room, landed high above the door, and clung tightly to the wall. Despite attempts by church officials to keep the exorcism secret, townspeople soon began hearing strange noises coming from the convent as well as horrid odors. Finally after 23 days the demons in Schmidt’s body gave up after Father Riesinger commanded, “Depart, ye fiends of hell! Begone, Satan.” After the exorcism Schmidt reportedly led a fairly normal life.

 The reference for the Wiki piece is a 2008 article from the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.  Unfortunately, I can’t find the newspaper article.  However, there are many internet sites that reference the famous Earling exorcism.  A couple of them quote a pamphlet published soon after the exorcism (and make sure you read every word):

“Outpourings that would fill a pitcher, yes, even a pail, full of the most obnoxious stench were most unnatural. These came in quantities that were, humanly speaking, impossible to lodge in a normal being. At that the poor creature had eaten scarcely anything for weeks, so that there had been reason to fear she would not survive. At one time the emission was a bowl full of matter resembling vomited macaroni. At another time an even greater measure, having the appearance of sliced and chewed tobacco leaves, was emitted. From ten to twenty times a day this wretched creature was forced to vomit though she had taken at the most only a teaspoonful of water or milk by way of food.”

Wow.  Pretty intense stuff.  Would have been fascinating to have been a fly on the wall of the Franciscan Convent in Earling in 1928 . . .

 The websites that discuss this can be basically divided into two camps:  1) religious sites that present the exorcism as a (not surprisingly) religious event, and 2) psychic / paranormal sites, where you can imagine that the soundtrack (if there was one) would be campy spooky music . . .

 Moving right along –  Route 30, which you can see on my landing map just west of my landing, follows the route of the old Lincoln Highway.  In fact, here’s a picture of an old brick-paved portion of the highway where is goes through Woodbine (Panoramio shot by Fred Henstridge):

 earl pan lincoln highway fred henstridge

Although I’ve landed near the Lincoln Highway before and have featured it before in ALAD posts, here’s a little history about the highway, from Wiki:

 The Lincoln Highway is one of the first transcontinental highways for automobiles across the United States of America.   The highway turns 100 years old in 2013.  It spans coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco.

Conceived in 1912 and formally dedicated October 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway is America’s first national memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, predating the 1922 dedication of the Lincoln Memorial. As the first automobile road across America, the Lincoln Highway brought great prosperity to the hundreds of cities, towns and villages along the way and became affectionately known as “The Main Street Across America.”

I’ll close with a couple of scenic Panoramio shots, both located about 10 miles west of my landing.  First one entitled “Larry’s Aircoupe” (tonywlbr):

 earl pan larry's aircoupe by tony wlbr

And then, this cool train shot by rbenkovitz:

 earl pan rbenkovitz near woodbine 

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

Vaughn, New Mexico

Posted by graywacke on May 5, 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.

 Landing number 2010; A Landing A Day blog post number 428.

Dan –  I avoided an 0/5 streak with this landing in . . . NM; 74/81; 6/10; 10; 152.8.  If it seems like I’ve been visiting NM a lot recently, I have – this is my third landing here since landing 2000.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 v landing 1

Closer in, you can see that I landed in the boonies:

 v landing 2

Joffre and Cardenas don’t really exist; Pastura is incredibly tiny, so Vaughn is the big winner, even though it’s more than 20 miles away.

 Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot, showing (as expected) that I sure ‘nuf landed in the boonies!  The photo’s not very clear, so it’s kind of tough to say much except that it looks like an empty, scrubby landscape:

 v ge 1

Moving further back doesn’t add much; it looks more arid, it’s all pretty flat and there are few signs of civilization:

 v ge 2

It took a little work, but I figured out that I landed in the watershed of the Salado Creek (Salado means “salty” in Spanish); on to the Pecos R (13th hit); on to the Rio Grande (38th hit).  FYI, the Rio Grande ranks 17 on my list of river hits.

 I fear that isn’t much to say about Vaughn.  It was founded in the early 1900s along some railroad tracks, and then got a boost when another set of tracks created a junction near the town.  Here’s a StreetAtlas maps, with just railroads & towns (and my landing, of course):

v landing 3 - railroads

  The population peaked at 888 back in 1920 (and is now about 440).  Here’s a “Welcome to Vaughn” shot from Wiki:

 v wiki entering town from west 

Here’s a peculiar Wiki entry about Vaughn:

On Wednesday, 26 September 2012, the town’s only police force was disbanded when the police chief resigned due to criminal charges lodged against him.  According to a news report, the police dog and a non-sworn officer are the only remaining connection to what the town called the police department.

 Poor Vaughn.  The national media picked up on the story, and the result is that a Google search for – police Vaughn NM – results in the following items (the first line of each search Google search item copied and pasted here):

 VaughnN.M.police force goes to the dog. Really  (LA Times)

 With Vaughn, New Mexico, police chief out over his past conviction … (NY Daily News)

 With officers forbidden from carrying guns, New Mexico town’s police …  (NBC News)

 Police chief resigns, NM force has gone to the dog  (Yahoo News 1)

VaughnNM, has two police officers, both with criminal records   (Yahoo News 2)

Nikka the police dog is only cop in N.M. town after chief resigns …  (CBS News)

 Nikka, Drug-Sniffing Dog, Only Certified Member Of Police Dept …  (Huffington Post)

 Vaughn’s police dept run by criminals  (KRQE)

 Vaughn, N.M. cops not allowed to carry guns (KOB)

 New Mexico Town Down to Just One Police Officer: A Dog Named … (Gawker.com)

 Phew.  Just shows that sometimes the media has nothing better to do.  If you have nothing better to do, feel free to check out Vaughn’s police department . . .

 Anyway, I’ll close with some Panoramio shots to give you a feel for the emptiness of this part of NM.  Here’s a shot of a distant train by Ed Klegg:

 v ed klegg

I’ll close with two shots by “R Jutte-vander Krogt:”

 v pano vander 2

 

 v pano vander

 

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

Burlington, West Virginia

Posted by graywacke on May 3, 2013

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

 Landing number 2009; A Landing A Day blog post number 427.

Dan –  Cruising back towards the mid 150s with yet another OSer (4 in a row) . . . WV; 19/16; 6/10; 9; 153.4.  Here’s my regional landing map, showing that I landed in the eastern panhandle of WV:

 bur landing 1

My closer-in map shows my proximity to Route 50, Burlington and the Patterson Creek (oh boy – thanks to Route 50, I’ll probably get a close-up look at my landing spot):

 bur landing 2

This streams-only shot shows that Mill Creek flows right along Route 50 (just south of my landing), and heads east where it flows into Patterson Ck (at Burlington). 

bur landing 3

Patterson Ck heads north and flows into a new river (my 1115th), the North Branch of the Potomac; on to the Potomac (11th hit); on past Washington DC and into the Chesapeake Bay.

 You may recall a rather robust discussion of the various state panhandles that appeared in my fairly recent Hooker OK post (I landed in the OK panhandle, of course).  In that post, I pointed out that the only panhandle where I hadn’t landed was the eastern panhandle of WV.  Well, I’ve finally turned that page . . .

 Speaking of turning pages, a page I have yet to turn (after 2009 landings) is landing in the state of Delaware!  (As you know, Delaware is the only hold out.)  Here’s a list of small states (with areas less than 10,000 sq miles; sorry about that, Massachusetts), their areas, the number of landings, and their OS/US status (for any newbies actually paying attention, OS = OverSubscribed and US = UnderSubscribed):

 Rhode Island              1,545 sq mi      2 landings        (OS; should be 1 landing) 

Delaware                     2,489 sq mi      0 landings        (US; should be 2 landings)

Connecticut                 5,544 sq mi      6 landings        (OS; should be 4 landings)

New Jersey                  8,722 sq mi      3 landings        (US; should be 6 landings)

New Hampshire          9,351 sq mi      10 landings      (OS; should be 6 landings)

Vermont                      9,615 sq mi      9 landings        (OS; should be 6 landings)

 I just realized that for Delaware I wrote “0 landings,” with an “s.”  But, of course, for Rhode Island, I wrote “1 landing” (no “s”).  Interesting that “zero” seems to demand a plural noun . . .

 Phew, that was a digression within a digression!  Getting back to business, here’s my GE shot:

bur ge 1

 Stepping out a little, you can see that Route 50 follows the path carved out by Mill Ck through the hills:

bur ge 2

 And yes, Route 50 does have GE StreetView coverage, so here’s a close-in shot of my landing spot (although, disappointingly, the big yellow push-pin didn’t show up, like it did for my Gladstone OR landing in front of Scuba RX):

 bur ge 3

So, this about Burlington (pop 182), from Wiki:

 Burlington is located in Mineral CountyWest Virginia, located along U.S. Route 50 (also known as the Northwestern Turnpike).

The first settlers arrived as early as 1738.  About 30 farms were established and were part of Lord Fairfax’s 9,000 acre Patterson Creek Manor.

At Weaver’s Antique Service Station, one can step back in time to the days of gas pumps and classic cars. Operated until 1985 as a service station, the landmark has become a living museum complete with pedal cars and other service station memorabilia. The proprietor, Ed Weaver, died in November 2009. It is now closed to the public.

While still open, antique vehicles were stationed at the gasoline pumps of the service station, and within the shop shelves were lined with items from a bygone era. On the counter near the cash register was a book of gasoline ration cards as if it were 1943.

Here’s a picture of the erstwhile Weaver’s Antique Service Station (from Wiki):

 bur wiki Weavers_Garage_Burlington_WV_2004

So, Route 50 follows the route of the old Northwestern Turnpike.  From Wiki:

The Northwestern Turnpike is a historic road in West Virginia (Virginia at the time the road was created), important for being historically one of the major roads crossing the Appalachians, financed by the Virginia Board of Public Works in the 1830s. In modern times, west of Winchester, VirginiaU.S. Route 50 follows the path of the Northwestern Turnpike into West Virginia and on to Parkersburg.

 Looking back up at my stepped-out GE shot, it’s easy to see why the Turnpike followed the route of Mill Ck through the hills.  Just west of my landing, is an old stone building called Traveler’s Rest.  From Wiki:

 Travelers Rest is located on U.S Route 50 West of Burlington in Mineral County, West Virginia. It was built for the Wagon Trains going west.  It would house the travelers and provide feed and water for the horses before going over the Mountains.

 Here’s a GE StreetView shot of the Travelers Rest:

 bur ge 4 traverler's rest - w of markwood

I’ll finish with a couple of interesting Burlington pictures; first, this from bmwbmw.org (a motorcycle roadtrip post by Rick F):

 bur bmwbmw.org rick f

And then this, circa 1905, of a Burlington schoolhouse:

 School at Burlington, Mineral County, circa 1905.  Joanna Lyon Collection

  That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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