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Archive for January, 2015

Midas and Tuscarora, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on January 29, 2015

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 2151; A Landing A Day blog post number 579.

Dan:  The weirdness continues (38 straight midwestern and western landings), thanks to this OSer landing in . . . NV; 86/78; 3/10; 17; 149.0.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows my proximity (and I’m not all that proximate) to my two titular towns.  But hey, there’s nothing closer:

 landing 2

Here’s my Google Earth landing trip:

 

Note the little stream I landed near?  Here’s a close-up:

 GE 1

That little stream flows west, but eventually heads north & hooks up with Fourmile Creek.  Here’s a map:

 landindg 3

As you can see, Fourmile Creeks discharges to the South Fork of the Owyhee River (2nd hit); to the Owyhee (8th hit) and on to the Snake (76th hit).  What you can’t see (but I’m sure you know), the Snake ends up in the mighty Columbia (154th hit).  

There’s not much to say about either Midas or Tuscarora.  Here’s some of what GhostTowns.com has to say about Midas:

Originally called Rosebud then Gold Circle then Midas, the town was to become one of two biggest twentieth-century gold towns in Elko County. The first gold ore was discovered in July 1907.

By the beginning of 1908 the town supported a doctor, several saloons, two restaurants, a store, two feeding stables, and four real estate offices. By the end of April, the population of Midas was estimated at 1,100. By the end of summer five hotels had been built.

But due to the absence of mills nearby and the cost of shipping the ore a considerable distance, only the richest ore could be shipped and as a result many miners left town. By the end of the year only 250 residents remained. However, by the end of 1910 the mill problem had been addressed with the building of several mills and the population held steady around 200. While the mines produced every year from 1908 to 1941, the amount varied dramatically and all operations were shut down early in 1941.

From the same website, here’s a picture of one of the old mines (with the caption underneath):

 MorningGold mine, in the canyon above Midas.  D.A. Wright photo.

Morning Gold Mine, in the canyon above Midas. D.A. Wright photo.

 

I found a video on the website FriendsOfMidas.org which nicely sums up what Midas is all about.  The website included this written introduction:

The following video is the Midas feature from John Tyson’s Journal, which used to be broadcast during the evening news on KOLO (channel 8) in Reno.

In the process of digitizing the tape, news anchor Tad Dunbar’s first words were cut off. As the video starts, he’s saying, “If you’re having one of those days…”

 

Moving over to Tuscarora, here is some of what SilverStateGhostTowns.com has to say:

The Tuscarora mining camp was named after a Union warship of the Civil War. In 1871 rich silver veins were discovered on the east side of Mount Blitzen.  At the peak of Tuscarora’s prosperity, it had about 3300 inhabitants, 1800 of which were on the payrolls of the mines; there were two large boarding houses in the place, two good-sized hotels, several general stores, saloons, a drug store, a jewelry store, a gun shop, and enough houses to comfortably care for the population. There were enough mills to take care of the ore mined, the largest of which was the Union Mill built in 1883  Because wood was scarce, the mill used sage brush for fuel to fire its huge boilers and develop steam and power.

During the mid 1880s, the big mines of the 1870s began to play out and the population had slipped to less than 1,000. The town continued to suffer and many businesses closed their doors. The stagecoaches were full leaving town and empty upon their return. During the ensuing years there were many attempts at revival but none succeeded in returning the town to its previous glory. It is estimated that the mines of Tuscarora have produced about $40 million in bullion.

The website has many cool photos.  I’ve lifted a couple.  First this of an old ore processing mill:

 The independence mill from silver state

 And this, because I’m a sucker for cool shots of old, abandoned vehicles:

cool old car from silver state

Click HERE to check out all of the photos.

I’m going to close with four GE Panoramio shots, taken east & northeast of my landing (and less than 10 miles away) by SL&LS.  We’ll start with great documentation of my watersheds.  First, a shot of (unfortunately, but probably typically dry) Fourmile Creek:

 pano sl&ls fourmile creek

Which “flows” (at least occasionally) into the South Fork of Owyhee River:

 pano sl&ls s br owyhee river

Here’s a general landscape shot (taken about 6 miles east of my landing):

 pano by sl&ls

I’ll close with another taken from the same area:

 pano sl&s six miles east

 

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Stanley, Clines Corners and Moriarity, New Mexico

Posted by graywacke on January 24, 2015

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 2150; A Landing A Day blog post number 578.

Dan:  All of these western/Midwestern landings continue (38, count ‘em, 38 landings with no New England, Mid Atlantic or Southeast landings); but at least I landed in a USer . . . NM; 78/87; 3/10; 16; 148.6.

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows my three titular towns:

 landing 2

See Route 285?  It’s about 3 miles east of my landing.  Here’s my Google Earth (GE) Street View shot:

 
GE SV

Here’s my GE space odyssey trip in:

 I upgraded my ScreenCastOMatic program to include “system sound.” I figured, what the heck, let’s add a little extra drama.  And while I’m at it, I used the same program to post one of my songs.  For those of you who might want to listen, here ‘tis:

 

And yes, my musical alternate ego musical name is “Sam Hill.”

Moving right along to my watershed analysis.  I had to use the GE elevation tool to figure out that drainage from my landing heads straight south towards Laguna del Perro, which is internally-drained:

 GE 1

FYI, “laguna del perro” is the “lagoon of the dog.”  It is normally dry, but occasionally, with enough rainfall, it is actually a lake (aerial photo by David Gunter, from DavidGunter.com):

 download

I don’t have all that much to say about Moriarity, Clines Corners or Stanley.  So here goes nothing (or not much).  I’ll start with Clines Corners, which is best known as the home of one of those “South of the Border” and “Wall Drug” type of places. 

Here’s what TheRoadWanderer.net has to say:

Cline’s Corners (founded in 1934) offers gas, food, and all manner of souvenirs for the tourist. It has been relocated several times, as highway configurations changed throughout the years.

Today it sits at the junction of Highway 285 and Interstate-40 (once Route 66) and business is very good indeed. When I came through the parking lot at Cline’s Corners it was packed and the gas station and Trading Post were doing a fantastic business. You can find just about anything you want at the Trading Post too. Rubber tomahawks anyone?

I stumbled on a cool blog, TheLope.com, which is a travelogue of one Ace Jackalope.  Ace has traveled extensively along Route 66, all well-documented.  Here’s their picture of Clines Corners (with Ace in the foreground):

 7-31clines250

The blog goes on to say:

Like “The Thing” in Southern, AZ, the Jackrabbit Trading Post in NE AZ, or Wall Drug in South Dakota, Clines Corners of central NM has a jillion signs along the road [this one from 94 miles away]:

7-31clinesign249

Moving over to Moriarity.  I couldn’t find much (although TheLope has a cool piece about the “El Comodor Rotosphere”).  Click here and scroll down to check it out.

Just a little further down in the post is this cool picture (just outside of Moriarity) of I-40 on the left, and Route 66 on the right:

 7-31road261

OK, so on to Stanley (the town closest to my landing).  Besides letting us know the population (70), Wiki had little to say.  However, I noticed that one of the “Notable People” from Stanley was artist Alan Ebnother (who has his studio in Stanley).  I figured, what the heck.

Here’s a Wiki picture of Mr. Ebnother sitting in front of one his paintings:

 Ebnother-wadewilson wiki

Looks pretty much like a study in green, eh?  Well, Alan loves to do studies in colors and textures.  Here he is in front of a study of blue (from ArtBusiness.com, photographer Eileen P. Goldenberg):

 05101029a

Also from ArtBusiness, here’s some more blue:

 05101028a

How about orangish-yellowish?  This from Artsy.com:

 artsy.net  $8,600

Truth.  My first inclination is to think.  This is art?  But hey, this guy makes a living doing this (good for him!), and in fact, the above study in orangish yellow is being offered at $8,600.  And, most importantly, I’ve never been a student (or appreciator of modern art).  Plus, these paintings will obviously have much more impact live and in person . . .

I found a 2005 interview of Mr. Ebnother by Chris Ashley on MinusSpace.com.  Here are some selected Ebnother quotes:

I have mixed and ground my own pigments from the first year of my career . . . .while mixing the color I am able to watch the different changes that occur with the addition of different pigments, clay, balsams, or wax to this mass. Sometimes there are close to a hundred different hues that I happen to see and work thru before I decide to stop. One of the reasons that I used this Veronese green for so long was that it is a very transparent pigment with very weak personal strengths that lends itself to be pushed in many different directions, while keeping its drying and textural proprieties.

Who am I to argue? This guy is totally into colors.  How about brushes?

You also asked about brushes. Well, each different mark has a different brush that seems to lend itself to it. I usually shape the hairs myself with scissors and then grind down the ends of the bristles to keep them from splitting. I customize the brush for many different reasons- for shape, drag, stiffness thickness etc. I also often cut down the wooden shaft to make it an extension of my hand and wrist, or sometimes change the shaft to make it longer and an extension of my arm or body. This depends on the sort of mark that I decide would be an interesting or correct mark to present a particular color with.

To see the whole interview, click here.

I’ll close with this GE Pano shot, taken (by ★ smrCH) along Route 285 just northeast of my landing:

 pano star smrCH

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Sardis Lake and the Ouachita Mountains, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on January 20, 2015

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 2149; A Landing A Day blog post number 577.

Dan:  Don’t you think it would about time for an eastern USer?  Well, not today, thanks to a landing in this western OSer . . .OK; 58/49; 3/10; 15; 149.2.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local map:

 landing 2

Here’s my local watershed analysis:

 landing 3

I kind of sort of landed in the watershed of the Anderson Creek (or would have, before the reservoir); on to Jackfork Ck; to the Kiamichi R (2nd hit).  Here’s the continuation:

 landing 3a

The Kiamichi ends up in the Red River (58th hit); and as you all know, the Red ends up in the Atchafalaya (65th hit).

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip in:

 

I’ll zoom back a little to give you a nice view of Sardis Lake:

 GE - Sardis Lake

As is my custom, I check out GE StreetView in the vicinity (the blue line, below):

 GE showing SV location

Here’s a great StreetView picture taken from the point of view of the orange guy:

 GE SV

Grandpa and grandson had no idea that their Sardis Lake fishing trip was being immortalized by Google.  I hope that they’ve since learned about this . . .

Man.  As has been true for several fairly recent posts, I’m having a trouble find a hook.  Oh, all right, this about Sardis Lake is a little interesting (from Wiki):

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the dam and lake between 1977 and 1982 under a contract with the state of Oklahoma for the purpose of selling water to municipalities and industrial customers in Oklahoma. Oklahoma agreed to make 50 annual payments and to pay the costs of operating the dam and lake. However, the state was unable to sell the water it needed to recover its costs, so the state discontinued payments to the federal government in 1997. The federal government sued the state for breach of contract and recovery of funds. The case wound its way through the courts and eventually Oklahoma lost the case when the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

A little more digging, and I think the issue of Lake Sardis water is still under dispute, but now between the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.  Anyway, moving right along . . .

Here’s a shot of the lake courtesy ClassyCountryland.com:

DSC_1080_700_468_85auto_imagesurl.png_0_0_100_r_b_0_0__s

One can’t help but notice the mountain in the rear; check out this expanded GE view:

 GE - ouachita mtns

It turns out I landed in the Ouachita Mountains.  See all of the ridges?  It sure looks like Central Pennsylvania to me (and I studied geology at Lafayette, a Pennsylvania school).  Here’s a GE shot of the Appalachians in Central PA:

 GE - NE of State College

The ridges (in both OK & PA) are sandstone which is more resistant than the shales and limestones that end up being the valleys.  The strata are folded, so that a cross-section looks like this:

 appalachians-cross-section

This is a Pennsylvania cross section; the ridge-forming Pottsville formation is a resistant sandstone.

Anyway, most geologists believe that the Ouachitas were originally part of the Appalachian mountains.  Here’s a USGS graphic; first look at the index map to see the location of the main map:

 USGS tapestry

OK, so I added the black lines to make the connection a little more obvious.  That orange and gray protrusion that has cut off the Ouchitas from the Appalachians is younger coastal plain sediments more-or-less associated with the Mississippi River.  Well, maybe you learned a little geology . . .

I’ll close with this lovely GE Panoramio shot across the lake Zanadar:

 pano sunset zanadar

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Carrizozo Malpais and Sierra Blanca, New Mexico

Posted by graywacke on January 16, 2015

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 2148; A Landing A Day blog post number 576.

 Dan:  How about that – I landed in a USer.  Putting a positive spin on recent landings, that makes 4 USers  for the last 11 landings.  But considering the seven OSers in a row before that, we have 4 for the last 18, thanks to this landing in . . . NM; 77/87; 3/10; 14; 148.8.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows proximity to a number of smaller towns, none of which made it as titular.

 landing 2

Here’s my watershed map:

 landing 3

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of the Rio Ruidoso (1st hit ever!), on to the Rio Hondo (2nd hit), on to the Pecos (15th hit).  By the way, translating from Spanish, I landed in the watershed of the Noisy River, on to the Deep River, on to the Pecos.  (Pecos doesn’t mean anything in Spanish – it’s the Spanification of an Indian name for a Pueblo settlement.)

Anyway, the Pecos flows to the Rio Grande (42nd hit).  As per usual, here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip on in:

 

Of course, I checked out Mescalero.  Great name, but no hook.  Bent (also great name) doesn’t really exist.  Alto and the various Ruidoso towns are all johnny-come-lately resort communities, which I generally avoid.

So, I decided to go with my strength, and feature a couple of geologic features:  The Sierra Bianca Mountains and the Carrizozo Malpais:

GE 1

Let me start with the Carrizozo Malpais.  It’s that large (40 mile long) black area on the GE map, which turns out to be a lava flow!  So, how about the name “Carrizozo?”  You may recall from two recent posts where I landed in Carrizo Creek watersheds.  I remarked that “Carrizo” means “reed” in Spanish.  But Carrizozo?  This, from Wiki about the nearby town of Carrizozo:

The name of the town is derived from the Spanish vernacular for reed grass (Carrizo), which grew significantly in the area and provided excellent feed for ranch cattle. The additional ‘zo’ at the end of the town name was added to indicate abundance of Carrizo grass.  The town is now often referred to as ‘Zozo.

OK, but what about Malpais?  Well, “malpais” is Spanish for “badland,” so the term refers to a particularly-hostile hunk of real estate.

From the NM Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources:

The Carrizozo Malpais are [is?]  a lava flow that formed by magma (molten rock) pouring out of a small crack in the earth’s surface in a “Hawaiian-style” volcanic eruption. In Hawaii today, this type of eruption is very passive and is typically characterized by lava pouring from a small vent.

Geologists estimate that the Carrizozo eruption happened about 5200 years ago and would have taken between 2 to 3 decades, and that the eruption would have proceeded at a slow, steady rate. At the time of eruption, the Carrizozo lava flows may have looked like this picture of an Hawaiian lava flow:

active_flow-sm

The vent from which the Carrizozo lava flows issued is at the north end of the lava flow field, and is called “Little Black Peak.” Little Black Peak is a very small cinder cone, only 90 feet tall.  It appears surprisingly small to have produced the entire 10.3 cubic miles of lava that form the Carrizozo Malpais.

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot by “Asphalt” of a small portion of the malpais:

 pano asphalt of the lava flow

Here’s another Pano shot (by Thomas Galenbeck) showing a more expansive view:

 pano thomas galenbeck larger view

Geologically speaking, 5,200 years ago sure ain’t much (not much different from yesterday).  And realize that Native Americans were on the scene about 12,000 years ago, so you can bet that there were some interested observers watching the lava flow creep along . . .

Moving along to the Sierra Blanca.  Here’s a good little write-up from the town of Ruidoso’s website:

The White Mountain (Sierra Blanca) Wilderness Area is situated on the erosional remnants of an ancient volcano that probably once resembled Mount Ranier in Washington state.

This ancient volcano is approximately 25 to 40 million years old. During this time period, an oceanic tectonic plate was subducting under California creating a volcanic mountain chain that extended from Colorado, through New Mexico and west Texas, and into northern Mexico. This ancient volcanic mountain chain was very similar in composition and geologic setting to the current Cascade Mountain range in the Pacific northwest. Only further inland.

About 25 million years ago, the plate boundary changed. The plates began sliding past one another rather than one going under the other. The famous San Andreas Fault was born. This birth was the death of the subduction mechanism that created the volcanic chain in New Mexico. As a result, volcanism ceased around 25 million years ago and erosion has been the dominant geological force ever since.

The large, composite volcano has seen the upper half of its cone beveled by erosion over the last 25 million years. The lower half of the volcano is what is now present and exposed in the canyons of the Sierra Blanca Wilderness.

So the mountain used to be twice as tall.  Hmmm.  That’s what 25 million years of erosion’ll do . . .

Here’s a picture of the mountain (looking east from the Tularosa Basin) from the NM Museum of Natural History & Science:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The above picture stretches about 30 miles; my landing may be at the far right . . .

I’ll close with this Panoramio shot of Sierra Blanca (by R. Ruff), taken not far from my landing:

 pano R. Ruff

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Monument Valley, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on January 12, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-days 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 2147; A Landing A Day blog post number 575.

Dan:  I can’t buy two USers in a row, and of course the landing god doesn’t accept bribes..  So, now my OSer count is at 14/17, thanks to this landing in . . . AZ; 86/80; 3/10; 13; 149.4.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows why I’m featuring Monument Valley:

 new 1

I used the Google Earth (GE) elevation tool to trace the downhill path from my landing.  The drainage heads generally southwest, before being picked up by the Oljeto Wash, on to the San Juan (19th hit); to the Colorado (168th hit):

 landing 3

Here’s my GE trip to my landing:

 

I landed just a couple of hundred yards west of Route 163.  And of course, there is Street View coverage on this major N-S road.  Here’s the SV shot of my landing:

 GE SV landing

Now bear with me for a minute.  All of you readers out there of course know that this post features Monument Valley.  But after I looked at my landing maps, Monument Valley wasn’t even on my radar (I added “Monument Valley” to my landing map).  Plus, I always thought that Monument Valley was much closer to the Four Corners.  Anyway, I looked around with GE and still had no clue about Monument Valley.  It wasn’t until I looked north along Route 163 on Street View that I thought, “Hey!  That looks like Monument Valley:

 GE SV looking north

And it was!  As a teaser, here’s a lovely Wiki shot of the Valley (by Moritz Zimmerman), taken from the Visitors Center:

 Monumentvalley wiki from visitor's center

After a little research, I was able to put together this GE shot, showing many of the more famous landmarks:

 new 2

By the way, the Wiki photo from the Visitors Center features West Mitten, East Mitten and Merrick Butte.

Before looking at more pretty pictures, I figured that I needed to do a little geology.  I mean, really.  How did these incredibly impressive landforms come to be?

It’s actually pretty simple.  About 275 million years ago, the ancestral Rockies were north and northeast of my landing.  As they eroded, sand, gravel, silts and clays were washed down to the south and southwest, where they were deposited on coastal lowland plains.  These sediments were buried by subsequently-deposited younger sediments.

Then, the whole kit and caboodle was uplifted something more than 5,000 feet (along with the entire Colorado Plateau).  The uplift began about 65 million years ago (coincidently around the time that the meteorite wiped out the dinosaurs).  The reason for the uplift is still being debated.

Anyway, we ended up with pretty-much flat-lying beds of sandstone & shale.  To explain how the landscape evolved, I found a series of figures from the book “Landscape Evolution in the United States” by Joseph A. DePietro that lays out the basics.  It’s important to realize that the heavy lifting (err. . . . I mean, heavy eroding) is done by streams & rivers.  They do the cutting and then they carry away of all of that eroded sand and silt.  For Monument Valley, the San Juan River & tributaries did all of the work.

Another important thing is that the landscape is arid to semi-arid.  If it were as wet as the eastern U.S., the whole landscape would be gentler, fully vegetated, and way less dramatic.  Anyway, here  are the figures from the book:

 cross-section 1a

 cross-section 1

 cross section 3a

 

 

 

 

The process continues, until the following Monument Valley-like landscape evolves:

cross section 3

There is typically a “cap rock” involved, which is a layer of particularly-resistant rock on top of (or part of) the upper sandstone layer.  This cap rock protects the underlying rocks from erosion.  The cap rock will typically erode where it is fractured or for some reason weaker.  The tops of buttes are likely where the caprock is entirely unfractured and especially erosion-resistant.

Note to readers of my recent “Jail Rock, Courthouse Rock and Chimney Rock, Nebraska” post (particularly Cheryl and Jordan who specifically asked).  The above process also explains the evolution of the rock formations there.

It turns out that Wiki has more lovely MV shots.  Here’s one looking south (right down Route 163) from Utah by Marc Averette:

 800px-Monumentvalleyviewfromnorth wiki

By the way, if you were driving south on Route 163, you wouldn’t actually see the above view.  This is one of those pictures where the use of a telephoto lens unnaturally magnifies distant objects.  Makes for a great photo, though.

Here’s a shot of one of the Mittens (by Huebi):

 1024px-Monument_Valley_2

And this one, of the Totem Pole (by Bernard Gagnon):

 Monument_Valley_10  wiki totem pole (by Bernard Gagnon)

As you might imagine, there are countless MV photos on Google Images; many of the sites have whole albums of photos.  One of these digital albums is from “Evanescent Light,” photos by Ian Parker.  Click here to peruse his wonderful MV pictures.

I’ll use one of Ian’s shots as my closer:

 ian parker closer

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Crane, Missouri

Posted by graywacke on January 8, 2015

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 2146; A Landing A Day blog post number 574.

Dan: Finally.  An OSer . . . MO; 48/49 (barely); 3/10; 12; 149.0.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows that I actually landed pretty much in the town of Crane:

 landing 2

You can see that I landed adjacent to Crane Creek, which, as is apparent on the following map, flows to the James River (2nd hit) and on to the White (24th hit).

 landing 31

You’ll have to take my word on it that the White discharges to the MM (843rd hit).

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip in from space:

 

Here’s a close-in GE shot of my landing, showing the Street View photo location (the orange dude):

 GE 1

You can see that I landed just off the end of what appears to be a barn.  Here’s the Street View shot (with my landing a little more than 100 yards away):

 GE SV landing

Since I landed right in Crane, I felt like I absolutely had to feature Crane in this post, so feature Crane I will.  But it’s been a bit of a struggle, resulting in what I tend to call a “light-weight” post.  Anyway, here’s a little history from Wiki:

The town now known as Crane (current pop about 1,500) had its beginning under another name. In the early 1880s the little group of homes, a general store or two, a mill, and a blacksmith shop was known as Hickory Grove. It nestled on the south bank of Crane Creek (very near my landing).

A need for a post office was felt and so an application to the Postal Department went forth asking that an office to be known as Hickory Grove be established there. Back came the reply that as there was already a town in Missouri by that name and would the citizens please select another name. Someone suggested “Crane,” after the little creek which was named for the great number of blue cranes that lived along the stream.

It turns out that the railroad came in on the north side of the creek and the town center migrated over there.

So, other than the Crane name story, I’ve stumbled on two other things:  1) excellent trout fishing in the Crane Creek and 2) the annual Broiler Festival.

Here’s some info from CraneCreekTrout.com:

Acclaimed as one of America’s 100 Best Trout Streams,* Crane Creek offers a truly unique trout fishing opportunity just forty-five minutes southwest of Springfield, Missouri.

Crane Creek is one of the few streams in the region with self-sustaining populations of wild trout. These local trout are the descendants of California McCloud River rainbows stocked in the stream in the late 1800s. Opinions vary but there are those that say Crane Creek Rainbows are the only pure-strain McCloud Rainbow trout left in the world!

Here’s a slightly different take from OzarkAnglers.com:

Crane Creek is one of the most unique streams in the Midwest. In the late 1800′s, railcar brought a strain of rainbow trout called the McCloud from the west coast to be raised and stocked in  spring fed creeks and rivers in Arkansas and Missouri, including Crane Creek. In 1967, the Missouri Department of Conservation stocked rainbows in Crane, and trout have not been stocked there since.  The rainbows found in Crane Creek today could be a kin to the famous McCloud strain but it is not a pure strain.  But the trout are wild, born and raised in Crane.

Here’s a picture of a Crane Trout from OzarkAnglers:

Rainbow2

Here’s what Wiki has to say about the famous McCloud River Trout:

The McCloud River Redband trout is one of three redband trout subspecies of the rainbow trout.  The trout is native in small tributaries of the McCloud River and Pit River which are tributaries of California’s Sacramento River. Its historic range has declined significantly since it was first described in 1894. Remaining populations of genetically pure McCloud River redband trout are threatened by predation, habitat loss, competition with introduced trout species and by hybridization with hatchery rainbow trout introduced to support sport fishing .

Note the name “Redband.”  Look at the above picture.  That sure enough looks like a Reband Rainbow, eh?  And here’s another picture of a Crane Creek trout from OzarkAnglers.com, also touting a red banded:

 Crane-Creek-2-on-OzarkAnglers.Com_1

 

From CraneCreekTrout, here’s an interesting write-up on fishing strategy:

The best way to catch fish on Crane Creek comes down to one word: stealth.

For those of us accustomed to standing on the shore and sight casting to trout in state or private trout parks this can be quite an adjustment. Show a Crane Creek trout your shadow and they’re gone!

You need to approach pools from behind brush or cover, stooping, kneeling or even crawling! A cast that hits the water hard may spook the fish. Might as well go have lunch!

This is the unique challenge of Crane Creek trout that you will find very few other places in the region. There are plenty of trout here, there are big trout here, but if you’re going to catch one you’re going to have to learn some new tricks, chief among them patience!

In case you haven’t had enough trout fishing, you can check out this video from Warrior Outdoor Productions if you like.  The entire second half is devoted to a lengthy battle with a mighty Crane Creek Trout. 

 

FYI, the only other time I featured “trout” was my Tacoma Washington post featuring Trout Fishing in America author Richard Brautigan.

Time to move on to Crane’s Broiler Festival. From CraneBroilerFestival.org:

The Crane Broiler Festival; ah, such a thought that can bring joy to the taste buds of the local residents of Crane, Missouri and to those other fortunate persons who have attended this local event since its official start in 1952.

The First Annual Missouri Broiler Festival and Barbeque was held on October 9, 1952, as a one day event. This Festival was sponsored by the Southwest Missouri Broiler Growers Association which was composed of approximately 60 broiler producers from the North Stone County area. As an aside a “broiler” is essential a young chicken generally weighing between 2 ½ to 3 ½ pounds and produced commercially for meat sales.

The Festival was such a success that it was decided that the 1953 and all futures Festival’s would be two day events. During the early years the chickens cooked at the Festival were all locally produced and cooked over an open air pit built of concrete blocks with metal racks that the chicken cooked on and each chicken was turned by hand.

Every Broiler Festival has had a local beauty pageant associated with it. Currently the Broiler Festival Queen is called “Miss Slick Chick”.

AAH-OOO-GAH!!  AAH-OOO-GAH!!  Political Correctness Alert!  Political Correctness Alert!!   I suspect that if NJ had a Broiler Festival beauty pageant, the winner would be crowned something other than Miss Slick Chick . . .  

Anyway, here are a couple of chicken pictures from the 2010 festival:

 chicken from 2010 festival

Here’s a plate of down-home comfort food:

 plate of checken from 2010 festival

And from a 2013 Monett, Missouri Times article, this’ll give you a feel for the festival scene:

 monett times

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot (by sacoo) of the road coming into Crane from the north:

 pano sacoo

I’ll close with this shot of Crane Creek near Crane from GardenStateTrout.com.  Wait a second, I live in the Garden State (NJ, of course)!  By word of explanation, the post is entitled “Not Garden State Trout, but Show Me State Trout.”  Anyway, here’s the picture:

  CraneCreekMissouri

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Shreveport, Louisiana and the Great Raft

Posted by graywacke on January 5, 2015

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 2145; A Landing A Day blog post number 573.

Dan: This is getting ridiculous.  My OSer streak has now reached 13/15, thanks to this landing in . . . LA; 39/36; 2/10; 11; 149.6.  One more OSer and my Score is 149.9, and another obviously pushes me back over 150. 

With apologies to my readers who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, feel free to skip this part.  Anyway, I feel compelled to put in a graph of my Score over the last 90 or so landings:

 Score graph

Landing 2056 was my first venture below 150.  After some ups and downs above and below 150, you can see that I’ve been solidly in the 140s for some time now.  But then after my all-time low Score of 145.8, it has been nothing but OSer misery . . .

OK, back to landing business as usual.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows many small towns and then, some distance away (~25 miles), Shreveport:

 landing 2

Here’s my watershed analysis, showing that I landed in the Bushneck Bayou watershed; on to the Bayou Castor; on to the Sabine River (18th hit):

 landing 3

The Sabine (the river that forms most of the border between TX & LA) meanders its way down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip in from outer space:

 

Backing out a little, here’s a static GE shot showing that I landed in the middle of an oil field:

 GE 1 - oil patch

And it turns out that I do have local Street View Coverage:

 GE 2 SV location

Here’s the Street View from the yellow dude’s location:

 GE SV landing .33 miles away

Anyway, moving right along . . .

Of course, I did a Google search for all of the nearby little towns, starting with Keatchie (usually spelled Keachie).  I stairstepped my way east and north, checking out each town.  Nothing, nothing, nothing. 

So, reluctantly, I Googled big ‘ol Shreveport.  What jumped out immediately was this, from the city’s website:

Shreveport, Louisiana, was founded in 1836, by the Shreve Town Company, a corporation established to develop a town at the juncture of the newly navigable Red River and the Texas Trail, an overland route into the newly independent Republic of Texas.

The Red River had just been cleared of the 180 mile long raft of debris (the “Great Raft”) that had clogged its channel since time immemorial.  The clearing work was performed by Captain Henry Miller Shreve, commanding the US Army Corps of Engineers. The Shreve Town Company and the village of Shreve Town were named in Shreve’s honor. On March 20, 1839, the village of Shreve Town was incorporated as the town of Shreveport.

I love “since time immemorial.”  But since I’m a left-brained geologist, I knew that I had to roll up my sleeves and learn more about the Great Raft!  But first, here’s a picture of a teeny portion the Raft, from Louisiana State University:

greatraft- LSU

And of course, I need a map.  Here’s a regional shot showing the historic extent of the Great Raft:

great raft map 1

By the way, when one Googles “Great Raft,” the first entry is Great Raft Brewing, not surprisingly out of Shreveport.  But there was plenty of information about the log jam.  First this on its origin, from the Oklahoma Historical Society’s Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (Oklahoma?  Oh, well . . .):

Before there were Indian settlers, or European explorers, or the United States, there existed the great Red River Raft. Origin of the raft remains conjecture. The most widely accepted theory holds that flood waters from the Mississippi River engulfed the mouth of the smaller Red, forcing large amounts of driftwood upstream. Repeated floods over thousands of years shoved together dislodged trees, scrubs, and earth into a logjam serpentining northward, creating natural debris during high tide, collecting huge quantities of it when the waters receded.

Hmmm.  InvasivesWatch.org has something different to say about the origin:

The Red River alluvial valley contains the most erodible soils of any major river valley in the United States. For centuries before the arrival of the Industrial Age and westward migration, periodic flooding of the Red River carved into the forests that lined the river’s banks. As they were torn loose from the soil, trees filled the river and formed a series of intermittent log jams from the present-day Arkansas-Louisiana border to the area of Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Well!  I can see we have competing theories about the Great Raft’s formation.  And the date of origin is questionable.  Wiki says that it formed “around 1100 – 1200 AD.”  TexasBeyondHistory.net says that it formed “around the end of the 17th century.”  And, of course, we can’t forget “since time immemorial.”

FYI, I don’t buy the InvasivesWatch theory.  I have trouble imagining a flood ripping out all of the trees –  floods happen all of the time, and some trees go down (typically those right on the banks); but a wholesale destruction of a forest by a flood I don’t buy.  And then, the trees grew back and it happened again and again?  Not likely . . . 

Back to the Oklahoma (my favorite) website:

Reports read as if witnesses struggled to describe what they saw. Thomas Freeman and Peter Custis, commissioned by Pres. Thomas Jefferson in 1806 to explore the southern part of the Louisiana Territory, found the great raft north of present Natchitoches, Louisiana. The men described an amalgamation of red cedar, cottonwood, and cypress trees covered with bushes, grass, and weeds so tightly bound that “[a] man could walk over it in any direction.”

The raft covered the entire width of the river and extended to the bottom of the channel. “An almost impenetrable mass,” Freeman wrote in his journal, dammed the river. Later eyewitnesses estimated the great raft’s length anywhere from eighty to one hundred and fifty miles. Whatever the truth, and one can easily conclude the size varied over time, the immensity of the raft convinced Freeman that no amount of human effort could dislodge it from the river.  Freeman said there was “no hope.”

Hmmmm.  No hope, eh?  Sounds like a book title.  It is a book title, by Michael Whitington, all about the Great Raft:

 no hope by michael whitington

So anyway, staying with OK, along comes Mr. Shreve:

The federal government’s first serious attempt at clearing the Red River began in 1833 when Capt. Henry M. Shreve, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and 159 men using Shreve’s invention, the “snag steamboat,” tore logs from the tail of the raft, causing them to float downstream. By 1836 Shreve triumphantly declared a cleared path of seventy-one miles. The captain included in his report a request for an additional thirty thousand dollars for boats to patrol against the raft’s reforming.   Congress chose to ignore Shreve’s request, and by August 1839 the great raft had fought back, barring the Red River to travel.

During the next thirty-two years (from 1839 to 1871) the government spent over $633,000, funding schemes of dubious value. Several contractors attempted to either recreate what Captain Shreve had done, or dig a new main stream around the raft, or excavate reservoirs, all with little success. Workers died of disease and fever; many simply deserted. At times the river attacked the machinery with such viciousness that boats and cranes washed down stream. Perhaps Thomas Freeman had been right.

Moving to InvasivesWatch.org:

In 1871, Congress again authorized the Corps of Engineers to clear the Red River of the Great Raft. The following spring, under the direction of Lt. Eugene Woodruff, the work began. Woodruff used snag boats that Shreve had invented and steam operated saws. The crews began again at the foot of the raft, above Natchitoches and worked to cut and pull apart the logs and debris. The work went faster than it had in Shreve’s time because Woodruff had at his disposal a tool that had not been available earlier – nitroglycerin.

Anticipating future floods, Woodruff and his engineers dredged the channel, created reservoirs, and constructed dams. Sadly, Woodruff would not live to see the completion of the project. He contracted yellow fever and died in Shreveport in August 1873. His brother George completed the project before the year ended.

Note that the engineered lakes and reservoirs were remanants of natural lakes formed by the damning caused by the Great Raft.  These lakes are known as “Raft Lakes” to this day.  Here’s a map, showing all of the lakes along the Red River:

great raft map 2

Here’s a picture of an 1873 snag boat, from the Library of Congress:

1873 snag boat on the raft library of congress

And, from the InvasiveWatch website, here’s another snag boat shot:

Plate33B  from invasive

From Wiki:

The removal of the Great Raft hastened the capture of the Mississippi River’s waters by the Atchafalaya River and forced the US Army Corps of Engineers to build the multibillion dollar Old River Control Structure.

I featured the Old River Control Structure in my Winnfield LA post – great post by the way – just type “Winnfield” into the search box to check it out.

Time to close it out with some GE Panoramio photos.  First, a couple of Keachie shots, by Rockin-Photos.  First a house that has seen better days but has managed to maintain its grandeur:

 pano rockin-photos keachi house

And then a store (that has also seen better days):

 pano rockin-photos keachie store

I’ll close with this artsy shot (from about 10 miles north of my landing) by JAlfred 85:

 pano jalfred85 10 mi N

That’ll do it.

 

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Copper Harbor, Keneewa Peninsula, Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Posted by graywacke on January 1, 2015

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 2144; A Landing A Day blog post number 572.

 Dan: Now it’s four OSers in a row and 12/14, thanks to today’s landing in . . . MI; 52/41; 2/10; 10; 149.2.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

Wait a second!  Not only is this two Michigan landings in a row (my 54th double, my third Michigan double), it’s two Michigan Upper Peninsula landings in a row!  Amazing! 

Let’s add in the roads & and the towns and take a closer look:

 landing 21

To put things in perspective, I’ll back out and take a look at the whole Keweenaw Peninsula:

 landing 22

My watershed analysis is quite straightforward:

 landing 3

I landed in the Garden Brook watershed, which includes Lake Fanny Hooe before the Brook discharges out to Lake Superior.  And then on, of course, on to the St. Lawrence (96th hit).

Here’s my Google Earth trip in (sorry about the background noise):

 

Wow.  It looks like I landed on pretty much barren rock.  Anyway, I’m just four miles from Copper Harbor, so Copper Harbor it is.  From Wiki:

The town’s name alludes to the former use of its harbor as a port for shipping copper mined from local deposits during the mid-19th century.

The Pittsburgh and Boston Mining Company began operating in Copper Harbor in 1844 and the company struck it rich in 1845. A few years later, other mines opened and became successful.  By 1870, the copper resources had been largely worked out, although a few deeper mines existed into the twentieth century.

Mining activity no longer exists, and the town’s harbor is mostly used for recreational purposes such as snowmobiling and for a ferry that connects Isle Royale National Park to northern Michigan.

It looks like I’ll be doing a little geology research (i.e., where does the copper come from) and I’ll need to check into Isle Royale.  As I mentioned above, I landed on the Keweenaw Peninsula.  Wiki’s entry about the Peninsula yields some cool geology:

The ancient volcanic lava flows of the Keweenaw Peninsula were produced during the Mesoproterozoic Era (one to 1½ billion years ago) as a part of the Keweenawan Rift.

Wow.  One to 1½ billion years is a really long time ago.  And what’s the Keweenawan Rift?  Well, here’s what Wiki has to say:

The Keweenawan Rift is a 1,200 mi long geological rift in the center of the North American continent. The rift formed when the continent’s core began to split apart during the Mesoproterozoic era.

This is akin to the East African rift, which is currently doing its best to rip Africa apart.  On this Wiki map showing North American “basement rock” (i.e., the oldest, typically deepest rock), the Keweenawan Rift is the white patch in the middle:

North_america_basement_rocks

Note that the numbers on the above map are in billions of years.  Back to Wiki:

The rift failed to rip the continent apart, leaving behind thick layers of volcanic rock that are exposed on the Keneenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale.  These rocks are buried beneath later sedimentary formations along most of its western and eastern arms.

Here’s a landing map showing Isle Royale:

 landing 4

And here’s a cross-section showing that the ancient Rift rocks actually are the raison d’etre for both the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale:

Keweenaw_structure

Back to Wiki:

This volcanic activity produced the only strata on Earth where large-scale economically recoverable 97+ percent pure native copper is found.

The Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale are the only sites in the country with evidence of prehistoric aboriginal mining of copper. Artifacts made from this copper by these ancient Indians were traded as far south as present day Alabama.

Here’s a Wiki shot of native copper from the Peninsula:

 800px-Native_Copper_from_the_Keweenaw_Peninsula_Michigan

Also from Wiki, here’s a 1905 shot of miners at the Tamarack mine on the Keweenaw Peninsula (from Wiki):

 800px-TamarackMiners_CopperCountryMI_sepia

As I’ve said before, one thing I’ve always loved about geology is that if you’re curious, there’s a story.  And I love to dig up and tell the story as best I can . . .

But I need to take a closer look at Isle Royale, which is a U.S. National Park.  Here’s a GE shot, showing that it’s quite a hunk of real estate:

GE Isle Royale

There are no vehicles, no roads and practically no buildings on the island.  Here’s a GE trip in to the most built-up spot on the island (Rock Harbor), where the ferry comes in.  Oh look!  There’s one now!

 

The island is visited mainly by boaters, backpackers and kayakers.  This is assuredly an awesome place.

Here’s a photo of one of the lighthouses on the island (photo by Dave Wobser, published in the Great Laker magazine, Dec 2004):

 dave wobser lighthouse

And here’s another island picture, with the caption below:

 ir_moose_lsm98

 

A bull moose wades in the water at Isle Royale National Park.
[Photo by Jim Scurlock, a winner in Lake Superior Magazine’s 1998 photo contest]

As one might imagine, this is an incredibly lovely place (and how the heck did moose get out here in the first place?  Swim, I guess!).  I found two photo webpages with many many lovely photos.  I strongly recommend you click and visit.

For SweetwaterVisions.com, click here.  For TerraGalleria.com, click here.

It’s time to head back to my landing at Copper Harbor and find some Panoramio photos. Here’s a shot looking out towards the end of the peninsula from just north of my landing, by GWGroove (note – not Grove, Groove):

 pano gwgroove

Here’s a shot by Erik Swekel of Brockway Mountain Drive, just north of my landing:

 pano erik swekel

I’ll close with some Pano shots of Lake Medora which is less than a mile southwest of my landing.  Here’s an overview shot (taken very close to my landing) by Gerald Mateyka:

 pano gerald mateyka

And a still-frozen-in-May photo of the lake (by Ronald Corey).

 Ronald Corey may lake medora

And finally, this lovely Lake Madora photo by igvm:

 pano igvm lake medora

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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