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Archive for July, 2015

Lovelock, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on July 28, 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 2200; A Landing A Day blog post number 628.

Dan:  AYKM?  Once again, I landed in that big bad OSer . . . NV; 92/79; 4/10; 1; 151.1.

I’m going to repeat my standard Nevada paragraph (most recently presented two landings ago), just updating the numbers and percentages a little:

Between landing 2121 and landing 2200 (80 landings), I’ve landed in NV 10 times!  Ten is 12.5% of 80.  Nevada’s area is 110,567 sq mi; that of the lower 48 is 3,061,363 sq. mi.  Nevada’s area is 3.6% of that of the lower 48.  So I’ve landed in Nevada at almost 4 times the rate that I should have over the last 80 landings.  That’s what Over-Subscribed (OS) is all about . . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2a

Without resorting to a streams-only map, you can see that I landed in the watershed of the Humboldt River (27th hit).  It goes without saying that the Humboldt River goes nowhere.

OK, so “nowhere” isn’t exactly correct.  Here’s the afore-mentioned streams-only map:

 landing 3a

I landed near the dead end of the Humboldt River.  If there’s enough flow, the water will make it to Toulon / Humboldt lakes.

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to the Humboldt Valley.  (Click below and hit the back button when you’re done).


Of course, I checked out Street View coverage for bridges over the Humboldt.  Close to Lovelock, I found two spots:

 GE Humboldt SV shot map

Here’s the upstream Street View shot of the river:

 GE SV humboldt

For Nevada, I’d say this is quite the substantial river!  Now, let’s look at the downstream Street View shot of the river:

 GE SV humboldt 2

Oh oh.  What happened to all of the water?  I’ll zoom in to get a closer look at the river near the downstream shot:

 GE humboldt dam

So they dammed up the river and stole all of the water (reminds me a little of Joni Mitchell’s “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot”).  Anyway, what happens to the water?  This . . .

 GE farm land

A 15-mile stretch of farmland surrounding Lovelock.

So, what about Lovelock?  From Wiki:

The area around what would become Lovelock came to prominence as a lush way station on the Humboldt Trail to California. According to an 1849 description of what were then called the Big Meadows, “This marsh for three miles is certainly the liveliest place that one could witness in a lifetime. There is some two hundred and fifty wagons here all the time. Trains going out and others coming in and taking their places is the constant order of the day. Cattle and mules by the hundreds are surrounding us, in grass to their knees, all discoursing sweet music with the grinding of their jaws.”

A few settlers stopped on there to harvest the wild rye growing in the meadows and scythe the hay each fall, which they then sold on. Arriving there from California in 1866, the English settler George Lovelock (1824–1907) bought the squatters’ right for 320 acres and got with it the oldest water rights on the Humboldt River.

So, Lovelock’s raison d’etre is the Humboldt River and the wetlands / meadows that were present at the downstream end of the river.

Staying with the Humboldt for a little longer, I found a Nevada State publication entitled “Humboldt River Chronology.”  The publication emphasizes the fact that the Humboldt River is part of the “Great Basin.”  The Great Basin is a large area that is entirely internally-drained; i.e., precipitation that falls here never makes it to an ocean.  Here’s a map:

 great basin map

Funny thing.  I’ve been tracking watersheds and talking about internally-drained basins for years, but I’ve never formally addressed “The Great Basin” before.  It’s about time!  From the Nevada State publication:

The Humboldt River Basin lies wholly within a vast Intermountain region which was first recognized for its unique geophysical structure by John C. Frémont, who fittingly named it the “Great Basin”.  The  Great Basin is defined as an area of internal drainage systems bordered by the Rocky Mountains on the east, the Sierra Nevada on the west, the Columbia Plateau on the north and the Colorado Plateau on the south. Surface waters within this expansive area never reach the ocean, but are confined to closed basins which ultimately drain to terminal lakes, playas, or sinks.

The GreatBasin covers an area of approximately 205,780 square miles and includes nearly all of Nevada, much of eastern California, western Utah, southeastern Oregon, and portions of southern Idaho.

The Great Basin is characterized by considerable variation in its topography, with one record example for adjacent valley bottoms and mountain tops being the vertical relief of 11,331 feet between Badwater in Death Valley (282 feet below sea level) and nearby Telescope Peak in the Panamint Range (elevation 11,049 feet).

[Personal note:  During a 1972 Lafayette College geology field trip, I stood across Death Valley from Telescope Peak, gazing at the 11,331 feet of elevation difference right in front of me.]

The most extreme example of this variable topography within the Great Basin is the elevation difference of 14,744 feet over a distance of 84 miles which separates Death Valley from the summit of Mount Whitney (14,462 feet).

More typically, the difference between the Great Basin’s mountaintops and valley bottoms ranges from 3,800 feet to 7,600 feet with an average difference of 5,800 feet.

Back to Wiki, a little more about Lovelock:

Some twenty miles south of the town is the Lovelock Native Cave, a horseshoe-shaped cave of about 35 ft width and 150 ft length where Northern Paiute natives anciently deposited a number of duck decoys and other artifacts.

Could use a little editing.  Not a word about how ancient, and “anciently deposited” is a peculiar way to describe what the natives did to duck decoys.  But worth investigating.  From the Wiki entry about the cave:

The large rock shelter is next to the shore of the Pleistocene Lake Lahontan a large lake that covered much of Nevada during the most recent glacial epoch. It was formed by the lake’s currents and wave action. It was first a rock shelter. Eventually an earthquake collapsed the overhang of the mouth.

To give you an idea of how big the lake was, here’s a GE Panoramio shot by Baker7598 looking across the valley from the mouth of the cave.  Keep in mind that lake wave action helped form the cave:

pano baker7598

Back to the Wiki write-up:

The dry environment of the cave resulted in a wealth of well-preserved artifacts that provide a glimpse on how people lived in the area. Lovelock Cave was in use as early as 2580 BC but was not intensely inhabited until around 1000 BC.  People occupied Lovelock Cave for over 4,000 years.

In 1911 two miners, David Pugh and James Hart, were hired to mine for bat guano from the cave to be used as fertilizer. They removed a layer of guano estimated to be three to six feet deep, and dumped it in a heap outside of the cave. The miners were aware of the artifacts but only the most interesting specimens were saved.

L.L. Loud of the Paleontology Department at the University of California was contacted by the mining company when the refuse left by the ancient people proved so plentiful that fertilizer could no longer be collected.

The most renowned discovery at Lovelock Cave was a cache of eleven duck decoys. M.R. Harrington and L.L. Loud found when they were digging for the Museum of the American Indian in 1924. The remarkable decoys were made from bundled tule, a long grass-like herb, covered in feathers and painted.

Here’s a Wiki picture of one of the decoys by Mark R. Harrington:



Before closing this post out with my usual Panoramio shots, here’s a true confession.  I had finished up the draft of this post, and was typing the “tags.”  As I started to type “Lovelock,” Word Press finished it for me, saying “Lovelock Nevada.”  Oops, I thought, I landed here previously and never checked out my previous post!  Well, in fact I did land here previously (October 2009).  There’s just a minor bit of repetition, so I strongly recommend that upon finishing up this post, you type “Lovelock” in the search box, and check out my earlier post.  It’s excellent!

All righty then.  It’s time for some Panoramio shots from near my landing.  Here’s a shot just 1.5 miles NW of my landing by Nitro929:

 pano nitro929 1.5 mi ne

I’ll close with this shot taken a couple of miles north of my landing, looking west on Coal Canyon Road, heading down to the Humboldt Valley (by David Goulart):

 pano david goulart  2 mi nw

That’ll do it . . .




© 2015 A Landing A Day





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Pampa, Texas

Posted by graywacke on July 24, 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 2199; A Landing A Day blog post number 627.

Dan:  This was one of those landings that took a long time, thanks to six water landings (five Atlantic Ocean and one Pacific Ocean), prior to really landing in . . . TX; 161/193; 5/10; 1; 150.8. 

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

Heaton and Hoover hardly exist, and I couldn’t find a hook for Lefors, so Pampa it is.

I’ll hold off on my watershed analysis until after we take a Google Earth spaceflight look-see.  (Click below and hit “back” after viewing):



Here’s a static GE shot of my landing:

 GE 1

Notice the change in landscape to the south?  Not surprisingly, drainage from my landing heads south towards the obvious stream channels.  Zooming back on my streams-only StreetAtlas map, I saw readily that there was a river to the south (identified shortly), and that a north-south creek would carry my runoff to the river.  But I was disappointed (but not surprised) that I couldn’t find a creek name on my StreetAtlas map.

But I did see that I had GE Street View coverage of a bridge over the unnamed creek:

 GE SV Map 1

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

 GE SV creek

A very long bridge over a very wide (but ill-defined) creek bed.  But there’s a sign that names the creek!  Try as I might, I couldn’t read it.  It kind of looked like it started with “Cant” and ended with “ent,” but that’s all I could get. 

I Googled everything I could imagine, but couldn’t get the name of the creek, until I took one more look at my StreetAtlas map . . .

 landing 3a

As you can see, the creek’s name is Cantonment Creek, and the map shows a short stub just before it discharges to the North Fork of the Red River (4th hit).  FYI, “cantonment” is “a military garrison or camp.”  Why it’s the name of this creek, I have no clue.  Anyway, here’s a broader view:

 landing 3b

The North Fork of the Red River discharges to (what else?) the Red River (59th hit).  With no map, you’re going to have to take my word for it that the Red discharges to the Atchafalaya (my favorite-sounding river; 66th hit).

Before moving on, I positioned the orange dude on a bridge over the North Fork:

 GE SV Map 2

First, here’s a shot showing an incredibly long bridge for a not-very-wide river:

 GE 6

Obviously, there must be some pretty ferocious storms that make the river fill its entire flood plain, necessitating a half-mile long bridge.  Anyway, here’s what the orange dude sees (strange lighting, eh?):

GE SV river

 Take a look back at the GE landing shot, presented much earlier in this post. Besides the circular irrigated farm fields, you can see three areas with some sort of development.  Here’s a closer view of the one to the northeast:

 GE 2

Still not sure what I was looking at, I zoomed in a little closer:

 GE 3

So now I know.  It’s a feed lot and all of those dots are cattle.  I also noticed this, at the southern end of the western-most feed lot:

 GE 4

Not sure what I was looking at, I zoomed in:

 GE 5

Now I really don’t know what I’m looking at!

Moving along to Pampa.  From Wiki:

In 1888, the Santa Fe Railroad was constructed through the area where Pampa would be established. A rail station and telegraph office was built, and the townsite was laid out by George Tyng, manager of the White Deer Lands ranch. The town was first called Glasgow, then Sutton, and then the name was changed to Pampa after the pampas grasslands of South America at Mr. Tyng’s suggestion.

Wow.  A town in Texas named after a grassland region in South America!  I’ll pay South America a quick visit.  I’ll start with a Wiki map by Jjw, followed by some Wiki words:


The Pampas (from Quechua pampa, meaning “plain”) are fertile South American lowlands, covering about 290,000 sq mi that include portions of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.  The climate is mild, with precipitation ranging from 25 to 40 inches/year, more or less evenly distributed through the year, making the entire region appropriate for agriculture and cattle ranching.

Historically (beginning in the early 1800s), cattle herding was performed by Gauchos (South American cowboys).  The term is still prevalent today.

From Wiki, here’s a 1868 shot of a gaucho:


Moving right along:  two diametrically-opposed people caught my eye in the Pampa “Notable People” section of Wiki:  Woody Guthrie and T. Boone Pickens.

From Wiki, well into the “Early Life” portion of the entry on Woody:

In 1929 (at age 17), Woody Guthrie’s father sent for his son to come to Texas, but little changed for the aspiring musician. Guthrie was reluctant to attend high school classes in Pampa and spent much time learning songs by busking on the streets and reading in the library at Pampa’s city hall.

He was growing as a musician, gaining practice by regularly playing at dances with his father’s half-brother Jeff Guthrie, a fiddle player. At the library, he wrote a manuscript summarizing everything he had read on the basics of psychology. A librarian in Pampa shelved this manuscript under Guthrie’s name, but it was later lost in a library reorganization.

Other, more basic info:

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (1912 – 1967) was an American singer, songwriter and musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children’s songs, ballads and improvised works.

His best-known song is “This Land Is Your Land.”   Songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Hunter, Harry Chapin, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Andy Irvine, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jerry Garcia, Jay Farrar, Bob Weir, Jeff Tweedy, Bob Childers and Tom Paxton (and countless others) have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.

Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression when Guthrie traveled with displaced farmers from Oklahoma to California and learned their traditional folk and blues songs, earning him the nickname the “Dust Bowl Troubadour.”  Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States Communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any.

And then, this very cool quote (also from Wiki):

On the typescript submitted for copyright of “This Land Is Your Land”, Guthrie wrote:

“This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”

I found a NY Times article, (Aug 12, 2012 by Lawrence Downes) entitled “As Woody Turns 100, We Protest Too Little.”  Here’s the opening few paragraphs (after the iconic picture from the article):


In October the Kennedy Center will throw a centennial party for Woody Guthrie, a star-studded concert with tickets topping out at $175. It will be America’s ultimate tribute to a beloved troubadour. “Through his unique music, words and style,” the Kennedy Center says, “Guthrie was able to bring attention and understanding to the critical issues of his day.”

Poor Woody. The life and music of America’s great hobo prophet, its Dust Bowl balladeer, boiled down to this: He brought attention to the critical issues of his day.

Maybe that’s what happens to dissidents who are dead long enough. They are reborn for folk tales and children’s books and PBS pledge drives. They become safe enough for the Postal Service. “For a man who fought all his life against being respectable, this comes as a stunning defeat,” Arlo Guthrie said in 1998, when his father was put on a 32-cent stamp.

Will Kaufman’s book “Woody Guthrie, American Radical” tried to set the record straight last year. The sentimental softening and warping of Woody’s reputation began early, even as he was dying, in the 1960s. But under the saintly folk hero has always been an angry vigilante — a fascist-hating, Communist-sympathizing rabble-rouser who liked to eviscerate his targets, sometimes with violent imagery. He was a man of many contradictions, but he was always against the rich and on the side of the oppressed.

Just for the heck of it, here’s Woody doing “Hobo’s Lullaby,” later covered by his son Arlo (who I saw in concert back in the day):


Now, on to T. Boone Pickens.  So Woody was against the rich and on the side of the oppressed.  If he were alive today, Woody would have nothing but disdain for T. Boone Pickens and his ilk.   Well, it turns out that T. Boone’s 68,000-acre country estate is north of Pampa, along the Canadian River.  Here’s just a little about T. Boone, from Wiki:

Thomas Boone Pickens, Jr. (born May 22, 1928), known as T. Boone Pickens, is an American business magnate and financier. Pickens chairs the hedge fund BP Capital Management. He was a well-known takeover operator and corporate raider during the 1980s. As of September 2014, Pickens has a net worth of $1 billion.

That’s all I need to know.  So, here’s a GE shot showing the location of the main house on his ranch:

 GE 7 t boone

Here’s a closer view, showing the location of the main house and some other house:

 GE8 t boone 2

The main house:

 GE8 t boone 3

The other house:

 GE8 t boone 4

From Forbes, here’s a closer view of the main house:


OK, OK.  I guess you can tell that I’d rather talk about Woody Guthrie than T. Boone Pickens.  Cat’s out of the bag . . .

 I found a video of the implosion of a Celanese plant in Pampa.  I’m always a fan of destruction videos, so here goes:


As per usual, I’ll post some GE Panoramio photos.  First this scary shot by Bruce Da Moose of a 1982 tornado near Pampa:

 pano Bruce da Moose 1982 tornado

Here’s a shot by CatDaddy taken just down the road from the feed lot:

 pano CatDaddy harvesting wheat

And this old grain elevator, located just east of my landing (by pbft):

 pano pbft grain elevator

I’ll close with this shot by Jim Fay looking south near my landing, down the landscape formed by the eroding streams:

 pano Jim Fay dissected landscape

That’ll do it . . .




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Panaca and Pioche, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on July 21, 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 2198; A Landing A Day blog post number 626.

Dan:  Enough already.  Now it’s four OSers in a row, thanks to this landing in . . . NV; 91/79; 4/10; 3; 151.3.  Plus, enough of Nevada, already.  Check this out:

Between landing 2121 and landing 2198 (78 landings), I’ve landed in NV 9 times!  Nine is 11.5% of 78.  Nevada’s area is 110,567 sq mi; that of the lower 48 is 3,061,363 sq. mi.  Nevada’s area is 3.6% of that of the lower 48.  So I’ve landed in Nevada at almost 4 times the rate that I should have over the last 78 landings.  That’s what Over-Subscribed (OS) is all about . . .

(True confessions.  I stole the above paragraph from my last NV landing and just changed the numbers a little and re-did the math.)

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

I zoomed out to show you that this is wide-open country (especially north of my landing):

 landing 2b

Here’s my watershed analysis:

 landing 3

I landed in the watershed of the Meadow Valley Wash.  A wash certainly isn’t a river, but for some reason I’ve been keeping track of my landings in this watershed, and son-of-a-gun, if I haven’t landed here five times, making Meadow Valley Wash the 159th list of “rivers” with five or more hits; on to the Muddy (6th hit); to the Virgin (11th hit); to the Colorado (173rd hit).

The closest Google Earth (GE) Street View shot I could find of the Meadow Valley Wash was way south in Caliente (about 14 miles south of Panaca).  Here ’tis (and it looks a little sad):

GE SV over wash in Caliente

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to lovely southeastern NV:



So, three little towns are all there is in a broad, broad area.  No great hooks; I’ll just wander from town to town, starting with Panaca.  From Wiki:

Panaca was southern Nevada’s first permanent settlement, founded as a Mormon colony in 1864. It is the only community in Nevada to be “dry” (forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages), and the only community in Nevada besides Boulder City that prohibits gambling.

Coke ovens here once produced charcoal for the smelters in nearby Bullionville (now a ghost town), but the town’s economy is predominantly agricultural.

The name “Panaca” comes from the Southern Paiute word Pan-nuk-ker, which means “metal, money, wealth”.

From an article in Nevada Magazine.com by Rachael Williford (entitled “The Tale of two P’s; the other P being Pioche) comes some additional information:

William Hamblin was a Mormon missionary to the Paiute Indian tribe in the Meadow Valley area in eastern Nevada. In 1863, he was presented with a shiny metal specimen discovered in the area.  Hamblin persuaded the Paiutes to show him where the metal was found, and samples were sent to Salt Lake City, verifying the value and the area’s potential. The Paiute word for metal, money, and wealth is “Pan-nuk-ker,” and the town was given its name: Panaca.

I found the name origin quote about the Paiute word for “metal, money, wealth” in numerous references other references to Panaca (always stated as Pan-nuk-ker).  The exact same expression was always used, which made me a little suspicious about the source of the information.  In today’s internet world, someone could come up with something bogus, and then the rest of the world just follows along.  So I rolled up my sleeve to do some independent research on the topic.

First I found this, from the book In Honor of Mary Haas: From the Haas Festival Conference on Native American Linguistics, edited by William Shipley (1986).   An article in the book is “San Juan Southern Paiute Numerals and Mathematics” by Pamela A. Bunte and Robert J. Franklin.

 paiute word for metal, money

Note that “Panaka-r” is the word for “dollar,” and it comes from metal/money.

Then, I found this, from Nevada Place Names, A Geographical Dictionary by Helen S. Carlson (1974):

 paiute word for metal

I think that the most accurate statement is that panaka is basically the Paiute word for “metal.”  It being also the word for money and/or wealth probably came later.  Interesting that John Wesley Powell appeared to coin the definition “metal, money, wealth.”

Bottom line:  The ALAD Truth Patrol verifies the accuracy of the origin of the town’s name.

Now it’s time to move to the second “P” referenced in the Nevada Magazine article, Pioche:

The influence of the Mormon settlers pushed a good portion of fame-seeking, lawless claim jumpers out of the Panaca and the Meadow Valley area. Many headed north to the hype coming from the ledges of Bullionville and further north to Pioche, which was established in 1869, and named for a wealthy French financier who purchased the area’s land.

Now I’ll jump over to the Lincoln County website write-up on Pioche, starting with their picture of the town:


The town rapidly became the largest mining town in southeastern Nevada in the early 1870’s. Population estimates showed 10,000 people by 1871. The town quickly gained fame for its “toughest town” reputation.

Due mostly to confusion over the exact location of mining claims, mine owners resorted to hiring guards. Hired gunmen were imported at the rate of about twenty a day during boom times to fight mining claim encroachments. Mine owners often paid the gunmen a salary of $20 per day––a more certain investment for owners than settling disputes in court where bribery often determined the final outcome. The sheriff’s office was reputed to be worth $40,000 a year in bribes alone.

Guns were the only law, and Pioche made Bodie, Tombstone, and other better known towns pale in comparison. It has been reported that seventy-five men were buried in the cemetery before anyone in Pioche had time to die a natural death. According to one reputable source, nearly 60 percent of the homicides reported in Nevada during 1871-72 took place in and around Pioche.

Here’s a video from the PiocheNevada.org website, about Boot Hill:


And a shot of today’s Main Street, from Surgent.net:


Time for GE Panoramio shots.  I noticed a cluster of photo locations north of Panaca:

 GE pano map

This is Cathedral Gorge State Park.  Before pictures, here’s a little geology from the State Park website:

The spires and buff-colored cliffs are the result of geologic processes occurring over tens of millions of years. The beauty enjoyed today had violent beginnings, starting with explosive volcanic activity that, with each eruption, deposited layers of ash hundreds of feet thick. The source of this ash, the Caliente Caldera Complex, lies to the south of Cathedral Gorge.

About five million years after the eruptions ceased, block faulting, a fracture in the bedrock that allows the two sides to move opposite each other, shaped the mountains and valleys prevalent in Nevada today. This faulting formed a depression, now known as Meadow Valley.

Over time, the depression filled with water creating a freshwater lake. Continual rains eroded the exposed ash and pumice left from the volcanic activity, and the streams carried the eroded sediment into the newly formed lake.

The formations, made of silt, clay and volcanic ash, are the remnants of that lake. As the landscape changed and more block faulting occurred, water drained from the lake exposing the volcanic ash sediments to the wind and rain, causing erosion that has sculpted the formations we see today.

Time for some pictures.  I’ll start with this, by Spencer Baugh:

 pano spencer baugh

And this, by Ben Prepelka:

 pano ben prepelka

And this, by Geocheb:

 pano geocheb

And this, by Vitaly Korolev:

 pano vitaly korolev

Closer to my landing, I noticed another cluster of Pano shots:

 GE pano maps

This is Echo Canyon State Park.  I’ll start with Vitaly Korolev, who wandered over here from Cathedral Gorge:

 pano vitaly korolev 2

Here’s one by Nevadadcnr:

pano nevadadcnr

I’ll close with yet another Vitaly shot:

 pano vitaly korolev 3


That’ll do it . . .




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Wind River Range, Wyoming

Posted by graywacke on July 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 2197; A Landing A Day blog post number 625.

Dan:  My Score is climbing higher over 150, thanks to my third OSer in a row . . . WY; 77/70; 4/10; 2; 150.9. 

My regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map:

 landing 2

You can see a few towns (which I checked out for hooks).  But as is obvious by the title of this post, I decided to forgo civilization for this post.  On to my watershed analysis . . .

As you can see on the above map, I landed right next to the Green River (34th hit).  But just for the record, here’s a streams-only map:

 landing 3a

As I’m sure you know, the Green discharges into the Colorado (172nd hit).  If you don’t know that, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) trip in.  I’m having trouble posting to You Tube, but you can just click on the link and then hit the back arrow after you’ve watched it.  Be sure to pay attention to the mountain range to the east of my landing.  Of course, that’s the Wind River Range.



In case you missed it on the way in, here’s a static shot of the Winds (as those of us in the know call the Wind River Range):

 GE 3 overview of the range

And here’s a GE shot looking east towards the Winds past my landing:

GE 1

Staying with GE, you can see that I landed in a “neighborhood” with five houses, built on a road that has its own bridge over the Green River (the one southeast of my landing is hard to see, and there’s another even further to the southeast, out of this picture):

 GE 4

Hard to imagine that five folks got together and paid for a bridge over a river!  Harder still to imagine the government building such a private bridge.  Unfortunately, there’s no StreetView coverage . . .

The house closest to my landing is the one to the southeast.  Here’s a close-up:

 GE 5

I wonder if those folks noticed the big yellow push-pin in their driveway . . .

Here’s a GE map showing StreetView coverage of the bridge over the Green River that’s closest to my landing:

 GE orange dude for river

Here’s what the orange dude sees (with the Winds in the background):

 GE SV river

Anyway, I’m going back to watersheds for a bit, because as I was looking into the Winds, I came across the fact that a significant watershed triple point  is present on Three Waters Mountain (catchy name).  So I rolled up my sleeves, and looked a little more closely at the streams-only StreetAtlas map.  Here’s what I found:

 lanlding 3c triple point

Very cool!  And here’s a Google Earth shot showing the location of Three Waters Mountain:

 GE 2 3 waters mountain

So there is a spot on the top of the Three Waters Mountain where a guy could stand and answer the call of nature, spinning all the while (making it temporarily Four Waters Mountain).  And yes, a third of the water would end up in the Columbia, flowing past Portland, Oregon on its way to the Pacific Ocean.  And yes, a third of the water would end up in the Missouri/Mississippi River, flowing past New Orleans on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.  And yes, a third of the water would end up in the Colorado, flowing through the Grand Canyon and desperately attempting to make it past all of the water withdrawal points to make its way to the Gulf of California.

I love triple points, and have featured four in previous ALAD posts, but none as significant as this one.

I found a blog post (“Three Waters Mountain, Wyoming” on USends.com) about climbing the mountain and searching for the triple point.  The author points out that the top of the mountain is very flat and a couple of miles across, so finding the actual point is challenging. 

Here’s a picture from the post (with a few words thrown in):

 us ends

See the thin pole at an angle in the distance?  That supposedly marks the triple point.  Here’s a close-up:

 us ends 2


Click HERE to check out the post.

So what about the Wind River Range?  I wasn’t aware of its majesty.  This, from Wiki:

The Wind River Range (or “Winds” for short), is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in western Wyoming. The range runs roughly NW-SE for approximately 100 miles. The Continental Divide follows the crest of the range and includes Gannett Peak, which at 13,804 feet, is the highest peak in Wyoming. There are more than 40 other named peaks in excess of 13,000 feet. With the exception of the Grand Teton in the Teton Range, the next 19 highest peaks in Wyoming after Gannett are also in the Winds.

Here’s a GE shot looking west past Gannett Peak towards my landing:

 GE 6

Here’s a broad geologic overview from Wiki:

The Winds are composed primarily of a granitic batholith which is granite rock formed deep under the surface of the Earth, over one billion years ago. Over hundreds of millions of years, rocks that were once covering this batholith eroded away. As the land continued to rise during the Laramide orogeny, further erosion occurred until all that remained were the granitic rocks.  The ice ages beginning 500,000 years ago began carving the rocks into their present shapes.

I see at least two items that need to be addressed. First, “granitic batholith.”  We all know what happens when liquid magma from deep with the earth’s crust makes its way to the surface – we have a volcano.  But when liquid magma rises just far enough in the crust to begin cooling (and goes no further), this is a batholith.  Because it’s so deep (let’s say 15 – 20 miles down as an average), it cools very slowly.  And because it cools very slowly, it allows readily-visible mineral crystals to form.  The classic pinkish granite typically has quartz crystals (gray), feldspar crystals (mostly pink orthoclase but maybe some white plagioclase), and black crystals (mostly biotite mica, and maybe some amphibole or hornblende).

I happen to have a piece of granite at my desk, lifted from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Maine (I’m sure illegally).  What the heck, here’s a picture:


 So we had this massive granite batholith that was uplifted during the Laramide Orogeny. The word “orogeny” comes from the Greek oros for “mountain,” and genesis for “origin.”  So an orogeny is a mountain-building episode.  The Laramide Orogeny is what pushed up the Rocky Mountains.  How did that happen?

As is typical, most geologic action happens at the boundaries of tectonic plates.  Addressed several times in this blog is the classic subduction zone, where oceanic crust plunges below continental crust, with the friction at depth melting the rock, causing magma chambers that provide the fuel for volcanoes (just like the Cascades). 

It looks like this (from the USGS):


Another type of plate collision is continent – continent, which is how the Himalayan Mountains were (and are being) built – as the Indian Plate collides with the Asian Plate, causing a massive uplift.  This collision is the cause of the recent Nepal earthquakes.

From GeologyClass.org:

 geology class.org

And then we have the Laramide.  This is an oceanic / continental collision (which went on in various pulses over a 30 million year period, roughly 40 million to 70 million years ago), but it didn’t form a string of volcanoes like described above.  That’s because this ocean / continent collision was different.  In this case, the oceanic crust did not plunge as deeply under the continental crust.  Here’s a Wiki graphic (by Melanie Moreno):


As the oceanic plate proceeded, it pushed / pulled / uplifted the continental crust, but with little magma formation.  From Wiki:

Geologists call such a lack of volcanic activity near a subduction zone a magmatic null. This particular null may have occurred because the subducted slab was in contact with relatively cool continental lithosphere, not hotter asthenosphere.  One result of shallow angle of subduction and the drag that it caused was a broad belt of mountains; i.e., the progenitor of the Rocky Mountains.

The “push / pull” aspect of the collision caused the creation of massive fault blocks, with some blocks uplifted relative to adjacent blocks.  One such uplifted block formed the Wind River Range.

Enough geology?  I thought so.  Time for some GE Pano pictures close to my landing.  Of course, there are hundreds of Pano photos of the mountains, so I’m going to stay very local to my landing.

I’ll start six miles east of my landing, on top of Salt Lick Mountain (still west of the highest peaks).  WyoWanderer1967 took two shots, one looking east and the other looking west.  First, looking east towards the crest of the Winds:

 pano wyowandere1967 salt lick mtn looking east

And then west towards across the Green River valley with the Gros Ventre Mountains in the background (I think that my landing location is to the left hidden by the mountain):

 pano wyowandere1967 salt lick mtn looking west

Even though this is far from my landing (about 25 miles), I’ll throw in this great shot by Ralph Maughan of the crest of the Gros Ventres:

 ralph maughand over 20 mi NW

As I always mention, Ralph is a regular contributor to ALAD, although I doubt he knows it.  And here come some more Ralph shots.  First this, from a mere 1.5 miles north of my landing, looking across the Green R. towards the mountains:

 pano ralph maughan 1.5 mi n

Here’s a mountain meadow by Ralph shot from just 2 miles east of my landing:

 pano ralph maughanb  2 mi e

One more from Mr. Maughan – a lovely shot from the hills 4.5 miles northwest of my landing, looking east at the sunset-lit mountains:

 pano ralph maughanc 4.5 mi nw

But the honor of closing out the post goes to Bob R Photo.  Here’s Bob’s shot of the Green River about 2.5 miles north of my landing:

 pano Bob R Photo 2.5 mi n

That’ll do it . . .




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Milo and Tiller, Oregon

Posted by graywacke on July 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 2196; A Landing A Day blog post number 624.

Dan:  After a brief run of three landings at 5/10+, I’m back down to 4/10, thanks to this OSer . . . OR; 85/71; 4/10; 1; 150.5.

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

Here’s my local watershed analysis:

 landing 3

You can see that I landed in the Drew Creek watershed; on to Elk Creek, to the South Umpqua River (1st hit ever!).  Zooming back, you can see that unsurprisingly, the South Umpqua discharges into the Umpqua:

 landing 3b

This is my 5th hit for the Umpqua, making it the 158th river on my list of rivers with 5 or more hits.

Here’s my GE trip in:


Here’s an oblique GE shot, looking past my landing down the Drew Creek / Elk Creek valley to Tiller (which is on the S Umpqua R):

GE 1

Here’s a GE SV shot from the bridge over the S Umpqua in Tiller, showing a collection of information placards about the wildlife in the vicinity (wildlife you might be able to see from the bridge, I guess):

 GE SV S Umpqua

Tiller, unfortunately, is completely hookless (and Wiki/Google has nothing to say).  Milo has very little, but here’s a funny little piece from Wiki:

Milo post office was established in 1923; Cora E. Buker was the first postmaster.  It was named for Milo, Maine, the hometown of Amos O. Buker, who was the husband of Cora.

Originally the post office was at the confluence of the South Umpqua River and Elk Creek—which today is the location of Tiller—and the office was first called “Elk Creek.”  In 1884, the post office was moved to the current location of Milo but was closed in 1920 when no one could be found to replace then-postmaster Amos Buker, who was fired after he had acted against postal regulations by working as a United States Census enumerator.

Pretty funny stuff, actually.  Continuing on:

Oregon’s only steel bridge capped with a covered bridge structure crosses the South Umpqua River in Milo.  The bridge was built in 1962 and covered by the request of local residents who missed the earlier wooden bridge at this location.  The bridge (known as the Milo Academy Bridge) is the only access to the Milo Adventist Academy, a private Seventh-day Adventist boarding school.

Interesting (sort of).  Of course, I have a picture (from Wiki, by Jerrye & Roy Klotz):


With no where else to go and nothing else to write about, I guess I’ll check out Milo, Maine (after which Milo OR is named, in case you weren’t paying attention).  Wiki has this to say:

On January 21, 1823 it was incorporated as Milo, named after Milo of Croton, a famous athlete from Ancient Greece.

 I found an article by James Clear of the Huffington post entitled “How to Build Muscle:  Proven Strength Lessons from Milo of Croton.  Here are some excerpts:

Nearly 2,500 years ago, there was a man of incredible strength and athleticism roaming the hills of southern Italy. His name was Milo of Croton, and he was almost certainly the most successful wrestler of his day.

Milo was a six-time wrestling champion at the Ancient Olympic Games in Greece. In 540 BC, he won the boys’ wrestling category and then proceeded to win the men’s competition at the next five Olympic Games in a row. He also dominated the Pythian Games (seven-time winner), Isthmian Games (10-time winner), and Nemean Games (nine-time winner).

In the rare event that an athlete won not only the Olympic title, but also all three other games in one cycle, they were awarded the title of Periodonikes, a grand slam winner. Milo won this grand slam five times.

Now for the important question: What can Milo’s incredible strength teach you about how to build muscle and improve your health and fitness?

The answer is covered in a story about how Milo developed his strength…

It is said that Milo built his incredible strength through a simple but profound strategy.

One day, a newborn calf was born near Milo’s home. The wrestler decided to lift the small animal up and carry it on his shoulders. The next day, he returned and did the same. Milo continued this strategy for the next four years, hoisting the calf onto his shoulders each day as it grew, until he was no longer lifting a calf but a 4-year-old bull.


The article goes on with a strategy that works if you don’t live on a farm and/or don’t want to raise a bull.  Click here to check out the article.

Wiki has this to say about his death:

The ancient Greeks typically attributed remarkable deaths to famous persons in keeping with their characters.  The date of Milo’s death is unknown, but according to Strabo and Pausanias, Milo was walking in a forest when he came upon a tree-trunk split with wedges.

In what was probably intended as a display of strength, Milo inserted his hands into the cleft to rend the tree. The wedges fell from the cleft, and the tree closed upon his hands, trapping him.

Unable to free himself, the wrestler was devoured by wolves.  A modern historian has suggested it is more likely that Milo was traveling alone when attacked by wolves. Unable to escape, he was devoured and his remains found at the foot of a tree.

Here’s an 18th-century artwork of the moments just before his death as he’s fighting off the wolves (by Joseph-Benoit Suvée):


All right.  Let’s leave Milo and head back to Milo for some Panoramio pics.  Here’s a great wintertime shot by m1kmemcc:

 pano m1kemcc

I found that an excellent photographer, Pethron4 has this area covered with some excellent pictures.  I’ll close with a number of his shots, all taken in the vicinity of my landing / Tiller / Milo. 

 pano Pethron 4a



 delete me

 pano Pethron4c


pano Pethron4

That’ll do it . . .




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Hebron, North Dakota

Posted by graywacke on July 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 2195; A Landing A Day blog post number 623.

Dan:  The Landing God wouldn’t let me have three USers in a row, thanks to this OSer . . . ND; 63/51; 5/10; 3; 150.2 (and back over 150!).

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map, showing why I’m featuring Hebron (pronounced HEE-bron according to Wiki):

 landing 2

Zooming back a little, you can see a string of towns following the railroad (and, happily for the towns, they’re within shouting distance of the Interstate):

 landing 2b

I landed near Glen Ullin a while back (landing 1914, Post 332, August 2010).  More about that a little later.

Here’s my watershed map:

 landing 3

You can see that I landed in the watershed of the Big Muddy Ck; on to the Heart R (3rd hit); to the Missouri (398th hit); to the MM (859th hit).

Time for that good ol’ GE spaceflight in:


Staying with GE, here’s a shot showing landing 1914 that I mentioned earlier:

 GE 3

My Glen Ullin post is excellent (of course), and I encourage my readers to type “ullin” in the search box and check it out.

Here’s a GE close-up of Hebron:

 GE 1

See the big white industrial-looking facility?  More about that later.  First, let’s take a look at Main Street:

GE 2

I’ve never seen a Main Street quite like this one.  On one side of the street is a typical middle-America-style string of Main Street shops.  But on the other side of the street is what looks like an agricultural storage / transportation facility associated with the railroad.  Here’s a Street View look:

GE main St


So you’re on the interstate and you want to go to Hebron?  Here’s what you see (courtesy of GE SV):

GE SV Hebron exit

Getting back to the large industrial facility, let’s take a closer look:

 GE plant closeup

See the blue lines?  That means that the Googlemobile actually ventured on to private property and took Street View shots!  It turns out that the facility is the Hebron Brick plant, proudly making bricks for over a century.  I put the orange dude out at the end of the blue line; you can see the piles of clay that are used to make the bricks:

 brick plant end of road

Heading back out towards the gate, the Googlemobile drove through the brick storage yard.  Bricks, bricks and more bricks:

 brick plant brick storage area

Going just outside the gate (and looking back), here’s what I could see:

 brick plant entrance 2

You can tell by the dust that the Googlemobile drove in, then turned on his camera, and drove out, kicking up a dust cloud behind him (which the rear-facing camera could pick up).

And then, strangely, I found another GE Street View discontinuity (just like in my last post).  One nudge of my scroll wheel, and this is what the gate looked like:

 brick plant entrance 1

I’ll stick with Hebron Brick for a little.  Here’s some info from their company website:

brick poster

In 1904, shortly after European settlers began arriving in western North Dakota, the Hebron Fire & Pressed Brick Company was established. Demand for building supplies was flourishing, and by 1905 Hebron Brick hit full production, competing with 18 similar brick businesses.

Today, Hebron Brick Company is the only manufacturer of brick in North Dakota and one of the most successful brick companies in the Upper Midwest. Our ancient veins of extraordinary clay and state-of-the-art brick plant continue to yield a distinctive variety of colors and enable Hebron Brick Company to offer a wealth of options in fine brick.

Despite the fact it feels deeply a part of the Dakota landscape, there have been plenty of opportunities for Hebron Brick to disappear.

In the 1990s, the company embarked on an investment program that put millions of dollars into the building of an almost entirely new factory, which now sits adjacent the old one.

The new factory opened in 2000 and saved Hebron from becoming a relic or antique brand.

The website also said this about the clay:

The Dakota clay is why Hebron Brick is here. To this day, reserves of clay, brought once a year from a mine only six miles away, are placed in mounds near the plant.

So, I had to find the clay pit, and I did. Here’s the GE shot:

GE with clay pits

And a close-up:

GE clay pit close-up

I also found that the ND State Department of Mineral Resources had some info:

ND Dept of mineral resources

So, the Hebron Brick website has a video.  Stick with it for a while anyway, to get a sense of the town:


Moving right along . . .

As usual, I was perusing GE Panoramio photos, and I saw a picture of the Mayer Theater (which is also visible on my Main Street Street View shot).  It actually has a website, (MayerTheatre.com) with this to say:

The reopening of the Mayer as a community volunteer-operated theatre will bring the total small town theatres run this way to 20.  The Brekke family has purchased the Mayer Theatre for the community to run.  They restored the neon marquee, and the Grand 15 Theatres staff from Bismarck spent many weeks cleaning the theatre, and installing a new projector and sound equipment.

All that is asked in return is that volunteers come forward to run this little jewel of a theatre.  If you are interested in helping, please stop by the theatre and sign up.  And don’t forget to patronize this wonderful vintage 1949 main street movie house.

The theater is up and running.  Click HERE to see what’s playing . . .

From the website, here are some pictures. 





Very cool project – well done!

GE Panoramio also clued me into another local noteworthy locale – Fort Sauerkraut.

Here’s a picture of the fort, from The Center for Heritage Renewal (which I used rather than the Pano shot I saw):

pano Center for Heritage

So what’s going on?  Well, here are some excerpts from a September 2004 article in the Bismark Tribune by Lauren Donovan:

HEBRON – In less than three days, 1890s men desperate to save their hides built a sod fort to fight off Sioux warriors.

Well, the Sioux never attacked, but the sod fort stood a long time on a hill at Hebron until it crumbled and was cleared away.

In three days starting Wednesday, Hebron residents are building a replica of that fort, just in time for this weekend’s Fall Festival.

More than a dozen volunteers are back on the original site 114 years later. They’re busting dusty sod and they’re working like mad men.

They are recreating a colorful episode in the town’s history, when German settlers, fueled by stories they had heard back in the old country, set out to defend their town with the only materials they had at hand – sod and stolen railroad ties.

The settlers named the original Fort Sauerkraut, the humble pickled cabbage people either love or hate.

The sod forms rectangular walls, 16 feet by 75. Rail ties make the roof, then as now, and a 100-foot dirt ring, which was originally fortified by five strands of barbed wire, will encircle the fort.

Those Sioux would have had a tough time getting through Fort Sauerkraut, but rumors of their intent were badly exaggerated anyway.

A group of Sioux – hungry, under-clothed and disillusioned with conditions on the reservation – had broken away and planned to join others in the Black Hills. They were never on the attack, but rumor spread faster than wildfire.

Many women – one literally carried from her childbirth bed – and children in Hebron were put on the train for Bismarck. The men manned the fort for a few days, but gradually, reality took hold and life went back to normal.

The weekend Fall Festival will include a dedication of the fort at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. After that, people are invited to the park shelter for a supper of brats and, well, sauerkraut, of course.

Heinert said there will be enough food for everybody – and maybe more.

“We found out maybe only half the people in the community can stand sauerkraut,” he said.

My post for landing 1914 (Glen Ullin) had a number of great Pano shots by Dee Brausch.  I’ll close with three of my favorites (all taken just west of Glen Ullin):

pano dee brausch 3

pano dee brausch 2

pano dee brausch


That’ll do it.




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Navasota, Texas

Posted by graywacke on July 6, 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 2194; A Landing A Day blog post number 622.

Dan:  I’m on a roll with another USer (and my Score back below 150 where it belongs), thanks to this landing in . . . TX; 160/192; 6/10; 2; 149.8.

My regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map:

 landing 2

As you can see, I landed right next to the Brazos River (30th hit).  Here’s my streams-only map:

 landing 3a

Stepping back, you can follow the course of the Brazos through Texas:

 landing 3b

I’ll jump right to my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in:


I landed next to a major road with GE Street View (SV):

 GE orange dude landing

The orange dude sees nothing but woods which are hiding my landing spot:

 GE SV landing

Here’s one of those silly little GE SV issues that I’ve run across before.  The area is pleasantly green around my landing (not looking like the more arid parts of Texas), and I was backing down the road with Street View to check out the surroundings.  I end up at this location:

 GE orange dude winter summer

There I noticed something.  Here’s an expected lovely green picture, looking up the road towards my landing:

 GE SV summer

Backing up one nudge of the scroll wheel on my mouse, and here’s what I saw (from essentially the same location):

 GE SV winter

And for the record, one additional nudge of the scroll wheel, and it’s back to summer . . .

Staying with GE SV, I put the orange dude on a bridge over the Brazos just upstream from my landing:

 GE orange dude brazos river

And here’s what he sees (looking upstream):

 GE SV brazos

So I landed very close to Washington, which looks like it ain’t much.  Well, actually, it is much; very much, as it turns out.  From Wiki (under “Washington-on-the-Brazos”):

Washington-on-the-Brazos (also known as Washington) is known as “the birthplace of Texas” because it was here that, on March 1, 1836, Texas delegates met to formally announce Texas’ intention to separate from Mexico (signing the Texas Declaration of Independence) and to draft the constitution of the new Republic of Texas. The name “Washington-on-the-Brazos” was used to distinguish the settlement from “Washington-on-the-Potomac.”

The delegates declared independence on March 2, 1836. Their constitution was adopted on March 16. The delegates worked until March 17, when they had to flee, along with the people of Washington, to escape the advancing Mexican Army.

The townspeople returned after the Mexican Army was defeated at San Jacinto on April 21. Town leaders lobbied for Washington’s designation as the permanent capital of the Republic of Texas, but leaders of the Republic passed over Washington in favor of Waterloo, which later was renamed Austin.

Washington County was created by the legislature of the Republic of Texas in 1836 and organized in 1837 and Washington-on-the-Brazos became the county seat. Although the county seat moved to Brenham in 1844, the town continued to thrive as a center for the cotton trade until the mid-1850s, when the railroad bypassed it. The strife of the Civil War took another toll on the town, and by the turn of the 20th century it was virtually abandoned.

In 1916, the State of Texas bought up 50 acres of the former town site and built a replica of “Independence Hall.”  There is currently a park and a museum at the site.

Time for a couple of GE Panoramio shots by Henry Scoggin.  First, his shot of the replica of “Independence Hall:”

 pano henry scoggin2

I suspect that this is an accurate replica; I can imagine that replica builders would be inclined (if anything) to upgrade the original a little (maybe add a little extra trim or something).  Anyway, with the same thought, here’s the interior:

 pano henry scoggin

Time to move on to Navasota.  From Wiki:

Navasota (pop 7,000) was founded in 1831 as the stagecoach stop (known as Nolansville). Its name was changed in 1858 to Navasota, a name perhaps derived from the Native American word nabatoto (“muddy water”).

In 2005, the Texas Legislature named Navasota “The Blues Capital of Texas,” in honor of the late Mance Lipscomb, a Navasota native and blues musician.

As all regular ALAD readers know, I have a penchant for old-school blues musicians, and here’s one I haven’t heard of or featured before.  Here’s some of what FamousTexans.com has to say:

Mance Lipscomb (1895-1976), guitarist and songster, was born to Charles and Jane Lipscomb on April 9, 1895, in the Brazos bottoms near Navasota, Texas, where he lived most of his life as a tenant farmer. His father was an Alabama slave who acquired the surname Lipscomb when he was sold to a Texas family of that name.

Lipscomb dropped his given name, Bowdie Glen, (from the French “Beau De Glen”) and named himself Mance when a friend, an old man called Emancipation, passed away. Lipscomb and Elnora, his wife of sixty-three years, had one son, Mance Jr., three adopted children, and twenty-four grandchildren.

And this, part of a review of his album “Texas Songster,” from Arhoolie.com:

When not farming in his hometown of Navasota, he assumed the role of local entertainer and songster, a versatile singer/musician who could handle a hardened blues just as easily as a soft children’s song. Although Lipscomb didn’t begin recording until he was nearly 65, he left behind a remarkably rich catalog of Texas blues before he died in 1976.

Country blues, that sparse, mostly raw and rootsy form directly linked to slave work songs and field hollers, were his specialty. Equipped with a voice that could convey a range of emotions, Lipscomb was also an impressive guitarist, as this anthology reveals. Most of the 22 songs on ‘Texas Songster’ are originals, the best being ‘Sugar Babe,’ an obscure ditty written by Lipscomb when he was a teen; ‘Ella Speed,’ a bluesy ballad that remains one of his better-known numbers; and ‘Bout a Spoonful,’ a clever song about sex.

Here’s the “Texas Songster” album cover:

 mance album cover

And here’s another shot, from PastBlues.com:

 Mance Lipscomb1

With this face, who could argue that the blues aren’t genuine?

Time for some You Tube videos, first this, from a documentary film called “A Life Well Spent,” by Les Blank.


 Here’s a live version of “Sugar Babe,” with the words below:


Sugar babe, I’m tired of you,
ain’t your honey but the way you do
Sugar babe, it’s all over now

All I want my babe to do,
make five dollars and give me two
Sugar babe, it’s all over now

Went downtown and bought me a rope
Whupped my baby till she Buzzard Lope*
Sugar babe, it’s all over now

Sugar babe, what’s the matter with you?
You don’t treat me like you used to do
Sugar babe, it’s all over now

Went to town and bought me a line
Whupped my baby till she changed her mind
Sugar babe, sugar babe, it’s all over now

Sugar babe, I’m tired of you
Ain’t your honey but the way you do
Sugar babe, it’s all over now

* a strutting dance step, performed solo
I’ll close with a couple of local Panoramio shots.  Here’s one by Bridgehunter Texas of a bridge over the Navasota River:

 pano Bridgehunting Texas

I wonder:   when was the last engineer’s inspection?

This is the heart of bluebonnet country.  I’ll close with a couple of lovely bluebonnet shots.  First this, by Ria Nichols, taken less than a mile southeast of my landing, along the Brazos:

 pano ria nicholas

I’ll close with this, by Anton Trötscher, taken at Washington-on-the-Brazos (with Prairie Phlox sharing the spotlight):

 pano anton trotscher

(Yo, Anton.  I hope you appreciate the extra effort I took to get the “ö” in your name.)

That’ll do it.




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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Davenport, Florida

Posted by graywacke on July 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 2193; A Landing A Day blog post number 621.

Dan:  When it rains, it pours.  The “rains” part is that I have two eastern USer landings in a row.  The “pours” part is landing in the same state again . . . FL; 33/47; 5/10; 1; 150.3.

Note the “1,” above.  The last landing’s number was 14, indicating 14 landings in a row with 4/10 (4 USers out of the last 10 landings) or less.  We’ll see how long the new streak (starting with today’s “1”) of 5/10 or more will last.

Also, this was my 55th “double,” i.e., landing in the same state twice in a row.  First double ever for Florida . . .

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2a

Look how close I landed to a major highway!  We should be seeing an excellent Google Earth (GE) Street View shot of my landing!

But sticking for now with StreetAtlas; here’s a streams-only map:

 landing 3a

You can see that I landed in the watershed of Horse Creek.  The map shows Horse Creek (which flows south), simply ending.  This is likely due to the limestone terrain, where streams can disappear into limestone caverns.  I suspect (but don’t know) that the water (or at least some of it) re-emerges into Lake Marion / Lake Marion Creek, which ends up in Lake Hatchineha, headwaters of the Kissimmee River (4th hit).

Zooming out, you can see that the Kissimmee ends up in lake Okeechobee, which discharges into the Everglades (7th hit), which diffusely discharge into the Gulf of Mexico.

landing 3b

Time for my GE spaceflight in, which inexplicably starts somewhere over Anartctica:


Well, looky there.  Not only (as promised) did I land near a major highway, it looks like I landed on the back side of some larger commercial establishments.  I’ll zoom in:

 GE 1 orange dude

See the orange dude?  Here’s what he’s looking at:

 GE SV landing

How about that.  I landed between ubiquitous big boxers:  Michaels and Ross.  I feel that this is the first time I’ve landed in that diffuse scatter of Americana known as Anywheresville.

For the record (according to Wiki), there are about 1,300 Michaels stores and about 1,200 Ross stores in the U.S.  Just a matter of time before I hit one, eh?

Zooming back a little, here’s the crowded neighborhood in which I landed (with north to the right):

 GE 2

Zooming back way more, here’s a regional shot so you can see that we’re in a crowded area of Florida:

GE regional

I’ll have more to say about all of the recent development soon, but I’ll start with Davenport proper.  From Wiki:

The first white settlement in the area now known as Davenport was in January 1839 when the U.S. military set up Fort Cummings as a place to negotiate with the Seminoles to end the Second Seminole War. The fort only lasted a few years.

Some believe Davenport was named for a railroad conductor, while others say the city was named for William Davenport, a military leader in the Seminole Wars.

Just a few words about the Second Seminole War – also known as the Seminole War (garnered from a brief Wiki perusal).  An 1832 treaty between the Seminoles and the U.S. Government called for the Seminoles to be out of Florida (relocated west of the Mississippi) within three years.  The legitimacy of the treaty was questioned by many Seminoles, but under duress was eventually agreed to by eight chiefs. 

However, five chiefs refused, and bloodshed ensued.  In 1835, two army companies (totalling 110 men) were being transferred from one fort to another.  The Seminoles attacked, and the slaughter was nearly complete (only three Army survivors).  The Seminoles suffered only three casualties.  This is known as the Dade Massacre, named after the U.S. Commander, Maj. Francis Dade.

I found this interesting note in Wiki:

In February, Major Ethan Allen Hitchcock was among those who found the remains of the Dade party. In his journal he wrote about the discovery and vented his bitter discontent with the conflict:

“The government is in the wrong, and this is the chief cause of the persevering opposition of the Indians, who have nobly defended their country against our attempt to enforce a fraudulent treaty. The natives used every means to avoid a war, but were forced into it by the tyranny of our government.”

Needless to say, a major conflict ensued (lasting until seven years later in 1842) that did not end well for the Indians . . .

It’s actually quite the story.  Just Google “Second Seminole War” to read all about it.

Going back to the Wiki entry for Davenport:

The area north of Davenport near the intersection of I-4 & U.S. Route 27 [right where I landed] used to be centered around the Circus World amusement park (built in 1974). It was redeveloped in 1987 into the Boardwalk and Baseball theme park, which included a minor league baseball park that attracted spring training and minor league baseball teams for the Kansas City Royals. The theme park failed in 1990, and the Royals left for Arizona and the Cactus League in 2003.

The area around the stadium (which was demolished in 2005) has been redeveloped into Posner Park, a large outdoor shopping mall.

Wiki has an entry for both Circus World and Boardwalk and Baseball; if you’re so inclined, you can read all about ‘em.  Amazingly, Wiki also has an entry for Posner Park (the current commercial center where I landed). Here are some excerpts:

Posner Park is a $500 million mixed-use development located at the intersection of Interstate 4 and U.S. Route 27.

The development is the brainchild of Victor Posner (1918-2002), for whom it is named.  The first stores opened in March 2008 and included Target, J.C. Penney, Belk Department Stores (since closed), Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Staples, Ross, Michaels, PetsMart and Books-A-Million.

Leisure facilities and residential development are also planned on the site including high-end boutiques, upscale offices, destination restaurants, luxury multi-family residences, entertainment and cultural venues and pedestrian parks. An extensively landscaped core plaza with fountains is planned.

I assume that all of the above development was planned for the empty system of roads you can across the street from the shopping center where I landed:

GE 3

Almost as a footnote, Wiki has this to say:


In January 2014, the undeveloped area of Posner Park was slated to be auctioned off in August 2014 because the owners filed for bankruptcy.

Cursed!  Cursed I tell you!  This property is cursed!

So, as usual, I turned my attention to GE Panaramio photos, looking for something pretty with which to end this post.  Check out this GE shot showing all of the Pano shots:

 GE 4

There are none of these photos, absolutely none that would be of any interest to my readers!  Pictures of stores, pictures of condos, pictures of highways . . .

In desperation, I went looking for a GE Street View shot of Horse Creek (my local watershed stream).  I found a bridge with Street View coverage about 5 miles SSE of my landing:

 GE 5 orange dude

Here’s what the orange dude sees looking upstream:

 Horse ck upstream

Not bad.  But when he turns around . . .

 Horse ck downstream

And yes, that’s scummy water to the left of the black drum.

That’ll do it.




© 2015 A Landing A Day




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