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Archive for July, 2017

Pie Town, New Mexico (Revisited)

Posted by graywacke on July 25, 2017

Landing number 2358 (revisited); A Landing A Day blog post number 790.

Dan:  My previous landing (Quemado, Pie Town & Datil, New Mexico) requires a significant update!

In that post, I mentioned that I ordered a tee shirt from the Pieoneer (on Pieoneer.com):

I love the shirt!  It’s a little more purple than blue (the website calls it lavender) and it feels great.  (In fact, I have it on as I’m typing this post.)  But the big story on Action News is the personal note that I received:

Pie Lady of Pie Town is an award-winning short documentary film about one Kathy Knapp, the proprietor and baker from the Pieoneer.  And she signed my note!

Of course, I went to pieladyofpietown.com to check out the film.  Here’s a graphic showing just some of the awards the film has won:

Here’s their brief write-up on the film:

Kathy Knapp, once a happy, comfortable Dallas wife and business partner, ended up baking pies in a town with no traffic light, no gas station and sketchy utilities.

The Pie Lady of Pie Town is a 29 minute documentary, directed by Jane Rosemont about how Kathy’s new life has brought boundless rewards as well as deep hearthache.

It is an uplifting story of passion and perseverance. The characters in this town, straight out of the Old West, are a backdrop for her personal story.

The trailer is great!  It gives you a great feel for Pie Town (and even briefly features the Very Large Array).  Here’s the opening shot:

Certainly ties in with my new tee shirt!

You absolutely must check out the trailer.  Click HERE.

And yes, you can order the DVD.  Signing off from Pie Town –

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

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Quemado, Pie Town and Datil, New Mexico

Posted by graywacke on July 24, 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 2358; A Landing A Day blog post number 789.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (34o 6.321’N, 108o 20.465’W) puts me in W-Cen New Mexico:

And my local landing map:

Traditionally, at this point in the post, I present a StreetAtlas streams-only map.  Well, as we New Jerseyans say:  fuggettaboutit.

As regulars know, I turn to Google Earth (GE) when I need to manually track what happens to rainfall that falls on my landing.  But first, there’s one thing I won’t fuggetabout and that’s the ceremonial placement of my GE yellow push-pin.  In GE’s inimitable style, the yellow pushpin will descend from the heavens.  To ride along on this descent, click HERE.

Getting back to my watershed analysis.  I ended up placing a series of “temp” yellow push-pins along my drainage pathway until I could figure out a named stream. 

Here’s the GE shot:

About halfway between my landing and the Grand Canyon, I was able to figure out that I was in the watershed of the Little Colorado River (20th hit). 

Wiki had a good Little Colorado River watershed map (showing the watershed extending SE into New Mexico):

I noticed the Zuni River, and with a little more cross-checking, was able to figure out that I, in fact, landed in the Zuni River watershed (2nd hit). 

Before I forget – of course the Little Colorado discharges to the Big Colorado, right there in the Grand Canyon (179th hit).

No surprise, I don’t have much in the way of GE Street View coverage.  But I’ll scare two birds with one stone (I’m a lousy thrower and could never kill two birds with one stone), putting the Orange Dude where my drainage makes its way under U.S. Route 60:

Just so you have some confidence in my analysis, here’s the large culvert under Route 60 that carries my drainage under the road:

And here’s what the OD sees, looking south (upstream) towards my landing:

Oh my!  Flash flood alert!  Flash flood alert!  I wonder if some runoff made it’s way under Route 60 (maybe washing that little barn away) . . .

So anyway, going back to my local landing map, you can see my three titular towns.  I think I’ll work my way west to east along Route 60.  So, I’ll start with Quemado.

Let me start with a GE overview:

In spite of its small population (230), it has some substance – a sewage treatment plant (I think) and a high school.  But surprisingly, Wiki has essentially nothing to say about Quemado, to the point that I probably shouldn’t have made it titular.  Oh, well. 

But anyway, I was perusing GE Panoramio shots, and noticed this by Jean Bourret:

What caught my eye are the four signs up near the roof that proclaim “BACK IN TIME ELAINE!” 

I have no idea what that means!  The other signs are pretty funny.  “Now Open”?? It would look more open if the owners would trim the weeds out front.   “Signs”??  Based on the signs on the building, is this where I’d go to get my sign made?

Anyway, I took to Street View to get another look at this building.  And here’s what the OD could see:

Wait a minute!  This is really different.  Which one is newer?  Well, it turns out that the GE SV shot is dated 8/2008, and the GE Pano shot was uploaded 10/2012.  So, the whole Elaine thing is more recent. . .

On the east side of town is a Catholic church, the Sacred Heart Church.  I usually don’t post church pictures, but this looks very cool, more like a historic ruin.  Here’s a GE Pano shot, also by Monsieur Bourret:

The church looks ancient (and may be), but it’s actually an active congregation!  I couldn’t find any history on the building . . .

So, it’s time to move to Pie Town (pop 128).  One might think that Pie Town was named after early settler John Pie, right?  Let’s see what Wiki has to say:

Its name comes from an early bakery that specialized in dried-apple pies; it was established by Clyde Norman in the early 1920s.

All right!  It really was named after pies!  So – you’ll never guess what Pie Town is famous for today.  Oh, so you can guess?  And – you’re right.  I’ll let some pictures do the talking.  I found an article in SeriousEats.com, with pictures by Jesse Oleson Moore:

 

And this, from Pieoneer.com (available for sale!):

[News Flash.  After writing this post, but before I published it, I went to the Pieoneer.com website and ordered the above shirt.]

And then, I found this, from NPR (12/6/12 by Claire O’Neal), which has nothing to do with pies:

The Depression is something we usually see in black and white. But there do exist some remarkable color photos from the era, taken by photographers who were hired to document the country in the 1930s and ’40s.

Russell Lee was one of more than a dozen itinerant photographers working for the Farm Security Administration, a New Deal project to redress rural poverty. He was driving across a remote part of New Mexico with his wife and stopped randomly in Pie Town to get something to eat. Who wouldn’t?

The scenes of rural New Mexico life caught his eye, and the rest became history.

Anyway, there are dozens of 1940 Pie Town Russell Lee photos on the web.  Here are a few of my favorites, beginning with a picture of a homesteader with pinto beans:

Shooting hawks that were stealing chickens:

Arriving at the town barbecue:

Men eating at the barbecue:

Getting a car unstuck:

Saying grace at the barbecue:

Homesteader’s cabin:

Moving on to Datil.  Wiki:

Datil is named after the nearby Datil Mountains. The name of the mountains came in turn from the Spanish word dátil, meaning “date”; the name most likely resulted from the fruit-like appearance of the seedpods of local yucca species.

The Very Large Array (VRA) is just 15 miles east of Datil.

VRA, eh?  Here’s a write-up from Atlas Obscura:

Western New Mexico is high, dry land, with scrub brush in the brown dirt and hills in the distance. There are no trees and few towns… and then there is the Very Large Array, 27 huge, white radio antennae arranged in a massive Y off US Route 60. Each dish is 230 tons and 82 feet in diameter, and by electronically combining all the data from the 27 dishes, astronomers can simulate the sensitivity of a dish with a diameter of 422 feet: bigger than any single dish in the world. Since its construction in the late 1970s, research has been conducted here on supernovae, black holes, dark energy and SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life.

Here’s a NASA shot of the array:

And a closer-in GE Pano shot by Richard Ryer:

Speaking of GE Pano, it’s that time again, where I look for spectacular (but often have to settle for less-than-spectacular) GE Pano Shots.  I’ll start with this one from the less-than-spectacular camp, selected because it’s the closest to my landing (less than three miles north).  Evidently, this property is for sale, as the Pano shot is by NM West Properties:

Here’s a shot of “The Biscuit,” about 15 miles west of my landing by Lon Brehmer:

And I’ll close with a shot of The Frozen Biscuit by TammD:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

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Lind, Washington

Posted by graywacke on July 19, 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 2357; A Landing A Day blog post number 788.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (46o 59.291’N, 118o 28.967’W) puts me in SE Washington:

You can see I landed just outside of Lind:

I’m going to be using Google Earth (GE) to assist in my watershed analysis, so I’ll jump right on my yellow pushpin and cruise right on in to the greater Lind area.  Click HERE.

You may have surmised (correctly) that my streams-only Street Atlas map was lacking necessary detail for me to have a clue about my watershed analysis.  So, here’s what I figured out, thanks to GE:

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of an unnamed tributary, that extends more than 20 miles west from my landing before running into the East Low Canal.  Now I can switch over to my usual streams-only Street Atlas map:

So, the East Low Canal discharges to the Potholes East Canal; on to the Ringold Wasteway; on to the mighty Columbia (170th hit).

It turns out that a little over a year ago (May 2016), I landed about 35 miles WSW of today’s landing, in the watershed of the Potholes East Canal.  The “potholes” part of the name is associated with scablands created by the monstrous Missoula Lake floods.  As all my regular readers know (all three or four of you), I’ve featured these glacial-era floods numerous times in this blog.  Want to learn about the floods and the scablands?  Type “Othello” into the search box.

In my May 2016 post, I had this to say about the Ringold Wasteway:

I could find nothing about why the Ringold Wasteway is called the Ringold Wasteway, or, in fact why it’s called a wasteway at all . . .

Heading back to GE:  Here’s a spot where I can look at the “unnamed tributary” and my landing as well:

I had the Orange Dude look upstream towards my landing:

And here, looking downstream:

BTW – that’s not an orange cowboy hat in the foreground.  It’s a weird play of light . . .

And then, I sent the OD downstream quite a few miles to get another look at the unnamed trib:

And here’s what he sees:

Still not much of a stream. . .

So.  In somewhat of a rarity for ALAD, I’ve featured one and only one teeny little town. But Lind, bless its little heart, has two hooks.  We’ll need a little history to zero in on the first hook.  From Wiki:

The area was first settled in 1888 on a relatively barren area along the Northern Pacific Railway’s main line by the Neilson Brothers, James and Dugal. The town was named Lind by the railroad although the exact origin of that name has been lost.

In the autumn of 1888 the Neilson Brothers built the first Lind residence and two years later they built and stocked a store and opened a post office. James Neilson became the first postmaster. The first school opened in 1889 with six students in attendance. The Neilson Brothers platted the town site in June 1890 which consisted of only four square blocks.

So the Neilson brothers platted the town. Let’s take a look at the Street Atlas map of the town:

Perhaps frustrated by their apparent inability to get the town named Neilsonville, see what they did?  That’s North N Street, then North E Street.  Let me summarize:  N . . . E . . . I . . . L . . . S . . . oops!  They ran out of streets!  They’re missing O Street and N Street.  What a bummer.  Come on!  Let’s pretend the brothers Neilson managed to plat (and construct) a couple of extra streets.

Now, just imagine the Fourth of July celebration in 1910.  The Neilson brothers are up on the bandstand.  And then, when there’s a pause in the action, someone (likely a plant) shouts out:

Do you want to do the street cheer?
Crowd:  Yeah!
Give me an “N!”
And the crowd enthusiastically replies: “N!”
Give me an “E” – “E!”
Give me an “I” – “I!”
Give me an “L” – “L!”
Give me an “S” – “S!”
Give me an “O” – “O!”
Give me an “N” – “N!”
What’s that spell?  Neilson!  Louder:  Neilson!

The brothers grab hands, raise them up over their heads, and with huge smiles on their faces, acknowledge the crowd’s adoration . . .

JFTHOI, I checked GE.  And get this:

Accoding to GE, there’s an O Street!  But alas and alack, no N.

That was hook 1. What about hook 2?

We’ll now zoom ahead from July 4, 1910 to May 18, 1980.  Check out this picture taken in Lind about noon on that date, posted on the Lind town website:

Wow.  Wild clouds, eh?  And here’s a series of pictures also taken around noon in Lind:

And then here’s the town one hour later:

OK.  So here’s a series of screen shots from the website:

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

And here’s some verbiage from the website:

It was in the morning of May 18, 1980, when a volcanic eruption in the south western part of the state would release an immense landslide of superheated gas and rock, with a fifteen-mile high plume of ash.

Did we even know about it, or were we concerned after we did hear about it, and did we even think that it could affect our town? No!

Although some said later that they heard the blast, most of us were not even aware of the impact the explosion would have on Lind and we just surmised that life would go on as usual. Not so!

I was standing in my neighbor’s yard and we briefly talked about the billowing clouds that appeared to be coming our way. They sure didn’t resemble the dust clouds or rain clouds that we were used to, but in all reality, they caused us no real concern.

I do remember, however, that we half-way joked that just maybe the end was near.

It was 1:00 P.M. and as the city’s street lights were coming on, we were beginning to show concern. The ash was falling all around us, covering everything in gray. Most of us gathered our family and went home to listen for news and explanation. We turned on the TV and radio, listened, wondered, worried. What is happening? Is the ash dangerous? When will it stop falling? And most asked question, “Will it still be dark in the morning?”

Here’s a shot of downtown Lind the next day:

The post goes on, describing the ash that covered the town and all of the difficulties trying to dig out / clean up.  Click HERE to check out the whole post.

Staying with the excellent Lind website, here are some back-in-the-day pictures.  I’ll start with this 1902 Lind overview:

And this 1906 shot of a farmer bring his wheat into town:

Here’s Lind’s first football team (1911):

Wow.  Just 12 guys.  Let me see – 11 on the field & 1 on the bench!  And that’s both offense & defense!

Here’s the last stage coach in Lind (1925):

I’ll close this post with a GE Panoramio shot by Valkyrie Rider,  Her shot overlooks Lind from the west:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

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Big Cabin, Vinita, Spavinaw and Disney, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on July 14, 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 2356; A Landing A Day blog post number 787.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (36o 30.532’N, 95o 13.704’W) puts me in NE Oklahoma:

My very-local landing map shows my immediate proximity to Big Cabin:

My somewhat-less-local landing map shows the usual VP* of mid-continent small towns:

*veritable plethora

I know my readers are chomping at the bit to find out in which watershed I landed. 

Well, here you go:

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of Rock Creek, on to the Neosho River (6th hit).  Zooming back a little:

The Rock Creek is connected to the – Neosho and the Neosho is connected to the – Arkansas (127th hit) – and the Arkansas is connected to the – Mississippi (916th hit) – and the Mississippi is connected to the Big Gulf (1258th hit) – and the Big Gulf is connected to —  all the waters of the world!

I wonder what percentage of my readers get the connection to “Dem Dry Bones?”

Anyway, it’s time for the Google Earth (GE) yellow push-pin to take its rightful place in NE Oklahoma.  Click HERE and it will be done.

GE Street View coverage of my landing is OK here in OK:

And here’s what the OD sees:

Sorry about that pesky train! 

I had the OD move a few miles SE to get a look at the Rock Creek, just before it enters the dammed-up Neosho:

Here’s the creek, much enlarged due to that dammed Neosho:

So I think this is going to be one of those little-bit-of-this, little-bit-of-that kind of posts.  I’ll start with this, from Wiki about Big Cabin:

In 2004 Big Cabin raised nearly three-fourths of its revenue from traffic citations for speeding. The state of Oklahoma enacted a law in 2004 that penalizes towns where the citation revenue exceeds 50% of the annual budget.

As a result, the town’s police force was prohibited from writing traffic tickets for six months.

Take that, Big Cabin and your obnoxious speed traps!  And BTW, yes, Big Cabin was named after a historic (but long gone) big cabin . . .

And then I saw that one Ralph Terry was born in Big Cabin.  He was a baseball player best known for pitching for the Yankees and giving up the 1962 bottom-of-the-ninth, World Series-winning homerun by Bill Mazerowski of the Pirates.

Sharing the “Notable People” billing with Ralph Terry is Grady Louis McMurtry.  Of course, I Googled him, and it got real thick real quick.  Check out Wiki’s intro:

Grady Louis McMurtry (1918 – 1985) was a student of author and occultist Aleister Crowley and an adherent of Thelema. He is best known for reviving the secret fraternal organization, Ordo Templi Orientis, which he headed from 1971 until his death in 1985.

So, I Googled Aleister Crowley, Thelema and Ordo Templi Orientis, and it got thicker and thicker. I started to copy some Wiki materials, but then realized that I was bored.  So as the editor-in-chief of ALAD, I made an executive decision to scrap this feature.  Here’s my two-sentence summary:

McMurtry and Crowley were very active in a mostly-19th century Freemason-ish secret quasi-religious movement. They took it very seriously, and dedicated their careers to promoting it.  Curious?  Hey, you’ve got a computer and know how to use Google.

 

Moving on to Vinita.  From Wiki:

Vinita was established in 1871 by Elias Boudinot (a Confederate General and politician). It was the first city in the state with electricity.

The city was first named “Downingville”, and was a primarily Native American community. It was later renamed “Vinita” after Boudinot’s friend, sculptor Vinnie Ream.

Vinnie Ream?  From Wiki

Lavinia Ellen “Vinnie” Ream (1847 – 1914) was an American sculptor. Her most famous work is the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the U.S. Capitol rotunda

Here’s a portrait of her with her work:

Peculiar, isn’t it, that a Confederate general ended up good friends with the creator of a Lincoln bust?

But the big story on Action News is that Vinita is the home of the world’s largest McDonald’s!

GE Panoramio shot by Robert E. Burke:

It wasn’t originally built as a McDonald’s, but they couldn’t resist the arch!

Spavinaw has one and only one claim to fame, but it’s a doosey.  So Big Cabin has Ralph Terry.  But Spavinaw has . . . Mickey Mantle!

And the two were teammates!  Mickey was a Yankee from 1951 until 1968 while Ralph was a Yankee from 1956 to 1957 and again from 1959 to 1964.

You can bet your bottom dollar that they exchanged stories about growing up in NE Oklahoma!

My final stop on this abbreviated tour (after skipping hookless Ketchum, Adair, Strang and Langley) is Disney.

Disney (named after Wesley Disney, an Oklahoma legislator) is geographically interesting.  It’s an island, created by the Grand Lake of the Cherokees, a reservoir created by the Pensacola Dam across the Neosho River.  Here’s a GE shot:

From Wiki:

When the dam was built in the early 30s, Disney was a different place—hundreds of workers, bosses, engineers, truck drivers, and all the services a large workforce would require were based in and near Disney.

Disney’s growth is limited by the size of the island and the technical difficulties with bringing municipal services across the dams.  Disney has its own water plant, no public sewer system (all septic), and no natural gas service.

Here’s a 1939 shot of Disney back in the dam-building heyday of the town (from TheOtherDisneys.com):

Something special was going on – I’m sure traffic wasn’t like this on a regular basis . . .

Here’s a GE Street View shot of the western-most spillway.  This spillway (along with the others) are bare bedrock!

Speaking of bare bedrock (which surrounds the island to the east, south and west), it provides a challenge for off extreme off-roaders.  Check out this video from RockBouncer.com (by Brian Lohnes), showing Bobby Tanner and his “death-defying” climb:

 

Here’s a GE Pano shot (by Tony E. Walker) of one of the spillways actually functioning as a spillway:

Staying with GE Pano shots, I’ll close with this reflective sunset shot over the lake by John Gibe:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

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Mount Vernon and Citronelle, Alabama

Posted by graywacke on July 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 2355; A Landing A Day blog post number 786.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (31o 4.169’N, 88o 3.825’W) puts me in SE Alabama, just upstream from Mobile Bay (make sure you’re pronouncing it “moe-beel”):

Here’s my local landing map:

My very local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Bull Branch, on to Cedar Creek; on to the Mobile River (21st hit):

Zooming back a little, you can see the Mobile River making its way to Mobile Bay:

Let’s hop on board a yellow push-pin and head on in to the precise (yet random) location of landing 2355.  Click HERE for the trip.

As you can see, I landed in the middle of a big patch of woods, so I won’t bother with a Street View landing shot.  But I can get a view of Bull Branch:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

And then there’s Cedar Creek:

Et voilà:

 

From Wiki, about Mt. Vernon:

Mt. Vernon (pop 1,600), is home to a historic psychiatric hospital, Searcy Hospital.  A land marker used for surveying land known as “Ellicott’s Stone” lies south of the town.

Ellicott’s Stone???  I featured Ellicott’s Mound not long ago – my January 1, 2017 Moniac & St. George, Georgia post.  From that post:

So a surveyor (Andrew Ellicott) built a mound marking the east end of the straight-line border between the US and Spanish Florida.  According to a treaty between the US & Spain, the line was to run from the confluence of the Flint & Chattahoochee Rivers, extending east southeast to a point marking the headwaters of the St. Mary’s River (which is where Mr. Ellicott placed his famous mound).

Here’s a GE shot showing the Mound’s location:

And a map showing the very straight line that Ellicott surveyed (the Mound is at the “Survey End Point:”

Back to now.  It turns out that the boundary between Florida and Georgia wasn’t the only straight line Mr. Ellicott surveyed. 

From Wiki, about Ellicott’s Stone:

Ellicott’s Stone is a boundary marker in northern Mobile County, Alabama. It was placed on April 10, 1799 by a joint U.S.-Spanish survey party headed by Andrew Ellicott and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

The line stretched along the 31st parallel from the Mississippi River in the west to the Chattahoochee River in the east, and served as the boundary line between the Mississippi Territory in the United States and Spanish West Florida.

Here’s a map (note that I connected the MS/LA border to the AL/FL border with a black line):

And a Flickr shot by JimmyWayne:

Back to my earlier post:

Imagine doing this in 1800!  Dense forests everywhere; no roads, no modern surveying instruments (let alone GPS!).  He really knew his astronomy, and used the stars to determine his location.  But I can imagine starting at one end, and then being a few thousand feet too far north when you reached the other!  But no.  He nailed it.

On to the Searcy Hospital (located about 2.5 NE of my landing).  From Alabama Living:

In 1902, mental health officials in Alabama were concerned about the “increasing insanity among the negroes,” according to J.T. Searcy, superintendent of Alabama’s mental health facilities in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The doctor reported that the number of state patients had increased from 33 in 1870 to 71 in 1881, then to 241 in 1890 and 451 in 1900.

Soon, the growing numbers led to overcrowding at the state’s only asylum, the Alabama Hospital for the Insane.  Responding to the overcrowding, Searcy opened the Mount Vernon Insane Hospital, later renamed the Searcy Hospital.

And this little tidbit, from Wiki:

In 1906, 57 patients died due to an outbreak of a disease at the hospital. Initially the disease was a mystery, but it was later identified as one of the first major outbreaks of pellagra in the United States. The cause of pellagra was a mystery at the time, but one of the key observations was that it only struck the patients, not the staff.  The cause of pellagra was discovered to be the result of a vitamin deficiency, caused by the poor diet at the Hospital.

Here’s a picture of one of the buildings from Alabama Living:

And this GE Panoramio shot by Leigh Harrell:

Back to Wiki (and moving on to Citronelle):

On May 4, 1865, one of the last significant Confederate armies was surrendered by Lieutenant General Richard Taylor under the “Surrender Oak” in Citronelle.   This was the third in a series of surrenders that ended the war. Two previous surrenders occurred at Appomattox Court House, Virginia between General Robert E. Lee and General Ulysses S. Grant (the most famous, the one generally recognized as the end of the war); and the second and largest at Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina between General William T. Sherman and General Joseph E. Johnston.

I didn’t realize that there were multiple “surrenders.”  Back to Wiki:

A living history/reenactment of the surrender occurs each year in Citronelle. The historic “Surrender Oak” no longer stands as it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1902.

Here’s the track of the 1902 “Hurricane 4” (from Wiki).  You can see its landfall just east of Mobile Bay:

By the way, they didn’t start naming hurricanes until 1953 . . .

Back to Wiki:

Citronelle sits atop the Citronelle Dome, a salt dome that is still rising, as shown by the centrifugal drainage of streams away from the center.

“Centrifugal drainage??”  Peculiar term, but I assume it means that drainage flows away from the dome; ergo, the dome has formed a hill.  How about a simple topographic map?  I stepped up and made the following:

OK, so why is Wiki talking about the dome?  Here’s some more:

In 1955 oil was discovered in this geologic structure at a greater depth than had previously been considered as feasible, and so the Citronelle Dome was among the first of many “deep” oil fields. The discovery well produced from the Glen Rose Formation at a depth of 10,879 ft.

I remember a post where I featured salt domes (my Newgulf and Boling Texas post from June 2013).  I’ll lift some of that excellent post:

So, what (you may ask) is a salt dome?  Well, I checked out Geology.com to freshen up my stale knowledge.  Since pictures are worth many words, let me start with a north-south geologic cross-section across Texas (from OK to the Gulf):

The purple layer is salt, formed by evaporating inland seas back during the Jurassic Period (thus the “J”).  FYI, the Jurassic was about 150 – 200 million years ago (the age of the dinosaurs).  After the salt was deposited, various thickness of sand, silt and clay were laid down on top of the salt.  Those are the green and orange layers shown on the cross section.

 Note that the salt layer is pretty deep, ranging from 5 km to 10 km  (aka 3 to 6 miles).

 It turns out that the salt layer is much less dense (lighter) than the overlying sands and clays, and that the salt (if given enough time), can flow, albeit very slowly.  Because the salt is less dense, it wants to rise (just like something less dense than water wants to float).

 See those purple spikes sticking up?  Those are salt domes – essentially large fingers of salt that have pushed up through the sand & clay.  Note that the ones near the coast have pushed up six miles!

 So, what does this have to do with oil?  Well, here goes:  Some of the rock layers are petroleum-producing – they were laid down with lots of organic material that under pressure & temperature (and enough time) – presto chango!  Crude!

 So, crude oil seeps out of the source rock, and tends to flow upward through the interconnected  nooks and crannies in the rock (keeping in mind that the rock is water saturated and the crude is lighter than water).

 So, the crude oil is creeping its way up, as long as the interconnected nooks and crannies give it a pathway.  The crude is particularly inclined to move through sandstone, because of all of the pore spaces between the sand grains.  So, maybe the oil is flowing up through a sandstone, and boom, it hits a real tight shale (made of clay).  No more nooks and crannies, no more movement.  The oil tends to accumulate at the top of the sand unit.

 Now it’s time to get back to salt domes.  Here’s another picture from Geology.com.

As the salt dome punches up, it deforms the surrounding rock layers (note how the layers bow upward around the salt).  See the speckled yellow unit?  It’s a sand (or sandstone).  The overlying gray is clay (or shale).  Thanks to the salt dome, the oil gets concentrated (or “trapped”) where the sand is pinched by the salt.

 So, now we’re drilling for oil, and we have smart geologists who know about salt domes and know about oil migration and how traps are formed.  So, they poke around (with a drill rig) until they run into one of the traps in the sand, and bingo, we now have a producing oil well.

Returning to the here and now, I’ll close with this artsy shot of Searcy Hospital (once again, a Pano shot by Leigh Harrell:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

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Indian Springs and Mercury, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on July 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 2354; A Landing A Day blog post number 785.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (36o 35.295’N, 115o 55.021’W) puts me in far S Nevada:

My local landing map shows my two titular towns (and not much else!):

My StreetAtlas map shows me nothing of great significance concerning my watershed, so I’ll head straight to Google Earth (GE).  Hop on board, fasten your seatbelt and head for the Nevada desert.  Make sure you’ve got plenty o’ liquids for hydration, then click HERE.

So here’s a local GE shot showing my entire watershed analysis:

As you can see, runoff from that rare desert storm heads east, and ends up collecting in the general vicinity of the Elevation 3014 yellow push pin.  I added the various elevation pushpins in to show you that the water has no choice as to where it ends up.

How about that!  An obvious major road (U.S. Route 95) is right next to my landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

The “town” of Mercury is nothing more than a government community to house employees of the Nevada Test Site (a huge piece of real estate located north of Route 95).  Its population (and infrastructure) peaked in the 1960s, at the height of our nuclear testing program.  It had 10,000 people.  The last underground nuclear test was in 1993, and according to Wiki, “the town is a shell of its former self,” with an unknown population, but likely somewhere around 500.

Here’s a GE Pano shot of the town (Photo Shop enhanced) by Brent Cooper:

Anyway, Yucca Flat is where the actual nuclear testing went on.  Here’s a GE shot showing both Yucca Flat and the mysterious “Area 51.”

Here’s a closer view of Yucca:

All of the circles are craters, the result of underground nuclear tests.  See the big crater at the far north end?  That’s Storax Sedan; more about that in a minute.

From Wiki:

Yucca Flat is a closed desert drainage basin, the site for 739 nuclear tests – nearly four of every five tests carried out at the Nevada Test Site.

Yucca Flat has been called “the most irradiated, nuclear-blasted spot on the face of the earth”.   In March 2009, TIME identified the 1970 Yucca Flat “Baneberry” Test, where 86 workers were exposed to radiation, as one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters.

[More about Baneberry in a bit.]

“Storax Sedan” [strange that they named the nuclear tests!] was a shallow underground nuclear test conducted at Yucca Flat as part of Operation Plowshare, a program to investigate the use of nuclear weapons for mining, cratering, and other civilian purposes.

The radioactive fallout from the test contaminated more US residents than any other nuclear test. The Sedan Crater is the largest man-made crater in the United States, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Here’s my GE shot of the crater:

Here’s a Wiki shot of the Storax Sedan blast:

And the crater:

Back to Wiki:

The “Baneberry” shot was on December 18, 1970. The Baneberry 10 kiloton test detonated 900 ft below the surface but its energy cracked the soil in unexpected ways, causing a fissure near ground zero and the failure of the shaft and cap.

A plume of fire and dust was released three and a half minutes after ignition, raining fallout on workers in different locations within NTS.

Here’s a Wiki pic of the “leak”:

I found out that there is an annual (only one per year) escorted tourist excursion to visit the Nevada Test Site.  There’s a great (and funny) article entitled “My Atomic Holiday” from The Atlantic (June 2012, article by Graeme Wood).  Click HERE to check it out.  Here’s a picture of the Storax Sedan crater from the article:

Of course, we must check out Area 51.  From Wiki:

The U.S. Air Force base commonly known as Area 51 is a highly classified facility [technically part of Edwards Air Force Base] within the Nevada Test Site.

The base’s current primary purpose is publicly unknown; however, based on historical evidence, it most likely supports the development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems (black projects).  The intense secrecy surrounding the base has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (UFO) folklore.

JFTHOI, I counted the cars parked at Area 51:

There you have it.  211 cars (or there abouts), presumably driven by people that work here. 

The area around Area 51, including the small town of Rachel on the “Extraterrestrial Highway”, is a popular tourist destination.

Here’s a GE shot of Rachel and the Extraterrestrial Highway:

So get this.  I was with my brother-in-law Peter a few weeks ago, and I heard him telling a story about taking a trip to check out Area 51 – I heard something about white SUVs and “camo dudes.”  I’ll admit that I didn’t pay close attention – I mean, after all – he’s just my brother-in-law.  But now that I’ve landed here, I thought I’d give him a call and get the lowdown.

This happened maybe 10 years ago when his wife Amy went to a professional conference in Las Vegas, and Peter decided to take a few days off and go out there with her.  So one day while she was conferencing, Peter decided to take a day trip and explore the Area 51 environs.

He headed north towards Rachel, and turned left on an unmarked dirt road that lead to the northern perimeter of Area 51.  There were no other vehicles on the road; he was driving a rental convertible, enjoying the scenery and solitude.

Here’s a GE Pano shot of “Groom Lake Road” (by foast2foast):

 

Suddenly, two white Chevy Suburbans blew past him.  They didn’t stop or bother him in any way.  According to Peter, the occupants were “camo dudes.”  Eventually (about 13 miles from the main drag), he came up to a plethora of warning signs.  Peter mentioned that one of the signs says “No Photography.”  Funny – there are about a dozen Pano pictures of the signs.  He also mentioned signs that say (of course) that trespassers are subject to arrest and imprisonment and that “deadly force” can be used. 

Here’s one of the signs (Pano by Tim Drivas):

And another from Wiki:

Peter said that he could see a white SUV on a nearby hill and he knew he was being watched. Here’s a Pano shot (by Andre/Tammy324) that’s maybe similar to what Peter saw:

He kept going until he saw a gate.  He snapped a quick picture (current status of the photo unknown).  Here’ a shot of the gate by Montes994:

He turned around, checked out Rachel, then headed back to Las Vegas. 

When we talked, Peter told me to Google “camo dudes,” so I did.  From a NY Daily News article by Laura Bult:

Thrill seekers and paranormal enthusiasts who have attempted to break into Nevada’s infamous Area 51 have almost all certainly been thwarted by armed men dressed in camouflage behind the wheel of a white unmarked pick-up truck.

These armed government contractors, dubbed “Camo Dudes” by Area 51 aficionados because of their military-style workwear, are shrouded in nearly as much secrecy as the 38,400-acre military testing site they protect.

Nearly all the trespassers are curious about the conspiracy theories that surround Area 51, which lies up to 10 miles within the base’s border.

“They’re there for pretty much one reason,” Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee told the Daily News. “This is the middle of nowhere. It’s the middle of the desert. I see very few (trespasses) that are accidents,” he said.

The guards who patrol the site are alerted to intruders by sensors on the dirt roads and are authorized to detain them until sheriff’s deputies arrive. Roughly two to three people break into the area a month and get a $500 citation, Lee says.

Signs at the entrance to the Air Force base give the “Camo Dudes” authorization to use deadly force on trespassers, according to some who have attempted to break into the mysterious base.

“According to signs at the border, use of deadly force is authorized. They can shoot you,” Glenn Campbell, who lived near and researched Area 51 for 10 years in an attempt to spot extraterrestrial activity. He never saw a UFO, but he caught sight of the “Camo Dudes” on the occasions he entered the base, Campbell said.

Here’s a quick YouTube piece entitled “Arrest at Area 51,” posted by akexposures:

Time to move on to Indian Springs.  From Wiki:

In 1906 Indian Springs became a way station and watering place for the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad. The original rail line ran under what is now Highway 95. The LV&T ceased operation in 1918.

Here’s a GE shot of Indian Springs:

As you can see, the town is south of Route 95, and an air base N of 95.  But where are the springs?  I did a little poking around on GE Street View, and found this green section of town (near the word “Indian” on the above shot):

Wow.  Never guess Nevada, eh?  Anyway, less than half a mile away, just outside of town, here’s another Street View shot:

Back to Wiki:

Indian Springs Auxiliary Airfield also known as Indian Springs Field, was rapidly constructed in Nevada by the United States Army Air Forces the month after the Pearl Harbor attack. Indian Springs was immediately entered into service as a training camp for Army Air Force B-25 air-to-air gunnery training.

In 1947 Las Vegas AAF inactivated, and so did Indian Springs.

One year later, Indian Springs was reactivated as Indian Springs Air Force Base by the new United States Air Force.

Note:  B-25s were featured in the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in April 1942, not long after Pearl Harbor.  I featured the raid in my April 2017 Ravenna MT post.  I’m sure that crew members from that raid trained right here. 

Moving along, I found an interesting story on LVStripHistory.com.  In their piece on the history of Indian Springs, they were featuring an early resident, a Mr. Lattimer.  Here’s an excerpt:

. . . in the summer of 1906, George & Belle Lattimer came to Indian Springs.

Mr. Lattimer was bitten on the arm by some poisonous insect, and the arm swelled badly and became very painful. His wife realized that he must have medical care so she made the best bed she could in the wagon, hitched up the team and started on the long ride to Las Vegas late in the afternoon of a fearfully hot day. The Lattimers had a young Indian boy living with them who helped with the ranch work. His name was Coachie Siegmuller and his parents lived at the Moapa Indian Reservation. Coachie was left in charge of things while the Lattimers were gone.

When Belle and her husband reached Vegas they came to me for help and I got the Railroad Physician to look after the suffering man. he sent them to Los Angeles on the evening train as blood poisoning had set in and he was afraid that the man might lose his arm. About a week later the Lattimers returned to Las Vegas, George being on the way of complete recovery.

While they were gone, a day or so after they had left the ranch for medical help, Coachie was sitting on the front steps. He noticed a small cloud of dust in the road to the ranch and kept a close watch on whatever it was. Later he was horrified when he identified the man approaching as ‘Wild Bill,’ a bad Indian of whom Coachie was very much afraid, so he quietly got out of sight as Wild Bill reached the porch, on the north side of the house, and sat down to rest.

From a sitting position Bill finally stretched out on his back and was soon sound asleep. Coachie was afraid to be alone with the visitor and also felt that it was his duty to protect the home of his friends so he slipped into the kitchen and took down the rifle from its nail behind the kitchen door. He crept noiselessly around the house, rested the muzzle of the rifle on the porch rail and shot Wild Bill through the head.

Then he started for his parent’s home at the Reservation where in about 10 days he was arrested for the murder of Wild Bill. He readily admitted the shooting, but seemed to think that it was a good deed and that he should be rewarded instead of punished.

When the Lattimers neared home they smelled Bill long before they reached the house and all that they could do was to shovel him into a gunnysack and bury him in the little burial plot.

A few days after the Lattimers had buried Wild Bill, Emmett Boyle, who was then the State Engineer, drove up to the ranch in the evening on his way from Reno to Vegas. He saw Belle in the lower part of the ranch tossing some good sized hogs back into the pen from which they had escaped. When she seemed to have finished this duty he asked her if he might have some supper and a bed for the night.

She invited him to stay with them for the night so they went up to the house. While she was preparing the meal he noticed she kept gong to the window to sniff the evening air. Finally, Emmett asked what the trouble was and she promptly answered, ‘Them damn dogs has dug up Wild Bill again.’

Post Script:  Coachie spent three years in the Carson City prison and after his release, lived a peaceful life.

Let’s finish off with this GE pano shot (by Hobgot) of the mountains just south of Indian Springs:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

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