A Landing a Day

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Orovada and McDermitt, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on August 28, 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 2047; A Landing A Day blog post number 465.

 Dan –  Continuing my OSer string (now at oh-for-five), with this OSer landing in NV; 81/74; 3/10; 3; 152.1  (highest Score since landing number 2016).  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows the middle-of-nowhere setting typical of Nevada (it’s about 30 miles from Orovada to McDermitt):

 landing 2

I landed fairly close to Orovada (so named because of its proximity to Oregon, I think).  But McDermitt is a little bigger with a little more to write about.  Although come to think about it, if any town should be named Orovada, it should be McDermitt, since it’s split in half by the state line.

 Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot, which is looking east:

 ge 1

The larger valley heading towards us is Willow Ck, which continues west and “discharges” into the Quinn River (2nd hit).  I put “discharges” in quotes, because it’s so dry here, it’s probably quite rare to see Willow Creek actually flowing into the Quinn R.

 Here’s another GE shot, still looking east but from farther back.  We’re looking past the Quinn River (and past some irrigated farm fields) to my landing and the Santa Rosa Mountains beyond:

 ge 2

Speaking of the Santa Rosa Mountains, here’s a Wiki shot of the mountain range.  My landing would be in the far distance (far left), in the foothills:

 wiki santa rosa range (landing towards the left)

It turns out that the Quinn River doesn’t make it to the sea.  Poor thing.  It ends up on a playa (aka a dry lake bed) about 85 miles SW of my landing.  Here’s a Wiki watershed map (my landing is some near the bottom of the more northern “Q”):


Here’s a GE shot showing my landing and the dead end playa:

 ge 3

Here’s a closer view of the Playa (aka the Quinn River Sink):

 ge 4

Incidently, the Quinn River Sink is in the Black Rock Desert, near where the Burning Man Festival is held (check out my Gerlach NV post for more info).

 While looking for some Orovado info, I stumbled upon Sand Dollar Adventures (a WordPress travel blog).  Here’s a brief excerpt:

The recent trip took us across hundreds of miles of straight-as-an-arrow, table-flat highways that disappear into the horizon, along seared brown hills baked in the summer desert sun.

Often the only break in this “endless” scene were the occasional green oasis of some old-time family homestead farmhouse, surrounded by aging cottonwood trees, or the random dilapidated boarded up highway store or service station, long since abandoned, such as this one in Orovada, Nevada, just south of the Oregon border—hence the name.


Click HERE to check out the entire post:

Moving along to McDermitt, from Wiki:

McDermitt straddles the NevadaOregon border.  McDermitt’s economy has historically been based on mining, ranching and farming, although the last mining operation closed in 1990, resulting in a steady decline in population.

Mining in the area has included gold, uranium, silver and, most notably, mercury.  In fact, from 1939 until 1989, this area was the leading producer of mercury in the United States.  Here’s a picture of the mercury mineral kleinite (yellow) on calcite (white), from the Cordero mine near McDermitt:

Kleinite-Calcite-285098 wiki

Back to Wiki:

The state line goes through the White Horse Inn, a historical landmark now being restored, which was a saloon, hotel, and (reportedly) brothel.  When it was open, food could be ordered and paid for in Oregon, avoiding the Nevada state sales tax.

Here’s a GE shot with the White Horse Inn and the State Line marked out.  Well, the line almost goes through the building . . .

ge 5

Here’s a picture of the White Horse Inn, from Trip Advisor:

 trip advisor white horse

The community, originally called Dugout, was named after Fort McDermit, which in turn was named after Lt. Col. Charles McDermit.   It is not known why there is a discrepancy in the spelling.

Here’s ALAD’s take on the extra “t” in McDermitt:  One of the most powerful and persuasive members on the town-naming committee absolutely never cursed, and strongly frowned on the practice.   He thought that “Dermit” was two close to “damn it.”  Adding the extra “t” added a little extra distance between the town and the curse . . .

Dugout / McDermitt joins a list of ALAD communities where I would prefer the original, more colorful town name. My regular readers probably expect that I would now post this so-called list.  OK, OK, so maybe I don’t keep track of absolutely all things landing.

 I found this back-in-the-day shot of McDermitt (from Trip Advisor), which shows the town just before a July 4th horse race, circa 1930):

 trip advisor 1930 4th of july horse race

I’ll close with a couple of Panoramio shots.  First, this of a Shell station in Orovada by Michael Jiroch:

 michael jiroch

And then, this shot of the Santa Rosa Mountains taken from near my landing by Reindl:


  That’ll do it.




© 2013 A Landing A Day


2 Responses to “Orovada and McDermitt, Nevada”

  1. Thanks for the link. I love your idea for blog fodder, kind of like “pin the tail on the Google Earth map.”

    After all your comprehensive research, have you been able to actually put Teva sandals on the ground?

    Cheers, frank

    • graywacke said

      Hey Frank, thanks for commenting. And no, my Tevas have never, never (not even once) visited one of my landing spots. After 2047 landings (and 465 blog posts), one might think I would have stirred my stumps and actually said hello to one of my landings. My wife and I have talked about a road trip visiting some of my favorite spots. Maybe one of these days . . .


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