A Landing a Day

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Archive for August, 2017

Tuskegee, Alabama

Posted by graywacke on August 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 2363; A Landing A Day blog post number 795.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (32o25.651’N, 85o 32.549’W) puts me in Cen-SE Alabama:

How about that?  Two Alabamas in a row.  This was my 63rd double (not many, considering that this was my 2363rd landing), although only the second for Alabama.

Anyway, here’s my local landing map:

My local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Chewacla Creek; on to the Uphapee Creek (as opposed to the Downsad); on to the Tallapoosa R (as opposed to the Shortapoosa – 6th hit); on to the Alabama R (14th hit):

Zooming back, you can see that the Alabama joins up with the Tombigbee (not labeled) to become the Mobile (23rd hit):

It’s time to call on good ol’ Google Earth (GE), and hop on board the yellow push pin.  Click HERE to do so.

And yes, the road just to the south of my landing has GE Street View coverage:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I moved him just a little east to find Chewacla Creek:

And here ‘tis:

So.  When I saw that I landed near Tuskegee, I immediately thought about Tuskegee University and the Tuskegee Airman.  I knew that Tuskegee was a historic black university and that the Tuskegee Airman were a decorated group of WW II black pilots.  But that’s it. 

From Wiki:

In 1881, the young Booker T. Washington was hired to develop the Tuskegee Normal School for Colored Teachers on the grounds of a former plantation. It was founded to train teachers for the segregated school system. Eventually it expanded in scope and became known as Tuskegee Institute.  It became known for stressing a practical education with work experience by students, to prepare them for the work available in the small towns and rural areas to which most would return.

Washington led the school for decades, building a wide national network of white industrialist donors. At the same time, Washington secretly provided funding to the NAACP for its legal defense of some highly visible civil rights cases, including supporting challenges to southern states’ discriminatory constitutions and practices that disenfranchised African Americans.

Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. They were newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

[Jim Crow?  I certainly have heard of it – including in the news recently –  but I’ll provide a little more background in a bit.]

Booker T. Washington mastered the nuances of the political arena in the late 19th century, which enabled him to manipulate the media, raise money, develop strategy, network, push, reward friends, and distribute funds, while punishing those who opposed his plans for uplifting blacks. His long-term goal was to end the disenfranchisement of the vast majority of African Americans, who then still lived in the South.

After 1909, Washington was criticized by the leaders of the new NAACP, especially W. E. B. Du Bois, who demanded a stronger tone of protest in order to advance the civil rights agenda. Washington replied that confrontation would lead to disaster for the outnumbered blacks in society, and that cooperation with supportive whites was the only way to overcome pervasive racism in the long run.

One of the most famous teachers at Tuskegee was George Washington Carver, whose name is synonymous with innovative research into Southern farming methods and the development of hundreds of commercial products derived from regional crops, including peanuts and sweet potatoes.

During World War II, Tuskegee and Tuskegee Institute were also home to the famed Tuskegee Airmen. This was the first squadron of African-American pilots trained in the U.S. Military.

All black military pilots who trained in the United States trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and were educated at the Tuskegee Institute.

The U.S. Army Air Corps had established the Psychological Research Unit 1 for aviation cadet training, which included the identification, selection, education, and training of pilots, navigators, and bombardiers. Psychologists employed in these research studies and training programs used some of the first standardized tests to quantify IQ, dexterity and leadership qualities to select and train the best-suited personnel for the roles of bombardier, navigator, and pilot.

The Air Corps determined that the existing programs would be used for all units, including all-black units. At Tuskegee, this effort continued with the selection and training of the Tuskegee Airmen.

The budding flight program at Tuskegee received a publicity boost when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt inspected it in March 1941, and flew with African-American chief civilian instructor C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson. Anderson, who had been flying since 1929, and was responsible for training thousands of rookie pilots, took his prestigious passenger on a half-hour flight in a Piper J-3 Cub.  After landing, she cheerfully announced, “Well, you can fly all right.”

I’ll include a couple of videos.  Here’s a WW II-era film narrated by Ronald Reagon, entitled “Wings for this Man.”


And here’s a much more modern short film, narrated by Morgan Freeman, entitled “Red Tails:”


Before I leave Tuskegee, I’m sure there’s a reader or two who wonders where the name “Tuskegee” came from.  Wiki:

The name “Tuskegee” comes from Spanish “Tasquiqui”, which came from the Muskogee word “Taskeke”, a name of a Creek settlement and meaning “warriors.”

Since “Tasquiqui” is simply a Spanish phonetic version of “Taskeke,” it seems like an unnecessary detour.  But “warriors” is a great name for the airmen . . .

So, I mentioned “Jim Crow,” a while back, admitting that I wasn’t exactly sure where the phrase comes from and what it means.  It just so happens that Jim Crow has been in the news, with talking heads saying things like “80% of the Confederate statues were put in place during the Jim Crow era.”

Here’s what Wiki has to say about the Jim Crow era (when Booker T. Washington was the leading black spokesman):

Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. Enacted by white Democratic-dominated state legislatures in the late 19th century after the Reconstruction period, these laws continued to be enforced until 1965. They mandated racial segregation in all public facilities (including schools) in the states of the former Confederate States of America, starting in 1896 with a “separate but equal” status for African Americans in railroad cars.

Facilities for African Americans were consistently inferior and underfunded compared to those which were then available to European Americans; sometimes they did not exist at all. This body of law institutionalized a number of economic, educational, and social disadvantages. “Jim Crow” was a pejorative expression meaning “Negro”.

The phrase “Jim Crow Law” can be found as early as 1892 in the title of a New York Times article about Louisiana requiring segregated railroad cars.  The origin of the phrase “Jim Crow” has often been attributed to a song-and-dance entitled “Jump Jim Crow”, performed by white actor Thomas D. Rice in blackface.  It was first performed in 1832 and was used to satirize Andrew Jackson’s populist policies.

As a result of Rice’s fame, “Jim Crow” by 1838 had become a pejorative expression meaning “Negro”. When southern legislatures passed laws of racial segregation directed against blacks at the end of the 19th century, these statutes became known as Jim Crow laws.

Here’s a Jim Crow poster featuring Thomas D. Rice (from Wiki):

I’ll close with a GE Panoramio shot by Izzies98 of Chewacla Creek about 9 miles NE of my landing (in Chewacla State Park):

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day



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Georgiana, Alabama

Posted by graywacke on August 23, 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 2361; A Landing A Day blog post number 793.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (31o33.989’N, 86o 49.685’W) puts me in S Cen Alabama:

Here’s my local landing map:

My local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Persimmon Creek; on to the Sepulga River (1st hit ever!):

Zooming back, you can see that the Sepulga discharges to the Conecuh (3rd hit).  Mysteriously, the Conecuh more-or-less turns into the Escambia (also 3rd hit):

Zooming back a little more, the Escambia discharges to Escambia Bay, on to the G of M.

It’s time for my every-landing-no-matter-what trip on a GE yellow pushpin, which more-or-less free falls to south-central Alabama. [How many of you out there in the ALAD nation have ever written a single sentence that contains a five-word-hyphenated phrase along with a three-word-hyphenated phrase along with a two-word-hyphenated phrase?]

Anyway, click HERE to check it out.

I have nearby Street View coverage, but I landed in the woods:

I had the Orange Dude find a driveway, so he wasn’t just looking straight at the woods:

I had him head south several miles to get a look at the Sepulga.  Here’s what he sees:

Of course, you’ve noted that I have only one titular town.  And now, you’ll learn the two reasons why.  First, all of the other towns are hookless, and second, Georgiana was the at-least-for-a-while hometown of Hank Williams. 

As all regular readers know, I’m a music-lover, but my music knowledge is not very broad-based (or all that detailed in the areas like classic rock ‘n roll, that I know fairly well.)

I knew that Hank Williams was a legendary pioneer in the world of country music.  But that’s just about all I knew.  So, I’m starting from scratch.  First a Wiki pic:

The above picture shows Hank at age 28, in 1951 (he was born in 1923).  He died only two years later (of course, more about that later).

From Wiki:

Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams released 35 singles (five released posthumously) that reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one (three posthumously).

Born in Mount Olive, Alabama, Williams’family moved to Georgiana, where he met Rufus Payne, who gave him guitar lessons in exchange for meals or money. Payne had a major influence on Williams’ later musical style. During this time, Williams informally changed his name to Hank, believing it to be a better name for country music.

I think I’ll sprinkle some Hank songs here and there in this post.  I’ll start with “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”  (Lyrics below):

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill,
He sounds too blue to fly.
The midnight train is whining low,
I’m so lonesome I could cry.

I’ve never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by.
The moon just went behind the clouds
To hide its face and cry.

Did you ever see a robin weep,
When leaves begin to die
That means he’s lost the will to live,
I’m so lonesome I could cry.

The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky.
And as I wonder where you are
I’m so lonesome I could cry.

Back to Wiki:

He was the third child, born on September 17, 1923.  Since Elonzo Williams was a Mason, and his wife was a member of Order of the Eastern Star the child was named after Hiram I of Tyre (one of the three founders of the Masons, according to Masonic legend), but his name was misspelled as “Hiriam” on his birth certificate.

As a child, he was nicknamed “Harm” by his family.  He was born with spina bifida occulta, a birth defect, centered on the spinal column, which gave him lifelong pain – a factor in his later abuse of alcohol and drugs.

He continued to show up for his radio show intoxicated, so in August 1942 radio station WSFA fired him for “habitual drunkenness.” During one of his concerts Williams met backstage his idol, Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff, who later warned him of the dangers of alcohol, saying, “You’ve got a million-dollar talent, son, but a ten-cent brain.”

Lonesome whistle

I was riding Number Nine,
Heading south from Caroline.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.
Got in trouble, had to roam,
Left my gal an’ left my home.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.
Just a kid, acting smart,
I went and broke my darling’s heart,
I guess I was too young to know.
They took me off the Georgia Main,
Locked me to a ball and chain.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.

All alone I bear the shame,
I’m a number, not a name.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.
All I do is set an’ cry
When the evening train goes by.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.

I’ll be locked here in this cell
Till my body’s just a shell
An’ my hair turns whiter than snow.
I’ll never see that gal of mine.
Lord, I’m in Georgia doing time.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.

Back to Wiki:

Williams signed with MGM Records in 1947 and released “Move It on Over”, which became a massive country hit.

Hank’s career reached a peak in August–September 1951 with a tour of the U.S. with actor Bob Hope and other luminaries.  In November 1951 Hank suffered a fall during a hunting trip with his fiddler Jerry Rivers in Tennessee. The fall reactivated his old back pains. He started to consume painkillers, including morphine, and alcohol to ease the pain.  In May he was admitted to North Louisiana Sanitarium for the treatment of his alcoholism.  In December he had a spinal fusion at the Vanderbilt University Hospital.

Move It On Over

Came in last night at half past ten
That baby of mine wouldn’t let me in
So move it on over (move it on over)
Move it on over (move it on over)
Move over little dog cause the big dog’s moving in

She changed the lock on my front door
My door key don’t work no more
So get it on over (move it on over)
Scoot it on over (move it on over)
Move over skinny dog cause the fat dog’s moving in

The dog house here is mighty small
But it’s better than no house at all
So ease it on over (move it on over)
Drag it on over (move it on over)
Move over old dog cause a new dog’s moving in

She told me not to play around
But I done let the deal go down
So pack it on over (move it on over)
Tote it on over (move it on over)
Move over nice dog cause a mad dog’s moving in

She warned me once, she warned me twice
But I don’t take no one’s advice
So scratch it on over (move it on over)
Shake it on over (move it on over)
Move over short dog cause tall dog’s moving in

She’ll crawl back to me on her knees
I’ll be busy scratching fleas
So slide it on over (move it on over)
Sneak it on over (move it on over)
Move over good dog cause a mad dog’s moving in

Remember pup, before you whine
That side’s yours and this side’s mine
So shove it on over (move it on over)
Sweep it on over (move it on over)
Move over cold dog cause a hot dog’s moving in.

Back to Wiki:

By the end of 1952, Williams had started to suffer heart problems.  He met Horace “Toby” Marshall in Oklahoma City, who said that he was a doctor. Marshall had been previously convicted for forgery and spent time at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Among other fake titles he said that he was a Doctor of Science, a degree he purchased for $25 from the “Chicago School of Applied Science.”  Under the name of Dr. C. W. Lemon he prescribed Williams with amphetamines, Seconal, chloral hydrate, and morphine.

Williams was scheduled to perform at the Municipal Auditorium in Charleston, West Virginia on Wednesday December 31, 1952. That day, because of an ice storm in the Nashville area, Williams could not fly, so he hired a college student, Charles Carr, to drive him from Montgomery to the concert.  Carr called the Charleston auditorium from Knoxville to say that Williams would not arrive on time owing to the ice storm and was told to drive Williams to Canton, Ohio, for the New Year’s Day concert there.

They arrived at the Andrew Johnson Hotel in Knoxville, where Carr requested a doctor for Williams, as he was feeling the combination of the chloral hydrate and alcohol he had drunk on the way from Montgomery. Dr. P.H. Cardwell injected Williams with two shots of vitamin B12 that also contained a quarter-grain of morphine.

Carr and Williams checked out of the hotel; the porters had to carry Williams to the car, as he was coughing so violently.  At around midnight on Thursday January 1, 1953, when they crossed the Tennessee state line and arrived in Bristol, Virginia, Carr stopped at a small all-night restaurant and asked Williams if he wanted to eat. Williams said he did not, and those are believed to be his last words.

Carr later drove on until he stopped for fuel at a gas station in Oak Hill, West Virginia, where he realized that Williams was dead. The filling station’s owner called the chief of the local police.

In Williams’ Cadillac the police found some empty beer cans and unfinished handwritten lyrics.

Lost highway

I’m a rollin’ stone all alone and lost
For a life of sin I have paid the cost
When I pass by all the people say
Just another guy on the lost highway

Just a deck of cards and a jug of wine
And a woman’s lies makes a life like mine
O the day we met, I went astray
I started rolling down that lost highway

I was just a lad, nearly twenty two
Neither good nor bad, just a kid like you
And now I’m lost, too late to pray
Lord I paid the cost, on the lost highway

Now boy’s don’t start to ramblin’ round
On this road of sin are you sorrow bound
Take my advice or you’ll curse the day
You started rollin’ down that lost highway,

I’ll close out this show with a lovely old barn shot, just a couple of miles from my landing, by Walter Russell:


That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Liberty Mills and North Manchester, Indiana

Posted by graywacke on August 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 2361; A Landing A Day blog post number 793.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (41o47.879’N, 85o 48.626’W) puts me in N Cen Indiana:

Here’s my local landing map:

My local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Swank Creek; on to the Eel River (1st hit ever!):

Zooming way back, you can get the whole picture:

The Eel discharges to the Wabash (27th hit);  on to the Ohio (144th hit); on to the MM (917th hit).

Let’s move right along to Google Earth (GE), hop on a yellow pushpin, and head on in to today’s random landing location.  Click HERE to do so.

I have halfway decent GE Street View coverage:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

BTW, this Breaking News just in:  yesterday, I saw my first Googlemobile!  It was in Pennington NJ on Broemel Place, and I was driving in the opposite direction.  I’ll be checking Broemel Place Street View coverage to see if my 2012 black Camry made the big time . . .

I didn’t have to go too far downstream (south) to get a look at my watershed stream – Swank Creek:

It ain’t much, but here ‘tis:

I spent an inordinate amount of time investigating the towns you can see on my local landing map, plus about a dozen others that would be visible on a slightly expanded local map.  And guess what?  This entire area is pretty much:

I’ll do what I can with pretty slim material, starting with Liberty Mills (pop 136).  For such a small town, Wiki has a substantial and quirky history write-up.  Here are some excerpts:

The land that is now Liberty Mills was purchased by New York state resident John Comstock, who moved to the area in 1836.  He first built a saw mill, and later a grist mill, a distillery, store, carding mill, and flouring mill.

[Quoted from an 1884 history of Wabash County by Thomas Helm:]

John Comstock in his day was easily the biggest and most influential business man and farmer in Northern Wabash county. He was a member of the State Legislature and a probate judge and was progressive in many ways and as stubborn as an ox in others.

When the canal was built through Lagro [13 miles south of Liberty Mills] he maintained a warehouse there and was able to attract business men to Liberty Mills faster than to North Manchester. In fact, it was not uncommon in telling the history of an early North Manchester business man to mention that he first located in Liberty Mills.

However, he could not stand competition, and because of his buying power, could undersell those who dared compete with him. Many of the early business men then moved to North Manchester.”

[Back to straight-ahead Wiki:]

His distillery, built in 1839, would send wagon loads of whiskey to areas as far as Mishawaka and Warsaw, Indiana. It brought distress to his sons, who for religious convictions left the business.  Comstock himself had a change of heart and declared “I will let that distillery rot!” even after offers to purchase it.

Due to Comstock’s monopolizing business practices, most local business men left to establish themselves in neighboring North Manchester. In time North Manchester flourished [current population something over 6,000] while Liberty Mills remained unchanged in size [current population something over 100].

My guess is that plenty of nasty things were said behind Mr. Comstock’s back, especially if one were at the local tavern after he pulled one of his more egregious deals . . .

A Liberty Mills “Notable Person” is Cliff Kindy, “organic farmer and member of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT).”  CPT was clickable, so I did, and I found the group interesting.  From Wiki:

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is an international organization set up to support teams of peace workers in conflict areas around the world. These teams believe that they can lower the levels of violence through nonviolent direct action, human rights documentation, and nonviolence training. CPT sums their work up as “…committed to reducing violence by getting in the way.

[Interesting mission statement.]

CPT has a full-time corps of over 30 activists who currently work in international trouble spots including Colombia, Iraq and the West Bank. These teams are supported by over 150 reservists who spend two weeks to two months a year on a location.

Although it is a Christian-based organization, CPT does not engage in any type of missionary activity.  Corp members are Christians, but there is no faith requirement for members of CPT’s short-term delegations.

Moving right along to North Manchester.  Under “Notable People,” Wiki mentioned “Daniel Garber, impressionist artist.”  Garber was clickable, so I did, and I was immediately intrigued:

Daniel Garber (1880 – 1958) was an American Impressionist landscape painter and member of the art colony at New Hope, Pennsylvania. He is best known today for his large impressionist scenes of the New Hope area, in which he often depicted the Delaware River.

Garber was born in North Manchester, Indiana.  He studied art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In the tradition of many American artists, Garber and his wife traveled to Europe to complete his art education. Returning to America in 1907, he settled at Cuttalossa, a small settlement on the Delaware River six miles up the Delaware River from New Hope.

Why am I intrigued?  Well, I live just 8 miles east of New Hope, and I love the history, culture and beauty of the Delaware River near me.  I also enjoy impressionistic landscapes, and quickly realized how much I enjoyed Garber’s art. 

Before we look at some art, I’ll journey up to Cuttalossa, which doesn’t appear on any maps, although I was able to figure out that it’s where Cuttalossa Road intersects River Road, and where Cuttalossa Creek flows into the Delaware Canal:

Here’s a GE Street View shot of the intersection of Cuttalossa Road and River Road:

And a little further south:

Here’s a look at the creek just upstream from River Road:

It certainly looks like some old mill structures, eh?

And now we’re looking north past the creek, with the Delaware Canal (albeit dry) on the right:

The Delaware Canal was completed in 1832 . . .

As mentioned above, Cuttalossa Creek actually flows into the canal.  Evidently, the Cuttalossa is small enough that even flood flows couldn’t overwhelm the canal.  For larger streams, the canal crosses over the stream on a bridge!

Time for some Garber art. First this, “In the Sringtime” (painted in the year of his death, 1958):

Here’s a 1940 painting of Mechanic Street in New Hope:

A lovely 1918 painting entitled “Mending:”

“School Days in New Hope” (1938, looking across the river to Lambertville NJ):

By the way, the bridge is still there, the church & steeple are still there, but the old buildings on the right aren’t.  And, the New Hope side of the river is totally built up . . .

Here’s “October Frenchtown” (1939).  Frenchtown is a NJ river town 15 miles upriver from New Hope.

And here’s “Early Spring – New Hope” (undated):

And finally, “Carversville in Springtime” (1935):

I would love to have an original Garber on my living room wall.  Trouble is, the Garber originals I saw for sale were typically at auction, with expected prices around $500,000.  Oh, well . . .

Let me head back to Indiana and close out this post with a couple of GE Panoramio shots by DW Buller, taken two miles south of my landing:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day

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Glacier National Park, Montana

Posted by graywacke on August 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 2360; A Landing A Day blog post number 792.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (48o 7.002’N, 113o 11.849’W) puts me in NW Montana:

Here’s my local landing map:

OK, there are some local towns, but I thought that this landing was close enough to Glacier National Park to forgo the towns and feature the park.  [Random musing:  one might think that the opposite of “forgo” should be “forstop”, or is it, as Jody just suggested –  “fivego?”]

And no, Glacier National Park has not been featured previously on ALAD.

Here’s my most local streams-only map:

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of Lodgepole Ck; on to Morrison Ck; on to the Middle Fork of the Flathead River (1st hit ever!).  Zooming back:

The Middle Fork joins up to the plain ol’ Flathead (13th hit), which makes its way to the Clark Fork (23rd hit).  OK, I’ll zoom back one more time:

And the Clark Fork is almost the only game in town for the Pend Oreille (with 23 of its 25 hits); on to the Mighty Columbia (171st hit).

It’s time to free fall in to the mountains of NW Montana.  Click HERE to hitch your wagon to the Google Earth (GE) yellow pushpin and settle in to our latest random location.

Here’s an oblique GE shot looking north towards Glacier:

And one looking east up the valley of Lodgepole Creek:

I had to head way north to Route 2 near Essex (see local landing map) to get a GE Street View look at my drainage pathway.  Here’s the lovely view of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River one can see there:

So, I was a little overwhelmed by the immensity (and the immense beauty) of Glacier National Park.  I figured I could feature the retreat of glaciers in the park (which I do) along with some choice GE Panoramio shots (which I do).  But what else? 

Well, I happened to be checking out the NYTimes webpage and I found an 8/3/17 article by Steph Yin entitled “Mountain Goats on Your Trail?  They Like You and Your Urine.”  And then, to my amazement and delight, I found that the article features mountain goats in Glacier National Park!

Here are some excerpts:

A few years ago, employees at Glacier National Park in Montana noticed that mountain goats were hanging out — even sleeping — far away from cliffs, and spending much of their time near humans. Researchers who investigated this atypical behavior determined that where there were people, there were fewer predators. Also where there were people, there was pee.

Combined, these phenomena afford mountain goats two prized essentials: safety and salt. “You can’t beat that. It’s like vacation for goats,” said Wesley Sarmento, who led the study, published in the journal Biological Conservation last month, as a master’s student at the University of Montana.

Mountain goats love salt. They are known to travel more than 15 miles to lick natural salt deposits, which provide essential nutrients. But human urine is packed with minerals from our salty diets, and mountain goats will forgo [there’s that word again!] those journeys if there is a lot of urine around. As a result, many a hiker has strayed off-trail to tinkle and found mountain goats lurking, eager to lick a rock or eat a plant drenched in fresh, life-sustaining urine.

They not only seek out urine, but also place where tourists place their sweaty hands (caption below):

Mountain goats licking salt off a fence at Glacier National Park in Montana. Goats in the park tend to follow the paths of humans because of the leftover salt from urine and because where humans are, predators aren’t. Credit Rex Features, via Associated Press

And here’s a picture of hikers surrounded by mountain goats (caption below):

Hikers surrounded by mountain goats on the Hidden Lake Nature Trail in Glacier National Park. Credit Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

I found a May 10, 2017 CNN write-up about the decline of glaciers in the park, by Steve Almasy and Mayra Cuevas, entitled “The big melt: Glacier National Park is losing its glaciers.”

Some excerpts:

The 37 glaciers remaining at Glacier National Park are vanishing.

In the past half century, some of the ice formations in Montana have lost 85% of their size, and the average shrinkage is 39%, a study released by the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State University says.

One day, they will be gone, the study’s lead scientist said Wednesday.

“The trend right now is that they are inexorably going into their final demise. There is no chance they will go into rebirth,” Dan Fagre said. “In several decades they will be mostly gone. They will certainly be gone before the end of the century.”

And humans are responsible, he said.

“There are variations in the climate but it is humans that have made all those variations warmer,” he said. “The glaciers have been here for 7,000 years and will be gone in decades. This is not part of the natural cycle.”

I’ve never been to Glacier National Park, but I have visited Athabasca Glacier in Jaspar National Park, Alberta Canada.  This was back in 1985, but I distinctly remember seeing roadside markers showing where the toe of the glacier was at various times in the past. 

Here’s a picture of one of the markers (GE Pano by Idle Moor).

And yes, anthropogenic climate change started up about a hundred years ago, when greenhouse gas emissions really started ramping up.  Here’s a graph:

OK.  Let’s look at some GE Panoramio shots of Glacier National Park.  I’ll start out with this, by YSato

Also by YSato:

Tom Lussier Photography:

Also Tom Lussier Photography:

T. Jacobs:

Steven Irwin:

By Владимир Ш:

By Bruce MacIver:

I’ll close with a much more local Pano shot; this by Andy Turner, taken 5 miles west of my landing:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day

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