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Archive for November, 2017

Solomon, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on November 29, 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 2340; A Landing A Day blog post number 771.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long 44o 51.893’N, 117o 5.874’W) puts me in SE Arizona:

My very local map shows that I landed close to Solomon:

Zooming back a little, we can see a whole string of communities along the Gila River:

FYI, Safford (pop 9,600) is far and away the largest town.

Speaking of the Gila River, let me jump into my watershed analysis.  Here’s my very local streams-only map, which labels a blue patch as the San Simon River (less than 3 miles west of my landing).

A quick Google search confirmed that the blue patch is indeed part of the San Simon River (we’ll get a much better look on Google Earth).  Anyway, this was my second San Simon River landing.  Just for the record, my only other landing in this watershed was landing 89, which occurred on 9/1/1999.  Wow.  Two thousand, two hundred and fifty-one landings ago!

Zooming back:

Not surprisingly, the San Simon discharges (very rarely, I suspect) into the Gila River (39th hit).  Although you’ll have to trust me on this, the Gila discharges (also very rarely, I suspect) into the Colorado River (178th hit).

OK, Dan.  It’s time to fess up.  I suspect that you have noticed nothing particularly unusual about today’s post.  Unless, that it is, you were paying close attention and noted that today’s landing number is 2340, while my most recent post (Lake Chelan) is 2378.  You also could have noted that some of the ALADus Obscurus numbers were not consistent with recent posts.  Well, here’s the story:

I was sitting at my computer with my son Jordan who was visiting over Thanksgiving.  While Jordan is an avid member of the ALAD Nation, he tends to slip behind.  But he refuses to skip any posts; he just keeps plugging away, albeit now months behind.

He mentioned that he had just read (and really enjoyed) my Placitas NM and my Halfway OR posts.  We had my landing spreadsheet open, and noticed that the next post would be Solomon AZ:

But on my A Landing A Day site, Solomon AZ was nowhere to be seen!  Trenton GA was next, right after Halfway!  As you can see on the above spreadsheet, I had duly noted Solomon as having been posted, but for reasons that will remain unknown to all (including me), I never posted it!

And get this:  I open the WordPress “Dashboard” every time I need to write, edit or post one of my entries.  And here’s what I see:

As you can see, “Solomon, Arizona  April 23, 2017” has been staring me in the face since April.  As I tell my kids, “I’m just a confused old man . . . “


Back to Solomon:

Let’s jump on board the Google Earth (GE) yellow push-pin, and blaze our way down into SE AZ.  Click HERE for the trip.

We’ll start right out with a dual-purpose GE Street View shot, showing both the closest “stream” (which discharges into the San Simon) as well as the landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude (OD) sees:

See the pipe?  That carries runoff from my landing under the road!

Zooming back, we’ll go quite a ways (20 miles) south/upstream to get a look at the bone-dry San Simon:

And here’s what the OD sees (looking upstream):

I moved the OD a few hundred feet west, and had him take a look at the road as it crosses the San Simon (with no bridge):

I love the sign:  “DO NOT ENTER WHEN FLOODED.”

And now we’ll go downstream of my landing for a look at the downstream end of the San Simon:

The OD sees the San Simon, ever-so-slightly fortified by irrigation seepage:

And then I moved a little west to get a look at the Gila:

And here ‘tis:

FYI, the river disappears a couple of miles further downstream.

I checked out that whole string of towns along the Gila, and couldn’t come up with much of anything for this post.  In fact, this entire region is pretty much:

I started with Solomon, didn’t see much, and moved downstream and found even less.  By the time I had looked at all of them, I realized that my best story was where I started, in Solomon.

From Wiki:

In the early 19th century, settlers founded a town at Solomon’s location, and named it “Pueblo Viejo” (Old Pueblo) because of a previous Native American settlement, the ruins of which were still visible.

Isadore Solomon, a German Jewish immigrant, came to the town in the 1870s. He moved to Solomon with his wife and three children, the oldest of whom was three. When the Solomons came to town there were only five houses in the town.

Also in the 1870s Mormons moved to the Gila Valley region, although no Mormons moved to Solomon until 1884, when they began large scale irrigation. Solomon and Safford are the only towns in this local Gila Valley region that has not been historically dominated by Mormons.

From the 1880s to about 1910 Solomon had over 1000 residents, and reached 1,283 in 1930.  In the 2010 census, the population of Solomon was 426.

Getting back to the Solomons:  I stumbled on a piece about them in JMAW.org, which is the website for the Jewish Museum of the American West:

Isadore and Anna Solomon (both born in Poznan, Poland) first settled in Towanda, PA, where they had a livery business.  [Hmmmm.  Wiki says Isadore was German.  Well, some quick research shows that the political country of Poland didn’t exist in 1872 when Isadore and Anna were born in what is today Poland, so one could “accurately” say they were German, Polish or Prussian.]

In 1876, the Solomons sold all they possessed and headed to New Mexico with three babies. They traveled by train – to the end of the line – and then by stage to Clifton, Arizona Territory.


“We sold everything we possessed except our three children, and started on our journey to New Mexico. We had a very hard trip even on the railroad.  Traveling with those three babies was bad enough, but when we reach La Junta, the end of the railroad in those days, and had to travel by stage, packed in like sardines, traveling day and night for six days…when we got there I was so tired out to death.”

[They headed to Pueblo Viejo because Anna’s cousin owned a mine there.]

Isadore Solomon worked for Anna’s cousin as a miner until he landed a contract to supply the mine with charcoal.  The Solomons set up the mesquite-charcoal operation (and a new home) in Pueblo Viejo along the Gila River.

As the mesquite for charcoal was used up, the land proved fertile and productive. Isaac Solomon became the principal food supplier for four army forts and had government supply contracts for 25 years.

The Solomons expanded into livestock, merchandising, freighting, and forwarding [forwarding??] as the Solomon Commercial Company.

Isadore Solomon opened the Gila Valley Bank in 1900.

Anna Solomon opened the Solomon Hotel which became the social center of town.

The Solomon’s also owned the Montezuma Flour Mill and, in 1890, they partnered with Anna’s bother, Phoebus Frudenthal  to form the Solomonville-Sheldon Stageline.

Phew.  There you have it.  These Solomons did OK!  They obviously figured out how to work with Mormons . . .

It’s time for some GE Panoramio shots.  I’ll start with this, entitled “Lonely Dead Tree,” by Andreas Geh:

And this of a cotton farm between Solomon and Safford by the GilaRiverRider:

I’ll close with this by John Eby, taken about 8 miles east of my landing:

That’ll do it . . .



© 2017 A Landing A Day



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Lake Chelan, Washington

Posted by graywacke on November 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 2378; A Landing A Day blog post number 812.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (47o 45.462’N, 120o 27.285’W) puts me in Central Washington:

And this is a first!!!  What “first” would I be talking about, you might ask.  Well, my titular entity is visible on the above totally-zoomed out Street Atlas shot!  So I labeled it!

Anyway, let’s take a more local look:

Today’s landing (2378) is the one southwest of Lake Chelan.  Amazingly, the landing shown to the northeast of Lake Chelan is landing 2375, just three landings ago!  That’s my November 9th Methow and Pateros post – with no mention of Lake Chelan.

Here’s my local streams-only map:

You can see that I landed in the watershed of that fan-favorite, “Stream Perennial,” on to the Mad River (1st hit ever!); on to the Entiat River (1st hit ever!).  I’ll zoom back just a bit:

The Entitat discharges to the Columbia (175th hit). 

As is often the case, I was so far out in the boonies that I have no relevant Google Earth (GE) Street View shots of my landing.  The closest is to the east by the Columbia River, about 11 miles from my landing. 

As for Street View shots of my drainage, I likewise have to go all the way east to the Columbia to see where the Entiat River discharges:

Here’s the lovely view that the Orange Dude sees, looking up the Entiat:

And when he turns around, there’s the mighty Columbia:

So of course, I checked the numerous small towns in the vicinity of my landing.  Guess what?  They were all

As I checked out the town of Chelan, of course I noted that it was at the downstream end of Lake Chelan.  And then – what the heck – I Googled the lake.  So, it’s a very beautiful lake and all, but where’s the hook? 

Then I googled “Lake Chelan Geology.”  I saw that there was a You Tube video posted by a Central Washington University geology professor entitled, appropriately enough, “Lake Chelan Geology.”  Of course, I clicked.

After just a couple of minutes of viewing, I knew I had my hook.

I told my wife Jody (who, like me, is a geologist) that I landed near Lake Chelan, Washington.  She immediately perked up.  Lake Chelan??  Cheryl’s brother Darrel and sister-in-law Carol live there!!

Now wait a minute.  Cheryl, Darrel and Carol? 

But anyway, this isn’t just any Cheryl.  This is Cheryl, one of the “Feathers,” a group of Media PA women who went to school together.  The seven of them (alas, now only six) were good friends in Junior High & High school and referred to themselves as the Feathers – based on a pillow fight gone bad.

So Jody and Cheryl and Sooze and Kathy and Debbie and Sally and (sigh) Sue stayed in touch through all these years, periodically getting together, but emailing and calling each other on a regular basis.  The husbands/significant others joined the fun, and all 14 of us got together on numerous occasions.  Amazingly (and I mean truly amazingly), all 14 of us really got along and enjoyed each other’s company.

We gentleman were jealous of the moniker the women had, so we came up with one of our own.  Proudly, we’re the Peckers.

But of all the Feathers, Cheryl has a special place in my heart because she (of all the Feathers) is the only devoted A Landing A Day follower.  And Cheryl saw a similarity in how I view the world with how her brother Darrel views the world, so she turned him on to my blog.

I was well aware that Darrel lived in Washington and was very tuned into geology, particularly the wondrous story of the Glacial Lake Missoula floods.  I knew that he and Cheryl went on a geology field trip, visiting the scablands and the Dry Falls.

I had corresponded with Darrel just a little, and I do believe that at some point he told me he lived at Lake Chelan – which, of course, I promptly forgot.

Well, Darrel (and Cheryl) – this post is for you!

Back to Lake Chelan geology.  I listened to the entire hour and seven minutes of Nick Zentner’s lecture, and totally enjoyed it.  And I learned a lot, as well.  I therefore cordially invite you, my readers, to similarly partake of the good Doctor’s lecture.  At least give it a shot, and see if he hooks you like he hooked me.

But I’m a realist, and know that probably the majority of my readers are already thinking “No way I’m using up an hour of my life listening to a geology lecture.”

So what did I do?  I rewound the tape (yea, right), but this time, I was typing, pausing, typing, pausing, etc., preparing not Cliff Notes but Greg Notes.

So here’s the lecture.  The Greg Notes (for those who’d rather spend 10 minutes reading than an hour watching) follow below.


Nick’s premise:  You’re a Washington geologist and you have a geologically-oriented friend named Jerry from New Jersey.  Jerry calls out of the blue and says that he has one day to spend in the State of Washington and he wants to learn as much about Washington geology as possible.  Considering the great geologic diversity in Washington, that’s a tall order.  Where do you meet him?

Mt. Rainer; the Dry Falls; the west coast?  Nope.  Nick would take Jerry to Lake Chelan.  Here’s what’s at (or very near) the Lake:

  • Continental ice sheets
  • Alpine glaciers
  • Third-deepest lake in the U.S.
  • The Columbia River
  • Glacial Lake Chelan
  • Ice age floods
  • Basalts
  • “Exotic terrains” (having to do with bizarre west-coast plate tectonics)
  • Metamorphic Rocks
  • Granite Batholiths
  • The biggest earthquake ever recorded in Washington

Everything but an active volcano.  OK, so maybe Jerry’ll need a separate trip to Rainier.

Lake Chelan is 50 miles long, one mile wide.  Most long and narrow lakes are artificially formed by damming up a river.  Not Lake Chelan.

Here’s a GE shot of the long, narrow lake:

Note the Narrows.  That’s going to be part of our story in a bit.

There is a dam, built in the 20s, but it only raised the existing lake about 20 feet.  Not sure why they built the dam . . .

But this is the third deepest lake in the U.S.:

  1. Crater Lake – 1949’ deep
  2. Lake Tahoe – 1645’
  3. Lake Chelan – 1459’
  4. Lake Superior – 1332’
  5. Lake Pend Oreille – 1152’

If you guessed the glaciers made the lake, you’d be right. But the bottom of Lake Chelan is 386 feet below sea level!  How did the glaciers do that?

Other nearby glacial lakes are formed when alpine glaciers (glaciers formed in a particular valley and limited in extent to the valley) push up moraines that dam up the valley, creating a lake.  But these are much, much shallower.  For years, Nick didn’t think much about it; he just figured that the alpine glacier in the Chelan valley somehow dug a deeper hole.

But he had to think again.  It turns out that the Canadian Ice Sheet made its way down to Central Washington.  That’s the same ice sheet that was 3000’ feet thick in Seattle.  And the same ice sheet that created the Lake Missoula floods [discussed numerous times in this blog.]  The ice sheet was about 5000’ thick in the Chelan valley.

The massive ice sheet crawled over and around the North Cascade Mountains.  An arm of it passed over a low spot in the mountains to the north, and ground its way down the Chelan Valley.  Five thousand feet of ice is a lot of ice that can move a lot of rock.

But there’s more to the story.  There was another arm of the same ice sheet that actually flowed north up the Chelan Valley.  It came from the east before curling up the valley.  The northern arm made it down to the Narrows.  The southern arm made it up to the Narrows:

Remember – these two “arms” are connected to the vast Canadian Ice Sheet. 

For nerdy, curious geologists, this is a big deal.  And if one were to make the claim about two separate continental ice sheet arms coming in from different directions, one better have good evidence.  Well, good evidence there is.

So, both arms of the ice sheet left moraines and till deposits – the moraines are the earthen debris that the glacier pushed out to the edges the valley (actually, much like an alpine glacier), and the tills are what it left behind as the ice melted.  Of course, geologists have studied the moraines and tills from both ends of the valley, and guess what?  They are entirely different! 

The northern arm came from the Cascade Mountains to the north and west, and the rocks in the moraines and tills are typical of the rocks in the Cascades:  granites, lava rock and light basalt (andesites).

The southern arm came from the east and was “bearing different gifts.”  This ice had traveled through the dark flood basalts (“layer after layer of German Chocolate cake”) of eastern Washington, and low and behold, the till and moraines of the southern end of the lake are loaded with these dark basalts.

Any questions?  And this unique glacial set-up also set up some interesting hydrology.  There were times when the two arms retreated, leaving a lake in the valley between the two ice masses.  Fed by meltwater, this lake reached elevations as high as 700’ above current lake level!

As happens with ice dams holding back huge volumes of water, the dam will fail, and a massive flood results.  For Glacial Lake Chelan, the massive flood headed south, towards the Columbia River.  The water left coulee scablands similar to those left behind after the much-more-massive Glacial Lake Missoula flood.

Moving on to bedrock and exotic terrains . . .

The deepest part of the lake is just north of the Narrows.  Why?  Well, just north of the Narrows, the lake is underlain by schist, a metamorphic rock with lots of mica that is softer than other metamorphic rocks.  So, the bottom blade of the ice sheet bulldozer was able to dig much deeper in the schist than other areas.

Further uplake is a much harder metamorphic rock known as gneiss.  It’s a much gneisser rock than the sloppy schist to the south. [My terrible pun, not Nick’s.]  Because the gneiss is harder, the northern end of the lake is much shallower.

Down lake (south of the Narrows) is a highly unusual and much rarer rock known as migmatite (the formation is known as the Chelan Migmatite Complex).  So what’s migmatite? 

Nick says it’s like a “swirl” cone you can order at a soft ice cream joint – that’s when the chocolate and vanilla are swirled together on the cone.  But the migmatite is a swirl of metamorphic rock and igneous rock.  More about migmatite in a minute, but first a quick word about “exotic terrains.”

Head further down stream, there’s another schist, and then another gneiss.

The various schists and gneisses are pieces of what’s known as “exotic terrains:” pieces of crustal rocks that came from far away, and were plastered against the North American tectonic plate by crazily complex tectonic movements.

They could have come from as far south as Mexico!

How do we know this?  The various schists and gneisses are very different in terms of temperature and pressure required for their genesis.  They couldn’t have been neighbors when they formed – they must have formed in regions far from each other, and were brought together by tectonic movement.

So where does migmatite come from?  Well, imagine this.  We’re in a volcanic region.  Below the volcano is a huge pocket of liquid magma that is the source for the volcano.  Way below the magma chamber is the boundary between the crust and the mantle (the Mohorovic Discontinuity, or Moho).

So what’s going on in this zone between the magma chamber and the Moho?  This is the zone where magma from the mantle is migrating upward to the magma chamber beneath the volcano.  And this migrating magma intertwines with the crustal rock, creating the swirl of metamorphic rock (the crust) and the igneous rock (the magma).  Ergo, migmatite.  Oh yea – by the way – the migmatite was forming 18 miles below the surface of the earth – 165 million years ago.

Here’s a very interesting aside:  It just so happens that to the east and north of the Chelan Migmatite is a large body of granite (more-or-less adjacent to the migmatite).  The traditional view is that they represent different exotic terrains, or at least are separated by some sort of fault that makes them very separate.  But there’s an alternate theory that is just now being investigated:

As mentioned above, the volcano/migmatite system occurred 165 million years ago.  Let’s imagine that the whole system was uplifted and cooled and turned to solid rock (granite for the magma chamber, underlain by migmatite).  Tectonic forces keep on doing their work, and the whole shebang is uplifted even more, layed on its side and exposed at the surface.

And then, a geologist happens on some outcrops of migmatite adjacent to some outcrops of granite.  As I just mentioned, he figures that there’s some kind of fault, or the two rock types represent exotic terrains.  But what if the two geologic bodies are intimately connected?  What if the migmatite has always been associated with that very same magma chamber?  Pretty cool, eh?  Stay tuned – ongoing research will figure this out one way or the other.

And an important aside – the 165 million year old migmatite is much older than the schists and gneisses in the vicinity (they’re like 100 million years younger).  Since the schists and gneisses are part of exotic terrains, does this mean that the migmatite was formed right here in Washington?  Or is it possible that it, too is an exotic terrain?  Oh my.  All of the unanswered questions . . .

Let’s talk a little more about the schist that’s south of the valley.  It’s for sure an exotic terrain – it was originally sediment at the floor of a deep ocean, and was transported to the surface, near Entiat.  [See my local landing map!]

So how do you do that?  Here’s a more-or-less direct quote from Nick:  “You take stuff on the ocean and you convert it into rock (#1); then it is metamorphosed into schist – with high temperatures and pressures (#2); and then get it to interior Washington and oh – by the way – at a couple thousand feet above sea level (#3).  Good Lord!  There are stories to tell.”

Continuing the quote:  “I mentioned there’s also a gneiss south of the Chelan valley.  This was originally sediment – mostly sand – deposited in an oceanic trench – also interpreted as an exotic terrain.  Once again, we need to turn the sand into rock, we need to apply heat and pressure to turn it into a metamorphic rock, and then somehow, we need to get it here along the Columbia in central Washington.  Am I blowing your mind?  Have you heard about this exotic terrain stuff before?  Boy, if I get gutsy enough, I’ll do a bunch of lectures, but you’ve got to eat your Wheaties to put all of this stuff together!”

One more piece of bedrock information. There are a slew of 50-million year old dark basalt “feeder dikes.”  These are the cracks in the older rock that transported the German Chocolate Cake from the depths up to the flood basalts.  They’re the obvious dark stripes you can see in outcrops all over the place around here.

Moving right along to the 1872 earthquake – estimated magnitude 7.4 – that was long suspected to be centered somewhere in the Lake Chelan area.  This quake (the largest in Washington in recorded history) shook the entire Pacific Northwest, but until three years ago, the location of the epicenter was unknown.

There was a large landslide south of Chelan where a big hunk of a mountain broke off during the earthquake, and temporarily dammed up the Columbia River.  This landslide – and its connection to the 1872 earthquake – have long been suspected.  It has been presumed that the landslide occurred somewhere close to the epicenter, but as I said earlier, the location of the epicenter has not been known until recently.

A seismologist from the USGS, Brian Sherrod, has been working on understanding the 1872 earth for many years.  But finally, Sherrod used LIDAR technology to find the fault trace. 

Here’s what NOAA says about LIDAR:

LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure variable distances to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.

So, Sherrod managed to find the money to perform a LIDAR survey over a wide area around Lake Chelan (that “magically removes all of the vegetation.”)  He painstakingly checked the terrain, looking for a telltale linear feature – a “fault scarp” that might have been caused by an earthquake.

A fault scarp is an abrupt change in slope, where one side moved vertically relatively to the other, creating a linear cliff.

Here are some examples of fault scarps (from wherever, not Washington):


But my favorite:

Anyway, Brian found an excellent candidate in Spencer Canyon:

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot looking south towards Spencer Canyon (by LongBachNguyen):

Here’s a screen shot from the lecture, with Nick pointing out the trace of the fault scarp in Spencer Canyon.  You’ll never guess, but “U” mean “up” and I’m not going to even tell you what “D” stands for:

Moving over to Google Earth, I think I can see a little of the scarp:

He also found evidence of a relatively fresh landslide (the lighter area on this GE shot):

The Seattle Times actually covered Sherrod’s work as a news story (by Sandi Doughton, Nov 2014):

The quake struck on the evening of Dec. 14, 1872, long before the first seismometer was installed in the Northwest.

The fact that chimneys cracked in Olympia, trees toppled in Puyallup and fissures split the ground south of Seattle led early observers to assume the quake was centered under Puget Sound.

But windows also shattered as far away as Victoria, B.C., and people were knocked off their feet at Snoqualmie Pass. The first analysis of newspaper reports from the time put the epicenter not far from Vancouver, B.C.

The most compelling eyewitness accounts, though, trickled in from east of the Cascades, in the sparsely populated hills near Wenatchee. Settlers and Native Americans reported a massive slide that briefly dammed the Columbia River. Some claimed geysers spouted from the ground and gushed for months. Throughout Washington and Oregon, strong aftershocks kept the populace on edge for more than a year.

Subsequent studies proposed epicenters in the North Cascades and near Lake Chelan. Estimates of the quake’s size have ranged from magnitude 6.5 to 7.5, which would make it one of the biggest in recorded state history.

“No matter how you define it, that’s a big earthquake,” said USGS researcher Brian Sherrod, who led the modern-day hunt for the quake’s source. “It was felt from Montana and British Columbia down into Oregon and Northern California.”

Beginning six years ago, Sherrod brought a new tool called LIDAR to bear on the puzzle. The technique allows scientists to virtually strip away vegetation and generate detailed topographic maps by beaming laser pulses from an airplane and analyzing the way the signals bounce back.

The area near Entiat was already a prime suspect as the source of the quake, based on eyewitness reports and recurring swarms of small quakes. The first LIDAR images didn’t show much, though, so the USGS commissioned another sweep in 2013.

“When I looked at those, it just popped out,” Sherrod said on a crisp morning in late October as he led a team of geologists down a fire-blackened hillside in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and into a small valley that drains into the Columbia River.

He pointed to a faint ridgeline a few feet high that snaked across the landscape like an oversized mole track. “That’s the scarp.”

A scarp is a scar created when an earthquake ruptures the ground surface. This one extends at least 3.5 miles, bearing witness to a major upheaval in the recent past, Sherrod said.

“Clearly we have a fault. There’s no doubt about it,” he said, scrambling into a 15-foot-long trench cut perpendicularly across the scarp. He named it the Spencer Canyon fault, after the drainage where it’s located.

The steep terrain and winding road ruled out the use of a backhoe, so Sherrod and his team dug two trenches by hand.

Here’s a picture of hydrogeologist Tanna DeRuyter helping to dig one of the trenches:

[Hey!  I’m a hydrogeologist!]

In the exposed dirt walls, Sherrod traced the diagonal line that marks the fault. Soil layers on one side are higher than on the other, he explained, revealing the way the ground jerked during past quakes.

Scraping the walls of the trenches and using colored pins to delineate layers, the geologists have uncovered evidence of at least two quakes, and perhaps as many as four.

But did the most recent one strike in 1872?

Moving to LiveScience.com 2015 article by Becky Oskin (about the results of the 2014 field work), the question was answered:

In one trench along the newly identified fault, Sherrod discovered a distinctive ash layer called the Mazama ash, blasted out by the volcanic eruption that created Oregon’s Crater Lake more than 7,000 years ago. The ash layer is now offset from itself about 6.5 feet on either side of the fault, Sherrod said.

In the second trench, the Spencer Canyon fault pushes 75-million-old gneiss (a metamorphic rock) on top of soil that has bits of charcoal just 285 years old.  [From a forest fire – and the charcoal can be accurately dated using carbon dating.  So the earthquake happened less than 285 years ago, or after 1730.]

The young charcoal helped link the fault to the 1872 earthquake by providing a maximum age for its recent movement.  Sherrod also showed the fault scarp is older than two small landslides that buried it. The oldest trees growing on top of the landslides are 130 years old, he said. [So the earthquake happened before 1885.]  Ponds created by the landslides also drowned trees, and those trees were killed sometime in the past 300 years.

“The evidence pins down the action to a window of time,” Sherrod said.  [And that window is between 1730 and 1885.]

A period of time consistent with the 1872 earthquake.

One could argue he hasn’t proven anything, but then again, there’s no evidence for any major earthquake during that time period besides the one in 1872 . . .

Back to Nick’s talk . . .

So, this is a shallow earthquake.  What’s going on?  Generally, western WA is moving to the NE, and Central Washington isn’t moving.  Something has to give, and what gives are fault blocks that are pushed up and out of the way as these tectonic plates inexorably keep moving, resulting in an extremely slow-motion collision.

Interesting side note.  While Nick is waxing poetic about some bedrock outcrops, he mentions that one is on the road to Pateros.  As mentioned early in this post, I featured Pateros just three landings ago, but without a word about Lake Chelan or the local geology.

OK.  Enough geology already.  It’s time to close out this post with a GE Panoramio shots, this one looking across the Columbia Valley near Spencer Canyon, by Jeffrey King:

That’ll do it . . .




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Schaghticoke, New York

Posted by graywacke on November 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 2377; A Landing A Day blog post number 811.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (42o 54.471’N, 73o 37.135’W) puts me in East Central New York:

My local landing map doubles as my watershed map:

I landed in the watershed of the Hoosic River (2nd hit); on to the Hudson (16th hit).  So.  A drop of water that falls on my landing eventually ends up in New York Harbor.  And if that drop is very lucky (it’s daytime and the drop is at the surface), and if it has eyes and a brain, it will get to see this (GE Panoramio shot by Thomas Splietker):

The Google Earth (GE) Street View coverage of my landing is excellent:

And here’s the view:

The Hoosic River runs close to my landing, and a Street View look-see is just upstream in Schaghticoke:

Looking upstream:

The dam you see was built in 1907, forming “Electric Lake” behind it.  The water was diverted to a channel that goes under the far end of the bridge and on to a hydro-electric plant – yes, way back in 1907. 

So it’s time to take a look at Schaghticoke.  From Wiki:

The Town of Schaghticoke (named after the Indian tribe of the same name) is in an area that was historically occupied by the Mohican tribe, and later by a mixed group of Mohicans and remnants of numerous New England tribes who had migrated north and west seeking to escape European encroachment.  Their societies had been disrupted due to a high rate of fatalities from new infectious diseases, to which they had no immunity.

[Note:  the State of New York has “towns” are similar to “townships” in other states.  What I would normally call the town of Schaghticoke (and is shown on my landing map) is actually a “village.”]

The Schaghticoke Indians (SKAT-i-kohk) are a Native American tribe of the Eastern Woodlands who historically consisted of Mohican, Potatuck, Weantinock, Tunxis and Podunk, peoples indigenous to what is now New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The remnant tribes amalgamated in the area near the Connecticut-New York border after many losses.

[More about Podunk in a bit.]

In 1675, Governor Andros, governor of the colony of New York, planted a tree of Welfare near the junction of the Hoosic River and Tomhannock Creek, an area already known as Schaghticoke, “the place where the waters mingle.” This tree symbolized the friendship between the English, the Dutch, and the Schaghticoke Indians.

The junction of the Tomhannock and the Hoosic is very close to my landing:

Here’s a Street View look down the Tomhannock, right at the literal Schaghticoke – the place where waters mingle:

Here’s what Wiki has to say about the etymology of Schaghticoke:

Schaghticoke has various spellings: Pachgatgoch, Patchgatgoch, Pisgachtigok, Pishgachtigok, Scachtacook, Scaghkooke, Scanticook, Scatacook, Scaticook, Schaacticook, Scotticook, Seachcook, derived from an Algonquian word meaning “the confluence of two waterways or “gathered waters.”

I can understand that when the various decimated Indian tribes came together to form a single tribe, they needed a name.  And I think “gathered waters” is an apt choice, with both local geographic significance as well as symbolic meaning.

And it just so happens that the name they selected is complex for us English speakers, and was predictably butchered as the word was Anglicized.  But please.  Schaghticoke? 

As promised, I’ll get back to Podunk.  Obviously, it caught my eye, and I assumed that was a connection between the name of the Indian tribe and the popular use of the word “Podunk.”  And there is.

From Wiki:

The word podunk is of Algonquian origin. It denoted both the Podunk people and marshy locations, particularly the people’s winter village site in what is today central Connecticut.

The earliest known written use is from Samuel Griswold Goodrich’s 1840 book, The Politician of Podunk:

“Solomon Waxtend was a shoemaker of Podunk, a small village of New York some forty years ago.”

So there is a teeny Finger Lakes hamlet known as Podunk.  But Wiki continues:

In American discourse, the term podunk came into general colloquial use through the wide national readership of the “Letters from Podunk” of 1846, in the Daily National Pilot of Buffalo, New York. These represented “Podunk” as a real place but one insignificant and out of the way.

The term gained currency as standing for a fictional out of the way and backwards place. For examle, in 1869, Mark Twain wrote an article, “Mr. Beecher and the Clergy,” defending his friend, Thomas K. Beecher, whose preaching had come under criticism. In it he said:

“They even know it in Podunk, wherever that may be.”

JFTHOI*, I typed “podunk” into the A Landing A Day search box.  I found a couple of references to ePodunk.com, which is a community database from which I garnered some info.  But I actually used the word “podunk” twice.

                 *Just for the heck of it.

In my Camp Wood TX post (February 2016), I said this just after my Google Earth spaceflight:

Did you see what looks like a runway?  Here’s a static look:

I’ll say!  And this is no podunk grass airstrip!  It’s paved, and over a mile long.  I’m out in the middle of no where, so a paved runway makes no sense.  But as you’ll learn soon enough, I figured out the story.

And then, in my April 2015 Everglades Florida post (right after my Google Earth spaceflight in):

Zooming back a little, here’s the lay of the land nearby:

I was shocked to see an airport!  And not some podunk little thing, but a two-mile runway!  More about that later . . .

Oh my!  It’s remarkable (almost scary) how similar those two passages are.  Obviously, my brain works in predictable ways . . .

For the record, the Texas airstrip is for one of those Texas mega-ranches. 

About the Everglades airport (from my post):

This isolated airport was originally planned to be the largest airport in the world. Begun in 1968, the Everglades Jetport was to be an eight-runway airport for supersonic aircraft.  Because of environmental concerns, construction was halted after the completion of just one runway. The facility remains in use today as an aviation training facility.

Note that I fairly recently wrote about an isolated-yet-substantial airstrip in my October 2017 Trementina NM post – where the mysterious airstrip is operated by the Church of Scientology.  Somehow I wrote about it without the use of the word podunk. 

But I can’t help myself.  Here’s my just-revised piece from that post (with my revision highlighted):

So I cruised on over to GE, figuring I could find the airstrip near Trementina, and indeed I could:

Here’s a closer look at the base:

This isn’t some podunk little airport!  And looky there!  A giant symbol carved in the ground that would make Dan Brown proud (or at least curious).  We must take a closer look. . .

Enough already. It’s time to close things down with two GE Panoramio shots by Dan Campbell, taken near Schaghticoke:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day



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A Plethora of Small Towns in West-Central Indiana

Posted by graywacke on November 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 2376; A Landing A Day blog post number 810.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (39o 48.501’N, 86o 58.142’W) puts me in West Central Indiana:

Here’s my local landing map with so many towns highlighted, I couldn’t make them all titular!

My local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Big Raccoon Creek; on to the Wabash River (28th hit):

You probably know this, but here’s the rest of the story:

The Wabash (after serving as the boundary between Indiana and Illinois), discharges to the Ohio (148th hit).  The Ohio (after serving as the boundary between Indiana and Kentucky, then Illinois and Kentucky) discharges to the Mississippi (925th hit), at the point where Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri come together.

Here’s a Google Earth (GE) close-up of my landing:

Zooming back, we can see GE Street View coverage for Raccoon Creek (at the upstream edge of Raccoon Lake):

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

Let me show you (once again) my local landing map:

As you can see, my work is cut out for me.  I’ll group these towns a little:

Group 1:  Greencastle & Crawfordsville

Group 2 (alphabetically):  Alamo, Ladoga, Mecca, Montezuma, Tangier and Yeddo.

Group 3:  Waveland and Roachdale.

I’ll start, appropriately enough, with Group 1.  While ploughing through some uninspirational Wiki material, I noted that Greencastle was the home of DePauw University, which rang a bell.  I immediately texted my buddy Bob Prewitt:

So Prewitt, did you go to DePauw or DePaul?

Prewitt:  Don’t insult me with talk of DePaul.  I graduated from DePauw, class of 69.

Me:  Geez.  I forgot how old you are.  Anyway, I just landed a few miles north of Greencastle.  (Prewitt follows this blog and knows full well what I mean by “I landed.”)

Prewitt:  Very cool.  Get this:  besides me, my brother, mother and father all went to DePauw.  I’ll be free for an interview in the morning.  Were you close to Crawfordsville?  That’s the home to our archrival, Wabash College.

Me:  I landed in between the two.

Prewitt:  Check out the Monon Bell.  Big deal.  For over a hundred years, the winner of the DePauw/Wabash game gets to take the Monon Bell home.  It’s an old bell off a railroad locomotive.

Me:  I just checked it out.  Cool.

Prewitt:  I graduated with Jim Ibbotson from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  He was the lead singer for their biggest hit, Mr. Bojangles.  But get this – he sang ‘The Ballad of the Molon Bell.’  Check it out on You Tube.

With that, I’ll jump to a 1985 live version of Mr. Bojangles, featuring Jim Ibbotson.  Note that the band is introduced by none other than Willie Nelson.


Here’s a little about the Monon Bell, from Wiki:

The Monon Bell (pronounced MOE-non) is the trophy awarded to the victor of the annual college football matchup between the Wabash College Little Giants (in Crawfordsville, Indiana) and the DePauw University Tigers (in Greencastle, Indiana) in the United States. The Bell is a 300-pound locomotive bell from the Monon Railroad. As of the end of the 2015 season, the two teams have played against each other 123 times. Wabash leads the all-time series, 60-54-9, and also has the advantage since the Bell was introduced as the victor’s trophy in 1932, 41-39-6.

And then, here’s a very recent video clip from Indianapolis TV (and yes, it’s must-see TV).  Just click on the link.


So Jim Ibbotson (maybe with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) recorded a song about that very bell:

Back to Prewitt.  He told me a story about a time about 40 years ago when students from DePauw were trying to steal the Monon Bell from Wabash (who had obviously won the game the previous year).  The students realized that the bell was hidden somewhere on the Wabash campus, but no one knew where it was. 

So they came up with a scheme, whereby a DePauw student, who could look and speak convincingly like a Saudi Prince, was dressed up in full prince regalia  The fake prince showed up on the Wabash campus, and received a campus tour.  He mentioned that he had heard a wonderful story about some bell, and wondered if he’d be able to see it.  And yes, he was shown the bell.

The faux prince went back to De Pauw and joined up with some students who successfully managed to steal the bell . . .

I must jump in here and give some street cred to my alma mater, Lafayette College.  Do you think the fact that 125 games have been played between DePauw & Wabash is impressive?  The number one most-played rivalry in college football is Lafayette – Lehigh.  From Wiki, about “The Rivalry:”

“The Rivalry” is an American college football game played between Lafayette College and Lehigh University. It is the most-played football rivalry in the nation and the longest uninterrupted annual rivalry series.

As of 2016, “The Rivalry” has been played 152 times since 1884 with only a single interruption in 1896. The colleges’ football teams met twice annually (except 1891, when they played three games, and 1896, when they did not play at all) until 1901. The two institutions are located seventeen miles apart in the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania.

What the heck happened in 1896?  Wiki to the rescue!

The 1896 Lafayette college football team was declared National Champion of college football, in one of the most surprising and dramatic championships in the early history of college football.

[Cool bunch of studs, eh?  And there aren’t very many players on the team (like 15).  Obviously, nearly all (if not all) of the starters played both offense and defense.]

Lafayette began its season by tying Princeton 0–0, and defeated West Virginia University three times in three days by a combined score of 56–0.

[AYKM?  The same two teams played three games in three days?]

At 4–0–1, Lafayette was set to meet the University of Pennsylvania on October 24 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Penn was the current national champion and was in the midst of a 34-game winning streak and was only guaranteeing Lafayette $150 for a game that would net $10,000.

As an intense media war surrounded the game, Lafayette enrolled Fielding Yost, a tackle from West Virginia, whom Lafayette had defeated those three games in a row.

Along with Yost were College Football Hall of Famer Charles “Babe” Rinehart, and the inventor of the football helmet George “Rose” Barclay, as Lafayette squeaked out a 6-4 victory.

[6-4???  OK, I had to check out the 1896 scoring rules.  A touchdown was 4 points, and the after touchdown conversion kick was two points.  So it looks like each team scored a TD; Lafayette made the kick and Penn didn’t.]

It was the first victory of a ‘small school’ over one of the Big Four (Harvard-Yale-Penn-Princeton). Penn would win its next 31 games.

[Wow.  If not for Lafayette, Penn would have won 66 game in a row!  The landscape of college football has changed a little, eh?]

Lafayette closed its season with an 18–6 win over Navy. Following the season, Lafayette was recognized as co-national champions along with Princeton (11–0–1) and was the first national champion outside the Harvard-Yale-Princeton-Penn rotation prevalent during that era.

[So what about no Lehigh game?]

However, absent from their 1896 record book was the annual rivalry with Lehigh, which cancelled two games scheduled for November in protest over the eligibility and amateur status of Rose Barclay who had played professional baseball the previous summer.

There you have it.  It’s time to move to Group 2:  Alamo, Ladoga, Mecca, Montezuma, Tangier and Yeddo.  What do they have in common?  They’re all named after a distance locale.

Alamo – Obviously named after the Texas Alamo (Alamo IN is the only town in the group without an international connection).

Forgoing the usual Alamo shot, here’s a photo of some cool arches in the back:

Ladoga – Named after a Russian lake.  From Wiki:

Ladoga was platted in 1836 by John Myers. Myers invited his friends to help him find a name. He required that the name not end in -burg or -ville and that it would not be named after another town. He chose Ladoga after finding Lake Ladoga on a map of Russia.

Here’s a picture of an ancient fortress on the shores of the lake (GE Panoramio by © Bear:

Mecca – After Mecca in Saudi Arabia (maybe).  Wiki was silent on the issue, so I rolled up my sleeves a little.  And I found an obscure source that actually addressed the naming of the town.

From Inventing America’s ‘Worst’ Family:  Eugenics, Islam, and the Fall and Rise of the Tribe of Ishmael, by Nathanial Deutsch:

In the case of Mecca, Indiana, [the name suggests] a possible connection to Islam.  According to one local story, in the 1890s a tile plant was built in the vicinity of the town, “and they needed cheap workers, so they sent over to the Near East and got these Moslems . . . When they got paid, they’d come to town and say it was almost like coming to Mecca, and so they called the town Mecca.”

Another local tradition traced the genesis of the town’s name to the 1880s, when Arab workers from the Middle East were supposedly brought to train Arabian horses.

From CNN.com, this, of the Hajj in Mecca:

Montezuma – After a ruler of Mexico.  From Wiki: 

Montezuma was laid out in about 1824.  The town was named for Moctezuma II, ruler of Mexico from 1502 – 1520.

Also from Wiki:

The first contact between indigenous civilizations of Mesoamerica and Europeans took place during his reign, and he was killed during the initial stages of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, when conquistador Hernán Cortés and his men fought to escape from the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan.

Tangier – After the city in Morocco, located on the southern shore of the Strait of Gibraltar.   

Here’s a picture from Tangier (hotelmapper.com) looking across the Strait.  You can the Rock of Gibraltar to the far right:

And another Tangier shot, from GQ.com:

Yeddo – After an old name for what is currently Tokyo.  Oh my!  I just realized that I featured Yeddo in an earlier post (November 2014).  From that post:

Googling Yeddo (without Indiana) got me to Wiki, which redirects Yeddo to Edo:

Edo (江戸), literally “bay-entrance” or “estuary”), also romanized as Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of Tokyo.  It was the seat of power from 1603 to 1868. During this period, it grew to become one of the largest cities in the world.

It looks like it’s time to roll up my sleeves and see if there’s some interesting Yeddo history I can write about.  First, a little nuts and bolts history.  From Wiki:

By 1590, when the shogun leader Tokugawa Ieyasu selected Edo as his military headquarters, the settlement boasted a mere hundred thatch-roofed cottages.

[So, in 1590, we had a hundred thatched-roofed cottages.]

Ieyasu assembled warriors and craftsmen, fortified the Edojuku castle with moats and bridges, and built up the town. By 1603, Ieyasu was the de facto ruler of Japan, and his Edo became a powerful and flourishing city as the effective national capital.  Japan’s imperial seat and official capital remained in Kyoto, but the Emperor was virtually powerless.

[So, somehow, this Shogun Ieyasu totally out-maneuvered the Emperor in Kyoto.]

The outer enclosures of Edo Castle were completed in 1606.and it continues to remain at the core of the city.

Continuous growth ensued, only interrupted by natural disasters, including fires, earthquakes and floods. Fires were so commonplace that they came to be called the “blossoms of Edo”.  In 1657, the Great Fire of Meireki destroyed two-thirds of the city and killed 100,000; and another disastrous fire in 1668 lasted for 45 days.

In spite of the disasters, by 1721, over a million people lived in Edo (Yeddo), making it (by far) the largest city in the world.

Here’s a picture of the most spectacular part of Edo Castle (from Wiki):

Back to now.  And (finally), it’s time for Group 3, which are towns with an independent hook in each.  I’ll start with Roachdale, which was named after Judge Roach, a late 19th century railroad official.  From Wiki:

An annual tradition of roach races began in the town in 1981, as “a gimmick for the Fourth of July carnival.”  Contestants put their insects in a plastic container that is placed in the center of a circular board.  The container is lifted at the start of the race and whichever roach reaches the perimeter of the board first is declared the winner of each heat.

The popularity of the race resulted in its appearing on the television programs regionally on Across Indiana and nationally on Good Morning America.

Many contestants dress their roaches by gluing paper top hats, saddles, or other apparel to their backs. At the end of racing the roaches are collected, sprayed with insecticide, and disposed of.

Ouch.  “Used and abused” isn’t strong enough . . .

Here’s a June 2013 race picture from the Greencastle Banner Graphic:

So what about Waveland?   Wiki tells us that Waveland was the boyhood home of American Impressionist artist T. C. Steele (1847 – 1926).  I checked out his work, and really like it.

Interestingly, his art reminds me of another Indiana artist that I recently featured, Daniel Garber (1880 – 1958), from North Manchester, Indiana (featured in my August 14, 2017 post, with an October 10th “revisited” post).

By the way, Steele studied art at Asbury College – now DePauw University.  I’ll just go right to some of his art:


Want a Steele on your living room wall?  A cursory internet search reveals you’ll spend from $10,000 – $50,000.

And I’ll close with this GE pano shot by Ed Allen, taken about 4 miles west of my landing:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day



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Methow and Pateros, Washington

Posted by graywacke on November 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 2375; A Landing A Day blog post number 809.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (48o 10.878’N, 119o 57.308’W) puts me in North Central Washington:

Here’s my local landing map (which doubles as the downstream portion of my watershed map):

You can see my titular Pateros there at the junction of Methow River (1st hit ever!) and the Columbia River (174th hit).

But I actually landed in the watershed of French Creek:

More quickly than usual, click HERE for my Google Earth (GE) space flight that ends up in the boonies of Washington.

I’ll do double duty with my GE Street View of both the Methow River, and my landing:

The Orange Dude is looking across the Methow, up the French Creek valley towards my landing:

Before checking out Pateros (featured), here’s a quick Wiki word about Methow:

It is named after the Methow people, an Interior Salish people who lived in the area. The name “Methow” itself comes from the Okanagan placename meaning “sunflower seeds.”

Cool name and all, but not really a hook.  OK, it’s time for Pateros. From the town website:

Around 1900 things in this little community really started to take off. There were some real visionaries in control of the community, and they had great big plans!

In 1899-1900, a Spanish-American War veteran that had served in the Philippines named Charles Nosler came to what would become Pateros.

Charles Nosler bought homestead land for $8,000 and renamed the community PATEROS (pronounced Pah-TARE-us) after a village he had known in the Philippines.

The name is derived from the word “PATO”, the duck that lays the eggs for balut making, and “SAPATERO” meaning shoemakers, both the main industries in the Philippine Pateros. A few old timers objected to the name change at first, but it fit well and stuck.

Not so sure why “it fit well,” but it obviously stuck.

So.  Pateros is a village in the Philippines, eh?  And what the heck is balut?  Let’s take a quick look at the “village.”  I went to Google Maps, which I found refers to Pateros as “Pateros, Metro Manila, Philippines.”  Hmmmm. Maybe not a village anymore.

Here’s the map:

And here’s a regional GE shot:

And zoomed in:

Pateros is obviously an extremely urban neighborhood in the greater Manila area; not what we’d normally call a “village.” Here’s a Wiki picture of a typical street scene in Pateros:

Notice the Golden Arches?  I checked, and McDonald’s has over 500 restaurants in the Phillippines.  I bet way more than half are in Metro Manila.  I stumbled on some information that said that McDonald’s is the number two restaurant chain in the Philippines.  Number one?  Jollibee. 

Here’s their menu:


By the way, there are more than 3000 Jollibee restaurants world wide, including 10 in northern California, 12 in southern California, 4 in Hawaii, 2 in the Chicago area, 2 in Las Vegas, and one each in NJ, NY, TX, WA, VA and FL.  You might find one popping up in your neighborhood soon!

So, what does Wiki have to say about Pateros?

Pateros is a municipality in Metro Manila, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 63,840.

This small town is famous for its duck-raising industry and especially for producing balut, a Filipino delicacy that is boiled, fertilized duck egg. Pateros is also known for the production of red salty eggs and “inutak,” a local rice cake.

Moreover, the town is known for manufacturing of “alfombra,” a locally-made footwear with a carpet-like fabric on its top surface.

Balut again.  We’ll get to that in a minute.  But first, inutak (a rice desert).  From pinoyhapagkainan.com:

Inutake is a two layered sticky rice cake that has been flavored with Purple yam or vanilla, broiled until the coconut cream toppings turn to a brainy texture. Served with ice cream and coconut toppings.

I suspect that inutak is really good.

And then alfombra?  From ThePinoyWarrior:

Here in the Philippines, there is a city who’s name comes from “sapatero” or shoemaker. In Pateros, shoemaking has been a mainstay industry as well as making “balut.”

Because of the innovative shoemaking skills of the people of Pateros, a different line of footwear emerged and it was called “Alfombra.” The name means “carpet” in Spanish, and literally, the alfombra is a pair of slippers with carpeting. It is one of the best indoor slippers because of its comfort and durability. Colorful and very appealing, every pair is an absolute beauty. Seemingly, the alfombra is uniquely Filipino and only skilled shoemakers of Pateros can do it correctly.

Cool slippers, eh?  But the star of the Pateros legacy is balut.  From Wiki:

A balut is an egg containing a developing bird embryo (usually a duck) that is boiled and eaten from the shell. It originates and is commonly sold as street-food in the Philippines.

The Tagalog word balut means “wrapped.” The length of incubation before the egg is cooked is a matter of local preference, but generally ranges between 14 and 21 days.

As soon as I read this, I realized that I have a personal story to tell, which I’ll get to shortly.  Here’s a Wiki picture of a balut with the top of the shell removed after it has been boiled:

And I found this You Tube video (from BuzzFeed) of Americans eating balut:


Time for my story. Way back in the day (the mid 90s as I recall), I was on an overseas business trip when I worked for Mobil Oil.  After stops in Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong, I went on to Guam.  While there, my host was showing me around, and we hooked up with a group of Chamarros (Guam natives) of Filipino descent. 

I forget the details, but I remember that we were sitting in a circle in some public park, when out came balut.  It almost appeared ceremonial, as the  eggs were passed around.  Of course, I was offered one.

The gentleman next to me opened his, and drank off the broth.  He then showed me what he was about to eat. 

And in one of my lifetime regrets, I took one look at the dark fetus in the shell, and said no thanks.

I had forgotten that what I turned down was called balut . . .

I’m going to use the Philippines connection for a gratuitous excuse to play one of my favorite songs of all time:  “Imelda” by Mark Knopfler.  The song is about Imelda Marcos, the wife of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the country from 1965 to 1986.  The regime was world renowned for its corruption, and Imelda was world renowned for her insatiable appetite for clothes, particularly shoes. 

Anyway, Mark Knopfler wrote a song about her.  Mark’s diction isn’t always the clearest; I recommend that you follow along with the words below.


She’s goin’ shoppin’, shoppin’ for shoes
She want ‘em in magenta and Caribbean blue
Platinum and buttercup, lilac and black
They fill a bucket up, laugh behind her back
Imelda baby, Imelda baby what to do?
All the poor people sayin’ they gotta quit payin’ for you

In New York and Paris, Champs Elysees
They see her comin’ from a long long way
Yeah clap their hands together when they get her in the store
She gonna wanna get more more more and more and more

Imelda baby, Imelda baby what to do?
All the poor people sayin’ they gotta quit payin’ for you

Everyone’s gone Jackie O
Was a regular you know
Thought Madame would like to know
We’ve got the blood red rouge, yea

We’ve got all of Madame’s requisites, all in Nadame’s size
Madame’s taste is truly exquisite, she must accessorize
Yeah the belts are alligator, bags are kangaroo
Enchanté?   May I say the jade was made for you

Imelda baby, Imelda baby what to do?
All the poor people sayin’ they gotta quit payin’ for you
Poor people sayin’ they gotta quit payin’ for you

Imelda baby, yes Imelda baby what to do?
All the poor people sayin’ they gotta quit payin’ for you
Poor people sayin’ they gotta quit payin’ for you.

It’s time to head back to Washington (gee, I forgot — is that where I landed?) for some GE Panoramio shots near my landing (all within 5 miles). 

I’ll start with this great old truck shot by Willie K:

And also by Willie K, this great outcrop:

And then this, by Sandy Beech:

I’ll close with this artfully-composed shot, also by Sandy:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day



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Wallbach, West Virginia

Posted by graywacke on November 3, 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 2374; A Landing A Day blog post number 808.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (38o 30.887’N, 81o 12.511’W) puts me in Central West Virginia:

Here’s my local landing map:

Today’s landing is the one to the west (just inside the Clay County line).  The other landing is my recent (9/26/17) landing, documented in my “Clay County” post.   What are the odds of landing in the same county so quickly?  I don’t know, but they’re PDS*.

*Pretty damn slim.

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of the Upper King Shoals Run; on to the Elk River (3rd hit):

Zooming back:

The Elk discharges to the Kanawha (16th hit); on to the Ohio (147th hit).  Not shown, but known by all (OK, almost all), the Ohio makes its way to the Mighty Mississippi (924th hit). 

Let’s jump over to Google Earth, and check out the real estate where the yellow push pin randomly lands.  Click HERE to do so.

Here’s a nice GE shot of my local watershed, the Upper King Shoals Run:

I landed in the woods, so of course there’s not much to see on Street View.  This is closest I could get – where the GoogleMobile dead-ended:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I’m not sure why the GoogleMobile just stopped shooting all of a sudden . . .

Fortunately, there’s a river road with Street View coverage, so we could get a look at the Upper King Shoals Run just before it discharges to the Elk:

Ain’t much to see:

I was able to get a nearby look at the Elk River:

Here’s the view:

It looks like a cool bridge.  I had the Orange Dude go to the end of the bridge and look back:

Moving right along – as mentioned above, I landed in Clay County recently (a mere seven landings ago).  For that post, I scoured the long list of unincorporated “towns” in the county looking for a hook. 

But I think I missed Wallback, today’s titular town.  From Wiki:

The community is named for John de Barth Walbach, an Alsatian hussar of the French Revolutionary Wars who became an aide to Alexander Hamilton, rose to Adjutant General of the United States during the War of 1812, served in the Army for 57 years and was on active duty until his death at age 90; the oldest acting officer in U.S. history.

“Alsatian hussar?”  What the heck?  So, he was from the Alsace region of eastern France, along the German border.  Historically, Alsace has swung back and forth between France and Germany; in fact, Walbach is a German name. 

Wiki tells us that the term “hussar” is of 15th century Hungarian origin and refers to lightly-armed calvary.  The term came into general European usage in the 18th and 19th century.   

His career was distinguished, as is clear from his official Army eulogy:

“His long life and military career were characterized by some of the best traits of a gentleman and as soldier – unwavering integrity, truth and honor, strict attention to duty and zeal for service; and he tempered the administration of an exact discipline by the most elevated courtesies.”

Also –  I love that the Americanization of “Walbach” is “Wallback.”  Let’s take a quick GE look at Wallback:

And there’s Street View coverage!  I think I’ll get wild and crazy and call this “Mowing the grass in Wallback:”

Here’s some more on Wallback from Wiki:

John de Barth Walbach inherited 10,000 acres on the Elk River (including the land surrounding the town of Wallback) from his father, Count Jean-Joseph de Barth, who led the “French 500” fleeing the French Revolution and founding Gallipolis, Ohio.

I’ll bite.  I checked out Wiki and some other general sources of information about the French Revolution and the French 500.  Here’s my summary:

The French Revolution (1789 through most of the 90s) was a crazy, tumultuous, deadly time.  Although the French monarchy officially ended with the arrest of Louis XVI in August 1792 (he was guillotined the next January), the seeds of the revolution were planted in the late 80s, inspired at least in part by the American Revolution.

The early phase of the uprising culminated on July 14, 1789 when rioters stormed the Bastille fortress in an attempt to secure gunpowder and weapons; many consider this event, now commemorated in France as a national holiday, as the start of the French Revolution.

It wasn’t a good time to be a French aristocrat (or anyone against the revolution).  The first wave of killings of such folks occurred in 1792, culminating in the Reign of Terror (“la Terreur”), a 10-month period in 1793 when suspected enemies of the revolution were guillotined by the thousands.

So, smart loyalists got out early.  That’s where the French 500 come in.  Five ships left France in 1790, filled with loyalist families who had bought shares for land along the Ohio River in what became southeast Ohio.  Their settlement became known as the town of Gallipolis (City of the Gauls). 

From HubPages.com:

Life was not easy for these settlers. Most of them were accustomed to the finer lifestyles of nobleman France, having been part of the upper class of the reign of King Louis XVI. The life in their new colony was rough and basic, but many strove to make it work because the alternative would have been to return to France and possibly face the guillotine.

Before leaving the French Revolution, I felt like I needed to learn how the revolution led so quickly to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte who came to power sometime around 1800. I didn’t have a clue, until now.  From History.com:

On August 22, 1795, the National Convention, composed largely of Girondins (a moderate revolutionary party), approved a new constitution that created France’s first bicameral legislature. Executive power was in the hands of a five-member Directory (“Directoire”) appointed by parliament.

The Directory’s four years in power were riddled with financial crises, popular discontent, inefficiency and, above all, political corruption. By the late 1790s, the directors relied almost entirely on the military (led by a young general named Napoleon Bonaparte) to maintain their authority.

On November 9, 1799, as frustration with their leadership reached a fever pitch, Bonaparte staged a coup d’état, abolishing the Directory and appointing himself France’s “first consul.” The event marked the end of the French Revolution and the beginning of the Napoleonic era.

There you have it (and I hope you learned something).

So I need to close this admittedly lackluster post with a little music followed by a couple of local-to-my-landing GE Panoramio shots.

Music?  Well, since this is my second WV post in short order, I thought I’d give a listen to “Almost Heaven,” by none other than John Denver.  Poor John.  He has often been dismissed as a light-weight pop singer, which I guess he is.  But I like several of his songs, including this one:

Now on to some GE Pano shots.  First this, by Lawlimoth, of the Elk River:

I close with this classic barn shot by West Virginia Explorer:


That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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