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Archive for March, 2017

Oreana and Rochester (and Lovelock), Nevada

Posted by graywacke on March 30, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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 2335; A Landing A Day blog post number 766.

boxDan:  Today’s lat/long 40o 13.555’N, 118o 16.571’W) puts me in Cen-NW Nevada:

landing-1

Here’s my local landing map:

landing-2

You don’t see Rochester, but more about that later.

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Humboldt River (29th hit).  The Humboldt occasionally makes it all the way to Humboldt Lake, but it never goes any further . . .

landing-3

Let’s jump right on the Google Earth (GE) yellow push-pin, and take a ride.  Click HERE.

There’s some decent topography surrounding my landing.  Here’s an oblique GE shot looking SW past my landing:

ge-1-looking-sw

And one looking E:

ge-3-looking-e

Although I’d expect lousy Street View coverage, considering the boonie-esque nature of this landing, it’s not bad:

ge-sv-landing-map

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

ge-sv-landing

Drainage from my landing ends up in an unnamed arroyo that goes right along the road with Street View coverage:

ge-sv-creek-map

And here’s what the OD sees:

ge-sv-creek

My drainage goes through that pipe!

During the spaceflight, you probably noticed a nearby landing (2200) on your way in.  For that July 2015 post, I featured Lovelock (the only actually-inhabited town anywhere close).  At that time, I noted that there was an even-early Lovelock post, (October 2009, landing 1798):

ge-4

I checked out my two previous Lovelock posts, and decided I’d lift a highlight from each.  From my July 2015 post:

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

old1

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

 old2

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

old3

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:

old4

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 . . .

old5

A 15-mile stretch of obviously-irrigated farmland surrounding Lovelock.

From the September 2009 post:

I’ve discussed the Humboldt before; it’s the longest internally-drained river in the U.S., with a length of about 300 miles (all within Nevada).  Staying with the Humboldt, I’ll present some photos of the river and the lake.  I’ll start with these two shots of the river, just upstream from where it empties into the lake.  Note that it is often dry; obviously these pictures were taken after significant desert rains:

old6

old7

Here’s a shot of the lake itself (taken at the same time as the river pictures):

old8

A gentleman named Lawrence K. Hersh, a photographer, railroad lover and historian, put together a book entitled “Central Pacific Railroad Across Nevada, 1868 and 1997 Photographic Comparatives.”  Two of the comparative photos are taken near Humboldt Lake.  First this picture from 1868, with Mr. Hersh’s caption below the picture:

old9

Photo number 316, “End of Track, near Humboldt Lake,” circa 1868, is an excellent view to the southwest, showing a construction train stopped, headed eastbound, with lots of tents in the foreground.  These tents were probably occupied by Chinese, whose contribution to the construction of this railroad made the Transcontinental Railroad a reality. The railroad grade parallels the west side of Humboldt Lake.

Here’s his 1997 shot taken from the same place, with his caption below:

old99

Photo number 97316, taken in May of 1997, shows the general spot Alfred A. Hart photographed in 1868, from atop the sand hill on the east side of the railroad grade. This is one of my favorite photo sites. I can spend hours exploring this area, thinking only of going back in time, while standing on top of the sand hill. It appears as if the trail seen in the foreground of photo 316 can still be seen in today’s photo.

Enough of my old posts. For this post, I’ve decided to feature two ghost towns:  Oreana and Rochester.  But wait!  Are they really ghost towns?  Check out this Street View on I-80!

ge-sv-exit

Well, Oreana kind-of-sort-of exists; here’s a Street View of downtown:

ge-sv-oreana

Rochester (as you’ll see) has some ghost town remnants, although most of it has been obliterated by a huge mining operation.

Anyway, I fund an excellent website that discusses both towns – Silver State Ghost Towns.com.  First this, about Oreana:

By 1866, Oreana two mills to crush ore from the Montezuma mine at Arabia. A smelter was also constructed to process the crushed ore. By 1867 the townsite had a post office, hotel, general store, boarding houses, restaurant, blacksmith shop, livery stable, and several saloons.

By 1868 more bullion was being shipped from Oreana than any other place in Nevada.  However, mounting debt and a tax default forced a total shutdown in 1869.

[Number 1 in Nevada, and then bankrupt?  Sounds like some serious mismanagement was going on!]

New owners acquired the facilities in 1870-1871, but also had debt problems. The mills operated intermittently during the 1870s until the smelter was destroyed by fire.

From the same website, here are pictures (by Warren Willis) of what remains of old Oreana.

oreana-3_img_0352

oreana-2_img_0351

Moving on to Rochester.  First, I need to locate it.  As is often the case, GE will identify “towns” that are not shown on Street Atlas:

ge5

Once again, from Silver State Ghost Towns:

Migrants from Rochester, NY discovered gold in Rochester Canyon in the early 1860s. The townsite, and mining operations, did not really take off until silver ore was discovered in 1912. By November of that year, a full scale rush was on.

By 1913, the population boomed to around 2200, divided between four different town sites over the two-and-a-half mile “Main Street” that ran between Lower and Upper Rochester along the floor of Rochester Canyon.

Here’s a GE shot, looking up Rochester Canyon and old Main Street, towards what used to be Upper Rochester, but is now part of the Rochester Mine:

ge-rochester-canyon

Back to the website write-up:

The town consisted of several saloons, a newspaper (Miner and Journal), substantial stone buildings, hotels, office buildings, dance halls, a post office, and even The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

[Wow.  The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra!]

The district’s mines made their best showing during the 1920s, but by 1942 most operations ceased (after more than $9 million in gold and silver was produced).

The remains of Lower Rochester are accessible, but upper Rochester is all but covered up by tailings from the current Coeur Rochester Mine operation.

Here are some Rochester pictures, once again by Warren Willis:

rochester_9038

rochester_9003

rochester_8999

rochester_8993

So there’s an active gold & silver mining operation where Rochester used to be.  This about the mine from Wiki:

The Rochester Mine opened in 1986 and extracts ore from a conventional open pit operation. The ore is processed using cyanide heap-leaching to produce silver and gold bars. In 2012 the mine produced 2.8 million ounces of silver and 38,066 ounces of gold.  The silver production cost is $14.05 per ounce of silver. Reserves at the end of 2012 were 44.9 million ounces of silver and 308,000 ounces of gold.

FYI, today’s silver price is $17.72/oz, so they’re making 17.72-14.05 = $3.67/oz.  So in 2012, they made a healthy profit of 2.8 million x $3.67 = $10,300,000.

I perused the mine on Google Earth.  GE shows amazing detail that’s absolutely true to the topography.

I made a couple of very short videos that give you an excellent view of the mine (strongly recommended viewing!).

Click HERE.

And HERE.

I went to the Coeur company website.  They have an informative video about the mining operation and the community.  As you’d expect, it’s saccharine coated, but still worthwhile viewing.

Chick HERE.

On the Silver State Ghost Town website, I found this photo of a historical plaque in Lower Rochester (by Warren Willis):

rochester_9048

It provides a little information, but check out the bottom.  It says:

J.U.N.K. September 20, 1986
Julia’s Unequivocal Nevada Klampouts
Julia C. Bulette Chapter 1864
E Clampus Vitus

What the . . . ?

I’ll start with E Clampus Vitus, and will borrow from three sources:

  1. Wiki
  2. “The Mysterious History of E Clampus Via” by Honorable Brother Al Shumate (on YerbaBuena1.com)
  3. “History and Ritual of E Clampus Vitus – a Non-Clampers Guide to Clamperdom” by Judge Frazier (on PhoenixMasonry.org)

Here are various tidbits from the above:

E Clampus Vitus is a fraternal organization dedicated to the study and preservation of the heritage of the American West, especially the history of the silver and gold mining regions of the area.

By 1850 two fraternal organizations were active in the mining regions of the American West:   the Masonic Lodge and the Odd Fellows (IOOF).  Virtually all men of influence were members of either or both of these orders. Both groups were viewed as very strict in nature with impressive badges of office and formal attire.  In short, they provided little humor and certainly no relief from the arduous task of just staying alive.

In 1851 a group of men at Mokelumne Hill, California, felt another fraternal organization, one much less serious of nature, was needed and The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, with an avowed dedication to the protection of “Widows and Orphans”, came to life in the west.

What is the purpose of the society? There is a description of the society that all of you have heard. It is claimed ECV is a historical drinking society; others claim it to be a drinking historical society. The debate continues; it has never been solved.

The motto of the Order, Credo Quia Absurdum, is generally interpreted as meaning “I believe it because it is absurd.”

The organization has raised historical plaques in many places throughout the West (often at sites such as bordellos and saloons overlooked by more traditional historical societies), with a traditional “doin’s,” or party, after each plaque dedication. These are now common in historical areas around California and the West — when in Gold and Silver Country, a Clamper-placed plaque is never far away.

It goes on and on . . . feel free to do your own Google search (“E Clampus Via”) if you’re so inclined.  Wiki identified more than 50,000 members in 62 lodges in 1991.  Peculiarly, I couldn’t find any more recent totals, although I get the feeling the Clampers are continuing to grow, with more lodges and more members.

I particularly like an opening statement in Judge Frazier’s piece:

“Material for this guide has been gathered from various sources including liberally plagiarizing, stealing, absconding, purloining, pilfering, looting and misappropriating the work of others. Be that as it may, I believe it is reasonably accurate.”

So, the Julia C. Bulette Chapter (chapter 1864) is responsible for the Rochester plaque.  I like their nickname:  Julia’s Unequivocal Nevada Klampouts (J.U.N.K.).  They have a website!

julia-bulette-website

So who’s Julia C. Bulette?  From OnlineNevada:

800px-julia_bulette

Prostitute Julia Bulette moved to Virginia City around 1863 when the lively mining boom town boasted a population approaching 10,000. Four years later, an intruder strangled her during the early morning hours of January 20, 1867.

Local officials arrested Frenchman Jean Millian when he tried to sell a few of her possessions. Found guilty and sentenced to death after a brief trial, Millian went to the gallows on April 24, 1868. It was Virginia City’s first public execution.

“Jule” Bulette lived and worked out of a small rented cottage near the corner of D and Union streets in Virginia City’s entertainment district. An independent operator, she competed with the fancy brothels, streetwalkers, and hurdy-gurdy girls for meager earnings.

Contemporary newspaper accounts of her gruesome murder captured popular imagination. With few details of her life, twentieth-century chroniclers elevated the courtesan to the status of folk heroine, ascribing to her the questionable attributes of wealth, beauty, and social standing.

little-joeThere was an episode of “Bonanza” (the 1960s TV western) where Little Joe falls in love with Julia.  (Papa Ben is not happy).  They cast her as a saloon owner (not a prostitute), and Jean Millian (her real life murderer) is cast as a villainous rival for her affections.  She’s not murdered, and she ends up a heroine for helping the townspeople fight an outbreak of “the fever.”

Alrighty now.  It’s time for some GE Pano shots.  I’ll start with this one by Mark Moudrak, taken about 4 miles SW of my landing:

pano-marko-moudrak

And this, by David Goulart, of the westward-sloping valley through which my drainage flows on its way to the Humboldt:

pano-david-goulart

I’ll close with another in the same valley, by Nitro 929:

pano-nitro-929-2-mi-sw

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

 

 

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Lansing, Iowa

Posted by graywacke on March 25, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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 2334; A Landing A Day blog post number 765.

boxDan:  Today’s lat/long 43o 19.618’N, 91o 13.617’W) puts me in far NE Iowa (barely):

landing-1

My local landing map shows why Lansing obtained titular status:

landing-2

So this was a Lansing Landing. . .

My streams-only watershed map is pretty straightforward:

landing-3a

I landed in the watershed of Village Creek which has the distinct privilege of discharging directly to the Mighty Mississippi!

Notice Lake Winneshiek on the above map?  It’s pretty big:

landing-3b

It was formed by one of many navigational dams associated with locks on the river.  Here’s a Google Earth (GE) Panoramio shot of Lock & Dam #9 (by Pemo12):

pano-pemo12

Speaking of Google Earth, it’s time for my GE spaceflight, zeroing in on NE Iowa.  Fire the retro rockets!  (AKA click HERE).

Looks pretty good for Street View coverage, and it is!  (I moved the Orange Dude up the road a little so I could bring in the barn for reference).

ge-sv-map

And here’s what he sees:

ge-sv

I moved the OD a little south to get a look at Village Creek:

ge-sv-creek-map

And here’s the creek:

ge-sv-creek

There’s also Street View coverage of where Village Creek hits the Mighty Mississip:

ge-sv-creek-map2

Here’s the upstream view:

ge-sv-creek2

The downstream view shows nuttin’ but river:

ge-sv-creek3

From MyLansingIowa.com:

Lansing Iowa is a Mississippi river town of 1000 people located about 30 miles South of LaCrosse, Wisconsin and about 3.5 hours Southeast of Minneapolis. For the folks who live here all year, we have many of the things that make it a great small town like a grocery store, library and many small businesses that cater to locals and tourists alike.

Our downtown is very close to the Mississippi River and in fact, Main St. gently slopes down to and dead ends in The River. In the old days, that’s where you would have embarked and disembarked the steamboats that use to ply these waters. We still have a great amount of history on our Main St., with many original buildings and storefronts that all add to the value and charm of our Riverfront town.

Here’s a Street View shot of the end of Main Street mentioned above:

ge-sv-main-st

Here’s what the OD sees just after making a left on Front Street (near the silver sport SUV above):

ge-sv-just-around-the-corner

I like Lansing.  I like that it has a viable downtown, but mostly I like its intimate connection with the Mississippi River.  That said, there’s not really a hook in Lansing to form a basis for this post.  But leave it to me, I found a hook (albeit more regional)!

Just a little further down in the MyLansingIowa.com website, I saw this:

Mississippi River Road Driftless Area Center Coming To Lansing

The roof is on and building continues for what is looking like a grand visitor center!  Lansing will soon be home to a new multi-million dollar Mississippi River Visitor Center complete with handicap accessible river access, classrooms, viewing decks and information about the driftless area and river on tap.

I shouldn’t be picky, but “on tap???”

So, they’re building a Driftless Area visitor center.  So just what is this Driftless Area?  I don’t need Wiki to talk about this a little – and yes, being a geologist helps a little. 

In the big picture, nearly the entire Upper Midwest was glaciated – covered by continental ice sheets up to a mile thick that came and went numerous times over the last bunch of hundreds of thousands of years.  The most recent (known as the Wisconsonan) peaked about 20,000 years and retreated a mere 10,000 years ago. 

So the Native American Homo Sapien ancestors (who came to North America 12,000+ years ago) were eyewitness to the ice age and its wildlife like woolly mammoths and saber-tooth tigers (which, by the way, they likely hunted to extinction).

As you know, glaciers grind away high spots and fill in low spots with gravel, sand and clay.  These glacial deposits are left behind everywhere the glaciers visited, and collectively, they’re known as glacial drift.

Ah.  So now you’re getting the drift.  (Unless, of course, you’re driftless.)

So:  the Driftless Area (red area on map) must have no drift!  And no drift means no glaciers!  And not just no Wisconsinan glaciers, but no glaciers over the last 1,0000,000 years!screen-shot-2014-05-04-at-9-47-30-am

Without glaciers lopping off the high spots and glacial drift filling in the low spots, the Driftless Area has more pronounced, dramatic topography, with bedrock exposed in steep valleys & cliffs.

I found in informative post on all-geo.org by Anne Jefferson.  Here are some excerpts:

Even before the last glacial period, the Driftless Area seems to have uniquely escaped the terrain smoothing, till depositing influences of the ice sheets. (Play with this animation to watch southeastern Minnesota avoid glacial advance after glacial advance.)

The map below shows the maximum extent of glaciers at:

  • (a) 1 million years ago,
  • (b) ~600,000 years ago,
  • (c) ~250,000 years ago (the Illinoian glaciation) and
  • (d) ~22,000 years ago (Wisconsinan glaciation).

glacstages-1024x762

In most parts of the Upper Midwest, the bedrock is buried under glacial drift; but millions of years of uninterrupted erosion have spectacularly dissected the landscape of the Driftless Area, creating 150+ meter bluffs and narrow valleys.

This dissected landscape stands out in sharp contrast to the flatter glaciated areas which surround it, as shown in the image below.

midwestdrainagedriftless

And what the heck?  Why not a You Tube video, “Serious Science:  The Driftless Area” by Into The Outdoors TV:

 

But here comes the best part.  Scott Sumner, a writer for Wall Street Pit, was looking at the 2012 election map, where individual counties are shown red for the Republicans and blue for the Democrats:

2012electoralcountybycountymap111612web

He focused on an apparently anomalous blue area:

image41

From Scott’s article:

Do you see it now? There’s a big blob of counties where Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois come together, which are solid blue. Why is that? These are counties with farms and small towns; there are basically no cities of any size.

The biggest city is Madison, population 200,000, which is the big blue county in south central Wisconsin, on the eastern edge of the blob. I grew up in Madison, but I don’t have a clue as to why those counties further west are blue. I always assumed western Wisconsin was exactly like north-central and eastern Wisconsin—full of corn and dairy farms, and small towns with one church and 4 bars.

Counties full of people with northern European backgrounds. Everywhere else in the Midwest the farm areas went for the GOP, except that strange blob that overlays parts of 4 states. A few of those counties may have small cities with a few manufacturing firms, but look how uniform that blue area is. There is obviously some difference that explains this, and now I feel like we should have been taught in school that southwestern Wisconsin is really weird.

Or perhaps we were taught in school, and I wasn’t paying enough attention. There is in fact something weird about southwestern Wisconsin. The glacier that covered North America during the Ice Age missed this area; indeed it went completely around it, leaving it hillier than normal for the Midwest. It’s called the “Driftless Area.” If you grew up on the coasts you’ve never heard of this area, because nobody on either coast finds the American Midwest to be at all interesting. They rather go visit Paris or Bali.

So here’s a map of the Driftless area:

image42

Whoa! That is exactly the same area as the strange blue blob of rural Obama voters. This is beginning to resemble a Stephen King novel. What’s going on in them thar hills? You might argue the blue extends a bit further south into Illinois, but that’s probably the Quad cities area, which is somewhat more industrialized. The mysterious blue farm counties almost perfectly match the Driftless Area.

If these counties were red like “normal” rural counties are supposed to be, the race would have been closer.

Why did farmers who settled hilly areas become more liberal than farmers who settled flat parts of eastern Wisconsin? I have no idea. The Appalachian and Ozark regions are far hillier than the Driftless Area, but are strongly red. It’s a mystery. Only God (or Nate Silver) knows the answer.

I also found a piece by Richard Longworth (“The Midwesterner,” writing in GlobalMidwest.typepad.com).  He read and then wrote about Scott Sumner’s article.  Here’s an excerpt, which shows a tongue-in-cheek (but decidedly democratic) perspective:

The area’s singularity was first spotted by Wall Street Pit, a financial news website, in a piece written by Scott Sumner, a Madison native who admitted that “I don’t have a clue” why these counties voted as they did.

If this phenomenon baffled Sumner, it was quickly explained by commenters to the blog, who said it was all due to the superior character of the residents — “hard-working, open-minded peaceful people, (who) value people above profit, are neighborly and fair-minded…not cut-throat capitalists…engaged voters…an epicenter for education, medicine and organic farming. People are against suffering, and believe in helping others and creating strong communities.” Organic farming in the area seemed especially vital to the region’s progressive, true-blue flavor.

Ah, that explains it. No argument here. I’ve spent time in the Driftless Area and it indeed is full of folks who are the salt of the earth, peaceable types who feast on organic produce, value fairness and hence are natural Democrats.

And then, I had to take one more step.  I had to look at the 2016 election map.  I found one with tints of red & blue, reflecting the margin of victory in each county:

2016-election-by-county

There you have it.  Trump carried the Driftless Area, although it’s more pink than red.  Oh, well.

Time for some Pano shots.  I’ll start with this one by IdaWriter, with a sign referencing my watershed stream:

pano-idawriter3

Also by Ida, here’s one from the bluff north of town, looking south:

pano-idawriter

And yet another Ida shot from the same bluff, looking northeast:

pano-idawriter2

And this cool shot of the bridge, by AlKonMan:

pano-alkonman

I’ll close with this artsy shot of a Mississippi River backwater area (a slough), just across the bridge from Lansing, by MoFun:

pano-mofun

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

 

 

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Wendover and Salduro, Utah (with bonus coverage of Tinian Island)

Posted by graywacke on March 21, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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 2333; A Landing A Day blog post number 764.

boxDan:  Today’s lat/long 40o 53.866’N, 113o 53.416’W) puts me in NW Utah:

landing-1

Here’s my local map:

landing-2

Before going on, I need (want?) to mention that I suffered through 5 “waterings” (as opposed to “landings”) before I hit dry land:  2 in the Atlantic, 2 in the Pacific, and 1 in Lake Superior.

I’m in the desert, and there are no streams anywhere close to my landing.  So what the heck, I’ll jump right to my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight on in to NW Utah.  Click HERE, please.

So here’s my watershed analysis:

ge-watershed

If Noah’s Flood were to occur (or I mean re-occur), runoff from my landing would make its way over to Great Salt Lake (which would get quite a lot bigger after 40 days and 40 nights of rain).  Otherwise, there ain’t no way any runoff from my landing will ever make it to the lake. . .

Here’s an oblique GE shot of my landing, looking west:

ge-1

And here’s another, from just behind Pilot Peak, looking east:

ge-2

In terms of distance, GE Street View coverage isn’t very good.  But considering the expansive vista across the salt flats, it’s not bad:

ge-sv-landing-map

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

ge-sv-landing

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot of Pilot Peak from just SW of my landing (by ANomad):

pano-anomad-from-5-sw-pilot-peak

While I’m at it, here’s a Pano shot of the mountains to the NE of my landing, by Springlake:

 

pano-springlake-5-mi-se

Think maybe there used to be a lake here?  The horizontal lines are old shorelines!

And here’s my most local Pano shot, taken just a couple of miles to the SW of my landing (also by Springlake):

pano-springlake-3-mi-sw

(Regular readers may be wondering why I didn’t save these shots for the end of the post.  I guess I could have, but I found some really spectacular photos for my close, as you’ll see.)

Time to move on to Salduro.  Salduro means hard (duro) salt (sal), a good name for a town on the Bonneville Salt Flats.  The town was founded because of local mining of salt and potash (a potassium-rich salt).  The mining declined in the 40s, and the town disappeared.

Here’s a Wiki shot of an eastbound train going past a couple of buildings in or near Salduro, in 1912:

western_pacific_railroad_eastbound_passenger_train_crossing_the_bonneville_salt_flats_near_salduro_utah_circa_1912

Now we’ll move about 8 miles west to Wendover.  Just a couple of items caught my interest.  From Wiki:

The transcontinental telephone line was completed as workers raised the final pole at Wendover, Utah on June 27, 1914, after construction of 3,400 miles of telephone line.  The line was successfully voice tested by the president of AT&T, Theodore Vail, in July.

Six months later, on January 25, 1915, amidst the celebrations surrounding the Panama–Pacific International Exposition [aka the San Francisco World’s Fair], the first “official transcontinental call” was made between New York and San Francisco.

Alexander Graham Bell, in New York City, repeated his famous statement “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you,” which was heard by his assistant Mr. Watson in San Francisco, for a long distance call of 3,400 miles. Mr. Watson replied, “It will take me five days to get there!” President Woodrow Wilson and the mayors of both cities were also involved in the call, which officially initiated AT&T’s transcontinental service.

Also from Wiki, here’s the second item that caught my eye:

During World War II, the nearby Wendover Army Air Field was a training base for bomber pilots, including the crew of the Enola Gay. The Enola Gay was stationed here until June 1945.  The Enola Gay dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima Japan two months later, on August 6th.

Sobering, indeed.  Any mention of the Enola Gay and/or Hiroshima takes me back to the mid-1990s when I was working for Mobil Oil (as an environmental guy specializing in the clean-up of soil & groundwater contamination).  I had quite the business trip:

  • Travel from Newark to Sydney via L.A.
  • Four days in Sydney (which included a non-working weekend)
  • A travel day
  • Four days in Melbourne (which also included a non-working weekend)
  • All of the above with my wife Jody! A great trip!
  • A travel day (Jody going home, me going to Hong Kong)
  • Two days in Hong Kong
  • A travel day
  • Two days in Guam
  • One day in Saipan
  • One day visiting Tinian & Rota
  • One more day in Guam
  • Back home (via Honolulu and Houston to Newark)

So what does the above itinerary have to do with the Enola Gay and Hiroshima?  I suspect that at least a few of my readers know:  The Enola Gay took off from an air field in Tinian to drop the A-bomb on Hiroshima.

Here’s a GE shot to put things in perspective:

ge-tinian1

 My visit to Tinian included a trip to the deserted and overgrown airfield.

The entire scene was surreal.  We were the only people there; no souvenir stands, not at all touristy.  The runways were hardly visible, thanks to the tangle of vegetation closing in from both sides.

Most eerily, the trip included a visit to a large soil-filled rectangular hole in the pavement.

Large rectangular hole?  Here’s the story:  the A-bomb was loaded in the belly of the plane, and it was so big that they needed to first lower the bomb into the hole (which was not filled with soil back then), taxi the plane over the hole, and raise the bomb through the bomb bay door.

A plaque next to the hole identified it as the bomb pit for the Enola Gay.

Actually, there were two separate holes – one for the Enola Gay and the Hiroshima bomb (“Little Boy”) and another for the Bockscar (a name I might have read about on a plaque in Tinian, but don’t remember) and the Nagasaki bomb (“Fat Man”). 

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot (like what I saw) of Pit #2 (for the Bockscar) – Panoramio shot by MontaraPete:

pano-montarapete

 As part of the 60th anniversary of the taking of the islands (in 2005), both pits were excavated, and covered thusly (Pano shot by Likai):

pano-likai

To put the Tinian effort into a little perspective, here’s a little WWII history.  Before Tinian was captured from the Japanese, the Allies took Saipan (from Wiki):

The Battle of Saipan from 15 June to 9 July 1944 was one of the major campaigns of World War II. The United States Marines and United States Army landed on the beaches of the southwestern side of the island, and spent more than three weeks in heavy fighting to secure the island from the Japanese.

The battle cost the Americans 3,426 killed and 10,364 wounded, whereas of the estimated 30,000 Japanese defenders, only 921 were taken prisoner. Some 20,000 Japanese civilians perished during the battle, including over 1,000 who committed suicide by jumping from “Suicide Cliff” and “Banzai Cliff” rather than be taken prisoner.

During my stay, I visited the cliff (GE shot):

ge-cliff

And a GE Pano shot by Rodger Springsteen:

pano-rodger-springsteen

And then the Allies took Tinian.  From Wiki:

The island was seized by the Allies during the Battle of Tinian from 24 July to 1 August 1944. Over 300 Americans lost their lives, but of the 8500-man Japanese garrison, only 313 survived the battle.

From AtomicHeritage.org:

Navy construction battalions known as the SeaBees began bulldozing mere days after the island was secured. Six runways were completed within two months and Tinian soon became the biggest air base in the world. North Field consisted of four airfields and supported 269 B-29s.

tinian_airfields_1945_looking_north_to_south

Phillip Morrison, who went to Tinian to help assemble Fat Man, spoke eloquently about Tinian’s transformation, stating:

“Tinian is a miracle. Here, 6,000 miles from San Francisco, the United States armed forces have built the largest airport in the world. A great coral ridge was half-leveled to fill a rough plain, and to build six runways, each an excellent 10-lane highway, each almost two miles long. Beside these runways stood in long rows the great silvery airplanes. They were not by the dozen, but by the hundred. From the air this island, smaller than Manhattan, looked like a giant aircraft carrier, its deck loaded with bomber…”

~From: Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bombs (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), 681.

Unbelievable.  The whole story is unbelievable.  So much death, so much suffering, yet unfathomable dedication to victory.

On the lighter side (if you could call it that), here’s some more from Wiki:

The base was a 40,000-personnel installation, and the Navy Seabees laid out the base in a pattern of city streets resembling New York City’s Manhattan Island, and named the streets accordingly. The former Japanese town of Sunharon was nicknamed “The Village” because its location corresponded to that of Greenwich Village. A large square area between West and North Fields, used primarily for the location of the base hospitals and otherwise left undeveloped, was called Central Park.

The main drags on Tinian are Broadway and 8th Avenue:

ge-tinian4

Here’s the intersection of Broadway and 42nd Street:

ge-tinian5

I also found 86th Street, 2nd Avenue, and Riverside Drive.  There are likely more Manhattan streets, but these are all I could find on GE.

And why are the Navy SeaBees called SeaBees?  Because they were (and are) the Navy’s “Construction Battalion.”  Here’s their logo:

720px-usn-seabees-insignia-svg

Well, it seems to me that it’s time to head back to Utah.  Although I didn’t mention it earlier,  I landed about 30 miles further east (landing 2164) a couple of years ago (March 2015).  For landing 2164, I presented some spectacular GE Pano shots of the Bonneville Salt Flats – actually much closer to this landing.

I’ll close out this post with some of them. Here’s a cool shot (by Micah Sheldon) of the western portion of the Flats in winter – when there’s often an inch or two of water:

bsf1

Here’s a great shot by Will Huff (willhuff.net):

bsf2

And some desiccation cracks by Cassegrain:

bsf3

I’ll close with this other-worldly sunset shot by Nick Stelma:

bsf4

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

 

 

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Jasper and Newton, Texas

Posted by graywacke on March 13, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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 2331; A Landing A Day blog post number 762.

box

Dan:  Today’s lat/long 30o 54.365’N, 93o 59.968’W) puts me in SE Texas (about 100 miles NE of Houston):

landing-1

My local landing map shows that I landed just south of Jasper:

landing-2

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Sandy Creek, on to the Neches River:

landing-3a

Zooming back, you can see that the Neches makes its way to the Sabine:

landing-3b

Without further ado (whatever the heck ado is), I’ll launch my Google Earth (GE) Yellow Push Pin spacecraft for my trip on in to SE Texas.  Click HERE and enjoy the trip.  Some readers think this is much ado about nothing . . .

You can see that I landed in the woods, which always makes for an unspectacular Street View shot (even though I’m close):

ge-sv-landing-map

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

ge-sv-landing

I did my best to get a decent Street View of Sandy Creek, but to no avail.  So, I went a ways south to get a look at the Neches River:

ge-sv-neches-map

And here ‘tis:

ge-sv-neches

So what about Jasper?  (I’m holding off on Newton for now).  From Wiki:

The area around Jasper (pop 8,250), which was then part of Mexican Texas, was settled around 1824 by John Bevil. Thirty families occupied the settlement as early as 1830, when it was known as Snow River or Bevil’s Settlement.

In 1835, the town was renamed after William Jasper, a war hero from the American Revolution, who was killed attempting to plant the American flag at the storming of Savannah in 1779.

There’s a monument to Jasper in Savannah (photo from Wiki):

800px-william_jasper_memorial

He was also known as a hero during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island (in South Carolina) on June 28, 1776 – right at the beginning of the war.  Back to Wiki:

When a shell from a British warship shot away the flagstaff, he recovered the South Carolina flag, raised it on a temporary staff, and held it under fire, thus rallying the troops.

battle_of_sullivans_island

Governor John Rutledge gave his sword to Jasper in recognition of his bravery.

Jasper County was one of the 23 original counties when the Republic of Texas was created in 1836.  Jasper and Jasper County became part of the United States with the Texas annexation in 1845.

This, about the Siege of Savannah (from Wiki):

The Siege of Savannah was an encounter of the American Revolutionary War in 1779. The year before, the city of Savannah, Georgia, had been captured by the British. The siege itself consisted of a joint Franco-American attempt to retake Savannah, from September 16 to October 18, 1779.

On October 9 a major assault against the British siege works failed. During the attack, Polish nobleman Count Casimir Pułaski, leading the combined cavalry forces on the American side, was mortally wounded [not to mention our hero, William Jasper].

[For the record, ALAD has featured Casimir Pulaski a couple of times:  for Mt. Pulaski IL (for the obvious reason) and San Pierre IN – where I featured the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area.  Jasper!  How about that!]

With the failure of the joint American-French attack, the siege failed, and the British remained in control of Savannah until July 1782, near the end of the war.

Wiki lets us know that counties named after Jasper are in:  GA, IL, IN, IA, MS, SC, TX and MO.  Cities/towns named after Jasper are in:  TX, AL, AR, FL, GA MN, MO, TN, IN and NY.

Wiki also had this to say in their William Jasper entry:

Sgt. Jasper’s story is similar to that of Sgt. John Newton. Several states have adjacent counties named Jasper and Newton, as these two American Revolutionary soldiers were remembered as a pair, due to the popularity of Parson Weems’ treatises on early American history.

Several other states have a Jasper County with a county seat of Newton, or vice versa.

The above statement motivated me to take a broader look at the vicinity of my landing.  Well, check this out:

ge1

The circled “Jasper” and “Newton” are county names.

Son of a gun if we don’t have the city of Jasper in Jasper County right next to the city of Newton in Newton County.

So what about this guy Newton (and who is Parson Weems?).  From the Wiki article on John Newton:

Sgt. John Newton (1755–1780) was a soldier of the American Revolutionary War who was popularized by Parson Weems in his early 19th century school books.

Newton served under Brigadier General Francis Marion, the famous “Swamp Fox”. Today Newton appears to have been a very minor figure. However, place names across the United States demonstrate his former fame.

Parson Weems has Sgt. Newton bravely save a group of American prisoners from execution by capturing their British guards at the 1779 Siege of Savannah. However, no contemporary account of this rescue exist, and the only source is the very unreliable Weems.

In fact, according to Lieutenant Colonel Peter Horry, who took part in the campaign, “Newton was a Thief & a Villain.”

Sgt. Newton’s tale is similar to the true story of Sergeant William Jasper, who was a genuine hero but was exaggerated by Weems.

OK, so I have to check out this Weems character.  From Wiki:

Mason Locke Weems (1759 – 1825), usually referred to as Parson Weems, was an American book agent and author who wrote the first biography of George Washington immediately after his death.

He was the source of some of the historically-doubtful stories about Washington. The tale of the cherry tree (“I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet”) is an example of a likely fiction.

The New York Times has described Weems as one of the “early hagiographers” of American literature “who elevated the Swamp Fox, Francis Marion, into the American pantheon and helped secure a place there for George Washington”.

[Hagiography = biography that idealizes its subject.  Continuing from Wiki about the cherry tree incident:]

Among the exaggerated or invented anecdotes is that of the cherry tree, attributed by Weems to “… an aged lady, who was a distant relative, and, when a girl, spent much of her time in the family …” who referred to young George as “cousin”.

Quoting Weems [with some edits for brevity and clarity by yours truly]:

The following anecdote is a case in point. It is too valuable to be lost, and too true to be doubted; for it was communicated to me by the same excellent lady to whom I am indebted for the last.

“When George,” said she, “was about six years old, he was made the wealthy master of a hatchet! Of which, like most little boys, he was immoderately fond, and was constantly going about chopping everything that came in his way.

One day, in the garden, where he often amused himself hacking his mother’s pea-sticks, he unluckily tried the edge of his hatchet on the body of a beautiful young English cherry-tree, which he barked so terribly, that I don’t believe the tree ever got the better of it.

The next morning George’s father, finding out what had befallen his tree, which, by the by, was a great favourite, came into the house to investigate the damage.

Nobody could tell him anything about it. Presently George and his hatchet made their appearance. “George,” said his father, “do you know who killed that beautiful little cherry tree yonder in the garden? ”

george-washington-cherry-treeThis was a tough question; and George staggered under it for a moment; but quickly recovered himself: and looking at his father, with the sweet face of youth brightened with the inexpressible charm of all-conquering truth, he bravely cried out, “I can’t tell a lie, Pa; you know I can’t tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet.”

“Run to my arms, you dearest boy,” cried his father, “run to my arms; glad am I, George, that you killed my tree; for you have paid me for it a thousand fold. Such an act of heroism in my son is more worth than a thousand trees, though blossomed with silver, and their fruits of purest gold.”

It went on to be reprinted in the popular McGuffey Reader used by schoolchildren, making it part of the culture, causing Washington’s February 22 birthday to be celebrated with cherry dishes, with the cherry often claimed to be a favorite of his.

In 1896 Woodrow Wilson’s biography George Washington was published, calling it a fabrication, after which almost all historians of the period followed suit.  The story was never denied by Washington’s relatives, notably Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis (1779-1852), whom Washington raised as his own daughter, and who spent her life preserving his memory and debunking false stories.

In spite of the speculation offered by some historians the story remains plausible and has not been proven or disproven.

Ça suffit.  (Regular readers know this means “that’s enough” or literally “that suffices” in French).

It’s time for some GE Panoramio photos of Hog Creek Falls (by Jonathan Gerland), taken about 8 miles NW of my landing.

pano-jonathon-gerland-hog-creek-falls-west-8-nw

pano-jonathon-gerland-hog-creek-falls-east-8-nw

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

 

 

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Key West, Florida

Posted by graywacke on March 9, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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 2330; A Landing A Day blog post number 761.

boxDan:  Today’s lat/long 24o 34.958’N, 81o 48.695’W) puts me what looks like is out in the ocean:

landing-1

Of course, based on the title of this post, well all know we’re not out in the middle of the ocean.  We obviously need a closer look:

landing-2a

And yet a closer look:

landing-2

As all regular readers know, it is routine for me to “throw away” landings that are in water (or in Mexico and Canada).  This happens all of the time, because the program that I use for coming up with random lat/longs has me define a large rectangle that is bounded:

  • on the north by the latitude that defines the Canadian Border (49o)
  • on the south by the latitude that marks the southern edge of (you guessed it), Key West (24.5o)
  • on the west by the longitude that just touches the western-most point of the state of Washington (124.5o)
  • and on the east by the longitude that just touches the eastern-most point in the State of Maine (67o)

Geez.  After I wrote the above words (all 67 of them), I came up with this picture.  As they say, a picture is worth 67 words:

landing-1a

Reminder:  Lines of longitude are not parallel; they get closer together the further north one is.

Because I keep track of all things landing, I can tell you that out of 2330 landings, I have missed the “lower 48” 1657 times, as follows:

  • Atlantic Ocean – 566
  • Pacific Ocean – 295
  • Mexico – 258
  • Canada – 224
  • Gulf of Mexico – 206
  • Misc – 118 (includes the Gulf of California, Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay)

So, by the book, I should throw out today’s landing.  But it’s the exception that makes the rule, and today’s landing (along with one in Barnegat Bay NJ that I decided to keep) will be that rarest of all rare landings:  in tidal salt water.

For the record, here’s the NJ landing I mentioned (landing 503, well before I began blogging):

ge-landing-503a

And zooming back:

ge-landing-503b

We’re looking at Long Beach Island, well known to the Jersey Shore crowd.  My wife Jody’s parents owned a placed in Harvey Cedars, so I am well familiar with the scene.

I think it’s time to head back to Key West, via my Google Earth (GE) Yellow Push Pin spaceflight.  Click HERE.

When I switched on the GE photos around my landing, I noted several 360s – these are photos taken with a special camera that allow you to zoom in and take a look around.  Well, I noted one fairly close to my landing (exactly 1.50 miles away, as you can see):

ge-3

Here’s a screen shot video showing what happens when you click on the 360. You’ll see that I was scanning left to right across Tank Island and then Wisteria Island.  When you see the yellow circle (my cursor) going up and down, I’m showing you my approximate landing location.  Click HERE.

Zooming way back, here’s a GE shot of the entire Keys:

ge-1

You can see, physiographically speaking, that I landed in the Keys (i.e., there’s a large area of shallow water surrounding the Keys proper that are part of the same geologic structure). 

Here’s a shot of Key West:

ge-2

And, zooming much further in, here’s a shot of the immediate (watery) vicinity of my landing:

ge-4

Maybe it’s deceptive, but it sure looks extra shallow just west of my landing.  Notice the boats apparently anchored to the south in deeper water.  Probably fisherman, eh?  I think the white trails to the east are jet skis.

I had to find a nautical chart so I could determine water depth.  Well, here ‘tis, showing my landing location:

naut-chart

As you can see, the apparently shallow area shown on GE is actually shallow, shown on the chart as  typically 1 foot deep at mean low tide.  I just checked a tide chart, and it doesn’t look like the tide goes low enough to turn the shallows into an island.  Although, the chart does show that green area NW of my landing, labeled “uncovers 2 feet,” which I assume means it’s actually a low tide island.

And the chart gives me a basis for my “watershed” analysis.  A drop of rain that falls on my landing immediately becomes one with “Man of War Harbor.”

One other thing.  Notice a couple of symbols near my landing?  Here’s what they are:

chart-symbols

That shallow water can be tough on boats (especially during a storm).

I found a cool map, courtesy of TopoZone.com:

topo-zone-map

So I landed right on the edge of Pearl Bank.

I Googled Pearl Bank, and found this (which obviously has absolutetly nothing with Key West).  In a what-the-heck moment, I decided to run with it:

pearl-bank

So, this is a photograph that can be yours for a mere $2,800.  But before you’d spend that kind of money, you probably want to know something about the artist/photographer:

darren-soh

Just to finish up, the photo is of the Pearl Bank Apartment building in Singapore, so named because the building is in the Pearl’s Hill section of the city.  Here’s a picture, from ArchiTravel.com:

th

Let me get back on the main road after that little Singaporian detour.  So, what about Key West?  Well, since I didn’t land on Key West proper, I’ve decided not to feature the island per se (at least not much).  As I’m sure my readers know, it’s quite the tourist destination, with a reputation for life a little on the uhh . . .loose side.

A very quick look at Key West:

  • It’s about 160 miles by car from Miami
  • First European to visit was Ponce de Leon in 1521
  • Name comes from the Spanish Cayo Hueso
  • The island was more-or-less under Spanish control until 1822, when it was formally claimed by the U.S.
  • By 1889, Key West was the largest and wealthiest city in all of Florida
  • It was first connected to the mainland by rail in 1912. The railroad was destroyed by a 1935 hurricane.
  • A highway replaced the rail, and was completed in 1938.

And this, from Wiki, about “Conchs:”

Many of the residents of Key West were immigrants from the Bahamas, known as Conchs (pronounced “conks”‘), who arrived in increasing numbers after 1830.

In the 20th century many residents of Key West started referring to themselves as Conchs, and the term is now generally applied to all residents of Key West. Some residents use the term “Conch” (or, alternatively, “Saltwater Conch”) to refer to a person born in Key West, while the term “Freshwater Conch” refers to a resident not born in Key West but who has lived in Key West for seven years or more.

[I suspect that new arrivals throw a “Conch Party” to mark their new status after seven years in Key West.]

In 1982 the city of Key West briefly declared its “independence” as the Conch Republic in a protest over a United States Border Patrol blockade. This blockade was set up on U.S. 1, where it meets the mainland at Florida City.

The blockade was in response to the steady stream of Cubans who made it to Key West to escape to the U.S.  A traffic jam of 17 miles ensued while the Border Patrol stopped every car leaving the Keys, supposedly searching for illegal immigrants attempting to enter the mainland United States.

This paralyzed the Florida Keys, which rely heavily on the tourism industry. Because of the protests, the blockade was lifted.

Flags, T-shirts and other merchandise representing the Conch Republic are still popular souvenirs for visitors to Key West, and the Conch Republic Independence Celebration—including parades and parties—is celebrated every April 23.

People (alive and dead) associated with Key West include:  John Jay Audubon, Jimmy Buffett (of course), Ernest Hemingway, Calvin Klein, Harry Truman and Tennessee Williams.

It’s time to move on to some overall Florida Keys geology. I found an article posted on WordPress blog called EverybodyLovesRocks (posted by eheesche).  Some excerpts:

The Florida Keys are a chain of limestone islands that extend from the southern tip of the Florida mainland southwest to the Dry Tortugas, a distance of approximately 220 miles. They are island remnants of ancient coral reefs (Upper Keys) and sand bars (Lower Keys) that flourished during a period of higher sea levels approximately 125,000 years ago (an “interglacial” period, when there was much less glacial ice than today, and sea levels were significantly higher).

During the last ice age (beginning 100,000 years ago) sea level dropped, exposing the ancient coral reefs and sand bars which became fossilized over time to form the rock that makes up the island chain today. The two dominate rock formations in the Keys are Key Largo Limestone (ancient coral reefs) and Miami Oolite (ancient sand bars turned to rock).

During this time of lower sea levels, the Florida land mass was much larger than it is today and the area now referred to as Florida Bay was forested.

Here’s a map showing the Keys and the erstwhile-forested Florida Bay:

florida-keys-visitor-map-httplocalism-comimage_store

Time for some GE Pano shots. As you might expect, there are literally thousands of shots posted for Key West.  So, since I landed in the water, I stayed with water shots near my landing, northwest of the island.  I’ll start with a snorkeling shot by Syzygy2992:

pano-syzygy2992

As you might also expect, there are a plethora of sunset shots.  I like sailboats, so you’ll notice a theme here.  First this one, by Blue Cap:

pano-blue-cap

And this, by Demi Pita

pano-demi-pita

I’ll close with this wildly-different shot by TBourne125:

pano-tbourne125

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

 

 

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Belpre, Macksville and Zook, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on March 4, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides 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 or towns 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 2329; A Landing A Day blog post number 760.

poiuDan:  Today’s lat/long 37o 59.812’N, 99o 1.859’W) puts me in Cen-SW Kansas:

landing-1

In case you’re confused, “Cen-SW” means that I landed in the southwest portion of central Kansas.  Here’s my Zookless local map:

landing-2

My streams-only map is rather simple.  It shows that I landed in the Rattlesnake Creek watershed creek, on to the Arkansas River (126th hit):

landing-3

Not shown (but trust me on this), the Arkansas makes its way across Arkansas and discharges into the MM (909th hit).

So.  It’s time to hang on to Mr. Yellow Push-pin, and allow him to safely land us in Kansas.  Click HERE, and hang on as directed.

This GE shot is not Zookless:

ge-zook-1

There’s no worthwhile GE Street View shot of my landing, so I won’t bother.  Just for the heck of it, here’s a random Street View look at the landscape, about 4 miles west of my landing, showing the edge of one of the circular-irrigated fields:

ge-sv-1-about-4-miles-west

Of course, I need to take a look at Rattlesnake Creek:

ge-sv-rattlesnake-map

And here what the Orange Dude sees:

ge-sv-rattlesnake

So, we have three towns to look at.  Let’s start with Belpre (pop 84).  Wiki says:

Belpre is derived from the French for “beautiful meadow.”

No argument from ALAD. 

So, let’s take a actual look at Belpre, thanks to Van L. Johnson and his drone:

 

Here are a couple back-in-the-day shots of Belpre, from Witchita State University Libraries:

 

kw_belpre_edwards_ks2

kw_belpre_edwards_ks1

I’m amazed at how lively these towns were. 

And today?  Here’s a GE Street View of downtown Belpre:

ge-sv-belpre-1

And a residential part of town:

ge-sv-belpre-2

Macksville (pop 549) is about 7 times the size of Belpre.  It was named after George Mack, the first postmaster.

Hmmm.  Generally, it’s the postmaster who takes the first crack at naming a town.  Maybe he didn’t want to name it after himself, but the townspeople convinced him otherwise.  Maybe he was sneaky and did it behind everyone’s back.  Maybe he was a pushy and intimidating egomaniac . . .

Also from the Witchita State University Library collection, here’s a back-in-the-day shot of Macksville:

kw_macksville_stafford_ks1

And another, from the Stafford County photo archive:

gallery-11

And from USGenWeb archives, the Crescent Hotel:

crehot

Coming back to the present, here’s a Street View shot of Main Street, showing viability in Macksville:

ge-sv-macksville

I’ll now move to my far-and-away favorite of the three towns, Zook.  According to KansasGhostTownTravels, the town was named after landowner Jake Zook.  There ain’t much there:

ge-zook

But there used to be a Zook High School!  Here’s all that remains (from vanishing-kansas.blogspot by Sean Fyodorovich):

dsc_0254

And here’s a shot of the way the school used to look:

s-l1600aI think they tore down the school, and made a park (thus the landscaped entryway shown on the recent picture, vs. the concrete walkway above).  I wonder why only one of the two brick pillars survived?

And they had a basketball team, as evidenced by this 1941 picture from gregssandbox.com (by Glenn McMurry in an article about Zook High School):

05-011

Not obvious who played center!

And they had a woman’s team as well (1936 photo)!

s-l1600

And a marching band!

05-005

And a school bus!

EPSON MFP image

Here’s a shot of what farming used to be like, from just outside of Zook:

EPSON MFP image

One of my more laid-back posts, eh?  That’s what happens when I can’t find any hooks.

Anyway, it’s time for the GE Panoramio photos in the vicinity of my landing.  First this, by Christopher O’Neal, 6 miles west of my landing:

pano-christopher-oneal-6-miles-west

And this by JB the Milker (a previous contributor to this blog), from 8 miles SW:

pano-jb-the-milker

And I’ll close with this by Russel Karlowsky, from 10 miles W:

pano-russell-karlowsky

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

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