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 2079; A Landing A Day blog post number 507.
Dan – Enough already! Yet another OSer, making it seven of the last eight, thanks to this landing in . . . UT; 74/58; 3/10; 150.4. Here’s my regional landing map that lets me know I’m in for some spectacular scenery:
And I know this why? Because the SE quadrant of Utah is one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate on the planet.
My more local map shows that I landed right next to the Dirty Devil River, about 15 miles downstream from Hanksville:
My watershed analysis is a no-brainer: The Dirty Devil (4th hit); on to the Colorado (166th hit). Here’s a map showing the regional watershed hydrology (and that I landed about 25 miles upstream from the Dirty Devil’s confluence with the Colorado:
My last landing (First Mesa, Arizona) was at longitude 110.0581W. Today’s landing was just a tad further west, at 110. 5010W. But the latitude makes all the difference. Two and a half degrees doesn’t sound like much (my AZ landing was at 35.6859N and today’s landing is 38.2452N), but check out this Google Earth (GE) shot of the two landings:
OK, so I have to do a little math. The latitude difference is actually about 2.56 degrees. My landings are about 180 miles apart. That means each degree of latitude (at least locally) equals about 180 miles / 2.56 degrees = about 70 miles/degree. This little analysis fits into the “just in case you want to know” category.
By the way, I had to turn off a bunch of my landing pins on GE to simplify the above photo. All of my landings since January 2013 are saved on GE; when I turn them back on, this is what the shot looks like:
OK, this got me started. Here’s a GE map of the whole country showing all 104 landings since the beginning of 2013:
Check out the contiguous block of states with no landings: OH, PA, NJ, DE, RI, MD, VA, NY, MA, VT and NH! Adding up the areas, I get about 234,000 square miles. That’s way bigger than CA (164,000 sq mi), and CA has 7 landings already! It’s almost as big as TX (269,000 sq mi) and TX also has 7 landings! Maybe you can see why I go a little crazy with the USer & OSer thing.
Oh-oh. Now I’m can’t stop myself. Check out this map, where I’ve drawn a line separating an eastern block of states from a western block of states:
The eastern block of states has a total area of 694,000 square miles. I’ve landed there 13 times, for an average landing density of (694,000/13), which equals one landing for every 53,400 square miles.
Let’s check out the western block of states. It’s much bigger, with a total area of about 2,368,000 square miles. But I’ve landed there way more often, 91 times. This works out to an average of one landing for every 26,000 square miles. Look at that! My landing density is twice as high for the western states as for the eastern. Go figure . . .
If you’re saying to yourself something like “maybe Greg’s random landing program isn’t so random,” I can only answer that it absolutely is!
For those who could care less about landing densities, my apologies. It’s time to get back to today’s landing . . .
Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot, looking west:
Here’s a GE shot looking back east:
Wow. Pretty cool terrain, eh? You know what? I think it’s time for me to use my new-found video skills. Here’s a 25-mile Google Earth trip up the Dirty Devil from the Colorado north to my landing:
How about Hanksville? Well, there’s not much. Wiki tells me that this was a Mormon settlement (surprise, surprise) founded in 1882 and named after one of the Mormon leaders, Ebenezer Hanks. It has some mining history, but has settled into being a tourist destination, or at least a sight-seeing base of operations.
Here’s a picture of Hanksville (from CapitolReef.org, a website about Capitol Reef National Park):
(Capitol Reef is about 40 miles east of Hanksville, out of range of this landing . . . )
I chanced upon a blog posting that is definitely within range of this landing. In fact, it is so outstanding, I absolutely insist that all of my readers visit it. The name of the blog is “Embedded in Academia” (it’s written by a John Regehr, a U of U computer science professor) and the post title is “Around Hanksville Utah.” It’s a travelogue about a father and sons weekend trip to Hanksville. It does a better job than I could ever do talking about (and showing pictures of) the absolutely awesome landscapes around Hanksville.
I hope Professor Regehr won’t mind, but I think I’ll lift a couple of his photos as a teaser:
He has many, many more great shots. Click HERE to get to it.
Now that you’ve read (and enjoyed) my guest blogger’s post, I really don’t have much to do!
I’ll close with some GE Panoramio shots close to my landing (I don’t believe the good professor & sons came this close to my landing). First, this shot of Arsenic Arch by Max Forster, about 3.5 miles east of my landing:
Here’s a shot of Angel Slot Canyon by JCFZ, about 4 miles north of my landing:
Here’s a Dirty Devil River shot (in winter!) about 3.5 miles south of my landing (by Troy G.):
I’ll close with this shot by OuestUSA26, entitled “Vue depuis Burr Point, UT” (from about 6 miles south of my landing):
That’ll do it.
© 2013 A Landing A Day