First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or 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 2117; A Landing A Day blog post number 545.
Dan – Here we go. I had three USer landings in a row for a new record low Score. But then what? Three OSers in a row, thanks to this landing in the granddaddy of all OSers . . . MT; 120/102; 3/10; 148.5.
As I’m sure you recall, my last two landings were both in Michigan. Not surprisingly, the lat/longs were pretty close:
Landing 2115: W83.4952; N45.9880
Landing 2116: W85.1582; N45.1925
Here’s my first attempt at Landing 2117:
Landing 2117: W86.3826; N47.0072
Look how close! I was excited, thinking that perhaps this would be my first-ever three-in-a-row triple landing. But ‘twas not to be. Here’s what I saw:
My next landing attempt took me quite a ways west. Here’s my regional landing map:
My local landing map shows my proximity to my titular town (plus a couple of other towns mentioned in good time):
What the heck – I’ll jump right to my Google Earth (GE) trip from my last landing (Charlevoix Lake):
Here’s a static GE shot looking north past my landing:
Note that I add the landing number to the push pin label. I mean, really, I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time, and don’t know why it took me so long to do it!
Looks like I landed right on a ridge, making my watershed analysis a little tricky. Here’s a closer-in GE shot looking south from my landing:
The GE elevation tool allowed me to chart the path of a drop of water leaving my landing (it went to the left on the above shot). Here’s a map showing the drainage:
You can see I landed in the Danaher Creek Watershed. More watershed info is shown on this map:
Danaher Creek discharges to the South Fork of the Flathead River (new watershed for me!); on to the Flathead (11th hit); on to the Clark Fork (19th hit). Although not on the map, trust me when I tell you that the Clark Fork discharges to the Pend Oreille (21st hit) and then on to the Columbia (150th hit).
I landed in an incredibly beautiful area, so I’m looking forward to the Panoramio show coming up soon. But first, I had to check out Seeley Lake. Wiki? Nothing. Chamber of Commerce, not much, but this:
The vibrant and charming small towns of Seeley Lake and Condon lie between the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Mission Mountain Wilderness, while the historic ranching community of Ovando is on the Lewis and Clark Trail.
The communities of Seeley Lake, Condon and Ovando serve as gateways to these natural wonders.
You will find more spectacular unspoiled nature here, than anywhere else in the lower 48 states providing breath taking experiences by day and relaxing hospitality by night. The Big Blackfoot River, location of Norman McLean’s A River Runs Through It, is a world class fishery [emphasis added by me].
The waterways, to the prairies, to the peaked vistas . . . offer all of the scenery, wildlife and recreation that anyone can imagine.
OK, OK, so I never saw the movie A River Runs Through It. But thanks to A Landing A Day, I’ve now seen the trailer:
OK, OK, so I never read the book. But thanks to A Landing A Day, I’ve now read some of the best quotes from the book by Normal Maclean:
“In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ’s disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.”
“Ahead and to the west was our ranger station – and the mountains of Idaho, poems of geology stretching beyond any boundaries and seemingly even beyond the world.”
“As a Scot and a Presbyterian, my father believed that man by nature was a mess and had fallen from an original state of grace. Somehow, I early developed the notion that he had done this by falling from a tree. As for my father, I never knew whether he believed God was a mathematician but he certainly believed God could count and that only by picking up God’s rhythms were we able to regain power and beauty. Unlike many Presbyterians, he often used the word “beautiful.”
“Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”
Quite the poet, eh? I guess so, but I’m a left-brained literalist, so I have a problem with language like that in the above two paragraphs (starting with “Eventually”). But what the heck, I’ll give a shot at my interpretation (which will be lame for two reasons: one, I’m so left-brained, and two, I didn’t read the book). But this is my blog and if I want to (at least attempt to) suddenly veer to the right (brainwise, not politically), then I can. Here goes:
OK, so all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. I’m going to leave that alone, having not read the book. But basically, I have no problem with it. Then, the river “runs over rocks from the basement of time.” I’m a geologist. I get that. “On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops.” I’m sort of with him; after all, I’m tracing the paths of timeless raindrops on every one of my landing posts.
“Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.” I’ve got to veer right here. But remember, my geologic specialty is groundwater, so I’ve been tracking (and thinking about) groundwater throughout my professional career.
Breaking it down a little, “Under the rocks are the words.” Thinking of the raindrops on top of the rocks, I think of groundwater under the rocks. The raindrops might be letters that come together under the rocks to become words (representing the wisdom of the natural world) and “some of the words are theirs,” so the words of the raindrops join the infinity of words (timeless, infinite wisdom) represented by the interconnected subsurface waters.
Oh man. I’ll say this is outside my comfort zone.
“I am haunted by waters.” While I probably wouldn’t use the word “haunted,” I get it in the sense that waters represent something much larger, much grander, much more timeless, than me.
I found a chat-room type of website discussing the above quote – “The Floating Library.” Someone put out the quote (beginning with “Eventually . . .” and ending with “I am haunted by waters.”) Several people waxed somewhat vaguely (in my opinion) about why they were so moved by the quote. And then, Dianne (bless her heart), had the following to say in response to a comment by Jerry:
it seems from your comment that you really enjoyed this book, however after reading it, I am still somewhat confused as to what the whole meaning/main point of this novel was.
I know it’s supposed to be an amazing book, however it’s hard for me to enjoy it when i can’t seem to make sense of any of it….especially how the last line pertains to the whole book.
would love if you could clarify it.
Dianne and I are soul-mates! There’s no way I’m going to read the book!
And, I really doubt Diane was totally satisfied with Jerry’s heartfelt response:
My take on the book is one of a painfully open admission by Norman Maclean of his perceived weaknesses and failures during his life. The loss of his brother, the emotional distancing from his father, the physical distancing from Montana for much of his life, all weigh on his spirit, but despite that there’s a quiet nobility in his acceptance of it, all done with the Big Blackfoot as the backdrop.
I live on the Blackfoot, not too far upriver from where his brother Paul in real life hooked that last monster trout. Norman was friends with the man who owned my property at the time, and they would often sit on the porch sipping whisky and generally being curmudgeonly.
While I felt the draw to this story long before I moved here, what I’ve since learned from the older locals about Norman’s personality help to fill out my mental canvas of his persona.
Do you see how I dissected the paragraph sentence by sentence? That’s a left-brained approach that probably Diane would better relate to. Notice that Jerry didn’t really explain the quote. He gave a typically-lame (in my opinion) right-brained response to Dianne. Are there any surprises that I got bachelors degrees in both Civil Engineering and Geology, and a Masters degree in Geology (and not in English Lit)?
Time to move on to Panoramio! I’m going to stay as close as possible to my landing:
Here’s the shot closest to my landing, by BCHiker, about 10 miles NW of my landing. It’s a shot of my river – the South Fork of the Flathead:
And this, by Tharwell (about 15 mi W of my landing):
And this, by mttrainwreck (also about 15 mi W of my landing):
I’ll close with this by PhotoCop, about 15 mi NW of my landing:
This is an exquisitely beautiful part of the world (and my left brain tells me that loud and clear . . . )
That’ll do it.
© 2014 A Landing A Day