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Archive for June, 2015

Bronson, Florida

Posted by graywacke on June 27, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-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 2192; A Landing A Day blog post number 620.

Dan:  After three “try agains” (the Pacific Ocean, Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico) I landed in an eastern USer (hooray) . . . FL; 32/47; 4/10 (after fourteen 3/10s and 2/10s); 14; 150.9.

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

I’ll stop right here for second.  As most of you know, I keep a landing spreadsheet, where I put all pertinent nuts and bolts information about the landing.  The spreadsheet generates the random lat/longs, calculates the OSer/USer stats, and is where I keep track of the watersheds, and a myriad of other things (see “About Landing,” above). 

Here’s an example of how I describe a particular landing location (going back a couple of landings to my Cabool MO landing): 

“MO; S-Cen; 4 mi S of Cabool”

It is certainly not essential that I specify the portion of the state in which I landed – i.e., “S-Cen,” but it’s what I’ve been doing for 2,192 landings, so I won’t stop now. 

The reason I’m mentioning this is that for my previous landing (Shattuck & Gage OK), I said “OK, NW (not panhandle), 3.5 mi NW of Shattuck” because I landed in the northwestern part of the main body of the state, but wasn’t in the panhandle (which is even further northwest).  I don’t recall ever specifying “not panhandle” for previous landings.

Here’s today’s entry:  “FL, NW (not panhandle), 4 mi N of Bronson.”  Amazing, but true . . .

And then there’s a second amazing coincidence that also ties Gage OK in with Bronson FL (this is just a teaser; more about that in a bit).

Anyway, here’s my local landing map showing why Bronson is my titular town:

 landing 2

My local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Little Waccasassa River (first hit ever!); on to the Waccasassa (also first hit ever!):

 landing 3a

Now wait a second.  As shown above, the Little Waccasassa River is all of 3.5 miles long.  I am certain that this is my shortest river ever.  I seriously considered not counting it as a river, but StreetAtlas called it thus and to remain consistent, I shall also deem it so.

Here’s a slightly zoomed out map, showing that the Waccasassa makes its way to the Gulf:

 landing 3b

Geez.  Even the Waccasassa’s length is nothing to brag about . . .

Anyway, here’s a Google Earth (GE) Street View shot of the Waccasassa (or is it the Little Waccasassa?), taken west of Bronson on Route 27A:

ge sv waccasassa

Time for my GE spaceflight on in to the Florida peninsula:


Here’s a static GE shot showing the field in which I landed:

 GE 1

So, looks like there’s a sinkhole (which are incredibly common throughout the Florida peninsula).  Here’s a closer view:

 GE 1A

And a very much closer view:

 GE 2 sinkhole

Sinkholes (as I’m sure almost all of my readers know) are limestone cave structures where the roof fell in.  Did you notice all of the ponds and lakes on my local landing map?  I suspect they’re all sinkhole-related.

So what about Bronson?  Well, Wiki has absolutely nothing to say.  But when I checked out Google Images for Bronson, I found something . . .

That something returns me to my teaser statement that there are two amazing coincidences about my last landing and this landing – the first being the “NW (not in the panhandle)” statement.  As you, dear reader, undoubtedly remember from my Shattuck & Gage Oklahoma landing post, Gage has a highly unusual swimming hole, the “Gage Artesian Beach,” which was formed when an oil well driller hit a highly artesian mineral water vein while drilling, and a huge amount of water shot up the well, making a lake (and thereby ruining the oil well).  The mineral water lake was then developed into a swimming hole.

So what does Bronson have (that I found when looking at Google Images)?  They also have their own local swimming hole and it is also artesian – the Bronson Blue Springs.   Here’s a GE shot of the Blue Springs:

ge blue springs park

Here’s what NaturalNorthFlorida.com has to say:

The local swimming hole, Blue Springs, is a great place about 3 miles from Bronson. This 30-acre recreation facility is built around the crystal-clear 2nd-magnitude artesian spring at the headwaters of the Waccasassa River and features swimming, a playground and picnic sites. Amenities include hiking and riding trails, observation decks, a boardwalk and fishing platforms. Admission is $2 per day per person and season passes are available.

And it’s for sale!  LandSaleListings.com provides a little more info:

Blue Springs is a second magnitude spring producing approximately 40 million gallons of fresh clean spring water each day. There are 4 large springs and 2 smaller springs on the property.

Hmmm.  Both sites refer to a “second magnitude spring.”  The US Geological Survey recognizes 8 spring magnitudes, based on flow rate:


So 40 million gallons a day is 40/24 = 1.67 million gallons per hour = 1,670,000/60 = 28,000 gallons per minute = 28,000/60 = about 450 gallons per second. Phew.  That’s a healthy flow to jump start the Waccasassa on its way to riverhood . . .

Here are some pictures of Blue Springs, from the real estate website:

 land sale listings.com blue springs 1

land sale listings.com blue springs 2

Looks like a great spot.  And the asking price for the 400-acre property?  Just $10,000,000 (and they’ll probably take less).

So, I was cruising around GE looking at Panaramio shots when I stumbled on this, in Bronson (by Ken Bradgely):

 pano ken badgley cracker house

This picture was labeled “Classic Cracker House.”  My only knowledge of the term “cracker” is that it is a derogatory term applied to southern whites (mostly poor, I assume).  But I did a little research.  From Wiki (under “Florida Cracker Architecture”):

Florida cracker architecture is a style of woodframe home used fairly commonly in the 19th century, and still popular with some developers as a source of design themes. Florida cracker homes are characterized by metal roofs, raised floors, large porch areas (often wrapping around the entire home), and straight central hallways from the front to the back of the home (sometimes called “dog trot” or “shotgun” hallways).

Then I looked at the Wiki entry for “Florida Cracker.”  Here are some excerpts:

Florida cracker refers to colonial-era English and American pioneer settlers and their descendants in what is now the U.S. state of Florida.

The term “cracker” was in use during the Elizabethan era to describe braggarts. The original root of this is the Middle English word crack, meaning “entertaining conversation” (one may be said to “crack” a joke).  The use of the word is documented in William Shakespeare’s King John (1595): “What cracker is this … that deafens our ears with this abundance of superfluous breath?”

By the 1760s the English, both at home and in the American colonies, applied the term “cracker” to Scots-Irish and English American settlers of the remote southern back country, as noted in a letter to the Earl of Dartmouth: “I should explain to your Lordship what is meant by Crackers; a name they have got from being great boasters; they are a lawless set of rascals on the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia.

Among some Floridians, the term is often used as a proud or jocular self-description. Since the huge influx of new residents (mostly northerners) into Florida in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the term “Florida Cracker” is used informally by some Floridians to indicate that their families have lived in the state for many generations. It is considered a source of pride to be descended from “frontier people who did not just live but flourished in a time before air conditioning, mosquito repellent, and screens.”

Other Floridians (and white southerners in general) find the term highly offensive and insulting.

Well!  I certainly learned something . . .

I’ll close with some GE Panoramio photos.  I found four by Optical Delusions taken in the Devil’s Hammock Wildlife Management Area (which comprises the headwaters of the Waccasassa River):

pano optical delusions 2

pano optical_delusions alligator

pano optical 4

pano optical delusions 3

I found a couple of the Waccasassa a little further downstream.  First, this by pdfsmail:

 pano pdfsmail

And this, by Sam Feltus:

 pano sam feltus

I found this picture (photo-shopped to make it artsy), less than a mile from my landing (by V.L.G. Budde):

 pano v.l.g. budde near landing

I’ll close with two (also artsy) shots taken less than a mile from my landing by Karen Raley:

pano karen raley (2) near landing

pano karen raley near landnig


That’ll do it.




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Shattuck and Gage, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on June 22, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-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 2191; A Landing A Day blog post number 619.

Dan:  Oh man.  I missed the granddaddy of USers (TX) by less than 5 miles, but, instead, I landed in an OSer . . . OK; 59/50; 3/10; 13; 151.4.  Here’s my regional map:

 landing 1

And the more-local version of the same:

 landing 2

Here’s Part 1 of my watershed analysis:

 landing 3a

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of Wolf Ck; on to the N Canadian R (16th hit).  Zooming back:

 landing 3b

The N Canadian makes its way to the Canadian (43rd hit); on to the Arkansas (117th hit); on to the MM (858th hit).  It pretty much looks like that the Arkansas is to Oklahoma as the Snake is to Utah and the Humboldt is to Nevada . . .

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in:


I’ll zoom back for a static look:

 ge 1

Obviously, the area is pretty much agricultural, but it looks like all of the little white patches are clearings for oil wells . . .

So, I guess I’ll dive right in to Shattuck and Gage (not that there’s all that much into which to dive).  Wiki says nothing about Shattuck, but the town’s website has a page that features the Shattuck Windmill Museum.  Here are some excerpts:

Shattuck Windmill Museum and Park was established in 1994 and now, 37 windmills stand in the park, with no two alike, from a little 5 foot “Star Zephyr” to the big 18 foot “Samson.” Some are solid wooden wheels, others have wooden wheels that fold and many are unusual steel mills – all are in pumping order and have lifted water from beneath the earth to provide water for a homesteader’s garden or a rancher’s cattle.

Without windmills, barb-wire and the railroads, it seems that these High Plains would not have been settled as early as they were.

In 1854, Daniel Halladay patented his Halladay Standard windmill and then exhibited it at the New York State Fair where it was “awarded the highest Premium … for the most valuable newly invented machine for the farmer.”

Now, nearly a hundred and fifty years later, windmills still run without stopping day and night in an arid region far from the home of the original inventor.

There’s also a Shattuck Windmill Museum website; here’s one of their pictures:


From Wiki, here’s a picture of one of Halladay’s windmills (by Billy Hathorn)


So what did Mr. Halladay do that was so special?  From ConnecticutHistory.org:

Halladay had been approached to work on the design by a local Connecticut businessman, John Burnham. Burnham was involved in the pump business and understood that if a reliable source of power could be found to bring well water to the surface he could significantly increase his customer base.

Windmills had been used for centuries to grind grain, draw water, and power machines. So what was revolutionary about Halladay’s design? It allowed the windmill to automatically turn to face changing wind directions, and it regulated and maintained a uniform speed by changing the pitch of the sails—without human oversight.

There you have it.  There are some good GE Panoramio shots of the Shattuck windmills that I’ll save until the end of the post.

Moving along to Gage.  Wiki has this to say:

Folk artist Jim Powers, whose “junk yard art” is created in welded metal, makes Gage his base of operations.

Check out this You Tube video (from Oklahoma Road, News Channel 5):


Wiki also mentioned “Gage Artesian Beach.”  Here’s a GE shot of Gage and the Artesian beach (which includes a large lake, a small lake and a large swimming pool):

ge 2

Here’s a close-up:

ge 3

From NewsOK.com, here’s the story:

Gage, population 473, boasts the Gage Artesian Beach, a blue gem on the windswept prairie. Since the early 1920s the pool has held bathers seeking relief from the hot summers and health benefits from the mineral-laden waters.

Early advertisements touted the water as good for “kidney troubles, rheumatism, eczema, and all stomach trouble” and people come from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas to try the pool so full of minerals one can easily float.

The story of the artesian water begins in 1917 when oil seekers began drilling on the pool site. On Aug. 15, the drill bit punched through the last rock and a rumbling noise came from deep within the earth. Abruptly the well erupted, hurling water against the derrick.

The magnesium-laden water was declared unfit for irrigation or domestic use. Bitterly disappointed, investors demanded their money back and drillers simply let the water flow. Eventually the landowner dammed the water around the well, dug a sandy-bottomed beach and began advertising the new health resort.

Now the springs are protected by the National Parks and Wildlife and include two lakes and a swimming pool. Originally the artesian spring pumped 1700 gallons per minute. As of 2009 the spring is partially capped and is puts out only 400 gallons per minute.  Considerable work was done in 2012 on rebuilding the banks of Gage Beach.

For those of you who aren’t sure exactly what an artesian water well is, check out the sketch below.  Realize, of course, that water can’t flow through “impervious strata” but can readily flow through “pervious strata”.  Also, the artesian well just looks like a hole in the ground.  Of course, it has casing that seals off the two upper-most units:


Here’s a GE Pano shot of the pool, by Eric Ascalon:

pano eric ascalon

Pretty cool shot!  Do you think she ended up diving?

Anyway, time to close this down with some Shattuck windmill GE Pano shots.  I’ll start with this interesting study in black and white by shoggg:

 pano shoggg

And this equally interesting study in color by Ralf372:

 pano ralf372

I’ll close with this sunset shot, also by Ralf:

 pano ralf372 2

That’ll do it.




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Cabool, Missouri

Posted by graywacke on June 17, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-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 2190; A Landing A Day blog post number 618.

Dan:  I landed in a much-needed USer (although I’m now at 20 western & midwestern landings in a row, but who’s counting?) . . . MO; 49/50; 3/10; 12; 151.0.

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

Backing out a little, you can see that I’m near some other towns, but I’m sticking with Cabool:

 landing 2b

Here’s my watershed analysis, Part 1:

 landing 3a

You can see that I landed in the watershed of Little Indian Ck; on to plain ol’ Indian Ck; on to the N Fk of the White R (3rd hit).  Here’s my watershed analysis, Part 2:

 landing 3b

The N Fk of the White runs into the White (25th hit); on to the MM (857th hit).

Note that I also labeled the Arkansas R on the above map (which has 116 hits by the way).  What caught my eye is how close these two rivers seem to come to each other just before they discharge into the Mississippi.  Ever curious, I checked out this map:

 landing 3c

I’ll say they’re close!  With the headwaters of the Arkansas out in Colorado and New Mexico and the headwaters of the White up in Missouri, it sure is peculiar that they’re so close and didn’t end up conjoined.  Here’s a Google Earth (GE) shot of the near miss (but much closer in):

 landing 3d

I point out some old meander scars on the above photo.  It looks to me like the tight loop to the east is an old scar from the White.  But maybe the larger scar with the lake in it is a former short cut from the White to the Arkansas!  I’d guess that they were connected (at least for a while) at some time in the past.

Staying with watersheds, I once again noted that I landed near a watershed divide (I say once again because just a couple of landings ago – #2188, Oceanside OR – I also landed very close to a divide).  Anyway, here’s the map:

 landing 3e

So I landed close to the Big Piney R watershed (zero hits); on to the Gasconde (2 hits), to the Missouri.  I decided to take a more intimate look via GE.  Using the GE elevation tool, I put pushpins along the watershed boundary and then drew the dividing line:


Here’s a close-up of the divide just west of my landing:


So there’s what looks like a farm house and barn practically on the divide.  I would bet that the folks that live in that house are not aware of their momentous location.   I can imagine the gentleman of the house taking his dogs out for a romp at the end of the day.  They head east across the field.  Dogs being dogs, they are periodically lifting their legs (or squatting) here and there as they make their way east.

The squirts closer to the house would end up in the White R and on to the Mississippi down in Arkansas (especially if it were raining, and runoff was flowing across the field), while the squirts further east would end up in the Missouri R and on to the Mississippi north of St. Louis, more than 400 river miles further north . . . . 

Wow.  Maybe it’s time for my GE spaceflight, eh?

 I guess it’s time to think a little about Cabool (pop 2150). Here’s some of what town website has to say about the name origin:

Ralph Walker, a surveyor employed by the Frisco Railroad, coined the name Cabool. The scenery reminded him of the town of Kabul, Afghanistan, where he had served with the British military forces. Cabool is the English spelling of Kabul and is the only city in the world with this particular spelling.

Since the only thing of interest I can find about Cabool is that it’s named after Kabul, I guess I’m off to Kabul . . .

Kabul’s a little overwhelming.  It has so much history (it was founded in about 1,500 B.C.) and it has been conquered and ruled by just about every major player throughout world history.  And then along came the Soviets and then along came the Taliban and the warlords, and then along came 9/11 and then along came the U.S. and now they’re trying to go it alone. . .

Well, enough history.

Here’s a GE trip into Kabul, so we can all place it properly on the globe:


Right away I found out (no surprise here) that Kabul does not have Google Street View.  But Panarmio photos?  It’s loaded.  Here’s just a part of the city, showing Panaramio locations (the blue dots). 

 ge kabul

Some of the larger blue dots have dozens and dozens of photos.  Amazingly, the first one I randomly looked at was this (by aka4ajax) of a little boy and an ice cream vendor:

 pano aka4ajax

I love this photo . . .

Now let’s look at some city overviews with mountains in the background.  First this, by Eng Raqib Safari:

pano Eng Raqib Safari overview

And this, by Quique Morrique (great name!):

pano Quique Morrique

And, yes, they have traffic jams (by Nasim Fedrat):

 pano Nasim Fedrat

And here’s the Abdul Rahman mosque (one of Kabul’s finest), by (once again), Eng Raqib Safari:

 pano Eng Raqid Safari mosque

There are four ancient forts in Kabul (that I stumbled on by looking at GE).  I can’t find anything much about any of them, except that the oldest (I think) is Bala Hissar, which was built in the 5th century A.D.  Here’s a shot looking up at Bala Hissar by Ahmad Shah Nas:

 pano Hajji Ahmad Shah Nas...

And here are some scars of war at Bala Hissar (by Jack Kranz):

 pano jack kranz bela hissar war stuff

Bala Hissar is outside of center city, but right in town are three forts:

landing 3f

I found some pictures of the various forts.  I’ll start with this, by naw448:

 pano naw448

And this by (once again by the photographer of boy & and ice cream vendor, aka4ajax):

 pano aka4ajax (2)

And this by Azanizinaza:

pano azanizinaza2

Also by Azanizinaza, lingering evidence of war:

 pano azanizinaza

I couldn’t really find much in the way of information about any of the forts, but it’s sad, really, that historic sites that would be major tourist attractions (and a source of local pride) in most places around the world end up being an afterthought in war torn Afghanistan.

After looking at dozens of Panoramio shot, I kept two more.  First this one of a traditional mud house (by Golam Kamal):

 pano golam kamal traditional mud house

And then this great street scene (Potter’s Row?) by Ahmad Azizyar:

 pano ahmad azizyar

My mind wandered around Afghanistan (in a very limited way, considering my very limited knowledge of Afghanistan), and settled on the Khyber Pass, which is located a little more than a hundred miles east of Kabul, on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  From Wiki:

The Khyber Pass (elevation 3,510 ft) is a mountain pass connecting Afghanistan and Pakistan, cutting through the northeastern part of the Spin Ghar mountains. An integral part of the ancient Silk Road, it is one of the oldest known passes in the world. Throughout history it has been an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia and a strategic military location.

Here’s a Wiki photo of the pass (from the Afghan side) by James Mollison:


I know I need to show you a map, but I’ll do it via the Silk Road.  Here’s a Nat Geo map:


I found an Afghan-centric write-up about the Silk Road from the Queensland (Australia) Museum site (they were featuring Afghan artifacts in a 2014 exhibit):

The Silk Road was not a single “road”, but rather a network of trade routes that linked cities, trading posts, hostels and caravan-watering places. It was most active from about 300 BC to 200 AD and extended between the Eastern Roman frontier in the Middle East to the Chinese frontier, with other paths going north through Afghanistan from the Indian Ocean to the Siberian Steppe.

Products were seldom carried from one end of the Silk Road to the other by the same merchants. People in these widely separated locations participated in the trade network by adding various goods to the caravans as they passed through markets along the way: ivories from India, horses from Siberia and Mongolia, rubies and garnets from Afghanistan, and carpets from Persia and northern Central Asia.

Afghanistan’s location at the heart of the Silk Road is visible in the objects showcased in this exhibtion, reflecting a variety of different cultures and an assortment of precious goods and materials.

A little further down in the Wiki Khyber Pass write-up was this innocuous little sentence:

The Pass became widely known to thousands of Westerners and Japanese who traveled it in the days of the Hippie Trail, taking a bus or car from Kabul to Peshwar, Pakistan on their way to mainly India and/or Nepal.

I guess I was vaguely aware of many Hippie-types (I have trouble with the “Hippie” label) traveling to seek out gurus back in the day (like the Beatles).  But I never would have guessed that “Hippie Trail” has its own Wiki site:

The hippie trail (also the Overland) is the name given to the journey taken by members of the hippie subculture and others from the late 1950s to the 1970s from Europe, overland to and from southern Asia, mainly India and Nepal.

The hippie trail was a form of alternative tourism, and one of the key elements was travelling as cheaply as possible, mainly to extend the length of time away from home.

In every major stop of the hippie trail, there were hotels, restaurants and cafés that catered almost exclusively to cannabis-smoking Westerners, who networked with each other as they travelled east and west. The hippies tended to spend more time interacting with the local population than traditional sightseeing tourists.

Here’s the Wiki map (by Karte: NordNordWest, Lizenz: Creative Commons):



Hippies tended to travel light, seeking to pick up and go wherever the action was at any time. Hippies did not worry about money, hotel reservations or other such standard travel planning. A derivative of this style of travel were the hippie trucks and buses, hand-crafted mobile houses built on a truck or bus chassis to facilitate a nomadic lifestyle.Some of these mobile homes were quite elaborate, with beds, toilets, showers and cooking facilities.

The hippie trail came to an end in the late 1970s with political changes in previously hospitable countries. In 1979, both the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan closed the overland route to Western travelers.

Here’s a great Hippie Trail shot, from RumRoadRavings.com:


Here’s another (this one a “ruh roh” moment), from a blog post entitled “The Hippie Trail – The Road to Paradise” (reminisces about the author’s Hippie Trail adventure, with the caption below):


On the way through the desert between Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan

Click HERE to visit the website (by Erik Pontoppidan.) 

Phew.  I guess it’s time to make my way back to Middle America Cabool.

Of course, I’m looking at Pano photos.  Thtere was one and only one photo location in Cabool.  When I put the cursor over it, this is what I saw:

 ge cabool

I kid you not!  Here’s the photo by The Satellite Guy (with his words, not mine):

 pano the satellite guy

A fine-looking STP!

I’ll close with this Pano shot by Jerry Shelton of an old one-room schoolhouse, about 7 miles east of my landing:

 pano jerry shelton


That’ll do it.




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Antioch, Nebraska

Posted by graywacke on June 13, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-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 2189; A Landing A Day blog post number 617.

Dan:  Three OSers in a row and still stuck on 2/10, thanks to this OSer landing . . . NE; 61/55; 2/10; 151.6.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local map:

 landing 2

I’m going to put off my watershed analysis for a little, so here comes my Google Earth (GE) trip in:


Two things.  If you’re a regular ALAD reader, you probably know by now that I landed in the Nebraska Sandhills.  Also, as we flew into this landing, you might have noted the cluster of landings sitting there in western Nebraska.  Here they are:

ge 1 cluster

The three most recent landings (and what I wrote about) follows:

2134 – “Jail Rock, Courthouse Rock and Chimney Rock” (featuring rock formations along the Oregon Trail)

2137 – “Lewellyn and the nearby Sandhills” (featuring the geology of the Sandhill region)

2158 – “Scotts Bluff”  (featuring a trip along the western Nebraska portion of the Oregon Trail)

So it’s clear that I don’t need to discuss large bedrock formations, the Oregon Trail or the geology of the Sandhills.  With a sinking feeling, I googled “Antioch.”  Not much.  I googled “Lakeside.”  Nada.  I googled “Ellsworth.”  Nada.  So I went with “not much.”

But before discussing Antioch, I need to return to my watershed analysis.  Because we’re in the Sandhills, and precipitation soaks in rather than runs off, there aren’t many streams.  There are numerous ponds (discussed later) where the land surface intercepts the water table.  Generally, the land slopes to the south, and water ends up in Blue Creek:

landing 3

As you can see, Blue Creek ends up in the N Patte River (30th hit); on to the Platte (65th hit); on to the Missouri (397th hit) on to the MM (856th hit).

OK.  So, here’s some of what Wiki has to say about Antioch (please read carefully; you’ll need to know this as we proceed):

Antioch is a ghost town that was once nicknamed “the potash capital of Nebraska.”

Antioch sprang out of the war-driven needs. Before World War I, Germany was the world’s leading producer of potash, but potash exports were cut off as the war broke out.

The location of the town near several major alkali lakes among the Sandhills of western Nebraska made Antioch the logical home of five potash operations that were major suppliers of potash during World War I.

The year before the United States became involved in WWI, the town only had one schoolhouse, a church, and a store. By 1917 Antioch was “a small city” and within months the town had more than 5,000 residents.

When Germany resumed trade with the United States in 1921, the Nebraska potash trade was decimated and the factories immediately closed. The machinery was sold for scrap; the factories were demolished and the company housing was torn down or moved. Only the foundations of the factories and of some of the larger houses remained.

In 1979, the remains of Antioch’s potash plants were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Let me start with potash.  I, as a geologist, should certainly know what potash is.  But truth is, besides the fact that it contains potassium, I know next to nothing.  From Wiki. 

Potash is any of various mined and manufactured salts that contain potassium in water-soluble form.  The name derives from “pot ash”, which refers to plant and/or wood ash soaked in water in a pot, the primary means of manufacturing the product before the industrial era. The word “potassium” is derived from potash.

[So, I gather that potassium is concentrated in ash left over from burning plant material.]

Today, potash is produced worldwide at amounts exceeding 30 million tons per year, mostly for use in fertilizers.

So why is potash present in the Sandhills? Let me hearken back to my Sandhill geology discussion from my landing 2137 post.

Here’s a cross-section of a portion of the Sandhills (from U of Nebraska – Lincoln), showing that wetlands / lakes exist where the topography is lower than the water table.  The wetlands & lakes are labeled “subirrigated meadow” for some obscure geologic reason.


This is back to me, now:  During the summer, the water table drops, and the ponds dry up, concentrating the potassium salts that are dissolved in the water.  But why are the potassium salts there in the first place?  Well, I found a 2010 article by Jon Farrar posted on OutdoorNebraska.ne.gov.  Here’s a short excerpt:

Erwin Barbour [Nebraska State Geologist before WWI]  attributed the source of the alkaline waters to ash that leached down through the soil, ash derived from thousands of years of wildfires burning “grasses, weeds, and shrubs.” Barbour continued: “However produced, the ash would be leached by rains and snows, and washed as lye into the pools and lakes [and groundwater]. Since these lakes are typically without outlet, there was been no waste, and the alkali has been concentrated through the centuries.” Barbour succinctly characterized the alkaline wetlands: “They are shallow evaporating basins in which the alkaline waters of the respective drainage areas are caught and concentrated, to a greater or less degree, by solar evaporation.”

Now you know as much as I do (which ain’t much).

So here’s a GE shot of what Antioch looks like today:

ge 1 antioch

Obviously “Potash Lake” is one of those evaporative lakes where potash was processed.  Of particular note are the ruins of the WWI-vintage potash processing plants.  Here’s a GE closer look:

 ge 1 potash ruins

And, via GE StreetView, an even closer look:

 ge sv potash ruins

It seems to me that the ruins have an ancient feel to them (more ancient than WWI) . . .

And now, just for the heck of it (and speaking of ancient), I’ll take a quick look at the ancient town of Antioch (after which the town was named).  From Wiki:

The ruins of Antioch lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey, and lends the modern city its name.

Founded near the end of the 4th century BC by one of Alexander the Great’s generals, Antioch’s geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East.

As a result of its longevity and the pivotal role it played in the emergence of both Hellenistic Judaism and Early Christianity, Antioch was called “the cradle of Christianity.”  Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes, which, due to the Mongol conquests, no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.

Here’s a map showing the modern Turkish city of Antakya:


I never noticed the little arm of Turkey tucked between the Mediterranean & Syria.  I probably should have known about it, because of my travels for Mobil Oil, when numerous times (in the early 1990s), I flew into Adana to visit a refinery in Mersin (see both cities on above map).   Mobil was a half owner of the refinery and operating partner with the Turkish government, and they had a serious contamination issue that I dealt with.

Anyway, there’s an ancient Christian church in the Antioch ruins area that is known as the Cave Church of St. Peter.  Here are some excerpts from a write-up in Sacred-Destinations.com:

This cave is widely believed to have been dug by the Apostle Peter himself as a place for the early Christian community of Antioch to meet, and thus to be the very first Christian church.

Whether or not this is so, St. Peter (and St. Paul) did preach in Antioch around 50 AD and a church had been established in Antioch by as early as 40 AD.

Antioch became a major center for planning and organizing the apostles’ missionary efforts, and it was the base for Paul’s earliest missionary journeys. Famously, it was the inhabitants of Antioch that first called Jesus’ followers “Christians” (Acts 11:26).

The attractive stone façade of the church was built by Crusaders, who identified the grotto during their rule of Antioch from 1098 to 1268.

Here’s a GE Panoramio picture of the exterior by Zygmund Borowski:

 pano zygmunt borowski

Here are some pictures of the interior from the Sacred-Destinations website:





          I’ll head back to Nebraska, and close with a Panoramio shot by JimiLagro1 of a backroad less than a mile from my landing:

 pano JimiLagro1

That’ll do it.




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Oceanside, Oregon

Posted by graywacke on June 9, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-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 2188; A Landing A Day blog post number 616.

Dan:  It’s getting bad, as I just sunk to 2/10* for the first time in 26 landings, thanks to this OSer landing . . . OR; 84/70; 2/10; 10; 151.2.

*Two USers out of the last 10 landings

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And the more local version:

 landing 2

I’ve noted before that some parts of the country have very robust stream coverage on StreetAtlas; western Oregon is one of those:

 landing 3

So, I landed in the Elkhorn Creek watershed; on to the North Fork Middle Fork Trask River (1st hit ever!); on to the North Fork Trask River (1st hit ever!); on to the Trask R (1st hit ever!); on to Tillamook Bay (1st hit ever!).  Just for the heck of it, I labeled the other three rivers that also discharge into Tillamook Bay (none of which, obviously, I’ve landed in).

It’s time to put on your seatbelts for the flight in:


Let me zoom back out a little for a static Google Earth (GE) shot:

 ge 1

Looks like a patchwork of clear-cut and reforested logging areas (actually, I’m sure that’s what we’re looking at).

On the flight in, you may have also noticed that I landed fairly close to another landing – that’s my Gaston landing (#2032, June 2013).

 ge 2

 That’s the post I featured the famous Pinot Noir wines from the Willamette Valley. 

Speaking of which, the Willamette flows to the Columbia, so there must be watershed divided somewhere close between the Columbia and Tillamook Bay.  Well, here ‘tis:

 landing 3b

And here’s a closer look, showing that I landed a mere 1000 feet from a totally different watershed.

 landing 3c

If you look back up to the GE shot that shows my Gaston landing, you can see that I landed fairly close to Yamhill.  Well, Yamhill’s claim to fame (besides some good Pinot Noirs) is a famous son – columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof from the NY Times – and a famous daughter – children’s author Beverly Cleary (Ramona!).  While the town is rightfully proud of these two, I decided to look west for my titular town, admittedly influenced by the fact that drainage from my landing heads west to Tillamook.

So, I dutifully checked out all of the coastal towns – Garibaldi, Bay City, Oceanside, Netarts & Tillamook – and found essentially no hooks (and was admittedly thinking about heading east to Yamhill with Kristof & Cleary). 

But while checking out Panaramio photos of the coast near Oceanside, I realized that this is one of those classic Oregon coast areas, with wonderful huge rocks and rocky islands all over the place.  The coast just north of Oceanside is the photo hot zone.

But before the beautiful pictures, how about a little geology?  No?  Well tough luck because here it comes anyway. . .

BeachConnection.net has an article entitled “Cape Meares Lava Flows – Oregon Coast Attraction Tells a Frightening Geologic Story.”   Hmmmm, sounds intriguing.  Here are some excerpts:

(Oceanside, Oregon) – The sheer wonders (and the terrifying truth) of how the Oregon coast came to look as it does are on display at Cape Meares, just west of Tillamook. This dramatic set of cliffs is a few miles north of the village of Tillamook, and just a tad bit south of the Bayocean Spit – which itself boasts a weird history of having once been a major resort town, but is now only a stretch of sandy dunes.

[ALAD alert!  Bayocean is another story I’ll soon get to!  Back to the article:]

The soaring cliffs of Cape Meares are a catalog of freaky [excuse me – freaky!?!?] geologic activity that goes back some 15 million years, and tells some scary [scary?!?] tales that make the upcoming flood of Halloween-induced ghost stories look like early Disney flicks.  [Not the usual tickler for an article on geology.]

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot of the Cape Meares cliffs by S. King:

pano cosbyr

See what I mean about the beauty?  Anyway, once again, back to the article.

Looking at the massive cliff walls and their ragged features from the various viewpoints along Cape Meares is, understandably, one of the big pastimes at this amazing spot on the north Oregon coast. But if you know how to read it, a wild saga emerges.

Tom Horning is a Seaside resident and renowned geologist on the subject of anything coastal. He’s spent considerable time gazing at the myriad of layers embedded in the rocks here, frozen in time from the Miocene period. He says these layers represent eons of massive lava flows that have piled on each other over millions of years, coming here from hundreds of miles away.

He says it all begins with a fiery situation over 15 million years ago, when a giant hole in the Earth’s crust spewed so much lava it scarred and seared its way across what was then Idaho and Eastern Oregon, until it reached the sea.

This is the same hole that now fuels the action at Yellowstone National Park. Continental drift pushed that weakness in the crust eastward over time, and it now lies there.

These huge invasions of lava are called the Columbia River Basalt Flows.

Essentially, these massive flows came again and again, separated by hundreds, thousands maybe even millions of years. No one is really certain how long between each eruption.

The article goes on, and you can read the whole thing by clicking here.

Between you and me, I think the author slightly overstate the intrigue of the geology in the opening paragraphs . . .

But thanks to this article, I found out about Bayocean (or Bay Ocean).  Now here’s a great story!  From Wiki (and please pay attention):

Bayocean was a community in Tillamook County, Oregon. Sometimes known as “the town that fell into the sea”, it was a planned resort community founded in 1906 on Tillamook Spit, a small stretch of land that forms the western shore of Tillamook Bay.

Bayocean’s post office was established on February 4, 1909, and by 1914, the town’s population was 2000.  Only a few decades later however, Bayocean had become a ghost town, having had many of its attractions destroyed by man-induced coastal erosion.

The location of Bayocean was said to have been discovered by co-founder Thomas Irving Potter while sight-seeing and hunting along the Oregon Coast.  It was purchased by both T. I. Potter and his father/business partner Thomas Benton Potter, who envisioned the venture as the “Atlantic City of the West”.

Because the site had exceptional views of the both Tillamook Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the new town’s name was logically derived from both.

Bayocean had many features uncommon for a small town of its time, including a dance hall, a hotel with orchestra, a 1000-seat movie theater, a shooting range, a bowling alley, tennis courts, a rail system and four miles of paved streets.

One notable attraction was a heated natatorium, complete with a wave generator and a special section for a band to play music to entertain the swimmers.

While Bayocean’s economy was based on tourism, there were other businesses in town, including a cannery, a tin shop, a machine shop, and a Texaco gas station.

In a time when many other towns did not have technological infrastructure like electricity or paved roads, Bayocean hosted a water system, a telephone system and a diesel-driven power plant.

Despite having paved roads, Bayocean was not connected to the rest of the country until the 1920s. Most residents and tourists arrived to the town via T. B. Potter’s steamship, the S.S. Bayocean, in a three-day trip from Portland.

The final leg of the journey, entering into the unprotected mouth of Tillamook Bay, could provide a rough and frightening experience to passengers. Eventually Bayocean’s residents asked the Army Corps of Engineers for a protective jetty to reduce the waves.

Bayocean’s residents proposed and eventually had a single jetty constructed. The price was a little over $800,000 with Bayocean’s citizens paying half.

Although the new single jetty made for a much smoother journey into the bay, the one-sided change to the coastline began a process of erosion to Bayocean’s beaches, slowly narrowing them before overtaking them completely.

In 1932, waves from a massive storm finally crossed the beach and destroyed the huge natatorium. The spit itself was further damaged by winter storms in 1939, 1942, 1948, and by 1952 what was left of Bayocean had become an island.

Bayocean’s post office closed in 1953. In 1960, Bayocean’s last house was washed away, and in 1971, the last remaining building, a garage, finally fell into the ocean.

Quite the story, eh?  Time for some Bayocean pictures.  I’ll start with a shot of the boat, “Bayocean” that carried customers from Portland to the resort town:


Here’s a Wiki shot of the balcony of the very nice hotel that used to be there:


Also from Wiki, here’s the “Natatorium” (the indoor swimming pavillion with a wave machine):


From PDXHistory.com (which has a very complete collection of photos), here’s one of some cottages:


Click HERE to go to the PDX History page.

And now for the demise.  Here’s a 1932 shot of the natatorium just before it fell into the sea (from the Oregon Encyclopedia):


And here’s an early 1940s picture of a doomed house from OffBeatOregon.com.

 cottages 2

Enough Oceanbay.  Time for some GE Panoramio pretty beach pictures.  I’m going to group the pictures into three categories, as shown on the following GE shot:

 ge 3 beach photos

I’ll start with the Three Arch Rocks.  First this aerial view of the rocks by Andy Turner:

 pano andy turner

And here’s the view from the beach, by rohrichj:

 pano rohrichj

And this foggy shot by JMcGinnes:

 pano jmcginnes

Moving to the collection of rocks just a little further north, here’s a shot by Ivan Logvinov:

 pano ivan logvinov

And from another angle and different light, by Turusmedia:

 pano turusmedia

And with extraordinarily different light, by Don Marlow:

 pano don marlow

Moving further north to Cape Meares, I’ll start with this southerly vista from the Cape by Stan Pierce (looking at the very same rocks shown in the previous photos):

 pano stan pierce looking south from the cape

Here’s a shot of the Cape itself (looking north) by Thomas Galenbeck:

 pano thomas galenbeck

And here’s another shot by CosbyR:

 pano s. King

I’ll close with this sunset shot of the Three Arch Rocks by k7gvi:

 pano k7gvi

That’ll do it.




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Woodside, Utah

Posted by graywacke on June 5, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-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 2187; A Landing A Day blog post number 615.

Dan:  Geez.  If I don’t landing in NV, I land in . . . UT; 82/61; 3/10; 9; 150.8.  Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map (showing that – what else – I landed way out in the boonies):

 landing 2

Am I sounding a little bitter?  Forgive me while I do the statistics.  Since landing 2111, I’ve landed 77 times.  Over that span, I’ve landed in NV 9 times and in UT 7 times.  That’s 16/77, or 21% of my landings have been in those two states!   That’s in spite of the fact that these two states make up 6.4% of the area of the lower 48.  So I’m landing here at triple the rate that I should.  Oh well, moving right along . . .

Since I’m using Google Earth (GE) for part of my watershed analysis, I’ll jump right to my trip on in:


Staying with GE, here’s a shot showing that I landed behind some bluffs (the “Book Cliffs”), and that I landed in the watershed of the Price River (4th hit):

 ge 0

Zooming right up to my landing, here’s a GE shot that shows I landed on the side of a totally-wilderness valley of an unnamed tributary to the Price River:

 ge 1

Zooming back some more, you can follow the valley as it makes its way towards the Price:

 ge 2

And here’s one that shows its entire course:

 ge 3

Amazingly, I found a GE Panoramio shot (by UDink) that actually shows where my unnamed tributary discharges to the Price:

 pano udink

To make the drainage path a little clearer, I added a blue line:

 pano udink with drainage

Here’s a GE shot showing StreetView coverage, with the orange dude on the Route 6 bridge over the Price River:

 ge sv map price

Here’s what the orange dude is looking at (a pretty spectacular scene, if I don’t say so myself):

 ge sv price river, landing

Here’s a boring old StreetAtlas map showing that the Price discharges to the Green River (32nd hit); on to the Colorado (171st hit):

 landing 3

Returning to GE, check out this shot of where the Price & the Green meet up:

 ge 4 confluence

As a Jersey guy, this kind of landscape just blows me away . . .

So I landed near Woodside.  Here’s what Wiki has to say:

Woodside is a ghost town located on the west bank of the shallow Price River in the nearly uninhabited eastern part of Emery County, Utah, United States. Its fenced-in filling station is one of the only signs of human activity along the lonely stretch of U.S. Route 6 between Wellington and Green River.

Attracted by relatively abundant water and an extensive growth of cottonwood trees, early settlers founded a settlement along the railroad known as Lower Crossing.  As the town grew, adding a few stores and a blacksmith shop, it was renamed “Woodside” for the cottonwood groves.

One of Woodside’s biggest challenges was the Price River itself. The streamflow was highly variable, peaking early and nearly drying up by late summer. The river’s large drainage basin also meant that even a distant cloudburst could bring a destructive flash flood.

Despite these problems the town continued growing. A hotel and stockyards were built adjacent to the railroad station, and Woodside became a supply point for neighboring ranches.  In 1900 the population stood at 114; it had almost tripled by 1910, when it had schools, saloons, and a large hotel, and the population had reached 328.

In the late 1920s Woodside’s livestock shipping facilities and railroad station were taken away when the railroad consolidated much of its operations in Helper.  This blow was followed by severe droughts in the 1930s, and by 1940 the population had dropped to 30.

In the 1940s Woodside became a minor tourist attraction. In the 1880s the railroad had dug a large water well here, which had later turned into a cold bubbling mudpot driven by naturally-occurring pressurized carbon dioxide gas. The hole was developed into a cold water geyser, along with a filling station, store, and cafe.

The cafe and store burned down around 1970, and the geyser and filling station are the only remnants of Woodside.  The geyser formerly spouted as high as 75 feet, but is much lower now.

A tanker truck explosion scene in the 1991 film Thelma & Louise was shot in Woodside; the town was bought by Roy Pogue in the early 1990s.  In 2012 Pogue decided to sell the townsite.

Three things of special interest:  1)  the geyser; 2) Thelma & Louise and 3) Roy Pogue is trying to sell his town.

Here’s a 1970 shot of the geyser, which I lifted from Roy Pogue’s real estate website:


You can see the restaurant / gift shop that evidently burned down soon after the above photo was taken.  I wonder if the geyser can be restored with “some investment and imagination?”  Here’s a GE Panoramio photo by Chris Colt showing what I presume to be a recent picture of the geyser:

pano chris colt

I think it needs a little work to make its way back to a full-fledged tourist attraction . . .

Anyway, Roy Pogue has put together quite the website making the pitch to sell 700+ acres for $3.9 million.  Here’s the header:

 Ideas for front page

It’s definitely worth a perusal.  Click here to check it out.

John Glionna from the L.A. Times wrote an article about the sale in 2012.  Here are some excerpts:

WOODSIDE, Utah — Roy Pogue has loved a lot of things in his 63 years — like his wife, Chris, and her little Daffy Duck tattoo, not to mention the couple’s six children.

Yet few things have made his heart go flip-flop more than a dry-gulch piece of land out in the middle of Utah’s nowhere.

Sometimes, love truly is blind. A lot of words describe Pogue’s backside-of-beyond parcel, where rust rules and the thermometers have all surrendered to the cold and the heat. One of those words is Godforsaken.

roy pogue

More than 700 dusty, rocky acres in all, the spread sits along the trickling Price River, under the boxy shadow of the Book Cliffs. Like Pogue himself, a man in bib overalls, handlebar mustache and well-oiled cowboy hat, the property exudes a bit of Wild West panache: At its core is a creaky old ghost town complete with an abandoned gold mine, cold-water geyser and a supposed onetime hide-out for the outlaw Butch Cassidy when he wasn’t riding with the Sundance Kid.

Over the years, he made ends meet by ranching, farming (yes, farming) and running his gas station. And for a long time he made it work. For 70 miles along isolated U.S. Route 6, between the towns of Price and Green River, it’s been just Pogue and a herd of free-range llamas. But maybe not for much longer.

After decades of sweat, labor, battles with the federal government over cattle and water rights, fights with his wife, who prefers people to llamas — and, finally, declining health — Pogue performed the toughest chore of his life: pounding in the for-sale sign.

“This place has meant so much to me,” he said, sweating under a relentless midday sun. “It’s the closest thing to real freedom I’ve ever known in my life. At this price, it might be a cold day in hell before someone buys it. And maybe that’s good.”

John Glionna can turn a good phrase.  I particularly like:  “Pogue’s backside-of-beyond parcel.”

And then there’s the tank truck scene from Thelma and Louise, filmed right here in Woodside:


I’ll close with this lovely GE Panoramio shot of the Price River, just downstream from its passage through the Book Cliffs, by frequent contributor LSessions:

 pano lsessions

That’ll do it.




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Lake Hughes and Hughes Lake, California

Posted by graywacke on June 1, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-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 2186; A Landing A Day blog post number 614.

Dan:  Hey.  My second USer in a row.  I’ll take it . . . CA; 103/117; 3/10 8; 150.4.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

As you can see, I’m pretty much out in the boonies, in spite of my proximity to the Megalopolis:

 landing 2b

I think I’ll take my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in before I do my watershed analysis.  (Note:  I’m having technical issues with embedding the video.  You’ll have to click on the link):


I’ll jump right to StreetView coverage:

 ge sv landing map

Note the long light-colored road or driveway that leads from the orange dude up towards my landing.  Well, here’s the look up the driveway.

 ge sv landing

I guess it’s inevitable that sometimes Street View shots are directly into the sun.  Oh, well . . .

Here’s an oblique GE shot, showing that I landed in the mountains bordering a valley that includes Hughes Lake (the Lake) and Lake Hughes (the town). 

ge oblique up the valley

Honestly:  the lake is Hughes Lake and the town is Lake Hughes (ergo the title of this post).  Go figure . . .

The Wiki entry for the town (Lake Hughes) doesn’t have much to say, except for a little bit of history (the town was named for a turn-of-the-century judge), and a discussion of the California and Los Angeles Aqueducts which are nearby (more about these later). 

But it got more interesting when I took a look at the Wiki entry for Hughes Lake (the lake):

Hughes Lake is located directly on the San Andreas Fault and is one of a series of sag ponds in the foothills of the Sierra Pelona Mountains, including Elizabeth Lake, and Munz Lakes, all created by the active motion of tectonic plates.

Oh my.  It wasn’t all that long ago (Carrizo Plain post, landing 2166, March 23, 2015) that I featured the San Andreas Fault in all of its glory.  I was so excited that I only landed two miles from the fault.  Well, check this out:

 ge 1 SA Fault

Less than half a mile this time!!

More about the Fault later.  But first, my watershed analysis.  Here’s a look at the usual streams-only StreetAtlas map:

 landing 3

Hmmmm. Without thinking, I’d say that I landed in the watershed of the California Aqueduct.  But wait a minute here.   I’ll be discussing the Aqueduct later, but in fact I need to dig a little deeper for my watershed analysis.   So let’s take a look at GE:

 ge drainage

See the light-colored trace at the base of the mountain?  That’s a dry gulley that slopes down towards Hughes Lake.  Hughes Lake is a local low point, so it looks like runoff from my landing would make its way to Hughes Lake and go no further.  Watershed entry:  unnamed tributary; Hughes Lake; Internal.

I have some StreetView coverage of the gulley:

 ge sv map gulley

And even though it ain’t much, here’s what the orange dude is looking at:

 ge sv gulley

Here’s a GE Pano shot by Wen Griffin of Hughes Lake (with a little of Lake Hughes in the background):

 pano wen griffin

Before visiting the SAF (San Andreas Fault), I’ll take a brief look at the two aqueducts near my landing.  As shown on my “streams-only” map, the California Aqueduct is about 3 miles northeast of my landing.  In this area, it’s a concrete-lined, highly-engineered “ditch.”  Here’s what Wiki has to say:

The California Aqueduct is a system of canals, tunnels, and pipelines that conveys water collected from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and valleys of Northern and Central California to Southern California.

Here’s a  shot of a section of the California Aqueduct, similar to what’s near my landing (from iofoto):

 Aerial of aqueduct.

Here’s a map of the whole system from Maps.com:

 aqueduct map

See where the Los Angeles Aqueduct intersects the California Aqueduct?  That’s right near my landing. 

The mountain range on either side of the San Andreas presented an obstacle for the LA Aqueduct, so they dug a tunnel.  A very long tunnel, as can be seen here, that extends from the Fairmount Resevoir (the upper portal) to the lower portal:

 ge 2 eliz tunnel

From SCVHistory.com (a service of Santa Clara Valley TV):


Workers pose at the south portal of the Elizabeth Tunnel after digging through 604 feet of hard rock in a single month (April 1910). It was the last of three records they’d set while digging the 26,870-foot (5.09-mile) Elizabeth Tunnel in the Elizabeth Lake area, through which the Los Angeles Aqueduct passes 250 below ground.

The sign above the mine shaft reads, “American Record 604 Ft.”

The Elizabeth Tunnel is the longest in the aqueduct system.  Construction started on both ends of the tunnel in the fall of 1907.

(from water and power.org):

The crew working from the north portal crossed the San Andreas Fault.  Tunneling was “wet and loose,” requiring extensive timbering for nearly its entire length. Water was a constant headache because the north from the north always angled downgrade. But, by pumping 350 gallons per minute from the heading the miners had only to contend with knee-deep water.

(back to SCVHistory):

The tunnel took 1,215 days to dig and was just 1⅛ inches off-center and 5/8 inch out of grade.

Not bad for 1910, eh?  It’s amazing what mankind has been able to do, even without our modern technology.

JFTHOI (just for the heck of it), here’s a shot of what the South Portal looks like today (GE Pano shot by Talon38c):

pano talon38c

I’m guessing that the water must flow in a pipeline buried under the dirt road . . .

Moving right along . . . Because I wrote about the SAF rather extensively in my Carrizo Plain post, I’ll not do so again here (but feel free to type “Carrizo Plain” in the search box to check it out).  However, one thing I noted in the Wiki piece about Hughes Lake (the lake), was that the lake was referred to as a “sag pond.” 

Stanford U has this to say about sag ponds:

Strike slip faults are good places for lakes; the fault both creates a low spot to collect the water, and grinds up the rock underneath making an impermeable layer to hold the water in.

From a much bigger picture perspective, I found the following piece from EarthquakeCountry.info, entitled “One Plausible BIG ONE.”  Note that the the ruptured portion of the SAF discussed in the article extends to Lake Hughes (this is an excellent read, so don’t skim):

. . . it is only a matter of time before an earthquake strikes Southern California that is large enough to cause damage throughout the entire region. What will that earthquake be like, and what will its impacts be? Could this be Southern California’s version of Hurricane Katrina? What could be done now to reduce these impacts? These are the kinds of questions that motivated the development of the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario, a comprehensive study of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The “what if?” earthquake modeled in this study ruptures the southern San Andreas Fault for more than 200 miles (black line on map below). The epicenter is on the northeast side of the Salton Sea in Imperial County, though strong shaking will be produced all along the fault as it ruptures through the Coachella Valley, into San Bernardino, across the Cajon Pass and further to the northwest until ending near Lake Hughes [our Lake Hughest!].

As the rupture progresses it will offset the ground along the fault by more than 20 feet in places, and bend or break any road, railroad, pipeline, aqueduct, or other lifeline that crosses the fault. Overall the rupture will produce more than 100 seconds of shaking throughout Southern California. As shown in the large ShakeMap below, shaking will be strong along the fault but also further away where soil type, thickness of sediments, and other factors amplify earthquake shaking. In some areas, the ground will shift violently back and forth, moving nearly 2 meters (6 feet) in each second – shoving houses off foundations, sending unsecured furniture and objects flying.

(Here’s the ShakeMap.  The caption to the map is in italics below the map):

big one map

An earthquake has only one magnitude and one epicenter but typically has a pattern of shaking intensity that depends on several factors. The strongest shaking (red on map) occurs very near the fault and dies off as seismic waves travel away. Away from the fault, in natural basins filled with sediments, some waves get trapped and reverberate, causing pockets of strong shaking (red and orange on map) that in this earthquake persist for as long as a minute.

Ground shaking continues as the waves travel away, and in this earthquake, total shaking lasts for more than 3 minutes.  (The white square and the smaller map off to the lower left have to do with the 1994 Northridge quake).

Back to the main article:

The overall shaking in this earthquake will be more than 50 times the shaking produced by the Northridge earthquake (see zoomed-in map above). In addition, large earthquakes create earthquake waves that are never created by smaller earthquakes like Northridge. These long period waves can cause damage very far from the fault, and are especially damaging to tall buildings or certain infrastructure.

I, for one, can’t imagine living close to the fault.  The destructive (and ever-increasing) energy that is currently stored along the fault would be too much for me to handle.  I know, I know — odds are pretty good that the BIG ONE won’t happen during my lifetime.  Or maybe even the lifetime of my kids; or grandkids.  But “pretty good odds” just aren’t good enough for me.

Here’s a GE shot of Hughes Lake.  The SAF pretty much follows the road in the foreground:

 ge hughes lake SAF

Look at all of those houses . . .

Moving on to more typical (and more mundane) ALAD fare, here’s a cool old structure in Lake Hughes, imaginatively known as The Rock House (GE Pano shot by Zeke_54):

 pano zeke_54 rock house

Think we’re in California?  Motorcycles and an old Hippiemobile.  Anyway, it’s a bar and restaurant, with frequent live entertainment.  From The Rock House website, here’s a back-in-the-day shot (circa 1944):


And, of course, the Rock House is practically on top of the SAF . . .

I found this GE Pano shot by BairdWhite that shows Hughes Lake with the Mojave Desert just beyond the far ridge:

pano BairdWhite

I also found that I landed very close to the Pacific Crest Trail (made more famous recently by the book and movie, “Wild”).  But of much greater interest to me is the fact that my best buddy Mike has a daughter Laura and a son-in-law Mike currently hiking the trail.  And yes, starting at the Mexican border, they are hiking the whole thing north to Canada.  Here’s a map of the trail near my landing:

pct map

Here’s a GE StreetView shot of where the trail crosses Lake Hughes Road, just east of my landing (just to the right of the two posts; you can see the iconic Pacific Coast Trail crest on the shorter post):

ge sv pct

It’s cool imaging that Laura’s and Mike’s heads will appear coming up that little path towards the road . . .

When perusing Pano shots near my landing, I was excited to see one posted at the top of the mountain just uphill from my landing.  When I opened it up, I was delighted.  So, I’ll close with this shot by Thomas Hart, looking right down the valley (and right down the SAF) past Hughes Lake and Elizabeth Lake:

 pano thomas hart

That’ll do it.




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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