A Landing a Day

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for September, 2013

Maxeys, Georgia

Posted by graywacke on September 30, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less 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 2055; A Landing A Day blog post number 473.

 Dan –  On a bit of a roll, with the fourth USer in a row with this landing in . . . GA; 36/40; 5/10; 150.5.  One more USer, and I’ll pass the mythical 150 boundary . . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 ga landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows many small towns near my landing, with the major city of Athens (home of the University of Georgia) not far away:

 ga landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows that I landed in the woods, but not far from some cleared fields:

 ga ge 1

The arching east-west road south of my landing has StreetView coverage.  Here’s a shot looking at the dirt road that heads northwest towards my landing:

 ga ge sv

Backing out a little on GE, you can see that I landed at the edge of a large wooded area:

 ga ge 2

Here’s a new ALAD feature, a streams-only map showing my local watersheds:

 ga streams

I landed in the watershed of an unnamed tributary of Sandy Ck; on to Sandy Ck; on to the Oconee R (5th hit, the 148th river on my list of rivers with 5 or more landings); on to the Altamaha (8th hit).  By the way, Sandy Ck is my 28th stream with the word Sand or Sandy in the name.  It was my sixth “Sandy Creek.” 

 While perusing GE Panoramio photos, I happened upon this shot entitled “Company Store Ruins at Scull Shoals” by CWoods:

 ga company store by cwoods pano

Here’s a GE shot showing how remote the site is (but also very close to my landing):

 ga ge scull shoals 2

A GE close-up reveals a little clearing in the woods with the company store ruins evident:

 ga ge scull shoals

A little internet research, and I realized I had stumbled on an interesting historical site.  From GhostTowns.com:

Scull Shoals is an extinct town on the Oconee River in middle Georgia, site of a 19th century mill village which included Georgia’s first paper mill from 1811-1814. Under owner Thomas M. Poullian, Scull Shoals contained grist mills, sawmills, and a 4-story brick textile mill, stores and homes. At its height, there were 500 workers tending 4,000 spindles in the mill. Dr. Lindsay Durham of Scull Shoals developed medicines from his extensive herb garden, and ran a sanatorium there. Flooding caused the demise of the mills in the 1880s, and the town was abandoned by the 1920s.

There is a “Friends of Scull Shoals” organization works to facilitate archeological research and also maintains the grounds.  Click HERE to check out their site.

On the USDA Forest Service website is a video about the work being done there (focusing on the restoration of a stone & brick bridge over the long-gone mill race.  Click HERE for the video:

 OK.  Moving right along to Maxeys.  I found an article written by Rhiannon Brewer Patrick with On-Line Athens.  Here’s an excerpt that talks about the town’s history and the town today:

MAXEYS — This little Oglethorpe County town hasn’t changed much over the past 30 years, but residents of Maxeys seem to like it that way.

”It’s quiet and everything. There’s no reason to leave,” said James Brisco, who has lived in Maxeys for 30 years and has spent the last 10 working at Maxey’s New and Used Tires.

While Brisco can’t think of a reason to leave his town, that wasn’t the case for Maxeys residents in the past. The town that straddles Georgia Highway 77 once prospered but practically dried up after the state’s cotton boom was over.

The town was first called Shanty and then Salmonville before the railroad came to town and the Maxey family lent the town its name.

”There was a Maxey family that lived here,” said Maxeys Postmaster W.O. Dawkins. ”They gave the land to the railroad to come through, and they moved out to the country. The were afraid their kids would get run over by the train.”

Maxeys was incorporated in 1907 and soon became a bustling farm town. A train passed through town twice a day, carrying cotton between Athens and Union Point.

At its height prior to the boll weevil invasion, which shrunk Georgia’s cotton crop considerably in the 1920s, Maxeys boasted a dozen shops, a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, at least two banks, three doctors, a dentist, and a population of more than 500.

”It was at one time a thriving little crossroads community,” said Maxeys Mayor John Stephens. ”It even had a hotel where traveling salesmen would sleep.”

The main thrust of the On-Line Athens article is actually the A.T. Brightwell Scholarship (I didn’t include any of the verbiage about the scholarship in the above excerpt).  I found an article about the scholarship that I liked a little better (even though it’s a 1985 article from the Evening Independent newspaper out of Petersburg FL).  Check this out:

evening independent st petersburg fl 1985

evening independent st petersburg fl 1985 (2)

I love it!  A no-strings-attached scholarship (as long as you live within a mile of the old Brightwell home and don’t flunk out).  No essays to write; no cut-throat competition for the money!  It’s as simple as “I live in town, I’m going to the University of Georgia in the fall, and I’m going to live at home while going to school.”  Bingo.  The money is yours.

As you might imagine, this scholarship actually boosts the real estate values in town!

I’ll close with a couple of local photos.  First, this of the Maxeys town hall, courtesy of City-Data.com:

city-data.com maxeys city hall

And then there’s this interesting Panoramio shot by Realist Photo entitled Iron Horse, taken in a farm field just across the Oconee from Scull Shoals:

ga realistphoto pano

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

Milano, Rockdale and (most importantly) Sandow, Texas

Posted by graywacke on September 27, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less 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 2053; A Landing A Day blog post number 471.

 Dan –  I guess I’ll call this a trend, with my third USer in a row, thanks to this landing in the granddaddy of all USers  . . . TX; 149/180; 4/10; 11; 151.0.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows a bunch of small towns.  You see that Sandow is a ways away (and not at all the closest town).  Obviously, you’ll soon find out why it received extra attention in my post title.

 landing 2

You can see the Brazos River, off to the east on the above landing map.  I landed in the watershed of Cedar Ck (not shown), which does indeed flow into the Brazos (28th hit).  You may recall that my previous two landings were both in the Sacramento R watershed, my 26th and 27th hits for the Sacramento.  The Brazos ranks 21st on my watershed hit list; the Sacramento 22nd.

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows that I landed right next to a country road.  GE StreetView?  GE StreetView?  Not meant to be . . .

 ge 1

So, of course I checked out Milano – I landed less than 5 miles away.  I also looked at Rockdale, hoping for that elusive hook.  I noticed Sandow on the map, and when I read the piece about Sandow in TexasEscapes.com, I was hooked.  Here are some excerpts:

Sandow was once called Freezeout by mule-driving freighters who passed through the area from the coast,  it seemed to cater to them with an abundance of saloons and a racetrack.

 [Wow.  Freezeout!  What a great name . . . and, it had saloons and a racetrack . . .]

The community was granted a post office in 1873 and the name of Millerton was submitted, named after solid citizen Emil Miller.  A large deposit of lignite (a low-grade brown coal) was discovered adjacent to the town.

In 1918 a six-mile rail spur was run to the lignite mine.  McAlester Fuel Company bought the mine and the entire town in 1922.  Since they “owned” the town, the executives felt that a renaming was in order.

Times being what they were, the company chose the name of a Prussian-born strongman who was being promoted in New York by Florenz Ziegfeld (later famous for the Ziegfeld Follies).  The strongman, Eugen Sandow, is considered to be the father of the modern body building culture.

 [Are you kidding me?  “Times being what they were,” they named the town after a body builder?  More about Eugen Sandow later.]

Lignite from the mine supplied the University of Texas and Texas A&M University, as well as other electric-power producers.

Natural gas became cheaper than coal and in time the mine closed.  The Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) built a plant to take advantage of the lignite.   Aluminum processing requires a prodigious amount of electricity; the lignite was used to power their electrical generating plant.

The town evolved into a plant, but did not survive as a town. Most Alcoa employees live in nearby Rockdale.

 Here’s a current GE shot of “downtown Sandow:”

ge 2 alcoa -

 I know you couldn’t wait to here more about Eugen Sandow.  Here’s what Wiki has to say:

Eugen Sandow (1867 – 1925),  was a Prussian pioneering bodybuilder known as the “father of modern body building.”

Sandow became affiliated with Florenz Ziegfeld.  Ziegfeld the showman wanted his audiences to see Sandow’s weightlifting capabilities.

However, Ziegfeld found that the audience was more fascinated by Sandow’s bulging muscles than by the amount of weight he was lifting, so Ziegfeld had Sandow perform poses which he dubbed “muscle display performances”… and the legendary strongman added these displays in addition to performing his feats of strength with barbells.   He added chain-around-the-chest breaking and other colorful displays to Sandow’s routine.  Sandow quickly became Ziegfeld’s first star.

In 1894, Sandow featured in a short film series by the Edison Studios. The film was of only part of the show and features him flexing his muscles rather than performing any feats of physical strength.

 Click HERE to see the Edison film and remember, it was shot in 1894!

 And then there’s this in Wiki, about the “Grecian Ideal:”

Sandow’s resemblance to the physiques found on classical Greek and Roman sculpture was no accident, as he measured the statues in museums and helped to develop “The Grecian Ideal” as a formula for the “perfect physique.”

Sandow built his physique to the exact proportions of his Grecian Ideal, and is considered the father of modern bodybuilding, as one of the first athletes to intentionally develop his musculature to pre-determined dimensions.

Of course, we must have a picture of Mr. Sandow.   Quite the dude, eh?

eugenesandow

 Moving right along . . .  here are a couple of GE Panoramio shots taken along Route 79, just north and west of my landing.  First, this by David Whitley:

 david whitley

And this, of Indian Paint Brushes (taken right in Milano) by T. George Huntzinger:

 tgeorgehuntzinger Indian paint brushes

Ozroo2 took this shot headed south out of Rockdale towards the big Alcoa plant:

 ozroo2 2

Ozroo2 also took this shot of a sunset over beautiful downtown Sandow:

 ozroo2

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

Clear Lake, California

Posted by graywacke on September 20, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less 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 2053; A Landing A Day blog post number 471.

Dan –  How about that.  Not only back-to-back USers, but back-to-back landings in . . . CA; 96/110; 3/10; 10; 151.6.

 This was my 51st double (landing in the same state twice in a row), and the 6th time for CA (only TX has more doubles, with 7).  Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

 Here’s my closer-in landing map:

 landing 2

A brief digression concerning my wife Jody is appropriate at this point.  Not only is this my second CA landing in a row, but it’s the second time I’ve landed in places that Jody knows (or at least knew) well.  Back in the 70s, she lived in San Francisco and Eureka.  A couple of her California friends moved to Weed (and Jody went there frequently), a town very close to Mt. Shasta and my previous landing.

 Two other of her friends (Boone & Sully) live in Cobb (see above landing map).  In fact, they were the owners of “Cobb Mountain Spring Water.”  They actually bottled and sold water from a spring that bubbled forth from the side of Cobb Mountain (which I personally visited).  These guys were early pioneers in the bottled spring water business, and did quite well. 

 I remember Jody and I were on a business / ski trip to Colorado in the early 1990s.  We stopped at a convenience store along I-70, and they sold Cobb Mountain Spring Water.  Jody was so excited, she immediately called Boone.

 Unfortunately, Boone and Sully ended up being forced out of business by strong-armed tactics of big corporate bottled water interests (“Big Water”) . . . 

 Moving right along . . . here’s my Google Earth shot, showing a semi-arid wilderness with a dirt road:

ge 1

 Backing up and looking north, here’s another look:

ge 2 lookingnorth 

You can see that drainage from my landing ends up in the southward-flowing valley east of my landing.  It contains Hunting Ck, which flows to Putah Ck, which flows to the Sacramento R (27th hit, and second Sacramento R basin landing in a row).

 You can see some peculiar-looking obviously-disturbed land and water off to the right (east) of my landing.  I’ll zoom in a little for a better look:

 ge 3 homestake mclaughlin mine

It turns out that this is a now-closed gold mine – the Homestake Mining Company’s McLaughlin gold mine.  By the way, the mine is mostly in Napa County.  Obviously, wine isn’t the county’s only product.

 Here are some excerpts from an article about the mine from the Napa Valley Register, by Kevin Courtney:

The history books have it all wrong.  For Napa County, the Gold Rush wasn’t in 1849. It happened less than 30 years ago in a remote corner of the county ruled by jackrabbits.

From 1985 to 2002, Homestake Mining Co. extracted $1 billion worth of gold from the desolate landscape above Lake Berryessa.  For a time, the McLaughlin Mine was the biggest producer in California and one of the largest in the world.

Fired by visions of wealth, prospectors roamed this rocky terrain in the mid-19th century. They found mercury and some silver, but the gold was hidden from view.

There were no nuggets or glittery veins. This gold existed in microscopic and submicroscopic particles [deposited by hotsprings].  Without Homestake’s sleuthing and modern extraction technologies, the billion-dollar Napa Mother Lode wouldn’t have happened.

To get to the gold, McLaughlin removed 115 million tons of waste rock. Thirty-eight million tons of ore were turned into powder, mixed with water and sent as a slurry through five miles of pipe to a processing plant in Lake County.

The McLaughlin mine is now a 7,000-acre natural preserve operated by the University of California. The area’s rare serpentine rock and associated ecological habitat offer research opportunities.

Homestake continues to revegetate the landscape and turn a slurry dump into wetlands. The pit lake is permanent. The company has won awards for its environmental program.

While essentially all of the McLaughlin Mine gold is invisible or nearly invisible to the naked eye, there are a few obvious gold specimens.  Here’s a picture of one from UC-Davis:

 ucdavis gold

Let me see –  this post is entitled Clear Lake, and I haven’t even mentioned it yet.  Well, here goes.  First, let me mention that the town is Clearlake, and the lake is Clear Lake.  I decided to name the post after the lake because there’s some very cool geology going on here.

 It turns out that Clear Lake (which covers 68 square miles) is the second largest natural lake in CA (Lake Tahoe is bigger, but shouldn’t really count because it’s shared with NV).

 As my regular readers know, lakes are inherently interesting geological features, because natural drainage system development does not result in lakes.  Lakes are formed when something (generally fairly recent events like glaciers) disrupts normal drainage patterns, creating lakes.  Lakes don’t usually last too long (geologically speaking), because they fill up with sediment, dumped by in-flowing streams and rivers.

 A fairly recent post (Lake City CO) featured Lake San Cristobal, the second-largest natural lake in CO.  The story of the lake is fascinating (it was formed by a landslide).  If you didn’t read the post, I highly recommend it (of course).  Click HERE.

 So, what’s going on with California’s Clear Lake?  From Wiki:

Clear Lake is one of the oldest lakes in North America, due to a geological fluke.

 [I love geological flukes.]

The lake sits on a huge block of bedrock which is slowly subsiding at about the same rate as the lake fills in with sediment, thus keeping the water at roughly the same depth.

 [According to the Lake County website, the rate is a mere 1/25 of an inch per year.  The subsidence is associated with the overall geological instability associated with the San Andreas fault system.]

Core samples of the lake’s sediments, taken by U.S. Geological Survey geologists in 1973 and 1980, indicate that the lake is at least 480,000 years old.

 This is remarkable, when you think about it.  And by the way, 1/25 of an inch per year doesn’t sound like much.  But in 2012, a University of Berkeley research team began collecting cores, and they retrieved a 150-meter sediment core representing a continuous record of sediment laid down over 130,000 years.  I did the math, and son of a gun, it works out to about 1/25th of an inch per year.

 Of course, these days, there is much interest in climate change, and much research on past climate changes.  The Berkeley research team is studying the heck out of the cores to figure out what has been going on in California climate over the past 130,000 years.  There’s an UC-Berkeley article with a very cool video about the Clear Lake drilling & research.  Click HERE to check it out.  And the video is definately worth your time . . .

 Gee whiz.  I guess it’s time to close with a couple of Panoramio shots.  First this shot (by Clintasaurus), of Knoxville Road, which runs right by the McLaughlin Mine.

 knoxville road by clintasaurus

Oh yea.  I stumbled on a funky You Tube video of a trip on the very same Knoxville Road.  The video is labeled as “Video 1181 of a reality travel show with your host David Rush.”  David feels like he’s kind of lost, and can’t get over how isolated the road is (while still being paved).  It’s shot out of the front window of his car.  I actually enjoyed it (for a while).  One of his quotes:  “This is just trippy, man.”  Click HERE to check it out.

 I’ll close with this Panoramio shot (by House Hunter Rick) of Clear Lake with Mt. Konocti (a remnant volcano) in the background.

 househunterrick mt konocti

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

Mount Shasta, California

Posted by graywacke on September 15, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less 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 2052; A Landing A Day blog post number 470.

Dan –  After a one-for-nine, I’ll take this USer landing in . . . CA; 95/110; 2/10; 9; 152.2.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 shasta landing 1

My closer-in map shows my proximity to (what else?) Mount Shasta.  OK, so the town of McCloud’s not far, but the big mountain has my heart (and this post):

 shasta landing 2

I landed in the watershed of the McCloud River (2nd hit; more about the McCloud later); on to the Pit River (also 2nd hit); on to the Sacramento River (26th hit), on to the San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and out to the Pacific Ocean.

 My Google Earth (GE) shot shows that I landed in the woods (in a surprisingly non-mountainous area):

shasta GE 1 

Zooming out some, I see a peculiar irregular patchwork east of my landing:

 shasta GE 3

Taking a closer look, I’m mystified.  Maybe clear-cutting of patches of forest (for timber), but new growth has either not been planted or just been planted?  

 shasta GE 4

Enough about the patchwork vegetation.  How about Mount Shasta?  Well, here ‘tis:

 shasta GE 5

Of course, I had to tilt my perspective, and see the big mountain looming behind my landing:

 shasta GE 6

Just so you know, I have GE set with no vertical exaggeration. 

 So, what to say about Mount Shasta?  Obviously, there’s a whole lot of geology going on.  But you know, back on July 31, 2011, I landed near Mt. Rainier, and I discussed the volcanic geology at some length.  Generally, it all applies as well to Mt. Shasta.  In my Rainier post, I also talked about lahars (volcanic mudflows), and the potential for catastrophe in the event of an eruption.  Once again, it applies to Shasta.  Click HERE to check out my Mt. Rainier post.

 So, as I was pondering the geologic angle for this post, I decided to go big picture.  Why are Mt. Shasta and Mt. Rainier (not to mention Mounts Hood, Lassen, Adams, Jefferson, St. Helens and Baker, as well as Crater Lake), here at all?  What’s going on?

 We all know about spreading centers (like the Mid-Atlantic Ridge), where semi-molten magma rock wells up and forms new crust that spreads out away from the ridge.  Well, there are several of those in the Pacific Ocean.  They go from Northern California on up into British Columbia.  Here’s a map (Wiki):

shasta geology wiki

The spreading centers are three ridges labeled Explorer Ridge, Juan De Fuca Ridge and Gorda Ridge.  See the arrows?  They indicate the new crust being formed and spreading out away from the ridge.  Of course, you can also see all of the volcanoes.

 Realize that not only is the newly formed crust headed east, but the North American plate is headed west (pushed by the Atlantic Ridge spreading center).  Hmmmm.  Something has to give.

 Look back at the picture.  See the dark line in the ocean not far from the coast?  That’s the subduction zone, where the newly-formed oceanic crust plunges under the advancing North American Plate. 

 OK, we need another picture, this one a cross-section.  Wiki let me down a little.  No cross-section!  But I found one at volcanic legacy dot net:

 shasta volcanic legacy.net  cross section

Now you can see what happens.  The oceanic crust grinds its way under the North American crust.  Guess what happens as this immense rock mass bullies its way under North America?  It heats up.  It heats up big time, such that at the plate boundaries, the rock becomes liquid lava. 

 Heat rises, as does the molten, liquid rock.  A crack here, a slightly weaker zone of rock there, and up it goes until it breaks out at the surface.  Voila!  A volcano.

 Back to Wiki, here’s a graphic that shows the frequency of eruptions of the various volcanoes.  Think there might be a bang or two in the not-too-distant future?

 shasta geology 2 wiki

My more astute readers may have wondered how it is that the entire North American continent is being pushed by the spreading center that is way the heck out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  Excellent wondering.  It turns out that the Atlantic oceanic crust and the North American continental crust are locked and are behaving as one.  The result is a stable east coast in the United States.

 Let’s imagine for a second if the Atlantic crust began plunging under the North American crust along the east coast.  Oh, it would take a few million years, but look out for the massive earthquakes!  Volcanoes popping up all over the place!  Bye-bye I-95 (not to mention all of the cities it connects)!  I get the movie rights!   (And a creative director will ignore the part about millions of years).

 OK, back to reality.  Most (if not all) of us have heard of the Ring of Fire around the rim of the Pacific Ocean.  It is caused by spreading centers just like the ones we’ve been talking about that cause subduction zones, earthquakes and volcanoes that occur all the way around the Pacific.  Here’s a map (Wiki).  Note that all of the trenches shown are associated with subduction zones:

 shasta volcanic legacy.net ring of fire

 I’ve mentioned earthquakes, which, of course, are part of the whole scene.  Here’s a cross-section (similar to the one that I presented), but that focuses on the various types of earthquakes that happen around subduction zones (Wiki):

 shasta cross section wiki

The real doozies are the subduction zone quakes (up to Magnitude 9).  You can imagine the oceanic plate getting hung up, while stresses continue to build.  Then, the plate suddenly lets go . . .

 These are the type of quakes that might cause a sudden uplift of ocean floor, resulting in a tsunami.  And yes, this is exactly what occurred in Japan and Indonesia fairly recently.  Could it happen in the Pacific Northwest.  You bet.

 OK.  It’s time for some pictures.  Before we go to the mountain, it turns out that the McCloud River (my watershed river) has some beautiful waterfalls within 10 miles of my landing.  First, this Panoramio shot of the Upper McCloud Falls by Teton22:

 shasta upper mccloud falls pano teton22

Here’s a Panoramio shot of the Lower McCloud Falls by C. B. Cessna:

 shasta lower mccloud falls pano c.b.cessna

Now, let’s cast our gaze towards the mountain.  There are hundreds (thousands!) of photos for your perusal on line.  Basically, I was overwhelmed, and just picked up a few.

 I’ll start close to home (or I mean, close to landing) with a Panoramio shot by GoldPanner  taken along Route 89, which runs east-west just north of my landing.  This is the closest I could get of a landings-eye view of the mountain – and is the kind of view that most of us tourists would get (OK, without the motorcycle):

 shasta pano goldpanner

Staying local to my landing, here’s another Route 89 Panoramio shot, by Bruno Dere:

 shasta pano bruno dere

Here’s a fabulous shot by Kelsey Moty from Caliber Magazine:

 shasta caliber magazine kelsey moty

Here’s another from just about the same angle by Eric Cassano, posted in ShastaLake.com:

 shastalake.com eric cassano

For a different perspective, here’s a Panoramio shot by Dive Ken taken from the top of the mountain.  The pyramid (which is what he entitled his photo) is the mountain’s shadow!

 shasta pano sky dive ken

Instead of closing with yet another picture, I’ll close instead with this 1874 quote by John Muir:

“When I first caught sight of Mount Shasta over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.”

All in all, I think Mount Shasta is well worth a trip.

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

Shaniko and the Clarno Unit, Oregon

Posted by graywacke on September 12, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less 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 2051; A Landing A Day blog post number 469.

Dan –  The misery continues (1/9) with this OSer landing in . . . OR; 78/66; 2/10; 8; 152.8.  I mean, really – the odds are about 49/51 USer/OSer.  Just because I always root for USers, does the LG (“landing god”) have to frown down upon me?

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows that I landed closest to Shaniko, but not far from Antelope and the “John Day Fossil Beds” National Monument:

landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot is looking south, up a valley:

ge 1

The valley in which I landed is home to an unnamed tributary, which flows to the Pine Hollow Ck (the valley to the far left), which flows to the John Day River (8th hit).  The John Day heads more or less straight north about 50 miles where it discharges into the Columbia (145th hit).

So what about Shaniko?  From Ghosttowns.com:

The town of Shaniko was no accident. It was planned (around 1900) before it was born. It was the brainchild of a group of bankers and businessmen in The Dalles (a town on the Columbia River about 50 miles north of  Shaniko).  The reason for the town was the enormous production of wool, Central Oregon being one huge sheep ranch in the 1900s.

The only outlet for these thousands of bales of fleece was the The Dalles.  In 1898, in order to expedite the shipment of wool, a railroad was brought in from Biggs Junction on the Columbia River, just upstream from the Dalles.  Since a railroad could not be useful without a terminal, Shaniko was built for that express purpose.

And, from Wiki:

One of the earliest settlers (before the railroad) was August Scherneckau, who came to the area after the Civil War,  in 1874.  The spelling of the town’s name reflects local pronunciation of Scherneckau’s name.

That’ll do it for Shaniko.  I’ll move right along to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.  It turns out that there are three separate parks (termed “units”) that make up the National Monument.  The one closest to my landing is the Clarno Unit.

As a a duly interested geologist, I went to the webpage for the National Monument, and began reading about the Clarno Unit.  I was appalled.  Here’s my personally-guided tour of the verbiage on their website.  Everything you read in black is theirs; my comments (obviously) are in blue.

The Clarno Unit is located 18 miles west of the town of Fossil.  The Palisades are the most prominent landform.  44 million years ago a series of volcanic mudflows, swept up and preserved a diverse assortment of plants and animals that inhabited a near-tropical forest.

OK, so the writing style is choppy, one may not know what the Palisades are, there’s an unnecessary comma, and how about “engulfed” instead of “swept up?”  Here’s their picture of the Palisades:

palisades from nps

Tiny four-toed horses, huge rhino-like brontotheres, crocodilians, and meat-eating creodonts that once roamed ancient jungles are now found in the rocks of the Clarno Unit, as well as an incredibly diverse range of plant life. Leaves, fruits, nuts, seeds, and petrified wood from 173 species of trees, vines, shrubs, and other plants have been found here thus far.

OK.  No significant problems (although the word “fossil” has yet to appear).  This is all that the home page says.  But wait, there’s a link to learn more about the geology . . .

The Clarno Nut Beds formed when massive mudflows engulfed a forest.

Clarno Nut Beds?  What are they talking about here?  Sure, there were some nuts on some trees in the forest, but there’s a whole bed of nuts?

The Clarno strata consist of thick layers of many different rock types.

Now, it’s the Clarno “strata” which sounds like it must include more than just the nut beds.  Well, I’ll keep reading:

A small portion of these sequences [now it’s sequences?] was formed when massive walls of mud, ash, and debris came crashing down the slope of a volcano, engulfing the surrounding forest and its animal inhabitants.

Wait a second!  Just a small portion?  So far, the volcanic mud flows are all we’ve been talking about.

Over time, the mud, silt, soil, and rocks of these “lahars,” along with wood, nuts, seeds, and leaves from the forest floor, were cemented together by silica.

This cementing, or hardening of the rocks, was possibly aided by minerals from nearby hot springs. This combination left a solid cliff made up of sand, silt, and clay that encased the jumbled remains of a forest.

NO NO NO!!  This combination doesn’t leave a cliff!!  This combination leaves a rock layer.  Other stuff must happen later to form the cliff (like erosion). Plus, I’m not sure the detail about the hot springs is necessary.  Moving right along:

Within the depths of the Clarno strata is a layer of volcanic sediments deposited by a river containing some of the more remarkable mammal fossils ever found in North America.

Whoa.  Everything was mud flows, and now we have a layer of sediment deposited by a river?

Seasonal flooding swept a large variety of dead animals and plants to an existing point bar.

So now we’ve moved away from the mud flows, to ordinary flooding.  OK.  But why is there such a large variety of dead animals?  And they’re getting swept (that word again) to an existing point bar.  I guess better an existing point bar than a non-existing point bar. Fortunately, they explain what a point bar is . . .

A point bar forms when sediments, such as silt, clays, sand, and gravel, drop out as the water rounds a bend and loses energy, building up a spit of land.

Lame explanation.  I know what a point bar is, but after reading that sentence, you probably don’t.  Why does the water lose energy when it rounds a bend?  Seems counter-intuitive to me.  And it forms a spit?

With each successive flood, more sediment layers were added. Over time, these buried bones became the fossils of the Hancock Mammal Quarry.

OK.  But not much of a segue to the next paragraph:

Forty-four million years ago, central Oregon was a hot, wet, semitropical place filled with a wide diversity of plants.

Sounds like we’re starting over, eh?

Imagine a semitropical forest in the present day and a climate where there is no summer or winter, but where many of the trees seasonally lose their leaves. This is an ancient Oregon forest.

Why imagine it in the present day?  Why not imagine it 44 million years ago?

We know this based on more than 175 species of fruits and nuts that are preserved in the fossil deposits known as the Clarno Nut Beds. None of the species found here still exist. Many of the plants recovered from this assemblage have modern relatives such as walnuts, chestnuts, oaks, bananas, magnolias, and palms.

Well, OK.  And now I know what the nut beds are.

This semitropical forest echoed with the buzzing of insects; the squawks and cries of birds; and the footfalls of mammals. Most of these beasts are only vaguely familiar to us: creodonts – large meat-eaters similar to wolves or hyaenas but related to neither; Hyrachyus – a distant relative of the tapir; and brontotheres – large rhino-like plant eaters. In the swampy lakes lived crocodiles, catfish, and other organisms.

Why are we talking about animals?  I assume it’s because fossils of these animals are found along with the nuts, etc. in the mudflow beds.  Here’s their picture of the forest from 44 million years ago:

nps mural of clarno landscape that resulted in nut beds

The 40 million-year-old Hancock Mammal Quarry offers us a glimpse into a world of strange and interesting mammals.

Wait.  We were at 44 million years ago, now it’s 40.  And what’s the Hancock Mammal Quarry?

Picture a marshy stream in a warm, humid forest, where most of the plants are vaguely familiar. Dozens of strange-looking beasts gathered at this stream at different times, trampling over dead animals lying in the mud.

Didn’t we just talk about stuff like this?  And why are the live animals trampling over so many dead animals?  When I visit a stream, I don’t see any dead animals!!

The mammals that visited this backwater included Haplohippus – small leaf-eating horses; huge rhino-like animals called brontotheres; and Achaenodon – bear-like creatures similar to modern pigs. The large scavenger Hemipsalodon feasted on the carcasses, while cat-like animals hunted prey here. Why such a variety of animals were preserved at this site, but nowhere else, remains a mystery.

To top everything else, they included this very official-looking geologic section:

national park service geologic section WRONG

Look closely.  Can you see how misleading it is?  The two expanded sections that show the individual rock units are essentially the same.  They each show a large sequence of rocks that spans the time from before 40 milllion years ago to after 44 million years ago.  But each points to specific date on the time scale (OK, so the specific geologic units of interest are in red).

The top one includes more of the younger John Day Unit, while the bottom one includes more of the older Clarno Unit.   We don’t need to see the upper one at all, and the lower one should show that it covers a wide range on the timeline to the left.  There should be arrows from the Clarno Nut Beds and the Hancock Mammal Quarry pointing to specific ages (you’ll see below that I did just that).

They also posted this picture, supposedly showing the river valley environment.  The cut bank / point bar relationship is not clearly shown (it looks more like a swamp than a river).

mammalquarmural285wide nps hancock mammal quarry NOT

This entire write-up needs to be totally reorganized!.  It should go from big picture to small picture and have a coherent organization!  This is the kind of thing that gives geology a bad name.  There are great stories in geology; too bad geologists (or those writing on behalf of geologists) can’t seem to tell them.  

I know I could do better, so putting my pen to paper (so to speak), here goes:

First, the home page:

At the Clarno Unit of the John Day Fossil Bed National Monument are two distinct (and distinctly different) fossil-bearing geologic strata.  Both strata contain an incredible assortment of ancient life preserved in fossil beds.

The older strata were formed by a series of volcanic mudflows.  At the Clarno Unit, these mudflows engulfed a rich jungle ecosystem, trapping and fossilizing a wide assortment of plants and animals.

Approximately 4 million years later, a river was flowing through a broad valley in the same area.  This river valley was home to a wide variety of animals, many of which were swept away by flood waters (but then later covered up and preserved by flood-borne sediments).

OK.  I’ve set the stage.  Now, we’re ready to click to the page that provides more information . . .

It’s 44 million years ago.  Imagine a semitropical forest, filled with plants that look familiar, but nothing that quite matches a modern-day forest.  The forest also teems with animal life; once again, some may look familiar, but none of them match modern-day species.

The forest is on the flank of a volcano, which has been dormant for a long time (allowing for the development of a rich eco-system). However, trouble is brewing.  Many small tremors make the animals nervous.  Suddenly, a massive volcanic eruption occurs, the first in a series of eruptions.  Pyro-clastic debris (the term for loose rocky debris formed during an eruption) joins with water (from any snow or glaciers on the mountain top along with any lakes and streams on the mountain flanks) to form what is called a lahar, or volcanic mudflow.

This lahar moves as fast as 60 mph, and can be over 300 feet thick.  It slams into the forest, burying everything in its path.  None of the animals has a chance to escape.

The fossil remains of this forest and the forest creatures are spectacularly preserved as fossils at the Clarno Unit.

More than 175 species of fruits and nuts that are preserved in the fossil lahar deposits.  In fact, so many nuts are preserved in some of the strata that they are known as the Clarno Nut Beds. None of the species found here still exist. Many of the plants recovered from this assemblage have modern relatives such as walnuts, chestnuts, oaks, bananas, magnolias, and palms.

This semitropical forest echoed with the buzzing of insects; the squawks and cries of birds; and the footfalls of mammals. Most of these beasts are only vaguely familiar to us: creodonts – large meat-eaters similar to wolves or hyaenas but related to neither; Hyrachyus – a distant relative of the tapir; and brontotheres – large rhino-like plant eaters. In the swampy lakes lived crocodiles, catfish, and other organisms.   Fossils of all of these animals (and more) have been found in the Clarno mudflow strata.

Four million years after the devastation of the volcanic mudflows, relative peace has returned to the geologic landscape.  A broad, sweeping river has established itself in the same vicinity of the now eroded volcano.  A somewhat different assemblage of animals calls this valley home.

As the large river meanders through the valley, a system of cut banks and point bars emerges.  On the outside edge of a meander, the river flow velocity is highest, and it tends to erode away the outside bank of the river (the “cut bank.”)  Opposite the cut bank, the velocity of the water is lower, and sediment (mainly sand) tends to be deposited.  As the cut bank erodes (and moves), the point bar extends (keeping the width of the river roughly the same).

Most of the deposition in a point bar occurs during floods (just as most of the erosion of the cut bank also happens mostly during floods).  Anything carried by the river during the flood may get deposited within the sands of the point bar.  And this includes animal bones.  Because so many animals would congregate along the river, the river bed and banks become a repository for animals killed by predation as well as natural causes.

During particularly large flooding events, quantities of sand and debris ended up being deposited in point bars (including many animal bones.)

The mammals that lived in this river valley (and became fossilized) included many of the same animals fossilized in the lahar beds.  However, also found in the point bar deposits are Haplohippus – small leaf-eating horses; Achaenodon – bear-like creatures similar to modern pigs; the large scavenger Hemipsalodon that feasted on the carcasses, and cat-like animals that hunted prey.

Similar geologic river environments existed throughout the West during this same time frame. Why such a variety of animals were preserved at this site (many more than other places), remains a mystery.

Through millions of years, these point bar deposits became deeply buried and turned to stone.  Geologic upheaval uplifted these beds (along with underlying lahar deposits).  On-going erosion has exposed the rocks of the Clarno Unit. The dramatic cliffs (known as “palisades” were formed thanks to the canyon-making associated with the modern John Day River system – including Pine Creek, located along Route 218, the main access road to the Clarno Unit.

The various rock strata of the Clarno Unit are exposed in the Palisades.  These rocks (including the Clarno Nut Beds and the Point Bar fossil beds idientified as the Hancock Mammal Quarry) are represented in the following “Geologic Section:”

national-park-service-geologic-section-right

And that is that.  If I don’t say so myself:  a vast improvement!

Moving right along to more traditional ALAD fare, here’s a Panoramio shot (by cartoonasaurus) taken from the valley of Pine Hollow Creek (my watershed), less than 4 miles north of my landing:

cartoonasaurus

Here’s a shot from about 5 miles east of my landing, along the John Day River by Jerry Sturdivant:

jerry sturdivant 5 mi e on the john day

I’ll close with this shot, taken near Jerry’s (by Paolo Corradi):

paolo corradi

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

Taloga, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on September 8, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less 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 2050; A Landing A Day blog post number 468.

 Dan – Gee whiz.  Now I’m 1/8 thanks to this OSer . . . OK; 57/47; 3/10; 7; 152.3.  Drifting steadily away from 150 . . .

 Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

 My closer-in landing map shows one of my “plethora of small towns” kind of landing:

 landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows what looks like rural pastureland not far from the Canadian River.  You can see the telltale footprints of oil drilling operations as well:

 ge 1

Obviously, I landed in the Canadian R watershed (41st hit); on to the Arkansas R (111st hit); on to the MM (807th hit).

Here’s a GE StreetView shot of the Canadian taken from the Taloga bridge over the river.  It looks like good canoeing/kayaking:

taloga sv canadian taloga

Clearly, Taloga is the closest town, and by default is my titular town. But let me tell you, extensive internet research on all of the little towns yielded basically nada.  This is one of those hookless areas.  I don’t even know how any of the towns got their names!

 Here’s a back-in-the-day shot of the first bridge over the Canadian at Taloga being built.

 

 Figure 27.  A new bridge, particularly a major one, became a reason for celebration.  This structure was the first to span the South Canadian River at Taloga, Dewey County. Undated. (Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma Library)


Figure 27. A new bridge, particularly a major one, became a reason for celebration. This structure was the first to span the South Canadian River at Taloga, Dewey County. Undated. (Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma Library)

Here’s a Panoramio photo showing the view coming into Taloga from the south by Lydia & Fred Davenport (with the bluffs over the Canadian River in the background):

taloga pano lydia and fred davenport headin into taloga

Here’s another back-in-the-day shot, of a 1925 shot of a barbershop (and presumably some patrons) in Taloga (from OKGenWeb.org):

 taloga.barber okgenweb.org  1925

I was perusing the “BlogOklahoma.us” historical website for Dewey County.  The name Carrie Nation came up, so I checked it out.  There’s a plaque along a highway near my landing that marks the spot where she lived for a while with her husband David.  Here’s what the plaque says:

 A long cabin on this quarter section was the home of the nationally known Carrie Nation and husband David. Carry worked in the church, sometimes preaching in her husband’s stead. She would frequently load her buggy with bricks and go on her missions of smashing saloons.

 Here’s a map showing where the plaque (and former Carrie Nation cabin) is located relative to my landing:

 ge 2 carrie nation

OK.  We all need to learn a little more about Ms. Nation.  Here are some highlights from Wiki:

Carrie Amelia Moore Nation (1846 – 1911) was a radical member of the temperance movement, which opposed alcohol before the advent of Prohibition.  She frequently attacked the property of alcohol-serving establishments (most often taverns) with a hatchet or by throwing rocks and bricks.

Nation was a relatively large woman, almost 6 feet tall and weighing 175 pounds. She described herself as “a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn’t like.”.

 In 1865 she met a young physician who had fought for the Union: Dr. Charles Gloyd, by all accounts a severe alcoholic.   They were married in 1867, and separated shortly before the birth of their daughter, Charlien.  Gloyd died less than a year later of alcoholism, in 1869. Carrie developed a very passionate attitude against alcohol.

A few words of summary by me:  In 1874, she married David Nation, an attorney, minister and journalist (interesting combination).   They lived in Medicine Lodge, KS.   She and David were actively involved in the temperance movement, but without the vandalism. 

Based on some divine inspiration (in the form a heavenly vision), she became convinced that God wanted her to turn to more forceful measures.  Back to Wiki:

Responding to the revelation, Nation gathered several rocks – “smashers”, she called them – and proceeded to Dobson’s Saloon in Kiowa.  Announcing “Men, I have come to save you from a drunkard’s fate,” she began to destroy the saloon’s stock with her cache of rocks. After she similarly destroyed two other saloons in Kiowa, a tornado hit eastern Kansas, which she took as divine approval of her actions.

She continued her destructive ways in Kansas, her fame spreading through her growing arrest record.  After she led a raid in Wichita her husband joked that she should use a hatchet next time for maximum damage. Nation replied, “That is the most sensible thing you have said since I married you.”

 Suspicious that President William McKinley was a secret drinker, Nation applauded his 1901 assassination because drinkers “got what they deserved”.

Me again:  Although she stayed active in temperance movement the rest of her life (until her death in 1911), her hatchet-wielding and rock-throwing escapades lessened.  Back to Wiki:

She published The Smasher’s Mail, a biweekly newsletter, and The Hatchet, a newspaper.  Later in life she exploited her name by appearing in vaudeville in the United States and music halls in Great Britain.

Seeking profits elsewhere, Nation also sold photographs of herself, collected lecture fees, and marketed miniature souvenir hatchets.

 Near the end of her life Nation moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where she founded the home known as Hatchet Hall.  Ill in mind and body, she collapsed during a speech and died not long afterwards.

Nation was buried in an unmarked grave in Belton, Missouri.  The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union later erected a stone inscribed “Faithful to the Cause of Prohibition, She Hath Done What She Could.”

She wasn’t bashful about being photographed.  Here’s a sampling:

 carrypostrlg

cn2a

Carrie Nation

I don’t think Carrie is in this shot, but these women are obviously followers:

carrie-nation-liguor-lips-poster

I’ll close with this shot of some of a windmill near Seiling (a Seiling fan?), by Brian Morganti as posted on his StormEffects.com website:

 51699 SeilingWmLp2

   

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

Woodruff and Long Island, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on September 5, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less 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 2049; A Landing A Day blog post number 467.

Dan –  Continuing the OSer funk (1/7), thanks to this landing in . . . KS; 59/55; 4/10; 6; 151.9.  This was my first 2013 landing in KS; here’s my regional landing map (which shows I very nearly landed in NE):

 landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows my proximity to Nebraska, Woodruff and Long Island (and the fact that I’ll likely have a close-in Google Earth StreetView shot, thanks to Route 183):

 landing 2

Long Island is familiar to me from landing 1632 (my 50th ALAD post, January 2009).  I actually remembered a funny issue about Long Island (more about that later).  Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot, showing a very agricultural (pastureland?) kind of landscape:

 ge 1

You can see a little creek near my landing.   It is an unnamed tributary that heads north to Prairie Dog Creek.  Amazingly, this was my fourth landing in the Prairie Dog Creek watershed!  Anyway, the Prairie Dog discharges to the Republican R (21st hit); on to the Kansas R (58th hit); on to the Missouri (376th hit); on to the MM (806th hit).

As mentioned earlier (and thanks again to Route 183), there is excellent StreetView coverage.  And yes, my landing pin shows up!

 ge SV 225 feet

I headed south down Route 183 a couple of hundred yards for this shot of the little lake that you can on my GE shot.  Look closely, and on the far left you can see the word “landing”:

ge SV (2) see landing

So, I checked out Woodruff (pop 134) on the Blue Skyways website of the Kansas Public Library.  From old (early 1900s) newspaper articles (published in the Woodruff Budget), comes the following information about the number of various types of establishments in Woodruff. 

There was one of these:

  •  bank, hotel, doctor, railroad, elevator, notary, dray line, plumber, drug store, livery barn, lumber yard, opera house, harness shop, school, meat market, paper hanger, grocery store, confectionery, furniture store, blacksmith shop and cement manufacturing company.

 There were two of these:

  •  painters, restaurants, hardware stores, plasterers, barbershops, livestock buyers, insurance agents, churches and real estate agents.

 There were three of these:

  •  stone masons and general stores.

 And, lastly, there were five carpenters.

 According to the newspaper, the town motto was “Live and Let Live; Boost, Don’t Knock.”  

 I really like the second half of the motto.  I Googled it, and found it mentioned in an essay associated with the Unitarian Church in Rochester NY (written by Richard Gilbert, and titled “Boost, Don’t Knock – How We Treat Each Other).  I also found it in a 1923 NY Times obituary for Warren G. Harding.  Harding was a newspaper man before becoming a politician.   He wrote a creedo for reporters, a part of which said “boost, don’t knock.”

Finally, I found this from the website LoveTheGiver.com:

dont-knock

 Getting back to the Kansas Library website, here’s an excerpt (citing information from the Woodruff Budget newspaper):

John STEENIS was listed as the champion cornhusker in that area, having husked and cribbed 2030 bushels of corn in 18 days, for an average of 113 bushels per day.

And it was evident that boys will be boys in 1906: Alfred YOUNG and Garfield HAGERMAN were spilled out of a buggy coming from the HAGERMAN farm by attempting to turn a square corner at a 2-40 gait. “The demolished rig,” reports the BUDGET, “bears witness to the fact that they didn’t light in a very soft spot either.”

I was stopped short by “a 2-40 gait.”  It obviously has something to do with how fast a horse is running or trotting.  After more than a little research, I found an 1890 publication on Google Books:  “Illustrated American Stock Book:  A Plain, Practical and Modern Treatment of the Several Branches of Live Stock.”  Subtitle 1: “Their Care in Health & Treatment in Disease.”  Subtitle 2:  “Adapted to the Every Day Use of the American Farmer & Stock Owner, Treating in Five Distinct Departments, the Horse, Cattle, Swine, Sheep & Poultry.”  Phew.  Anyway, I found this page:

 gait speed

I think that a 2-40 gait is more generally written as a 2:40 gait, which, I think, means that a certain distance is covered in 2 minutes and 40 seconds.  I have the clue from the above table that a gait of 2:00, for example, involved a speed of 44 feet/second.  I guessed that this might have something to do with furlongs, and son of a gun, I figured it out.  A furlong is 120 yards (or 660 feet).  I set up a little Excel spreadsheet table, and discovered that a horse running 8 furlongs in 2 minutes flat would average 44 feet/second (or 30 mph)!  Bingo! 

 So, a 2:40 gait covers 8 furlongs in 2:40, at an average speed of 33 feet second, which works out to 22.5 mph – obviously way to fast to take a sharp turn in a buggy!

 It was fun working in furlongs and all, but I could have gone right to miles.  Duh – 8 furlongs is exactly one mile, so the 2:40 gait is much more easily defined as the time to run a mile . . .

 Moving right along to Long Island.  As mentioned above, Long Island made an early appearance on ALAD.  Here’s what I had to say:

 I landed not far from the town of Long Island.  I thought the name was peculiar, so I took a quick look.  Well, a Kansas State Libraries website has the following three sentences about Long Island:

 1. Long Island is located in northern Phillips, county on highway K-383.

 2.  In the 19th century, a steamboat, the Minnie B., carried passengers on excursions in the waters around Long Island.

 3.  The battle of Prairie Dog Creek between Indians and the 18th Kansas Cavalry was fought on Battle Creek three miles East of Long Island, August 1867.

 I’m particularly interested in the second sentence.  It sounds like the good ship Minnie B plied the waters around Long Island KS, right?  But, of course, that makes no sense, when you look at a map:

 old alad map of long island

As you can see, Long Island, like Almena, is on the Prairie Dog Creek.  There’s no way a steamship is doing excursions on Prairie Dog Creek!!!

 There’s another creek to the north of town, Elk Creek.  It seems to me that the name “Long Island” could have something to do with the fact that the town is nearly surrounded by water (oh, OK, by creeks).

 But what about the Minnie B.?  What does that have to do with anything?  Was the town actually named after Long Island NY?  If so, does the Minnie B. have something to do with the naming of the town?   The captain of the ship moved to Kansas?  A passenger of the ship with fond memories of excursions in Long Island Sound moved to Kansas?  The Landing Nation wants to know!  FYI, I’ve emailed the website and asked for more information on the origin of the name.  Obviously, I’ll let you know if I hear anything . . .

 For the record, the only response I received from the website was an angry demand to delete Kansas Library quotes out of my post (which I dutifully did).  Hopefully, it won’t happen for this post . . .

 Anyway, this time around, I did a little more research, and found this out that there was a steamship –  the Minnie B. – out of Stratford CT that obviously sailed the waters of Long Island Sound.  That’s good information, although it certainly doesn’t explain the confusing (and inherently unclear) reference to the Minnie B. on the Kansas Library website.  I’ll stick with the presumption that the captain of the Minnie B. founded the town, and named it “Long Island.”  Maybe, maybe not.  Anyway, the timing is right, as the company that owned the Minnie B. went out of business in 1889.  .   .

 This was a much-ado-about-not-so-much sort of post.  Oh, well, it happens now and then. 

 I’ll close with a few pictures.  First, this 1930 picture from the Witchita State University Library about the National Husking Contest:

 witchita state univ libraries 1930

I really don’t get the sign:  “Long Island Banner Corn Township of the U.S.A. For 2 Years”  ???

 I’ll close with three Panoramio shots.  First, this one by RWBlack of an old gas station in Long Island:

 rwblack gas station in long island

Here’s a Kansas roadway scene by William Lile, taken about 5 miles south of my landing:

 william lile just s oflanding

I’ll close with this shot taken about 3 miles north of my landing by J Fitzgerald:

 j fitzgerald 3 mi n in ne, hen turkey

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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

San Pierre and North Judson, Indiana

Posted by graywacke on September 2, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less 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 2048; A Landing A Day blog post number 466.

Dan –  After an oh for five, it was good to finally land in a USer . . . IN; 20/24; 4/10; 5; 151.8.  Here’s my regional landing map:

  landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows my proximity to North Judson and San Pierre:

 landing 2

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows an expected agricultural setting:

 ge 1

See the east-west road south of my landing?  It has GE StreetView coverage, so here’s a shot looking north from that road.  My landing is about a quarter mile away, out in the field:

 ge sv 0.25 mi s of landing

I landed in the Bogus Run watershed, on to the Kankakee River (5th hit, making the Kankakee the 147th river on my list of rivers with five or more hits); on to the Illinois R (18th hit); to the MM (805th hit).

 I need to pause a moment.  “Bogus Run?”  Sounds bogus to me.  A little research, and here’s what I found out (from the Starke County Historical Society in “Tidbits of Starke County No. 29” by Jim Shilling):

. . . The article [by Al Spiers] also tells of the Bogus Run Ditch east of North Judson. The legend say it was named for the counterfeiters who were arrested for making “bogus money” at their hideout near the ditch around North Judson.

There you have it.

 This post is going to feature San Pierre (and a nearby wildlife area), but I’ll start with North Judson, getting no further than the name origin.  From Wiki:

 The town post office was established on September 24, 1860 as North Judson after Adrian Judson, one of the promoters of the Great Chicago and Eastern Railway, which had just been laid through the town. The North was likely added to eliminate confusion with downstate Judson, Indiana.

OK, no big deal, really.  Yet another of the thousands of American towns named after railroad executives.  But I think that the “North” was a bad idea.  It makes one think that the town of Judson must be right nearby (and that North Judson is an after thought).  If I were Adrian Judson, I would have gone for “Adrian,” or maybe Judsonville or Judsonia.  Wait!  We’re in Indiana!  How about Judsonapolis?  Or even better, Adrianapolis?

 Not much else to talk about here, so moving right along to San Pierre.  Before I read anything, I was intrigued.  “San” is Spanish for “Saint.”  You know, like San Francisco.  Pierre, of course, is French for Peter.  So, I’d expect San Pedro or Saint Pierre.  Not San Pierre.  Let’s see what Wiki has to say:

First called River, the town was formally named Culvertown in 1854.  There are two competing local traditions about how the name San Pierre came about.

The first is that the town was named after a nearby French-Canadian saloon owner. The story goes that ‘Pierre’ built a shack some 400 feet south of the village of Culvertown and began to sell whisky there. As a consequence of this inducement, the town shifted slightly to the south and the name was changed to San Pierre.

Seems a little shaky.  And even if the town leaders decided to name the town after good ol’ Pierre, what’s up with the San?  Anyway, moving along to the second explanation:

Another tradition records the village being named after a French railroad worker called ‘Pierre’, with San being added to provide more importance to the name.

So, San added importance?  Still seems mighty shaky to me.  Continuing on:

 In any case, the name was changed simply to Pierre in 1894, possibly as a result of increasing tension between Spain and the United States, leading up to the Spanish-American War.

 Yea, right . . .

Finally the name was changed back to San Pierre in 1899.

You know, that story just doesn’t hold together.  As I have done on at least two previous occasions (most notably in my Rising Star TX post), I’m going to present the ALAD version of how the town really got its name (and I’ll stick with Pierre of whiskey-selling fame):

 So, Pierre was a good friend to all of the town whiskey-drinkers.  He kept his place clean, and sold pretty good whiskey at a reasonable price.  One late evening, the town fathers were meeting at Pierre’s tavern (which he graciously allowed the town to do at no charge).  The issue of the town’s name came up, and it was agreed that Culvertown had to go.  Old man Culver died some time back, and he really wasn’t well thought of (and he left no descendants). 

 The local powers-that-be were getting rather tipsy, thanks to Pierre’s excellent (but cheap) whiskey.  Someone rather drunkenly suggested that they could name the town “Pierre.”  Someone yelled out:  “He’s a Saint!  Let’s call the town Saint Pierre.”

 Someone else said, “Wait a second!  Pierre is French!  What’s the French word for Saint?”

 A drunken voice could be heard from the back:  “I ain’t sure, but I think it’s San!” 

 The group decided.  San Pierre, it is.

 A number of years go by . . .

 One of San Pierre’s own managed to get into Princeton, where he studied romance languages.  While there, he realized that the name of his hometown was linguistically paradoxical.  Now that he was a high-brow Princeton man, he thought that he’d see what he could do to get it changed.  His father was on the town council, and agreed to carry the flag for his son:

 “My Princeton-educated boy pointed out to me that “San” is Spanish and “Pierre” is French. He has heard that the folks in North Judson are laughing at us behind our backs.  He suggests that we change the name to plain old “Pierre,” or “Saint Pierre.”

 Although there were some objections, all saw the logic of the suggestion (and hated the thought of the North Judsonians laughing at them), and the decision was made to keep it simple and change the name to Pierre.

 A number of years go by (with most of the locals still referring to the town as San Pierre) . . .

 In 1899, the new mayor of Pierre, one Charles Fulmer Hawkins, was having a few drinks in Johnson’s Tavern.  Pierre had died some years ago, and his tavern had been abandoned.  Fred Johnson saw the need, and opened up a new tavern.  He charged a little more for a whiskey, but the locals seemed to have adjusted to the higher prices.  Anyway, Mayor Hawkins and some town council cronies were reminiscing about ol’ Pierre, and his role in the town’s name-changing drama.

 Mayor Hawkins was recounting the rather funny story of the tavern owner Pierre, and then how Saint becoming San, and then San Pierre changing to Pierre. The mayor (who was a college man with a passing knowledge of French) joked that now that Pierre was gone, the town should be named “Sans Pierre.”  The mayor laughed heartily at his own joke, as did the one other French-knowledgeable colleague at the table. 

After he explained the joke to his non-French-speaking colleagues, a serious discussion ensued, where all agreed that nearly everyone missed the good old San Pierre days.  They agreed that old concerns about the North Judsonians making fun of their name were overblown.

 At the next council meeting, the only discussion was whether the town should be named Sans Pierre or San Pierre.  It was agreed that Sans Pierre, while linguistically consistent, would likely be too confusing (and would likely be mispronounced, with folks saying “sanz”  instead of just “san”). 

 And so the town has been San Pierre since 1899 . . .

 Moving right along, here’s some more info about San Pierre from Wiki:

 Due to its closeness to the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, each year San Pierre and the surrounding vicinity is briefly home to more than 10,000 sandhill cranes during their fall migration.  The bird has become so synonymous with the town that it has become an unofficial emblem of the community, including a depiction on the welcome sign.

800px-San_Pierre,_Indiana_welcome wiki

So, the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area is about 8,000 acres of wilderness, just southwest of San Pierre:

 jasper-pulaski

From the Indiana Dept of Natural Resources:

Acquisition of the land for Jasper-Pulaski began in 1929. During the 1930s, Jasper-Pulaski was designated as a game farm and game preserve. Hunting began at the property in 1958, and in 1965, the area was designated as a fish and game area.

An inspiring bit of far-sighted wildlife conservation management, eh?  And what about the Sandhill Crane migration?  Ten thousand cranes visiting every fall?  Way cool.

 Here’s a little info from an article in Chicago Wildlife Magazine, by Paula McHugh:

AFTER THE FIELDS HAVE YIELDED THEIR LAST HARVEST, chill north winds signal the time when greater sandhill crane head to warmer climes. From their nesting grounds in the northern Great Lakes states and provinces, the gray birds will set their internal compasses on a southeasterly course toward Florida and southern Georgia. Ten thousand, twenty thousand — and in peak years as many as thirty thousand birds — will stop to rest at Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area, 50 miles inland from Lake Michigan near San Pierre, Indiana.

This seasonal mass-gathering of the sandhills is a marvel that attracts birders, nature lovers, and the just plain curious. The number of human spectators in past seasons has topped 30,000, with busy days drawing upwards of 200 visitors.

The long-legged, long-necked sandhill cranes depend on this wetland habitat for protection and rest, while the surrounding agricultural land in this still-rural region provides them with meals of waste grain, small rodents, and insects. Such large numbers of cranes may also choose Jasper-Pulaski for its convenient location along an almost direct line between their start and end destinations and because they seem to be funneled here along Lake Michigan, an obstacle they won’t fly over.

Obviously, it’s time for pictures of Sandhill Cranes from the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area (although I’ll start with a generic Wiki head shot):

 439px-Grus_canadensis_-British_Columbia,_Canada_-upper_body-8 wiki

Wildlife photographer Robert Visconti has posted a number of Jasper-Pulaski Sandhill Crane shots on AboutAnimals.com.  Here are a few:

 visconti

 DSC_0660

 robert visconti

Click HERE to view the entire portfolio:

 I’ll close with this Panoramio shot by ~Marlene~, taken just north of San Pierre:

 at the end of the rainbow by ~Marlene~  just n of san pierre

 

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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