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Archive for March, 2016

Warner Valley (and Plush), Oregon

Posted by graywacke on March 29, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2256; A Landing A Day blog post number 686.

Dan:  Well, here I go again, landing in a state with multiple landings already – this is the fourth OR landing since I changed my lat/long procedure, 40 landings ago.  Of course, OR is oversubscribed (OS) and of course my Score went up (from 942 to 948).  If you’re wondering (and care) what I’m talking about, check out the tab “About Landing (Revisited),” above.

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map — with a sneak preview of my site drainage (the blue arrow):

landing 2a

You can see the towns of Plush and Adel.  Trust me, they ain’t much, so I decided to feature the Warner Valley, which is the repository for any runoff leaving my landing location.

I zoomed back a little to show you that I have a little cluster of landings in this isolated patch of S-Cen Oregon (today’s is the eastern-most):

landing 2b

My watershed analysis will be Google Earth (GE) – based, so it’s time for my GE spaceflight in to S-Cen OR.  Click HERE, enjoy the flight; then hit your back button.

I don’t know if you noticed, but it looks like I landed near a drainage divide.  Take a look – the drainage on the left slopes north and the drainage on the right slopes south:

watershed 1

I backed up a little, put in some pins along the crest of the watershed, and drew a line showing the watershed boundary:


You can see that I landed in the Warner Valley watershed (barely), and therefore was able to feature the Warner Valley in this post.  By the way, I’ve featured Malheur Lake (which is part of the now-notorious Malheur National Wildlife Refuge) in two separate posts, both using Burns, Oregon as the titular town.

As you can see on my local landing map (way above), Flagstaff Lake is the lowest point in the valley; the lakes further south increase in elevation. So technically, in the event of a large-enough rainfall, runoff will end up in Flagstaff Lake.


When researching Warner Valley, I discovered that this part of Oregon is part of the Basin and Range geologic (physiologic) province.  I knew it included all of Nevada, but I wasn’t aware that southern Oregon lays claim to its fair share.  Here’s a map showing the extent of the province (from USGS):

usgs basin and range

And here’s a detail of Oregon (from the State of Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Resources), showing the Basin & Range, along with the other physiologic provinces in the state:

oregon geology map

Anyway, here’s what the USGS has to say about the province:

Within the Basin and Range Province, the Earth’s crust (and upper mantle) has been stretched up to 100% of its original width. The entire region has been subjected to extension that thinned and cracked the crust as it was pulled apart, creating large faults. Along these roughly north-south-trending faults mountains were uplifted and valleys down-dropped, producing the distinctive alternating pattern of linear mountain ranges and valleys of the Basin and Range province.

The upthrown side of these faults form mountains that rise abruptly and steeply, and the down-dropped side creates low valleys. The fault plane, along which the two sides of the fault move, extends deep in the crust, usually an angle of 60 degrees. In places, the relief or vertical difference between the two sides is as much as 10,000 feet.

Here’s some more info from marlmillerphoto.com:

Geologically, the mountains rise and tilt along normal fault zones, while the basins drop and tilt along the faults. A simple cross-section across several ranges is illustrated in the diagram below.


Also from marlmillerphoto is this aerial shot of a typical basin and range landscape (this is from eastern Nevada):

basin and range aerial photo

You may have noticed that the USGS write-up above doesn’t actually address the underlying reason for the crustal stretching and faulting.  It turns out that as huge and as in-your-face as the Basin & Range province is, there is still controversy and disagreement among geologists about the underlying mechanisms. 

I’m happy enough with the following simple video (from The National Park Service):


So, the Warner Valley is a “basin” and the mountains to the east “Hart Mountain” are the “range.”  Here’s a Wiki shot of Hart Mountain:



Quite dramatic.  By the way, the next ridge to the west is 25 miles away.

Before diving into scenery photos, here’s a little tidbit from Wiki about the town Plush:

The name Plush is said to have derived from a mispronunciation of the word flush during a 19th century poker game played in the community.  Daniel Boone, a relative of the famous Kentucky pathfinder of the same name, became postmaster in 1898 and opened a general store in conjunction with the post office.

I don’t buy it.  No way someone meant to name it Flush, and they “mispronounced” it as Plush.  As I have done in other similar circumstances, I’ve concocted a story about the name origin that’s a little more realistic:

A highly dramatic poker game was set up between two of the original settlers (Settler A and Settler B).   The prize for the winner was to be able to name the town.  The two gamblers agreed before hand that the name could not have anything to do with the given name of the winner. 

So Settler A wins, thanks to a flush that won the biggest pot of the game.  He announces that the name of the town would thenceforth be “Flush.”

Settler B says “Come on, A.  That sounds like something you do when you clean out the chamber pot.  How about Plush?  There’s plenty of green out here in the valley.”  And it was so agreed.

Time for some GE Panoramio photos. And this collection, in my opinion, is spectacular.  They are shot in Warner Valley.  I’ll start with this of Hart Mountain by Chris Earle:

pano chris earle

And here’s an ethereal shot by Drew Maddox:

pano drewmaddox

And this, of the Rabbit Hills (just west of Warner Valley) by Niche Spur:

pano nichespur

And back to Hart mountain, this, also by Niche Spur:

pano nichespur2

Staying with Hart mountain, this by Oregon Natural Desert:

pano oregon natural desert

Here’s an artsy shot of one of the lakes by PRBrandon:

pano prbrandon

And this, from the top of Hart Mountain (looking SW), by RF Bolton:

pano RF Bolton - looking sw from Warner Peak

I’ll close with tis Hart Mountain shot by PJ Murphy:

pano pjmurphy


That’ll do it . . .




© 2016 A Landing A Day

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McCall, Roseberry (and Yellow Pine), Idaho

Posted by graywacke on March 25, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2255; A Landing A Day blog post number 685.

Dan:  This is my first landing in ID since I changed my random lat/long methodology, so obviously, ID is undersubscribed (US) and my Score has lowered (from 988 to 942, a record low).  Not so obvious to you?  Check out the tab “About Landing (Revisited),” above.

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

Here’s my very local streams-only map:

landing 3a

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of Copeland Ck; on to Boulder Ck.  Zooming back a little, Boulder Ck makes its way to the N Fk of the Payette R (2nd hit):

landing 3b

Zooming back even more, we can see that the N Fk of the Payette makes its way to the Payette (3rd hit); then to the Snake (78th hit):

landing 3c

Of course, the Snake discharges to the Columbia (157th hit).

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight on in to W-Cen ID.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, then hit your back button.

I landed in a topographically-robust region; definitely worth a second (and third) GE look.  Here’s an oblique view looking SE:

ge 1

Pretty cool, eh?  Now, here’s a view looking east past McCall, with my landing in the far distance (about 8 miles away):

ge 2

There is no decent GE Street View (SV) coverage of my landing, so I won’t bother.  I had to go quite far afield (all the way down to Donnelly) to find a SV shot of Boulder Ck:

ge sv boulder ck map

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv boulder ck

This is a beautiful area, and I thoroughly enjoyed finding stunning scenery pictures, which of course I’ll share with you at the end of the post.  But I must admit that beyond the beauty of the area, it’s pretty much:


McCall has grown to base its economy around tourists, and long-time readers know I don’t generally feature tourist attractions.  Lardo doesn’t really exist (it’s just part of McCall), although I did find a video about “moving the Lardo bridge.”  I’m not sure why they had to move the bridge, but it’s cool how they did it:


Not surprisingly, I’ve landed in this general area before.  One of my landings in the vicinity featured the “town” of Roseberry (which doesn’t even show up on my local landing map).  GE often shows little towns that don’t show up on Street Atlas, which is the case this time as well:

ge 3

I’ll lift some excerpts from my February 2010 Roseberry post:

On to Roseberry.  I lifted the following from Our Life on Wheels (by Jerry & Suzy).  Click HERE for their travel blog.


Roseberry, Idaho, is a town that used to be a town but isn’t any more because the railroad went a different direction [it went through Donnelly].  Roseberry, founded by Finns, used to be the biggest town in the Long Valley region of Idaho. Now it’s mostly a memory … and a major project of Frank and Kathy Eld. Frank has been working for 39 years to rebuild (focusing on the town’s Finnish heritage), to restore, and revitalize Roseberry, ever since he graduated from college. Kathy operates the Roseberry General Store and Museum while Frank rebuilds.

The store:


The church & museum:


One of the few remaining Finn houses:


For a little more history, I found this from IGoUGo.com, by Wildcat Diane:

Roseberry, Idaho is an old Finnish settlement near Donnelly, Idaho. The Finns settled here in the late 19th century after fleeing the oppressive Russian empire who occupied Finland at the time. It is a source of local pride and a part of Idaho history and of who settled it.

The Finns had fled Russian-dominated Finland in the late 19th century because the czarist government wanted to eliminate the Finnish way of life and make Finland a part of Russia. The Finns fled to the United States and settled in Idaho because Idaho reminded the Finns of home with its mountains and open fields that were suitable for their agricultural way of life.

Update:  The whole kit and caboodle (aka the town of Roseberry) has been sold to the Long Valley Preservation Society, which is continuing to maintain and upgrade the historic town.  Very cool.  There’s a new website for Roseberry; it features this picture of a 1911 Fourth of July parade in Roseberry:

4th july

Moving right along, I’ll expand my landing map a little:

landing 2b

See Yellow Pine?  It’s about 20 miles east of my landing.  Yellow Pine has a long and storied history with my whole landing experience.  Here’s a rundown of Yellow Pine-related landings:



I really recommend the post for landing 2119.  Just enter yellow pine into the search box and check it out.

Anyway . . . it’s time for some pretty pictures.  I’ll start with this shot from along the Payette River looking west (from a post on Virginia Tech geophysical surveys):


From mountainsofexperience.com, the McCall waterfront:

mountains of experience mccall winter 2011

Now it’s time for GE Panoramio shots, all within 5 miles of my landing (and but one of lakes).  First this, by CKMcDonald of Boulder Lake, just a mile south of my landing:

pano ckmcdonald boulder lake 1 mile south

Here’s another Boulder Lake shot, by the same photographer:

pano ckmcdonald boulder lake 1 mile south 3

What the heck – the third in a series . . .

pano ckmcdonald boulder lake 1 mile south 2

And another lake shot, by M Kuskie:

pano mkuskie

And another, this one by Merritt Glenn:

pano merritt glenn

(I wonder how many times Merritt Glenn has said, “two Rs, two Ts and two Ns?”)

I’ll close with this, of a lovely mountain meadow by JLJohnson:

pano j l johnson

That’ll do it . . .




© 2016 A Landing A Day




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San Angelo (and Veribest), Texas

Posted by graywacke on March 21, 2016

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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2254; A Landing A Day blog post number 684.

Dan:  OMLG.*  It has happened again.  Yet another Texas landing.  AYKM? (I’ll let you figure this one out).  This makes 8 (count ‘em 8) landings in TX since I changed my “random” lat/long procedure, 38 landings ago.  Just to be fair, I need to announce that I also had two Atlantic Ocean “landings” and one Mexico landing that I discarded.  But ne’er the less, I landed in that incredibly OS state, TX.  Have no clue what I’m ranting about?  Check out the tab “About Landing (Revisited)” above.

*Oh my Landing God.

Moving right along, here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

Here’s my streams-only map, showing that I landed in the watershed of the North Concho R (3rd hit); on to the Concho (6th hit); on to the Colorado River (of Texas, of course), 27th hit).

landing 3

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to Central-West TX.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, then hit your back button.

Here’s my GE Street View SV) landing map:

ge sv landing map

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing

Moving over to the North Concho, here’s my GE SV map:

ge n concho sv map

And once again, what the orange dude sees (looking upstream):

ge n concho up sv

I also looked downstream, and because it looked so different, I thought I’d include this view as well:

ge n concho down sv

So.  Of course I checked out San Angelo, and I’ll get there soon enough.  But I also saw “Veribest,” and thought, there must be a story there.

From Wiki:

The area was initially settled by Ike Mullins some time before 1875, although a community did not begin to form until the early 1900s. The settlement was first known as Mullins, but the name was changed to Veribest when the locals requested a post office in 1926. The name change was needed because there was already another community in the state with a similar name – Mullin in Mills County.

The name “Veribest” was chosen by a young woman named Sue Rister, who was asked by the mayor (while in the grocery store) to choose the town’s new name. She saw a jar of Veribest Pickles and thought it would be a good name for a town. Veribest was a brand name used by Armour & Company for canned meats and preserves.

This is great.  So, of course I Googled Veribest and Armour, and here’s what I saw:

veribest 4

veribest 6

veribest 2


veribest 1












veribest 5veribest 3


Ca suffit with all of the Veribest products!

Just so you know, “ca suffit” means “that’s enough” in French and is pronounced sah su-fee.  If you want to be real Frenchy, when you make the “u” sound, have your lips in a tight circle.  Just so you know, ca = that;  and suffit = suffices.

Ca Suffit happens to be the name of one of our dogs, so named because we already had two dogs when we got her, and we knew that three was enough (or more than enough).  OK, OK.  Here’s a picture of Ca Suffit:


Back to Wiki:

Veribest grew during the 1930s and 1940s, with around 100 people living in the community. The population began to decline after World War II as residents left to seek greater employment opportunities elsewhere. During the latter half of the 20th century, the number of people living in the Veribest area remained steady at 40.

Moving along to San Angelo.  About the town’s founding and its name (from Wiki):

The current city of San Angelo was founded in 1867, when the United States constructed Fort Concho as one of a series of new forts designed to protect the frontier from hostile threats. The fort was home to cavalry, infantry, and the famous Black Cavalry, otherwise known as Buffalo Soldiers by the Indians.

The settler Bartholomew J. DeWitt founded the village of Santa Angela outside the fort at the junction of the North and South Concho Rivers. He named the village after his wife, Carolina Angela. The name was eventually changed to San Angela. The name would change again to San Angelo in 1883 on the insistence of the United States Postal Service, as San Angela was grammatically incorrect in Spanish.

I didn’t realize that grammatical incorrectness was a big deal in 1883 Texas . . .

I looked down at the Notable Residents list, and two names caught my eye.  First an artist, James Gill.  Well, he looks like a stereotypical Texan, eh?  (Picture from Wiki):


But here is in front of one of his more famous paintings (from vivamost.com):


Maybe he’s not so stereotypical after all.  Yes, that’s Marilyn Monroe.  Here’s a full shot of the painting:


James Gill made his name in the 1960s, and became a cultural icon.  His paintings ended up on the covers of magazines, in the Museum of Modern Art, and as posters adorning the walls of college dorm rooms.  Here are some that caught my eye (being a rock ‘n roll kind of guy):




Of course, there are scads more.  Just Google James Gill artist (images) and check it out.

I stumbled on the website for the Kavanaugh Gallery website.  It has some Gill paintings, but has a 45-minute video that I highly recommend.  OK, not the whole 45 minutes (unless you’re so inclined), but at least check out the first several minutes of the video.  The video (and James Gill himself) are quite engrossing.  Anyway, click HERE to go to the site.

So who else hails from San Angelo?  Good ol’ Fess Parker.  He was a major figure in my childhood, as he was Daniel Boone in a TV series from 1964 to 1970.  I was fourteen in 1964; so I’m sure I watched the show nearly every week until I went to college.  He was also Davey Crockett in the 1955-1956 Walt Disney mini-series.  Even though I was a young-un, I actually remember it (and remember being incredibly sad as the show ended at the Alamo).

Here’s Fess as Davey Crockett:

'Davy Crockett, King Of The Wild Frontier' TV Series - 1954-56...No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only Mandatory Credit: Photo by c.Everett Collection / Rex Features ( 788700a ) 'Davy Crockett, King Of The Wild Frontier', Fess Parker, 1955 'Davy Crockett, King Of The Wild Frontier' TV Series - 1954-56


And here is (not looking all that different) as Daniel Boone:

daniel boone

I found a You Tube video with the Davy Crockett theme song (which is amazingly familiar to me even after all these years):


It’s time for some GE Panoramio shots.  It turns out that there’s nothing within 15 miles of my landing, so some  shots further afield will have to do.  Here’s one about 20 miles east of my landing by Kerry C. Pape:

pano kerrycpape 20 mi e


I’ll close with this one, taken about 15 miles NW of my landing by Concho89:

pano concho89

That’ll do it . . .




© 2016 A Landing A Day




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A Myriad of Small Towns in Southeast North Dakota

Posted by graywacke on March 17, 2016

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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2253; A Landing A Day blog post number 683.

Dan:  Finally.  After four repeaters in a row, I hit a newbie state (and therefore a strong USer) . . . ND; moving my Score to a new record low (from 1022 to 982).

If you care to know what I’m talking about, check out the tab “About Landing (Revisited).”

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

My streams-only map shows that I landed next to (and in the watershed of) the Sheyenne River (10th hit); on to the Red River of the North (46th hit):

landing 3

Check out this broader watershed map from Wiki:

Nelsonrivermap wiki

This shows the huge (414,000 sq mi) watershed of the Nelson River.  As you can see, the Red flows to Lake Winnepeg and then on to the Nelson R (64th hit) and then on to Hudson Bay.

For reference, the Mississippi – Missouri watershed is 1,236,390 sq mi; the Missouri by itself is 514,210 sq. mi.  Next on the North American list is the Nelson at 414,000.  Watersheds smaller than the Nelson are the St. Lawrence (405,261 sq mi); the Colorado (271,481); the Columbia (253,860) and the Rio Grande (234,759).  Enough already.

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to SE ND.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, then hit your back button.

My GE Street View (SV) coverage is so bad, I’m not going to bother with my usual orange guy landing shots.  I had to go all the way down to Lisbon to get SV overage of the Sheyenne River.  Here ‘tis:

ge sheyenne sv

Moving right along, I’m going to repeat my local landing map:

landing 2

So, as you can see, I landed in the midst of a plethora of small towns.  I think I’ll make this an ALAD first by coming up with a little something about each of the 10 towns you can see.  Don’t ask me why, but I think I’ll do these in reverse alphabetical order.  So, I’ll start with Sheldon (pop 116).

Wiki says the following: 

The city is named after an early landowner. In 1906, a controversial artesian well was drilled in the community.

Say what?  A controversial Artesian Well?  A footnote at the bottom of the article led me to a 1917 Popular Mechanics journal:

sheldon artesian 1 popular mechanics 1917

sheldon artesian 2 popular mechanics 1917

Phew.  That was exciting!  Now on to Nome (pop 62).  Here are a series of pictures of the Nome school (from Ghosts of North Dakota).  First, 1919:

nome school 1919

Then 2005:

nome school 2005

And finally, 2014:

nome school 2014

The website also posted this cool shot of an old house just outside of town:


That’ll do it for Nome.  Next?  Lucca (pop very few).

Wiki notes that Lucca was named after opera singer  Pauine Lucca.  That’s worth another “say what?”  Here’s some of what Wiki has to say about her:

Pauline Lucca (1841 – 1908) was a prominent operatic soprano, born in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Lucca had a notorious rivalry with soprano Mathilde Mallinger while in Berlin. The conflict between the two extended among their fans as well, with supporters of Mallinger and supporters of Lucca heckling one another.

The tension came to a climax on in 1872 during a performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in which Mallinger sang the Countess and Lucca portrayed Cherubino. During the performance, supporters of Mallinger booed Lucca so severely that she was prevented from singing her aria.

So upset by this event, Lucca broke her contract with the opera house and left the German capital to tour the United States for two years where she was received enthusiastically.  From 1874 to 1889, she was a member of the Vienna State Opera. She died February 28, 1908.

Obviously, one of her fervent fans settled in North Dakota!  Here’s a shot of some old farm buildings near Lucca, once again courtesy of Ghosts of North Dakota:

lucca farm

Moving right along to Litchville (pop 172).  Nothing in Wiki, but I found a YouTube visit to the town (posted by Wes Anderson).  Relax, kick back, and enjoy (it’s only 3 minutes long).


Now it’s time for the third “L” town, Lisbon (this is a biggie –  pop 2,150).  Even though this is a veritable city, I couldn’t find much except for a couple of old pictures. 

First, here’s a great shot of a sod house from outside of town, circa 1899 (from the State Historical Society of ND):

state historical society of ND sod house 1899 Knapp Photo Company Lisbon ND-cropped-150ppi

Hard to imagine calling this home for any significant length of time . . .  

And then, from the Roll International website, this shot of Main Street in 1910, showing that the trolley had the street to itself:

roll international website 1910 lisbon

Moving on to Kathryn (pop 52).  Here’s Wiki in all of its profundity:

Kathryn was founded in 1900. It was named after a woman named Kathryn.

From Scenic Dakota, this back-in-the-day shot of the Kathryn Hotel:


Here’s a 1900 shot of Main Street (also from Scenic Dakota):

1900downtown kathryn

From the Ghosts of North Dakota website, here are two buildings on today’s Main Street.  Comparing with the above photo, I’d say the buildings below are the two buildings on the right from the above photo: 


Also from the Ghosts website, here’s one of the old buildings with the fake peaked roof (remodeled, and with a lean-to addition).  Today it’s The Rusty Spur Café:


On to Enderlin  (pop 886).  Not much here, just this from Wiki about the name:

The name is derived from the semi-German “End der Line” (“end of the line”), as the city was briefly the terminus of the Soo Line Railroad’s main line through North Dakota.

Here’s a picture of a nearby school in 1903 (from the Bohm family website):


Time to move to the town closest to my landing, Fort Ransom (pop 77).  Just outside of town is this very interesting topographical feature (not surprisingly known as Pyramid Hill), which shows up nicely in this oblique GE shot:

ge pyramid 1

Here’s a Pano shot of the Pyramid by JR4114:

pano JR4114

So what’s going on?  Well, here’s what’s on the plaque:

pyramid 1

pyramid 2

Two comments.  There is a major Indian mound (part of a State Historical site) just a few miles north of Fort Ransom, which makes one think that a definitive conclusion actually has been drawn about the origin of the site; namely that its not an Indian mound.  So what is it?  The plaque says that geologists think it’s a natural feature – “the result of glacial action and erosion.”  Erosion?  No way an erosion feature would be so regular.  But here’s my theory:  myriads of small glacial lakes were formed (and then disappeared) during the latest glacial epoch. 

It is entirely possible that the Sheyenne Valley was blocked by ice, forming a lake.  It seems to me that the pyramid could be a delta feature, where a sediment-laden stream flowed into the lake (the lake level was near the top of the pyramid).  The sediment would be deposited in a nice symmetrical delta shape, just like a pyramid.  The ice dam breaks, leaving the delta high and dry . . .

Moving right along to Fingal (pop 97).  A quick word about the name.  It was named after Fingal, Ontario, which was in turn named for Fingal County Ireland.  Fingal is from “fine gall,” meaning “foreign tribe,” because the county was inhabited by Vikings. 

I found a very long You Tube video of the centennial celebration in Fingal (also posted by Wes Anderson).  I really doubt that any of my readers will watch the whole thing.  I certainly didn’t, but was charmed enough to hang in there for 8 or so minutes.  Give it a shot, and stay as long as you like.  Remember, the kids in the band are now in their 30s . . .


It’s time to close out our tour with Alice (pop 40).  Wiki mentions that Alice was visited by John Steinbeck as documented in Travels with Charley.

It turns out that this visit is wrapped in controversy.  I’ll start with a NY Times article entitled “A Reality Check for Steinbeck and Charley,” by Charles McGrath (Apri 3, 2010).  Here are a few brief excerpts from the article:

In the fall of 1960 an ailing, out-of-sorts John Steinbeck, pretty much depleted as a novelist, decided that his problem was he had lost touch with America. He outfitted a three-quarter-ton pickup truck as a sort of land yacht and set off from his home in Sag Harbor, N.Y., with his French poodle, Charley, to drive cross-country. The idea was that he would travel alone, stay at campgrounds and reconnect himself with the country by talking to the locals he met along the way.

Steinbeck’s book-length account of his journey, “Travels With Charley: In Search of America,” published in 1962, was generally well reviewed and became a best-seller. It remains in print, regarded by some as a classic of American travel writing. Almost from the beginning, though, a few readers pointed out that many of the conversations in the book had a stagey, wooden quality, not unlike the dialogue in Steinbeck’s fiction.

A particularly unlikely encounter occurs at a campsite near Alice, N.D., where a Shakespearean actor, mistaking Steinbeck for a fellow thespian, greets him with a sweeping bow, saying, “I see you are of the profession,” and then proceeds to talk about actor John Gielgud.

Even Steinbeck’s son John said he was convinced that his father never talked to many of the people he wrote about, and added, “He just sat in his camper and wrote all that [expletive].”

From the NY Times article, here’s a picture of Steinbeck and Charley in 1962:


I found some more about this on the website Reason Foundation.  Here are some excerpts from an article by Bill Steigerwald who was retracing Steinbeck’s journey:

“Hah!” I shouted as a million North Dakota cornstalks rattled in the October wind. “Who were you trying to kid, John? Who’d you think would ever believe you met a Shakespearean actor out here?”

For three weeks I had been retracing the 10,000-mile road trip John Steinbeck made around America in 1960. I wasn’t in the habit of speaking directly to his ghost. But I couldn’t stop from laughing at the joke Steinbeck had played on everyone in the pages of his subsequent travelog, released in 1962 to general acclaim and still revered as a mid-century document of the American soul.

A huge commercial success from the day it hit bookstands, Travels With Charley in Search of America was touted and marketed as the true account of Steinbeck’s solo journey. It stayed on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list for a year, and its commercial and cultural tail—like those of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath—has been long and fat. For five decades Steinbeck scholars and others who should know better have not questioned the book’s honesty. But I had come to realize that the iconic American road book was not only heavily fictionalized; it was something of a fraud.

No one could hear me talking to Steinbeck’s ghost that October afternoon. I was parked on an unpaved farm road in the earthly equivalent of outer space: the cornfields of North Dakota, 47 miles southwest of Fargo.

The closest “town” was Alice, a 51-person dot on the map of a state famous for its emptiness. The closest human was more than a mile away, hidden in the cloud of dust that her combine made as it shaved the stubble of the family wheat crop.

The area was the scene of one of the most dubious moments in Travels With Charley. Steinbeck wrote that he and his French poodle, Charley, camped overnight somewhere “near Alice” by the Maple River, where he just happened to meet an itinerant Shakespearean actor who also just happened to be camping in the middle of the middle of nowhere. According to Steinbeck, the two hit it off and had a long, five-page discussion about the joys of the theater and the acting talents of John Gielgud.

Bumping into a sophisticated actor in the boondocks near Alice would have been an amazing bit of good luck for the great writer. And it could have really happened on October 12, 1960. But like a dozen other improbable encounters that Steinbeck said he had on his 11-week road trip from Long Island to Maine to Chicago to Seattle to California to Texas to New Orleans and back to New York City, it almost certainly didn’t.

It’s possible Steinbeck and Charley stopped to have lunch by the Maple River on October 12 as they raced across North Dakota. But unless the author was able to be at both ends of the state at the same time—or able to push his pickup truck/camper shell “Rocinante” to supersonic speeds—Steinbeck didn’t camp overnight anywhere near Alice 50 years ago. In the real world, the nonfiction world, Steinbeck spent that night 326 miles farther west, in the Badlands, staying in a motel in the town of Beach, taking a hot bath. We know this is true because Steinbeck wrote about the motel in a letter dated October 12 that he sent from Beach to his wife, Elaine, in New York.

Steinbeck’s nonmeeting with the actor near Alice is not an honest slip-up or a one-off case of poetic license. Travels With Charley is loaded with such creative fictions.

John, John, John.  In a preface to Travels with Charley, maybe you should have admitted to a little poetic license and more than a few fabrications.  Oh, well . . .

I’ll close (finally!) with this Pano shot by Benjamin Sullivan, looking at hills beyond the Sheyenne about 8 miles NW of my landing:

pano benjamin sullivan 8 mi nw


That’ll do it . . .




© 2016 A Landing A Day




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Stanton, Weaver and Octave, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on March 13, 2016

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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2252; A Landing A Day blog post number 682.

Dan:  Even though today’s landing in AZ is my second since changing my random lat/long procedure, AZ is still big enough to be US (undersubscribed); therefore, my Score went down, from 1033 to 1022. 

Confused?  Check out the above tab “About Landing (Revisited).”

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2a

Don’t see Stanton, Weaver or Octave?  You’ll have to read on.  But first, I’ll zoom back a little to show you that I’m not all that far from Phoenix:

landing 2b

I’ll jump right to my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight in to Central Arizona.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and then hit your back button.

I’ll use GE to track my site drainage:

ge 1

So, I landed in the watershed of some unnamed tributary to the Hassayampa River (2nd hit).  Zooming back, we can see that the Hassayampa makes its way to the Gila River (37th hit):

ge sv river map 2

As you can see, the Gila heads south, then west.  What you can’t see is that it continues west and discharges (at least occasionally) to the Colorado (176th hit).

The nearest GE Street View (SV) coverage is about 8 miles away:

ge sv landing map

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing

I had to go even further to get SV coverage of the Hassayampa:

ge sv river map

The orange guy is on a bridge, near downtown Wickenburg:

ge sv river

And yes, it’s verified!  It is the Hassayampa River (although the word “River” associated with a dry streambed offends my eastern sensibilities a little).

I had to do some hunting, but I found a GE Panoramio shot by aic72 that showed that in September of 2006, there was water flowing in the Hassayampa south of Wickenburg:

pano aic72

So anyway, I checked out the various towns shown on my local landing map; nothing jumped out at me.  But then, as is frequently the case, I learned some interesting information by looking at the GE Pano shots nearby.  I discovered that I landed near three gold mining ghost towns.  Here’s a GE shot, also showing the Pano icons:



I then found an excellent article on the ghost towns (and Rich Hill), from Experience Arizona (experience-az.com).  Here are some excerpts (with a few interesting Wiki passages seamlessly inserted by yours truly).  By the way, this all if definitely worth the read – and gives you a great feel for exactly how wild the wild west really was!

Stanton, Weaver and Octave are a trio of ghost towns near Wickenburg. These towns once flourished after the richest gold find in Arizona history was made in the 1860s.

The area around Stanton has a rich and somewhat sketchy past. As with many tails like this, the driving force behind this story is gold. The legend of how the gold was found sounds like a tall tale.

In 1863, a prospecting party led by the famous mountain man and explorer, Pauline Weaver, headed deep into the Arizona Territory wilderness. They stopped for the night along Antelope Creek (near what would become Stanton).

One of the men, a tracker by the name Alvaro, chased after a runaway burro. He climbed a small hill and saw large objects reflecting sunlight. These “potato-sized” objects were just what they were looking for: huge gold nuggets. The gold stampede was on. Rumor has it that the first few prospectors were able to pry thousands of dollars of gold from the hill with nothing but their pocket knives. This hill was aptly named Rich Hill.

The discovery of gold in the area brought about three different communities: Stanton, Weaver and Octave. First, we will concentrate on the town of Stanton.


This town received its namesake from a ruthless man named Charles P. Stanton. He came to the town in 1871 wanting to make a name for himself. The settlement at that time had grown to above 3500 residents. Reportedly, Stanton had a group of “thugs” he used to “persuade” others in a series of shady deals.

When Stanton came to town, it already had a stage station and some stores. He built a small cabin and store, but was jealous of the trade the town’s other businesses were doing compared to his. He set out to destroy his competition.

The station was run by a man named William Partridge, the general store by G.H. “Yaqui” Wilson. These men had a ongoing feud going after Wilson’s pig trampled Partridge’s garden.

Stanton fueled the fire between the two men, which cumulated in a gunfight in which Partridge killed Wilson. Partridge was sent to the Yuma Territory Prison.

Stanton didn’t receive any immediate success by getting rid of Partridge and Wilson. But he wasn’t deterred. After a man named Timmerman claimed to be a silent partner of Wilson, Stanton put his Plan B in place.

Not wanting to do the dirty work himself, he hired a man named Francisco Vega and band of thugs to kill Timmerman. Which they did as Timmerman was returning from Phoenix with $700 in gold. They proceeded to set Timmerman’s body on fire after they murdered him.

After Timmerman’s death, Stanton came forward with a will (supposedly made by Timmerman) naming Stanton as the rightful heir to the station. Stanton quickly took it over, then by default, became the town’s postmaster. Being of “The Lord” mentality, he changed the name of the settlement to Stanton.

Next he set his sights on the general store owned by Barney Martin. On a family trip to Phoenix, Barney Martin and his family were murdered, their bodies and wagon burned just a few miles outside of Stanton. No one was able to prove it was Stanton that had it done, but all the scuttlebutt said it was Stanton.

Bad things happened quite a bit in Stanton and they always seemed to be in a way that Stanton profited. He was never officially charged with any crimes. Stanton was a prolific speaker and would repeatedly (and very vocally) claim his innocence. It looks like the newspapers of the day were on his side and told readers what an upstanding citizen he was.

It didn’t do him much good in the end. Not soon after the Martin’s murder, Stanton himself was killed in 1886 by a man in Vega’s gang. It seems that Stanton had insulted his sister. Stanton was gunned down in one of the buildings (Stanton’s own store) that still remain to this day.

The mine quickly played out and the post office was closed in 1905.

In the late 1950s, The Saturday Evening Post purchased the ten acre town and then gave it away during a “jingle contest.” The new owners didn’t know what to do with the town, and they later sold it. It remained uninhabited until the late 1960s, when hippies moved in and started burning the wooden buildings for firewood.

In 1976, the Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association (LDMA) acquired the property and has since used the town as a members-only recreational vehicle park, which is open for six months out of the year. The LDMA has restored a few of the town’s original buildings, including Chuck Stanton’s store, an old saloon and dance hall, and a hotel. The town jail is also standing, and work has been done to restore the town’s pioneer cemeteries.

Here’s a Pano shot of the slightly-renovated Stanton Hotel, by wmaxj:

pano wmaxj stanton


It’s hard to believe, but it appears Weaver had an even more troubled history than Stanton. Weaver got its name from explorer Pauline Weaver, noted above.

During the first phase of its life, Weaver was a tent city for miners working the nearby claims. When it looked like there may be enough ore to support permanent structures, people began to build them.

Crime was rampant in Weaver and the gang often hired by Stanton found the town of Weaver to suit them. Murders and gunfights were commonplace. After the murder of William Segna, a newspaper article recommended that the town of Weaver be shut down. Travelers and business tended to avoid Weaver due to its outlaw mentality.

Law abiding citizens moved to nearby Octave and when the gold ran out in 1899, the town dried up and died. The post office had a very short life span, it was opened on May 26, 1899, then it was moved to Octave on April 19, 1900.

All that remains of Weaver is the partial remains of the stone post office/house, a few corrals, cemetery and some old machinery. All is on private property.

Here’s a shot of the Weaver ruins by Neal Du Shane on the Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project website (apcrp.org):

apcrp.org weaver by Neal Du Shane

And here’s an 1888 shot of Weaver with Rich Hill in the background (from Wiki):

Wiki Weaver 1888 rich hill in background


Of the three nearby towns, Octave was the last to get going. It didn’t begin its life until the 1890s. The town received its name from the eight men who started the first mining company there, the Octave Gold Mining Company. Many of the claims worked by Octave residents were around nearby Rich Hill.

Here’s an old sign (original?), a Pano shot by CanyonMurmel:

pano www.canyonmurmel.de

Many of Octaves first residents came from nearby Stanton and Weaver. As mentioned above, Octave’s post office was the one that had moved from Weaver and it began operation in 1900. The post office was shut down in 1942. In its heyday, Octave supported a school, stage stop, general store and a grocery store.

Mining was active in Octave until 1942 when Executive Order L-208 essentially closed down all gold mines in the U.S. Why did FDR do such a thing? America was in WWII, and things weren’t looking all that great at that time. Hitler and Japan were still kicking some serious butt and he wanted the mining industry to concentrate on “strategic” materials needed to produce war materials.

Most of the buildings were torn down after WWII to reduce taxes for the property owners. All I could find that was left of Octave is the cemetery, which you can visit. It has been partially restored by some 4WD clubs.

Here’s a Pano shot of the Octave cemetery by a62Dave:

pano a62Dave

And here’s a Pano shot by USGroup of some old mining works – “Lucky Strike” – outside of Octave (and very close to my landing):

pano USGroupie - octave mine

If you’re interested in some additional reading, check out a real estate website (LuxuryDesertHideaways.com) selling a hunk of Octave gold mine land for sale by clicking HERE.  (Well worth a quick perusal).

I’ll close with a couple of Pano shots.  First this, by incuhed, taken a few miles south of my landing:

pano incuhed

And then here’s a lovely shot by adknjp, taken on the road to Stanton:

pano aknjp


That’ll do it . . .




© 2016 A Landing A Day




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Gettysburg, Faulkton, Orient, Agar and Blunt, South Dakota

Posted by graywacke on March 9, 2016

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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2251; A Landing A Day blog post number 681.

Dan:  Geez.  For the 4th time since revising my random lat/long methodology (34 landings ago), I’ve landed in . . . SD.  For you regular readers with your short term memory still intact, you also know that this is my second SD landing in a row!  That makes SD my 58th double.

In case you’re thinking that my current random lat/long generator is less than random, note that I “landed” twice in the Atlantic Ocean (once, just missing FL) before I found myself back in SD . . .

Of course, SD is an OSer, bumping my Score up from 1025 to 1033.  Want to know what I’m talking about?  Check out the tab “About Landing (Revisited)” above.

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And, my local landing map:

landing 2

Here’s my streams-only map, showing that I landed either in the watershed of Medicine Ck or Okobojo Ck:

landing 3a

I used the Google Earth (GE) elevation tool to determine that runoff from my landing headed south towards Medicine Ck, and not west towards Okobojo Ck.  Anyway, Medicine Creek makes its way to the Missouri R (408th hit); and, of course, on to the MM (882nd hit).

It’s time for my GE spaceflight in to Central SD.  Fasten your seatbelts, click HERE and enjoy the trip – then hit your back button.

Here’s a GE shot showing SV coverage:

ge sv landing map

And here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing

I had to go quite a ways downstream to get SV coverage of Medicine Ck:

ge sv medicine

Here ‘tis:

ge sv medicine2

I wonder if the motorcycle rider was away of the passing Googlemobile?  Probably not . . .

As is fairly frequently the case, the small towns in the vicinity had a familiar ring to them.  A quick search of ALAD revealed that I landed very close to today’s landing back in July of 2010 (landing 1906).  Here’s my landing map from back then:

old landing

Once again, here’s today’s landing map:

landing 2

Wow.  The two landings are only 7.5 miles apart!  To put things in perspective, this is my 679th ALAD landing.  The area of the lower 48 is 3,061,039 square miles.  Dividing the area by 679 gives me about 4,500; that’s to say that each landing, on average, covers 4,500 square miles.  Taking the square root, we get a hunk of real estate 67 miles x 67 miles.  So you can see that 7.5 miles is very close indeed.

Obviously, one of the first thing I did was check out my 2010 landing.  I picked Faulkton as my titular town, although, as you’ll see, I featured a number of towns.  I’m going to go ahead and do some copy and paste action, but then I’ll come back to post some new material.  The following is from the old post:

I must admit that I had trouble finding some items of real interest in the vicinity of my landing, so here’s a little this and that.  I’ll start with the “Welcome to Gettysburg” sign:


No additional comment needed.



Moving over to Faulkton.  I found some nice old pictures of the town from the Christ and Ingeborg families page on rootsweb.ancestry.com. 

Here’s the old courthouse, from the late 1800’s.  What a bunch of posers (especially the guys on the roof . . .)


Here’s a shot of Faulkton Main Street in the 1920s:


Here’s a wonderful overview photo taken at the turn of the century (with the website caption underneath):


This is my favorite photo.  This is Faulkton in 1900 or 1901.  This is looking south, with the old school to the bottom left to the Methodist Church.  This is certainly a capture of time.   Notice the girl standing by the school and the kids walking on the dirt paths.

I mentioned to Leslie Hansen that there probably isn’t a building left standing from this photo and he said there was one house that he knew of.  Certainly many little ‘Houses on the Prairie’ here!

South of Faulkton is the little town of Orient.  Here’s a cool picture from the late 1800’s in Orient:


I guess there were no local ordinances prohibiting driving cattle through town!

Click HERE if you’d like to see more pictures and descriptions from the Rootsweb.Ancestry.com web site.

The little town of Agar just celebrated their centennial.  Part of the celebration was a trek by covered wagon:


Moving back to the Rt 212 bridge over the lake, here’s another shot of the bridge.  You have to love the sign .  .


Enough flashbacks. My recent research uncovered a couple of things I missed (or didn’t bother with) back in 2010.  I’ll start with a very-close-in streams-only shot near my landing:

landing 3b

Street Atlas is sometimes kind of funky about how they show streams.  Note that off to the east, it says “Medicine Creek” a couple of times, but further west, it says “Medicine Knoll Creek” (even though an actual stream course isn’t shown).  Anyway, I Google Medicine Knoll and found out that it’s a large hill along Medicine Ck, just south of Blunt (see local landing map).  Medicine Knoll is an interesting place! 

I found an article in the Pierre, SD “Capital Journal” website by Lance Nixon (Jan 13, 2013), entitled “Paha wakan: Medicine Knoll Still Hides Ancient Secrets in the Grass.”  Here are some excerpts (with photos from the article):

BLUNT, S.D. — They are about a day’s journey east of Fort Pierre, the start of July 1839, and the geographer Joseph Nicollet records what they see in his journal as he and his companions pause to examine the forks of the East Medicine River and the hill looming above it:



“This last-mentioned river derives its name from a beautiful hill on its right bank, called by the Sioux Pahah wakan – translated by the voyageurs ‘Butte de Medicine,’ and in English, Medicine Hillock, or knoll,” Nicollet writes in his journal. “It is to be remarked, in fact, of the prairies of this region that they present such low insulated hillocks, to which the Sioux apply the somewhat generic name of re or pahah, according as they are more or less elevated above the surrounding plain. The affix wakan indicates that the locality is to them peculiarly remarkable, or even sacred, and a spot which they select in preference for some of their ceremonies.”

Nicollet was right in more ways than he knew. In fact Medicine Knoll, though Nicollet knew it only by its Sioux name, may have been an ancient ceremonial place already in use hundreds of years before the Sioux arrived.

Somewhere in the grass of that knoll that Nicollet and his party climbed to look out across the country was the man-made feature that made it an important ceremonial site, and one still intensely interesting to archaeologists: A stone mosaic that makes the outline of a snake in the grass.

It’s known to archaeologists as site 39HU70, and they say is probably the best known of the effigy sites in South Dakota.

No one knows for sure who made it or why.

The total length of the snake, following the curves, is 360 feet, and the total number of stones and bowlders used in the outline and including the two for the eyes is 825, of which at last ten occupied their present positions previous to the construction of the snake …”

Here’s a picture of the snake, with the caption underneath:


Royal Runge, the rancher who formerly owned Medcine Knoll site from 1938 to 1999 and took care to preserve it, is shown here alongside the snake mosaic made of stones that archaelogists believe is close to 500 years old.  The photo is from 1997.

Well there you have it.  Moving back to Gettysburg, I found that there’s a large rock (called, appropriate enough) Medicine Rock that is housed in the Dakota Sunset Museum in Gettysburg.  The rock has deeply-embedded human footprints and some hand prints as well. 

Here’s some info from the SD State Historical Museum website:

People in ancient times chipped animals, symbols, foot and hand prints into rocks called prayer rocks (inyan wakan) or medicine rocks. The carvings themselves are known as petroglyphs. The Arikara, Hidatsa, and later the Sioux people used medicine rocks in vision quests, prayer and as oracles.

Here’s a picture of Gettsyburg’s Medicine Rock.


You can’t see the petroglyphs in the above photo, but here’s a shot of a plaster cast of two of the footprints:


Here’s an old shot of the rock in its original location (which was flooded when the Missouri River was dammed up in the 1960s):


Time for some GE Panoramio shots – all within about 20 miles of my landing.  I’ll start with one by JB the Milker (who I featured on my last post!):

pano JB The Milker 10 mi n

Here’s another, this one by Troy Larson:

pano Troy Larson

I’ll close with this sunset shot over Lake Louise (about 20 miles SE of my landing) by Doe4Rae:

pano doe4rae

That’ll do it . . .




© 2016 A Landing A Day




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Long Island, Kansas (Re-revisited)

Posted by graywacke on March 6, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

A Landing A Day blog post number 680.

Dan:  I kind of figured (and hoped) that my most recent post “Long Island, Kansas (Revisited)” would elicit another comment from Warren Street.  Well, Warren wasted no time in posting yet another great comment.

(To make sense of all this, you must read my previous post if you haven’t already.)

OK, here’s Warren’s latest contribution:

Thanks for revisiting your Long Island landing. You’re right about the location of the forks of the Sappa and Bill Street’s route to that point. His memoir describes the route and continues with a description of the homestead site he selected during that trip. It’s on the Sappa a couple of miles northeast of the present city of Oberlin, Kansas. He makes no mention of a settlement called Westfield.  On the frontier, a named location might be nothing more than a dugout home on a riverbank.

Bill Street spent his teenage and early adult years on the western plains as a teamster, cavalryman, town developer, trapper, buffalo hunter, scout, and cowboy. His adventures of those years are recounted in his 580-page memoir. In his more mature years he lived in Oberlin and became a farmer-rancher, newspaper publisher, and state legislator, serving as speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives for two sessions.

He died in 1911, while his memoir was undergoing final editing. Efforts to publish the work at that time were unsuccessful and the manuscript became a family heirloom. After retiring from my career, I was able to thoroughly edit the manuscript and, with the encouragement of the University Press of Kansas, prepare it for publication.

Like I mentioned in the last post, congratulations to Warren on undertaking and successfully completing this project.  And yes, it’s available on Amazon:


And here’s the rest of the Amazon write-up (that didn’t fit on my one-page screen shot):

In later life Street rose to prominence as a newspaper publisher, state legislator, and regent of the Kansas State Agricultural College.  At the time of his death—noted in the New York Times—he was still at work on his memoir. Handed down through his family over the past century and faithfully transcribed here, Street’s story of frontier life is as rich in history as it is in character, giving us a sense of what it was to be not just a witness to, but a player in, the drama of the plains as it unfolded in the late nineteenth century. Edited by Street’s great-grandson, with an introduction by Richard Etulain, a leading scholar of the West, this memoir is history as it was lived, recalled in sharp detail and recounted in engaging prose, for the ages.

Note that Warren’s name is on the cover as editor.  Also, by Googling the title of the book, you can find websites that allow free PDF downloads of the book.

That’ll do it . . . 



© 2016 A Landing A Day


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Long Island, Kansas (Revisited)

Posted by graywacke on March 5, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

A Landing A Day blog post number 679.

Dan:  Every once in a while, I receive a comment from a reader that forces me to revisit / update an old post.  I’m always happy to receive meaningful information from my readers, and particularly happy when it sheds light on some issue that I raised.  Well, here’s the story:

In September 2013, I landed near Woodruff and Long Island, Kansas (landing 2059, ALAD post 467).  In that post, I referenced the fact that in January 2009 I also featured Long Island (landing 1632, ALAD post 50).  With that as background, here’s an excerpt from my September 2013 post, where I quoted from my 2009 post, discussing the origin of the name “Long Island:”

FROM THE 2013 POST:  Moving right along to Long Island.  As mentioned above, Long Island made an early appearance on ALAD.  Here’s what I had to say back in January 2009:

 I landed not far from the town of Long Island.  I thought the name was peculiar, so I took a quick look.  Well, a Kansas State Libraries website (“Blue Skyways”) has the following three sentences about Long Island:

  1. Long Island is located in northern Phillips, county on highway K-383.
  2. In the 19th century, a steamboat, the Minnie B., carried passengers on excursions in the waters around Long Island.
  3. The battle of Prairie Dog Creek between Indians and the 18th Kansas Cavalry was fought on Battle Creek three miles East of Long Island, August 1867.

 I’m particularly interested in the second sentence.  It sounds like the good ship Minnie B plied the waters around Long Island KS, right?  But, of course, that makes no sense, when you look at a map:

aa long island 1

As you can see, Long Island is on the Prairie Dog Creek.  There’s no way a steamship is doing excursions on Prairie Dog Creek!!!

 There’s another creek to the north of town, Elk Creek.  It seems to me that the name “Long Island” could have something to do with the fact that the town is nearly surrounded by water (oh, OK, by creeks).

 But what about the Minnie B.?  What does that have to do with anything?  Was the town actually named after Long Island NY?  If so, does the Minnie B. have something to do with the naming of the town?   The captain of the ship moved to Kansas?  A passenger of the ship with fond memories of excursions in Long Island Sound moved to Kansas?  The Landing Nation wants to know!  FYI, I’ve emailed the website and asked for more information on the origin of the name.  Obviously, I’ll let you know if I hear anything . . .

BACK TO 2013:   For the record, the only response I received from the Blue Skyways website was an angry demand to delete direct quotes out of my post (which I dutifully did).  Hopefully, it won’t happen for this post . . .

 Anyway, this time around, I did a little more research, and found this out that there was a steamship –  the Minnie B. – out of Stratford CT that obviously plied the waters of Long Island Sound.  That’s good information, although it certainly doesn’t explain the confusing (and inherently unclear) reference to the Minnie B. on the Blue Skyways website.  I can speculate that the captain of the Minnie B. founded the town, and named it “Long Island.”  Maybe, maybe not.  Anyway, the timing is right, as the company that owned the Minnie B. went out of business in 1889.  .   .

 This was a much-ado-about-not-so-much sort of post.  Oh, well, it happens now and then.

BACK TO THE PRESENT:  Before sharing the reader’s comment I mentioned earlier, I thought I’d let you know that the Blue Skyways Kansas State Library website is gone.  It was axed in 2014 by State budget-cutting bureaucrats.  Even though I was (in my opinion) treated somewhat rudely by them, I still regret the loss of a public website that provides state wide community-based historical information.  (Of course, I was curious to see if the website still talked about the Minnie B.)

So anyway, a gentleman named Warren Street posted a comment on my Woodruff and Long Island post, as follows (read this carefully, especially the memoir quote):

About the name of Long Island: I agree with your speculation that it’s so named because it’s on a long spit of land almost completely surrounded by water — only creeks, but water nonetheless. In support of this conclusion, let me quote from my great-grandfather’s frontier memoir as he describes a hunting trip of 1872:

“About the middle of November, Uncle Ben, Charlie, and I left Jewell City for the new West. We were nicely and comfortably equipped for the trip.  Arriving at Kirwin, we were joined by Henry P. Gandy. From Kirwin, our party pushed northwest up Deer Creek and down onto the Prairie Dog at the east end of Long Island in Phillips County, thence up to the head of the island and across onto the Sappa Creek in Nebraska a few miles below where the Kansas-Nebraska line crosses that stream, thence up that valley by easy drives to near the forks.”

It’s clear from this that the name Long Island refers to a geographical feature. He writes about going from the east end of the island to its head. In addition, in 1872, there was really no town of Long Island, only a post office for the region that had been established earlier that year.

I’ve edited my ggfather’s memoir and it was published last year by the University Press of Kansas. Its title is “Twenty-Five Years among the Indians and Buffalo: A Frontier Memoir,” by William D. Street.

Very cool Warren, and congratulations on getting your Great Grandfather’s memoir published.

Being a map guy, I had to roll up my sleeves and do some more geography.  I took a Google Earth look at Long Island, and here’s what I saw:

aa long island 4

This makes it clear that the thin strip of land between the creeks is actually close to being an island!

Here’s a map showing the various towns and creeks mentioned by Warren’s Great Grandfather William:  Jewell [City], Kirwin, Deer Creek, Long Island, Sappa Creek, and the spot where the Sappa Creek crosses the state line:

aa long island 2

 I think I’ve found out what Warren’s Great Grandfather meant by “up that valley [presumably the Sappa Valley] by easy drives to near the forks.”   Check out this Google Earth shot:

aa long island 3

I can speculate that “the forks” are as shown and maybe the Street party ended up near the town of Oberlin.  To clarify a timing issue, here’s a quote from the City of Oberlin’s website:

Nestled in the Sappa Valley, Oberlin was originally founded as Westfield in 1872.  In 1885 the town was incorporated as Oberlin.

So, the town was founded as Westfield in the same year that the Street party ended up there!  I would assume they arrived before the founding of the town, or else they would have named it.  Maybe they actually had something to do with the town’s founding . . . 

Here’s one more map showing Sappa Creek, Oberlin and Long Island:

aa long island 6

Thanks to Warren, I can put to bed that crazy Blue Skyways reference to the Minnie B., although maybe, just maybe, one of the founders was from Startford CT, remembered the Minnie B., and thereby reinforced the selection of the town’s name. . . 

That’ll do it . . .




© 2016 A Landing A Day




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Bridgewater, South Dakota

Posted by graywacke on March 1, 2016

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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2250; A Landing A Day blog post number 678.

Dan:  Yet another OSer, with my 3rd landing in . . . SD.  If you’re wondering, “what’s an OSer?” and why, after 2250 landings, am I saying that this only my third landing in SD?  Check out the tab “About Landing (Revisited).”

Here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my very local landing map:

landing 2a

I’ll zoom back a little so you can see the one city (Sioux Falls) and the numerous little towns in the general vicinity:

landing 2b

As you can see on my local landing map, I landed close to a stream, which turned out to be the West Fork of the Vermillion R (2nd hit).  Here’s a streams-only map that tells the rest of the story:

landing 3

The W Fk discharges to the Vermillion (3rd hit); on to the Missouri (407th hit).  Of course, the Missouri makes it’s way to the MM (881st hit).

Time for my Google Earth (GE) space flight in to SE SD.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, then hit the back button.

Here’s a shot showing GE Street View coverage near my landing:

ge sv landing map

And here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing

Here’s a GE shot showing SV coverage of the West Fork of the Vermilion River:

ge sv river map

And here’s the orange dude’s lovely view of the river:

ge sv river

This was an incredibly frustrating landing.  First, I checked out Bridgewater, which had one minor hook.  But then I checked out town after town after town after town after town (etc., etc.) and then finally looked at Sioux Falls.  Bottom line:  the whole region is essentially:


So, I’ll just stick with Bridgewater and its one minor hook.  Anyway, here’s what Wiki has to say under “History:”

Originally named Nation, the present name recalls an episode when water had to be carried to the town site for the railroad.  A post office called Nation was established in 1880, and the name was changed that same year to Bridgewater.

Well . . . OK, I guess (although they should have stuck with Nation in my opinion).  I’m not sure why carrying water to the town site for the railroad resulted in “Bridgewater.”  But don’t worry – this isn’t the minor hook.  I found it when looking down a little further on the Wiki page, where I saw that one Sparky Anderson is from Bridgewater.  While I’m not big on featuring sports personalities in ALAD, ol’ Sparky’s story is pretty cool (and I have no other material).  If you have even a modicum of interest in baseball, this is well worth the read.  If you have zero interest in baseball, oh, well.  So, Here are some excerpts from Wiki:

George Lee “Sparky” Anderson (1934 – 2010) was a Major League Baseball player and manager. He managed the National League’s Cincinnati Reds to the 1975 and 1976 championships, then added a third title in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers of the American League. He was the first manager to win the World Series in both leagues. His 2,194 career wins are the sixth most for a manager in Major League history. Anderson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Pretty impressive, eh?  Here’s some bio detail:

Anderson was born in Bridgewater, South Dakota. He moved to Los Angeles when he was eight.  Upon graduating from high school, he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1953.

He bounced around the minor leagues for 5 years; while playing for the AA Fort Worth Cats, a radio announcer gave him the nickname “Sparky” for his feisty play.

After five minor league seasons without appearing in a Dodger uniform at the MLB level, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in December 1958.  The Phillies gave Anderson their starting second base job, and he spent what would be his one and only season in the major leagues in 1959. However, he batted only .218 in 152 games, with no home runs and 34 runs batted in, and returned to the minor leagues for the remainder of his playing career. His 527 at-bats is still the record for the most by a player who only played in one Major League season.

He played the next four seasons with the Triple-A Toronto Maple Leafs in the International League.  After watching several practices, Leafs owner Jack Kent Cooke observed Anderson’s leadership qualities and ability to teach younger players from all backgrounds. Cooke immediately encouraged him to pursue a career in managing, offering Anderson the post for the Leafs.

In 1964, at the age of 30, Anderson accepted Cooke’s offer to manage the Leafs. He later handled minor league clubs at the Class A and Double-A levels, including a season (1968) in the Reds’ minor league system.

He made his way back to the majors in 1969 as the third-base coach of the San Diego Padres during their maiden season in the National League. Just one year later, he was offered the opportunity to succeed Dave Bristol as manager of the Reds. Since he was a relative unknown in the sports world, Cincinnati newspaper headlines on the day after his hiring read “Sparky Who?”

Nonetheless, Anderson led the Reds to 102 wins and the National League pennant in 1970, where they lost the 1970 World Series in five games to the Baltimore Orioles. During this season, the Reds came to be widely known as The Big Red Machine, a nickname they carried throughout Anderson’s tenure.

After an injury-plagued 1971 season in which the team finished fifth, the Reds came back and won another pennant under Anderson in 1972, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates in five games in the NLCS, but losing to the Oakland Athletics in seven games in the World Series. They took the National League West division title again in 1973, but lost to the New York Mets in the NLCS, a hard-fought series that went the full five games.

After finishing a close second to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974, in 1975 the Reds blew the division open by winning 108 games. They swept the National League Championship Series and then edged the Boston Red Sox in a drama-filled, seven-game World Series. They repeated in 1976 by winning 102 games, sweeping the Phillies in three games in the National League Championship Series, then going on to sweep the New York Yankees in the Series.

This has been the only time that a team swept both the League Championship Series and World Series since the start of division play. Over the course of these two seasons, Anderson’s Reds compiled an astounding 14–3 record in postseason play against the Pirates, Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees.

When the aging Reds finished second to the Dodgers in each of the next two seasons, Anderson was fired after the 1978 season.

Baseball’s a tough business.  Come in a lousy second two years in a row, and you’re fired . . .

Anderson was immediately hired as manager of the Detroit Tigers.  And speaking of “immediately,” he immediately turned a losing club into a winning club, but it wasn’t until 1984 that the Tigers made their mark.

In 1984, Detroit opened the season 9-0, was 35–5 after 40 games (a major league record), and breezed to a 104–58 record (a franchise record for wins). On September 23, Anderson became the first manager to win 100 games in a season with two different teams.

They swept the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS and then beat the San Diego Padres in five games in the World Series for Anderson’s third world title. The 1984 Tigers became the first team since the 1927 New York Yankees to lead a league wire-to-wire, from opening day to the end of the World Series. After the season, Anderson won the first of his two Manager of the Year Awards with the Tigers.

After the Tigers clinched the AL East division title in 1984, Sparky had this to say in his journal: “I have to be honest. I’ve waited for this day since they fired me in Cincinnati. I think they made a big mistake when they did that. Now no one will ever question me again.”

Good for you, Sparky, but you’re wrong (see italics below) . . .

Anderson’s Tigers finished in third place in both 1985 and 1986. With a 9–5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on July 29, 1986, Anderson became the first to achieve 600 career wins as a manager in both the American and National Leagues.

Anderson led the Tigers to the majors’ best record in 1987, but the team was upset in the ALCS by the Minnesota Twins. He won his second Manager of the Year Award that year.

After contending again in 1988 (finishing second to Boston by one game in the AL East), the team collapsed a year later, losing a startling 103 games.

During that 1989 season, Anderson took a month-long leave of absence from the team as the stress of losing wore on him. First base coach Dick Tracewski managed the team in the interim.

Like I said, Sparky might have been a little premature when he said that no one would ever doubt him again.

In 1991, the Tigers finished last in batting average, first in batting strikeouts and near the bottom of the league in most pitching categories, but still led their division in late August before settling for a second-place finish behind the rival Toronto Blue Jays.

The Tigers were less than spectacular for the next several years . . .

Anderson retired from managing in 1995,reportedly disillusioned with the state of the league following the 1994 strike that had also delayed the beginning of the 1995 season. It is widely believed that Anderson was pushed into retirement by the Tigers, who were unhappy that Sparky refused to manage replacement players during spring training in 1995. In an interview on Detroit’s WJR radio after his retirement, Anderson said he had told his wife that season, “If this is what the game has become, it don’t need me no more.”

Sparky died in 2010 at age 76 from complications associated with dementia.

Here’s a great photo of Sparky (from USA Today):


He was one of those quotable kind of guys.  Here’s a memorable one:

“There’s two kind of manager,” he said when he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 2000. “One, it ain’t very smart. He gets bad players, loses games and gets fired. But then there was somebody like me that I was a genius. I got good players, stayed out of the way, let ’em win a lot, and then just hung around for 26 years.”

OK, time to close this one out with some GE Pano shots, both by JB the Milker.  He posted quite a few shots, all within 5 miles of my landing.  Here are the two that caught my eye.  First, this one of a working farm:

pano JBTheMilker

And then this shot of a used-to-be working farm:

pano JBTheMilker2

That’ll do it . . .




© 2016 A Landing A Day




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