A Landing a Day

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Archive for June, 2013

Batesville, Arkansas

Posted by graywacke on June 30, 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 2030; A Landing A Day blog post number 448.

Dan –  Once again flirting with 150, thanks to this USer landing in . . . AR; 29/35; 5/10; 14; 150.2.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows my proximity to one larger town (Batesville) and a plethora of smaller towns:

 landing 2

You can also see that I landed very close to the White River.  Here’s a streams-only landing map that shows that I also landed near Wolf Bayou:

 landing 3

A quick use of Google Earth’s elevation tool, and I figured out that I actually landed in the Wolf Bayou watershed, on to the White R (23rd hit); on to the MM (797th hit).  By the way, this landing marked my 12th watershed with the name “Wolf” in it (9 Wolf Creeks, one Wolf Run, one Wolf Pit Branch, and now, one Wolf Bayou).

 Speaking of Google Earth (GE), here’s where I landed:

 ge 1

And yes, there is StreetView coverage for the road at the base of the hill.  So, my landing is just on this side of the top of the hill straight ahead:

 ge sv 1 about 1000 ft w of landing

Back to Wolf Bayou.  To me, the term “Bayou” conjures up a lazy southern waterway, not much current, maybe an occasional ripple on the surface caused by a catfish going after a bug that landed in the water . . .

 Wrong – at least for Wolf Bayou.  Check out this shot of our own Wolf Bayou from AmericanWhiteWater.org:

 american whitewataer.org

Here’s an oblique GE shot that features the Wolf Bayou valley:

 ge 2

And I insist (absolutely insist!) that you check out this You Tube video about kayaking on the Bayou!  There’s beautiful scenery and some very cool action shots.  Click HERE.

 Moving on to Batesville.  From the City of Batesville website, here’s a back-in-the-day shot showing quite the bustling metropolis:

 city of batesville website

From ArkansasTies.com, here’s a painted wall Coke ad in Batesville:

 ArkansasTies.com  relieve fatigue

It was evidently painted over, but the older version is now showing through.  You can see the 5 cent price tag, but even more interesting, the phrase, “Relieves Fatigue.”  Hmmm.  Harkens back to the era when Coca Cola was the real thing.

 From Topix.com, here’s another back-in-the-day shot:

 topix.com 1959

When I first glanced at the picture, I figured it was from pretty far back (1930s?  1940s?).  But then I saw the back end of a ‘59 Chevy.  That threw me a little.  Had I lived in Batesville, nine-year-old Greg could have wandered by and ended up in the photo . . .

 Boy, seeing that Chevy brings back childhood memories of that golden era of American Cars (aka the fifties).  When I was a kid, each September was a time of great anticipation waiting for the new car models to come out.  The Big Three car companies played the hype for all it was worth – teasing us with hints of what the new models might look like or what features they might have.  I remember thinking that the thrill of the new cars took some of the sting out of having to go back to school . . .

 Anyway, from Wiki, here’s a shot of a classic ’59 Chevy:

 59_Bel_Air  wiki

I’ll close with this beauty (from HowStuffWorks.com):

 chevrolet-impala-1959-2 how stuff works

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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Revillo, South Dakota

Posted by graywacke on June 28, 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 2028; A Landing A Day blog post number 446.

 Dan –  Here I sat, one USer away from the benchmark Score of 150 and what happens?  Of course, another OSer … SD; 54/51; 5/10; 13; 150.8.   Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows that I landed in the boonies amongst (what else?) some small towns:

 landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows this artsy agricultural landscape; a study in shades of green:

 ge 1

I landed in a low spot that might pond up after a heavy rain.  I guess I could have called this an internally-drained landing, but I figured, what the heck – if it really rains hard and the little pond overflows, the water ends up in Monaghan Creek, on to the West Fork of the Lac Qui Parle River (2nd hit); on to the Lac Qui Parle (4th hit); to the Minnesota R (13th hit); to the MM (796th hit).

 As you can see, I’ve landed in the Lac Qui Parle watershed before.  I revisited one of my posts (December 8, 2008 – Bellingham MN), where I had this to say about the name:

Ah, so poetic:  “Lake Which Speaks” River.  So, what’s the story here?  Wiki says that the River was named for the Sioux word for a lake on the Minnesota River that is located just upstream from where the Lac Qui Parle River joins the Minnesota.  Evidently, the Lac Qui Parle River built up a delta where it emptied into the Minnesota, forming the Lac Qui Parle Lake.  There’s a dam there now, but evidently, the dam just enhanced a natural lake already there.

The Lac Qui Parle Lake is one of those gilding-the-lily kind of names:  the Lake Which Speaks Lake.  Like the Schuylkill River (“kill” is Dutch for River, so it’s the Schuyl River River).  I’m sure there are others.  I just asked Jody, and she mentioned Mt. Fujiyama.  “Yama” means mountain, so plain ol’ Fujiyama (or Mt. Fuji) will do just fine.

But why, the Lake Which Speaks?  Ah . . from a book entitled “Minnesota Geographic Names” comes the supposition that “its name most probably was suggested to the Indians by echoes thrown back from the bordering bluffs.”

Moving right along – of course, this terrain is glaciated; the little low area like where I landed is most likely a kettle, which is a depression that formed when a chunk of glacial ice got dumped along with (and buried by) all of the other glacial moraine stuff (rocks, sand & clay).  Eventually, the chunks of ice melt, leaving behind low spots (kettles).

 Speaking of glacial terrain:  while perusing GE, I saw a peculiar landscape south of my landing (see all of the squiggles?):

ge 2

 Zooming in . . .

 ge 3

Looks like very strange patterns of tree growth, eh?  Zooming in even further:

 ge 4

I’m baffled.  I figure that this must have something to do with glaciers, but damned if I can figure out what.  I did some research (checking out the geology of Deuel County, for example), but nobody talking about this weird vegetation pattern.  Alien visitation?

 My readers are welcome to comment.  Of course, I’d love it if a local could tell us what’s going on!

 As for the nearby towns:  I checked out Clear Lake, Goodwin, Gary, Altamont, Revillo, and others not on the map.  I could find no hooks!  Oh sure, there’s a little history, and each of the towns is named for some reason or other.  So why did I choose Revillo as my titular town?  Because, according to Wiki, it’s “Olliver” spelled backwards.  Good enough for me (in spite of the two els).

 I’ll close with a couple of  pictures of Lake Alice (located a couple of miles north of my landing).  First this, from 1000LakesMinnesota.com:

 LakeAlice-1-b

And finally, a sunset shot over the lake by Teka Ranch, posted on CamVista.com:

 F_408066

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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Newgulf and Boling, Texas

Posted by graywacke on June 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 2028; A Landing A Day blog post number 446.

Dan –  For the 5th time in 2013 (out of 53 landings), I’ve landed the granddaddy of USers . . . TX; 148/178; 5/10; 12; 150.3.  Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

 The closer-in landing map shows my close proximity to two towns, Newgulf and Boling:

 landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows an ill-defined landscape with mysterious, apparently man-made linear features:

 ge 1

Backing out to a similar scale as my closer-in landing map, here’s a broader-view GE map:

 ge 2

I’ve labeled both Boling and Newgulf, but what’s up with Newgulf?  Let me zoom in a little:

 ge 3

There’s practically nothing there!  I see I need some serious internet research . . .

 But first, my watershed:  I landed adjacent to a ditch that flows east and discharges into a new river – the San Bernard –  which flows south and discharges into the Gulf.

 From the Texas State Historical Association (tshaonline), some excertps about Newgulf:

 NEWGULF, TEXAS is on top of the Boling Salt Dome, reputed to be the largest known inland deposit of sulfur in the world. The company-owned town was established in 1928 for the employees of the Texas Gulf Sulphur Company. Texas Gulf Sulphur’s first company town was named Gulf, so, naturally-enough, this one was Newgulf.

About 400 houses-with one, two, or three bedrooms-were constructed and were leased to employees. The business section of Newgulf consisted of a single four-lane avenue lined with stores. At the town’s zenith it had as many as fifteen businesses. Texas Gulf Sulphur also built a hospital, a library, a school, a post office, four churches and a clubhouse with a nine-hole golf course.

The population of Newgulf peaked in 1940 at 1,586. Self-contained and semi-isolated, residents developed into a very close-knit community.

Because of the oil and sulfur discoveries, during this same period the community of Boling emerged three miles to the west.

By 1956 the sulfur industry was producing more sulfur than it sold, foreign sulfur prices had dipped, and Texas Gulf Sulphur had begun constructing several new plants elsewhere. The company began selling empty houses in 1961. New mining techniques and machinery further reduced the need for onsite employees. In 1980 and 1990 the town reported 963 residents.

By 1990 only 100 houses remained at Newgulf, and the businesses and their buildings were gone.  In 1995 a skeleton crew remained at the sulphur mine site, the town was only a shadow of its former self.

The website specifies how to reference the article, so here goes:  Thanks to Merle R. Hudgins, “NEWGULF, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hln18), accessed May 26, 2013.  Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

 It looks like I landed right near the old sulphur plant.  I’m sure the two ponds had to do with the plant.  Here’s a close-up of the plant ruins.  Check out the two huge smokestacks (and smokestack shadows):

 ge sulphur plant

 When I read that the raison d’etre of both Newgulf and Boling was sulphur and oil associated with the Boling Salt Dome, I knew that my geology side was about to kick in.

 So, what (you may ask) is a salt dome?  Well, I checked out Geology.com to freshen up my stale knowledge.  Since pictures are worth many words, let me start with a north-south geologic cross-section across Texas (from OK to the Gulf):

 cross section

The purple layer is salt, formed by evaporating inland seas back during the Jurassic Period (thus the “J”).  FYI, the Jurassic was about 150 – 200 million years ago.  After the salt was deposited, various thickness of sand, silt and clay were laid down on top of the salt.  Those are the green and orange layers shown on the cross section.

 Note that the salt layer is pretty deep, ranging from 5 km to 10 km  (aka 3 to 6 miles). 

 It turns out that the salt layer is much less dense (lighter) than the overlying sands and clays, and that the salt (if given enough time), can flow, albeit very slowly.  Because the salt is less dense, it wants to rise (just like something less dense than water wants to float).

 See those purple spikes sticking up?  Those are salt domes – essentially large fingers of salt that have pushed up through the sand & clay.  Note that the ones near the coast have pushed up six miles!

 So, what does this have to do with oil?  Well, here goes:  Some of the rock layers are petroleum-producing – they were laid down with lots of organic material that under pressure & temperature (and enough time) – presto chango!  Crude!

 So, crude oil seeps out of the source rock, and tends to flow upward through the interconnected  nooks and crannies in the rock (keeping in mind that the rock is water saturated and the crude is lighter than water). 

 So, the crude oil is creeping its way up, as long as the interconnected nooks and crannies give it a pathway.  The crude is particularly inclined to move through sandstone, because of all of the pore spaces between the sand grains.  So, maybe the oil is flowing up through a sandstone, and boom, it hits a real tight shale (made of clay).  No more nooks and crannies, no more movement.  The oil tends to accumulate at the top of the sand unit.

 Now it’s time to get back to salt domes.  Here’s another picture from Geology.com. 

 salt-dome

As the salt dome punches up, it deforms the surrounding rock layers (note how the layers bow upward around the salt).  See the speckled yellow unit?  It’s a sand (or sandstone).  The overlying gray is clay (or shale).  Thanks to the salt dome, the oil gets concentrated (or “trapped”) where the sand is pinched by the salt.

 So, now we’re drilling for oil, and we have smart geologists who know about salt domes and know about oil migration and how traps are formed.  So, they poke around (with a drill rig) until they run into one of the traps in the sand, and bingo, we now have a producing oil well.

Here’s a GE shot showing the location of a nearby well.  Looking at the above picture, we all know where it was drilled relative to the salt dome, don’t we, class?

ge oil well

The above well location is a Panoramio shot (by Morgan RS), so here’s his photo of the well (known as a pumpjack):

pano morgan rs

Wanna know more about  pumpjacks?   Check out my Lovington NM post. . .

Here’s an interesting bit from the Geology.com article:

Salt domes were almost unknown until an exploratory oil well was drilled on Spindletop Hill near Beaumont, Texas in 1900. Spindletop was a low hill with a relief of about 15 feet where a visitor could find sulfur springs and natural gas seeps.

At a depth of about 1000 feet, the well penetrated a pressurized oil reservoir that blew the drilling tools out of the well and showered the surrounding land with crude oil until the well could be brought under control. The initial production from the well was over 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day – a greater yield than any previous well had ever produced.

The Spindletop discovery ignited a drilling spree on similar structures across the Gulf Coast area. Some of these wells struck oil. Those discoveries motivated geologists to learn about the structures below that held such vast amounts of oil.

Back when I was with Mobil, I spent a fair amount of time at the Beaumont Refinery (built next to Spindeltop to refine all of that bubblin’ crude).

Anyway, the sulphur connection to salt domes is a little more vague.  Here’s what Geology.com has to say:

Salt domes are sometimes overlain by a cap rock that contains significant amounts of elemental sulfur. The sulfur is thought to have formed because of bacterial activity associated with the salt.

Some salt domes have enough sulfur in the cap rock that it can be economically recovered. It is recovered by drilling a well into the sulfur and pumping superheated water and air down the well. The superheated water is hot enough to melt the sulfur. The hot air converts the molten sulfur into a froth that is buoyant enough to rise up a well to the surface.

Today most sulfur is produced as a byproduct from crude oil refining and natural gas processing. The production of sulfur from salt domes is generally not cost competitive with sulfur produced from oil and natural gas.

To check out the entire Geology.com article (which is excellent), click HERE.

 The GE Panoramio shots near my landing were almost all posted by one Arnaldo Silva Alvarez.  I’ll close with this smattering from Señor Alvarez:

 pano2

 

 pano4

pano3

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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Ephraim, Utah

Posted by graywacke on June 24, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much an every-other-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 2027; A Landing A Day blog post number 445.

 Dan –  Drat!  Thwarted once again!  From getting below 150, that is, due to this OSer landing in . . . UT; 70/56; 5/10; 11; 150.9.  Here’s my regional landing map, showing that I couldn’t have landed more centrally in Utah:

 landing 1

My closer in landing map shows my proximity to Ephraim, which is just up the road from Manti:

 landing 2

My GE shot shows a hilltop landing spot:

 ge 1

Here’s oblique GE shot looking east toward the Wasatch Range:

 ge 2 looking east past landing

Drainage at my landing is a little vague.  But using the GE elevation tool, I was able to ascertain that a drop of rain from my landing would work its way through Ephraim, and on to an unnamed low spot in the agricultural area west of town:

 drainage to low spot

So, what about Ephraim. Well, since I’m smack dab in the middle of Utah, I figured there’d be a Mormon angle.  Hmmm .. .

 From OnLineUtah.com:

Since the 1850s, Sanpete County’s history has revolved around the rivalry of its four leading towns–Mt. Pleasant, Gunnison, Manti, and Ephraim. Ephraim, long portrayed as the epitome of “the Utah farm village,” refused to concede primacy of place to its nearest competitor, even though Manti captured both the county seat and one of Utah’s first four Mormon temples. In the 1950s, Ephraim finally eclipsed all its rivals in size and two decades later passed the Census Bureau’s magic 2,500 mark to become Sanpete’s only urban place.

Way to go, Ephraim!  Just ‘cause Manti got the temple . . .

 Speaking of the Manti temple, here’s a shot from LDSChurchTemples.com, showing the the prophet Moroni in the foreground:

 manti-mormon-temple8

Moroni,eh?  It looks like he was both an angel as well as a warrior/prophet. 

From Wiki:

The Angel Moroni was an angel that visited Joseph Smith, Jr. on numerous occasions, beginning in September 1823.  According to Smith, the angel was the guardian of the golden plates, which Latter Day Saints believe were the source material for the Book of Mormon, buried in a hill near Smith’s home in western New York. Moroni is an important figure in the theology of the Latter Day Saint movement, and is featured prominently in Mormon architecture and art.  Three Witnesses besides Joseph Smith also reported that they saw Moroni in visions in 1829, as did several other witnesses who each said they had their own vision.

Moroni is thought by Latter Day Saints to be the same person as a Book of Mormon prophet-warrior named Moroni, who was the last to write in the golden plates.  The book states that Moroni buried them before he died after a great battle between two pre-Columbian (i.e., American) civilizations.  After he died, he became an angel, and was tasked with guarding the golden plates, and with eventually directing Joseph Smith to their location in the 1820s.  According to Smith, he returned the golden plates to Moroni after they were translated and as of 1838 the angel Moroni still had the plates in his possession.

Phew.  And all of these things Mormon not long after my West Point IL landing, located near an early Mormon settlement (Nauvoo) and near where Joseph Smith was killed (Carthage).

 I’ll finish up some GE Panoramio photos taken from Black Mountain (aka Little Mountain),which is the promontory upon which I landed.  First, this of the Wasatch Range in winter (Mt. Nebo, in particular), taken by none other than BratFace:

 pano brat face mt nebo from landing

I’ll close with a similar shot, taken in the summer, by the one and only StrongBadReggie:

 strongbadreggie from landing to mt nebo

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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Creede, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on June 21, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now moving to an every-other-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 2026; A Landing A Day blog post number 444.

Dan –  Hangin’ tough with four 6/10’s in a row, thanks to this USer landing in . . . CO; 68/69 (watch it! Getting close to being PS); 6/10; 10; 150.5.  Jinx or no jinx, I’m here to say that if my next landing is a USer, I’ll be breaking through the sacred 150 mark.  Anyway, here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows true boonies, with only Creede and Wagon Wheel Gap making their mark on the map:

 landing 2

Wagon Wheel Gap isn’t really a town, so the post belongs to Creede.  But first, here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot:

 ge 1

As you can see, I’m at over 11,000 in elevation, making this (perhaps) my highest-ever landing!  I scouted around my landing site and found the nearest mountain peak at nearly 12,500 feet.  It looks like I’m above the tree line . . .

 I landed in the watershed of La Garita Creek, which is just east of my landing and flows south to the Rio Grande (39th hit).   

 Speaking of watersheds, I was checking out a streams-only map of the vicinity of my landing.  Here’s what I saw:

 landing 3

Hmmmm.  The Gunnison, the Arkansas and the Rio Grande.  Well, the Gunnison flows to the Colorado and the Colorado flows to the Gulf of California (sort of; see my Yuma AZ post for more on this sore subject).  The Arkansas flows to the Mississippi, and the Rio Grande flows to the western Gulf of Mexico.  Man.  Three widely-separated watersheds . . .

 Guess what is 100% certain?  That there’s a Triple Point!!  That’s right, it is absolutely (mathematically) inevitable that there is a mountain top near my landing where a hypothetical raindrop, landing exactly at the summit, will split into thirds:  one third will head to the Gunnison, one third will head to the Arkansas and one third will head to the Rio Grande. 

 I did a little research, and found that the triple point mountain is called . . . Headwaters Hill!  Here is a GE shot showing its location (about 30 miles from my landing):

triple point

In 2001, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names (part of the Geologic Survey), approved the name “Headwaters Hill” based on an effort by Western Colorado State University and a Denver cartographer.  There aren’t many major triple points in the U.S., and it’s cool that this one got an official moniker.

 I have a thing about triple points, which started with my knowledge of (and visit to) a triple point in north-central Pennsylvania (near Ulysses).  The hypothetical rain drop on the hilltop there splits and goes to the Allegheny (to the Ohio, to the Mississippi); to the Susquehanna (to Chesapeake Bay); and to the Genesee (to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence).  Think of this:  the third of a drop that starts out in north-central Pennsylvania will hook up with the third of a drop that starts out in south-central Colorado and happily travel together on past New Orleans . . . 

Moving on to Creede.  From the Creede & Mineral County C of C website:

In 1890, the Upper Rio Grande Valley’s destiny changed dramatically. Nicholas Creede discovered a high-grade silver vein on Willow Creek, a tributary of the Rio Grande. The great rush was on! The boom camp’s population quickly swelled to 10,000.  Slab cities and tent towns like North Creede, East Creede, String Town, Jimtown, and Amethyst seemed to appear overnight. Fortunes were extracted from mines with colorful names such as Amethyst, Holy Moses, Commodore, Last Chance, and Kentucky Belle.

 Here’s a back-in-the-day shot (1920) of Creede (from the C of C website):

 creede historical society 1920

Compare this with a modern shot taken from the same spot (from Wiki):

 Creede_Main_Street_2

For all of you regular followers of ALAD, you may be aware of my frequent run-ins with John C. Fremont (see the following posts:  Fremont CA, Truckee CA, Paisley OR, Daniel WY, and Summer Lake OR).  I know have Creede CO to add to the list, and here’s why:

In 1848, Explorer John C. Fremont made a disastrous attempt to cross the San Juan Mountains in the dead of winter while searching for a route for a railroad. The route would be nearly impassable in a normal winter and the winter of 1848 was particularly harsh, with six to seven foot drifts in the mountains. Eleven of the 37 men and all of the 120 mules died on the trip. For several weeks all the men had to eat was mule.

Here’s a GE map, showing where Fremont wintered (only about 5 miles from my landing):

 fremont's camp

Here’s a Panoramio picture of the spot, by Ben Will:

 pano benwill fremont's camp

Back to the Creede town website, here’s a cool poem by one Cy Warman:

 Here’s a land where all are equal
Of high or lowly birth –
A land where men make millions
Dug from the dreary earth.

Here meek and mild eyed burros
On mineral mountains feed,
It’s day all day in the day-time
And there is no night in Creede.

The cliffs are solid silver
With wondrous wealth untold,
And the beds of running rivers
Are lined with purest gold.

While the world is filled with sorrow,
And hearts must break and bleed,
It’s day all day in the day-time
And there is no night in Creede.

I’ll close with this Panoramio shot by A. P. Bailey (about 5 miles west of my landing):

  pano apbailey 5 mi w

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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Twin Falls, Idaho

Posted by graywacke on June 18, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now moving to an every-other-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 2025; A Landing A Day blog post number 443.

Dan –  I landed in what I always feel is my long-running USer . . . ID; 47/55; 6/10; 9; 151.0.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows that I landed near Jerome, but have selected its larger neighbor, Twin Falls as my titular city (sorry about that, Jerome; no offense intended, and hopefully none taken):

 landing 2

I’ve landed in this general vicinity before, and am aware of how engineered the drainage systems are here.  I landed in the “watershed” of PD-4 Ditch; on to the North Side Main Canal (2nd hit); on to the Snake R (72nd hit, where it’s my 8th most common river); to the Columbia (142nd hit, my 4th most common river).

 My Google Earth (GE) shot shows a very-much agricultural setting:

 ge 1

Here’s a zoomed-in landing map that shows that I pretty much landed right on 100 North Road. 

landing 3

No chance that Google StreetView would have that little road covered, right?  Wrong:

 ge sv 1

Check out how well my StreetAtlas location agrees with my GE location (just a hair off the side of the road):

 landing 4

So, Twin Falls is named after . . . (guess what?) . . . the Twin Falls of the Snake River.  This is a little confusing, because there are three waterfalls near the city of Twin Falls.  Starting at the City and heading east (upstream), we first hit Pillar Falls.  Here’s an oblique GE shot:

ge 4 pillar falls 

Moving further upstream is the most-famous Shoshone Falls:

 ge 3 shoshone falls

Moving further upstream is the what appears to be poorly-named Twin Falls.  I mean, really, it’s only one waterfall, it’s furthest away from the town of Twin Falls and like I said before, it’s one of three local waterfalls on the Snake River.  Well, here ‘tis:

 ge 5

It turns out that it all makes sense when one realizes that Twin Falls used to be a “Twin Falls,” with two majestic waterfalls side by side.  But good old mankind, up to its usual tricks, figured they could built a dam, shut one of the falls off, and get some hydroelectric power.  You can see what happened when you check out the above picture (see where the falls to the right used to be?)  This all happened back in the 1930s.  So anyway, the town is named after these erstwhile Twin Falls . . .

I guessed that I landed in potato country, this being southern Idaho and all, and son of a gun, I’m right.  Here’s a shot of the website homepage of Cummins Family Product (the first site that came up when I Googled “Twin Falls Potatoes.”

cummins

Click HERE to learn more about their operation.

 I also stumbled on this photo and short article, from KEZJ.com (the website for a Twin Falls radio station):

potato_truck-630x420

We’ve just received news of a giant, monster potato heading toward Twin Falls. The potato is reportedly headed down Poleline Road, and looks to be targeting Wal-Mart! EVERYBODY PANIC!

Or get some sour cream and butter.

This is awesome!  The Idaho Potato Commission is celebrating the 75th year of promoting the Idaho Potato, and this year it’s gone big. They’ve created a gigantic Idaho Potato and are sending it on a cross country tour.

The 12,000 pound potato arrives in Twin Falls Wal-Mart today, April 3rd, for a visit between 9 am and 11 am.  So make sure you’re there for a once in a lifetime photo opportunity.

I’m going to close with a series of scenic photos.  I’ll start with a couple of Snake River shots lifted from the City website:

bridge over the snake

mesa

Here comes some Panoramio waterfall shots – beginning with Twin Falls, and working my way downstream.

 Here’s the Twin Falls shot, by Chris Sanfino:

 pano twin falls chris sanfino

Here’s Shoshone Falls,  by Tom Askew:

 pano tom askew shoshone falls

And finally, Pillar Falls, by Mr Hunchback:

 pano mrhunchback pillar falls

I’ll close with this Panoramio shot taken less than a mile north of my landing, by Nick Selma:

 nick selma pano just n of landing

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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Liberty, Tennessee

Posted by graywacke on June 16, 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 2024; A Landing A Day blog post number 442.

Dan –  Gee whiz.  I was on a good string of USers (and approaching a Score of 150), but after my double NV OSers, I have landed in . . . TN; 29/28; 6/10; 8; 151.6.   Note that TN was PS (perfectly subscribed at 28/28), but is now OS (oversubscribed at 29/28).  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

Note that I just missed Alabama (a solid USer).  Oh, well.  Here’s my closer-in landing map, showing (as seems to be typical), a bunch of small towns:

 landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows that I landed in what might be called a “holler.”

 GE 1

Stepping back and out, here’s an oblique view looking north up the Fox Creek valley (with the town of Prospect in the foreground):

 GE 2

 So, Fox Creek discharges in the Elk R (3rd hit); on to the Tennessee R (37th hit); on to the Ohio (126th hit); on to the MM (795th hit).

 After some Google perusing, I selected Liberty as my titular town.  Prospect was a little closer, but as you can see by the above GE shot, there ain’t much to it.  Anyway, I found a couple of things of interest in Liberty, starting with the Liberty Mule.  From Wiki:

 Liberty_tn_mule

The “Allen Bluff Mule” is a painting of a mule on a limestone bluff on U.S. Route 70 in Liberty.  Some residents say a local man named Lavader Woodard painted the mule (thus the “L. Woodard” you can see in the picture), circa 1900.

In 2003, Liberty residents became upset that an expansion of U.S. 70 to a four-lane road could threaten the mule painting. The residents started a letter writing campaign to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Supporters of the mule also placed signs along the roadway stating “Save the Mule.” Ultimately the road expansion was far enough away from the mule, that it was never in any danger.

Phew.  Close call.  Anyway, I’ll move right along to Big Bob Griffith who played professional Negro League ball (and was born in Liberty).  This, from PitchBlackBaseball.com:

 BOB-Griffith_lg

Like most pitchers of the 1930s, Big Bob Griffith played in the shadow of the great Satchel Paige, but Griffith was a star in his own right, capable of eye-popping performances.

Griffith grew to six-foot-five, and was well over 200 pounds in his prime, had a blistering fastball, and knew how to throw the devastating (and illegal) emery ball.  He played professional ball from 1934 until 1951.

In 1936, a Negro League All-Star team was formed by manager Candy Jim Taylor to compete in the Denver Post Semipro Tournament. The roster chosen included Griffith and  Satchel Paige as the starting pitchers.

The Negro Leaguers, nicknamed “the Chocolate Whizbangs” by the Denver Post newspaper, made mincemeat of the competition, with Griffith and Paige leading the way. A short synopsis of the action:

Game 1: Griffith 11-0 win, 16 strikeouts
Game 2: Paige 7-2 win
Game 3: Griffith 13-0 win, 3-hitter
Game 4: Paige 12-1 win, 6-hitter
Game 5: Griffith 10-2 win, 5-hitter
Game 6: Paige 7-0 win, 18 strikeouts

Griffith couldn’t get baseball out of his system, and pitched semipro ball into his 50s. He died at age 64 not long after a terrible fall in his home.

Here’s a picture of the All-Star Team:

NegroLeagueStars1936

 

I’ll close with this shot of a bridge over the Elk River (just south of Prospect), by Brent Moore (as posted on flickr at SeeMidTn.com:

 seemidtn.com by brent moore flickr

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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Big Smoky Valley, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on June 14, 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 2023; A Landing A Day blog post number 441.

 Dan –  I’ve landed in my 50th double (two landings a row in the same state); unfortunately, it’s a double-OSer with this landing in . . . NV; 80/73; 6/10; 7; 151.2. 

 I had a couple of water landings (waterings?) before I made it to dry land.  First, I just missed the coast of Washington:

 sv miss 1

Then, I landed way down south in the Gulf of California:

 sv miss 2

In the above shot, you can see a couple of ignored Baja landings along with my posted Yuma AZ landing.  Anyway, When I hit the lower 48, I was a measley 125 miles from my last post (Cherry Creek).  Today’s landing is the one on the left:

 sv 2 nevadas 120 miles apart

Moving right along . . . you may remember that two landings ago (Walkermine CA), I mentioned that it marked the first time that my titular town wasn’t on my StreetAtlas map.  Well, I’m doing myself one better – I’m not using a town at all.  Here’s my closer-in landing map, and you will see that it is devoid of features over quite a large area:

 sv landing 2

Note the 56.55 mile line.  You can see a series of mountain peaks to the west, as there are to the west.  So, the line on the map marks the approximate center line of (you guessed it!) a valley.  And the valley is, of course, the Big Smoky Valley.  It’s actually longer than 55 miles, more like 75.

 The valley is big and impressive, of course dominates the regional landscape in the vicinity of my landing, and almost nobody lives there, so I figured what the heck – Big Smoky Valley gets the post title.

My GE shot shows a predictably arid landscape:

sv ge 1

 Here’s an oblique GE shot looking northeast:

sv ge 2

Drainage is pretty simple.  Here’s a vertical GE shot, showing the central part of the Valley:

sv ge 3

 I landed at elevation 6100.  Water at my landing would head west to the center of the valley (elevation 5525).  It would then head south to the middle of the big white patch on the above photo, which is the lowest point in the Valley (elevation 5460).   Once there (if there was enough of it), it would form a temporary lake and then either sink in or (more likely) evaporate . . .

 From ExploringNevada.com, this travelogue describes the drive south to north through the BSV:

Starting from the South, the first dozen miles or so of the drive are rather boring, although the hulking mountains in the background do offer some tantalizing hints of what lays before you. To the left (or the west) when heading north are the Toiyabe Range, a mountain range with a massive vertical rise and which is home to the seldom visited Arc Dome Wilderness Area. And to the east are the Toquima Range, a mountain range that isn’t quite as impressive when visually seen from the road since they sit further back from the highway and have their western flank blocked a bit by foothills.

The Big Smoky Valley defies all the conventional stereotypes of Nevada. The Big Smoky Valley is a big, massive valley that extends for more than 60 miles in length and averages from 5-20 miles in width – depending on where you are within it. The mountains, particularly the Toiyabe Range, rise abruptly off the valley floor and dwarf everything around them, with the taller peaks having a 5000 foot vertical rise (to well over 10,000 in elevation).

Numerous side roads cut off from Highway 376 and head toward the mountains. Most of these roads tend to “start out good” before tapering off to 4×4 type roads as they enter National Forest lands. However, a few of these roads do have National Forest campgrounds on them. These roads are – usually – safe for all types of vehicles (at least until you reach the campground!).

Traffic on this scenic drive is light to non-existent, depending on what time of year you visit the valley.  Most of the local traffic runs between Hadley and Tonopah. Thus, once you get north of Hadley, what little traffic there is often tends to disappear entirely.

 A fellow geologist, “Silver Fox” writes a blog called “Looking for Detachment.”  She wrote about a road trip down the Big Smoky Valley.  Great photos.  Click HERE to check it out.

Now (of course) for some pretty pictures that will give you a feel for the place.  First, this spectacular shot from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection:

 sv  NevDEP

Here’s a Wiki shot:

sv - wiki 800px-Smoky_Valley_NV_S

And this, by Tom Schweich (who has webpage on Eastern Mojave Vegetation, Schweich.com).  We’re looking south into the valley:

 sv tom schweich toquimas to the left and the Toiyabes to the right

I’ll close with this lovely shot by Warren Willis, posted on NevadaMagazine.com:

 sv _©Warren_Willis  nevada magazine

 That’l do it.

KS

 Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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Cherry Creek, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on June 10, 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 2021; A Landing A Day blog post number 439.

Dan –  Well, 150’ll have to wait, as I moved a little more than 300 miles due east of my previous Walkermine CA landing, to land in this OSer . . . NV; 79/73; 7/10; 6; 150.8.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 cc landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows my proximity to the settlement of Cherry Creek, located about miles 5 miles NW of my landing:

 cc landing 2

Remarkably, not only have I remained at the same latitude as my Walkermine landing (39.94 N for Walkermine; 39.84 N for Cherry Creek), I have also moved from one abandoned mining company town to another.  Before discussing the particulars, let me move on to Google Earth (GE):

 cc ge 1

Backing well out, here’s an oblique GE shot looking west:

 cc ge 2

The drainage from my landing flows towards the bottom of the above shot, where Duck Creek is located.  Remarkably, this is my fourth landing in the Duck Creek watershed.  Duck Creek flows into the internally-drained Goshute Lake (5th time my landing drainage has ended up here).

 The town of Cherry Creek would be just out of the range of the above photo (to the right), although one of the mines served by the town was the Egan Canyon mine, which was located near the gap in the ridge.

 Here’s a GE StreetView shot from near Cherry Creek, looking south towards my landing (about 5 miles away):

 cc streetview looking s towards landing

 Here are excerpts from GhostTowns.com (starting with the boom years):

At its peak in 1882, Cherry Creek had a transient population of 6,000 and about 1800 permanent residents. The town had an amazing 28 saloons. One mine had shipped more than $1 million in bullion. Then the financial crash of 1883 stopped Cherry Creek in its tracks. Mines began to close and Cherry Creek began a rapid decline. A fire in 1888 destroyed a section of the business district. By 1890, the population had dwindled to 350. Another fire occurred 1901 and yet another in 1904. In 1905 Cherry Creek experienced a revival that caused the reopening of a number of mines. This continued through the 1920s, the 1930s, and into the 1940s . . .

Only 28 saloons?  Anyway, this from Wiki, this about the more recent past:

 Since the 1940’s, the community has slowly declined in size, although mine leaseholders have always been active in the district, and occasional mining activity has taken place. Many historic structures, including a museum, an early one-room schoolhouse, and the Cherry Creek Barrel Saloon, still stand among more modern buildings.

From RockyMountainProfiles.com, here’s a shot of one of the many ghost town ruins:

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 

Rather than me simply showing more pictures, I must insist that you check out Silver State Ghost Towns.com, which has a little history, but then a great slideshow of Cherry Creek (with really high-quality photos).  Click HERE to see it.

Only about 3 miles from my landing is Egan Canyon (mentioned earlier).  Here’s a Panoramio shot (by Ralph Maughan)  up in the mountains near Egan Canyon:

cc ralph maughan

 I’m going to close with a couple of opposing shots.  First this, from GE Panoramio, by JBrunson, which is a shot from the mountains looking past Cherry Creek (or what remains of Cherry Creek), across Steptoe valley (my landing would be out of the shot to the right):

 cc rbrunson

 Reversing the view, I’m going to close with this shot from RockyMountainProfiles.com, looking back across the Steptoe Valley towards Cherry Creek:

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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Walkermine, Plumas County, California

Posted by graywacke on June 8, 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 2021; A Landing A Day blog post number 439.

Dan –  A pretty good string of USers going on (6/7), with this landing in . . . CA; 94/108; 7/10; 5; 150.4.  This was my fourth 2013 CA landing.  Well, I mentioned it last post, and I’ll mention it again.  I’m getting awfully close to breaking through the mythical 150 barrier.  Stay tuned.  Anyway, here’s my regional landing map:

 port landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows that I landed in the boonies, in the midst of many small (mostly very small) towns.

 port landing 2

I landed in the watershed of Emigrant Creek; on to Little Grizzly Creek; on to Indian Creek, and then on to two new rivers  (my 1118th and 1119th rivers):   first the East Branch of the North Fork of the Feather River and then on to the North Fork of the Feather River; on to the Feather itself (2nd hit); on to the Sacramento (25th hit).

What you’re seeing right now is a unique ALAD happening.  Never before have I named a post after a location that’s not on a StreetAtlas map.  Well, there’s a first time for everything.  So, where does “Walkermine” come from?  Well, I’ll start with my Google Earth shot, which has no clue about Walkermine.  In fact, it looks like I’ve landed in a pristine mountain wilderness setting:

 port ge 1

OK, now I’m zooming out a little, and something rather suspicious comes into view:

 port ge2

Huh.  A big, Africa-shaped white patch, out here in the wilderness, with some other disturbed areas off to the northeast.  Very peculiar . . .

 Before investigating the white patch, I’ll zoom back and share this oblique GE shot to give you an overall feel for the landscape:

 port ge 3

If not for “Africa,” it would be lovely!  Zooming in a little, here’s a closer view of Africa, which measures about 3,000 feet “north to south”, which makes it nearly 100 acres in size.

 port ge 4

And what the heck, let’s zoom way in and see what we can see:

 port ge 5

Wow.  I don’t have a clue what I’m looking at (well, anyway, I didn’t when I was first perusing GE).

 I then zoomed into to the other disturbed area:

 ge walker mine

Hmmm.  Looks like some old industrial facility of some sort. . .

 My first indication of what might be going on was when I activated Panoramio photos on GE and saw a bunch of photos posted right at the above area.  Several of the photos referenced “Walker Mine.”  The search was on:  the former town of Walkermine was discovered, and my post title was soon selected.

 From CaGenWeb.com:

 George Bemis made his discovery at Walker Mine in 1904.   Initial yields by 1914 were sufficient to warrant construction of a bunkhouse and three cabins for workers. High-grade ore assaying 12 percent copper was struck during October 1915.  A new flotation plant (for ore processing) was completed in 1916.  Electricity arrived in 1917, when a power line was brought from Indian Valley.

That’s enough background –  now make sure you read this part:

During Walker Mine’s most productive years (1920 – 1930), it was operated by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company.  The company town of Walkermine was built to support work crews and their families during that period (1,000 workers and 3,000 Walkermine residents).  The town supported a hospital, a movie theater, a school, a library, dining facilities, a store, a tavern, a post office, a service station, a baseball field, and a ski hill.

Occupants of Walkermine lived in 132 company-constructed homes, 4 bunkhouses of three stories each, and 68 private homes.  During its heyday, 75 students attended the school at Walkermine and were taught by just three teachers.  Walkermine officially became a defunct settlement in 1941, when Walker Mine closed permanently.

Wow.  There was a whole town, and now it’s all gone.  A really strange aspect of this town was that in the winter, it was totally isolated because of massive snowfalls typical for the region.  But the mining went on (with ore being shipped out), and supplies were needed.  How did they do this when the roads were impassable?  Read on . . .

A unique feature of the Walker Mine operation was its 9-mile tramway, completed in 1919.  It was built to transport copper ore in 3-foot- by-4-foot buckets from the mine to a railroad siding at Spring Garden.  There, the copper ore was loaded into gondola carts and freighted to Tooele, Utah for smelting.  Also transported by the tram during winter periods were food, freight, mail, and occasionally people.  During winter, the company town was cut off from the outside world, except for the tramway.  The line ran on wooden towers, each from 20 to 60 feet in height.  In winter, when the snow was extraordinarily deep, crews were employed near the summit of Grizzly Ridge to shovel the snow out of the line of travel of the buckets.

Oh my!  Amazing.  Here’s a GE Panoramio shot (by Drafter) of one of the tramway wooden towers:

 pano drafter tram tower

Here’s a GE shot showing the path the tramway took from the mine to Spring Garden:

 ge tram path

From MiningArtifacts.org, here’s a shot of the old mine & town:

 miningartifacts.org

From Plumas County WebGen, here’s another old picture:

 Walkermine from plumas webgen

“Drafter” posted a bunch of Panoramio pictures of the mine site now.  Here’s the old mine entrance:

 pano drafter mine entrance

Here are the ruins of the ore processing building:

 pano drafter processing building

Here are some more ruins . . .

 pano drafter

I couldn’t find any information about the one hundred-acre Africa, except that it’s an old tailings pond,  meaning a pond that used to receive wastes from ore processing.  Such wastes are typically highly acidic (or lowly acidic, from a pH point of view), which is probably why, after all this time, that it’s a blight on the countryside, just sitting there.  One might think that the State of California could cough up a few bucks to clean it up . . .

Moving right along . . . you’ll notice “Davis Lake” on my landing map east of my landing.  I’ll close with this shot of a stream, just before it flows into the lake (Panoramio by The Utiman):

 pano the utiman stream into davis lake

 

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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