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Archive for February, 2018

Equinunk, Pennsylvania

Posted by graywacke on February 25, 2018

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 2390; A Landing A Day blog post number 824.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (41o 50.038’N, 75o 16.625’W) puts me in NE Pennsylvania:

Here’s my local landing map:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Kinneyville Ck, on to Equinunk Ck; on to the Delaware River (9th hit):

So, water from my landing location eventually makes its way down the beautiful Delaware River, through the Delaware Water Gap, past Belvidere (my Mom’s home town where I used to swim in the river at the town beach), past Easton (home of Lafayette College, of which I am an alum), past Frenchtown, Stockton, Lambertville, New Hope, Yardley, Morrisville & Trenton (various towns along the river near Pennington NJ, where I currently reside).

JFTHOI* here’s a map showing the 413 landings since January 2013 (when a hard drive crash necessitated downloading a new version of GE that wiped clean my “placemarks” that show my landing locations).

*Just for the heck of it.

Here’s a close-up showing my four Pennsylvania landings (including today’s landing):

Peculiar, isn’t it, that the Landing God obiously favors northeast Pennsylvania? 

Staying with GE, here’s a map that shows where the Orange Dude can get a look at the Equinunk Creek:

And here’s what he sees:

Heading upstream to near Hancock NY, here’s a shot of the East Branch of the Delaware River (looking upstream):

And looking downstream:

JFTHOI,  here’s the view from the Belvidere bridge over the Delaware.  I’ve walked across this bridge countless times, and enjoyed this upstream view likewise countless times:

I mentioned the Belvidere public “beach” above.  It was there on the opposite (Pennsylvania) shore.  I think that the “beach” was closed some time in the 60s . . .

So.  I’ll present my local landing map again:

Of course I checked out each town on the map.  Guess what?  This region is entirely:

This area is so hookless, I need to do it again!

As long time regulars know, even when I complain about the hookless nature of my landing, I somehow manage to find something to write about. 

Well, there’s a first time for everything.  I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT ANY LOCAL TOWNS, LOCAL PERSONALITIES, LOCAL HISTORY, LOCAL GEOLOGY or LOCAL STREAMS.

I needed a titular town, so I picked Equinunk for two reasons – it was close to my landing, and I liked the name. 

So what the heck.  I’ll totally digress and talk a little about some of the details of my landing spreadsheet.

Here’s the nuts and bolts part of my spreadsheet:

Notes:

  1. In the first column, you can see that this is landing 2390.
  2. In the second column, you can see that I have 174 landings since I changed how I calculate my random lat/longs.
  3. In the fourth column is my Score, based on all 2390 landings. See “About Landings (Revisited)” to learn about my Score.
  4. In the fifth column is my Score, based on my last 174 landings.
  5. In the sixth column is my original Score after my very first 174 landings. (Go figure.  Why was my Score so much lower after my first 174 landings than after my latest 174 landings?  Only the Landing God knows).
  6. In the seventh column is the difference between these two Scores.
  7. Eighth and ninth columns: random latitude, random longitude
  8. Tenth column: the altitude of my landing (feet above sea level)
  9. Then, landing location, and
  10. Watershed analysis, and
  11. Number of streams encountered.

Just a quick word about items 4 and 5.  As discussed in About Landings (Revisited), my long time method for calculating random lat/longs was flawed while my new method (for the last 174 landings) is truly random.  One would think that truly random lat/longs would result in a lower Score.  Oh well . . .

Here’s the portion of the spreadsheet where I keep track of my landings that are outside of the lower 48 (aka “Try Agains”):

Here’s where I keep track of the number of landings in the various states (obviously for all 2390 landings):

Notes:

  1. The “First Landing” column shows the landing number when I first landed in a particular state.
  2. I’ve never landed in Delaware! In my world, that’s the only red state!
  3. Blue states are those where I’ve landed in my last 174 landings. Black states are those I have yet to land in my last 174.
  4. I total the number of landings, and have the spreadsheet perform a calculation so that I know that I’ve tracked the same number of watersheds.
  5. The spreadsheet also tells me the number of different river watersheds in which I’ve landed.

Here’s the upper portion of the watershed tracking portion of my spreadsheet:

As you can see, I look at six fundamental watersheds:

  1. The Mississippi (not counting the Missouri): 503 hits
  2. The Missouri: 424 hits
  3. The Atlantic Ocean: 390 hits
  4. Gulf Coast rivers (not counting the Mississippi): 347 hits
  5. The Pacific Ocean: 463 hits
  6. Internally-drained: 263 hits

Hopefully, it’s intuitively obvious how I list my watersheds.  For example, I’ve landed in the Beaver River watershed 8 times.  It flows into the North Canadian River (18 hits); which flows into the Canadian River (49 hits); which flows into the Arkansas River (130 hits).

JFTHOI, here are screen shots that show all of my watershed entries (obviously, feel free to skim)

 

 

 

If you paid any attention at all, you may have noticed that the Atlantic Ocean watersheds ended up with the most entries.

I also have my spreadsheet plot each of my 2390 landings on a blank background.  Here’s what it looks like:

It may not look like 2390 dots, but they’re all there . . .

Enough already.  Here’s a GE photo of the Delaware by Michael Chapman:

I’ll close with Flickr shot of the Delaware near my landing by John Penney:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

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Susanville, Standish and Honey Lake, California

Posted by graywacke on February 16, 2018

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 2389; A Landing A Day blog post number 823.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (40o 13.417’N, 120o 28.783’W) puts me in NE California:

Here’s my local landing map:

I won’t bother with a streams-only map, because guess what?  Water that flows into Honey Lake doesn’t go anywhere!  It either evaporates or sinks in . . .

Jumping right to Google Earth (GE), here’s a an oblique shot showing my landing in the hills above Honey Lake:

Here’s another GE shot that shows the Orange Dude standing where the unnamed “stream” that flows from my landing crosses under a road just before making its way into Honey Lake:

Here’s the downstream view:

The upstream view does double duty, giving us a landing shot as well:

I’ll start with a little (very little) about Susanville (pop 18,000).  It turns out that the main economic engine for the area are three prisons – two State, one Federal.  From Wiki:

The prisons and their effects on the community, including the provision of much needed jobs, were explored in the documentary, Prison Town, USA (2007), aired on PBS.  Nearly half the adult population of Susanville works at the three prisons in the area where 11,000 people are incarcerated.

I found a couple of back-in-the day shots.  First this, of Main Street Susanville in 1894:

And then this, also of Main Street, taken in the year of my birth (1950):

Boy, does that picture make me feel old . . .

Now I’ll move a few miles southeast for a quick look at Standish.  From Wiki:

Standish was established in the 1890s, as a development of the Associated Colonies of New York, whose job was to “create utopian communities in the West”.   As a part of this project, Standish was designed based on the beliefs of Myles Standish, and the economic structure was designed under the ideas promoted by Mormon leader Brigham Young.

The design of the town was supposed to model European communities which had the majority of residents leaving the village during the day in order to work in the nearby fields.

A 240-acre site was chosen to build the town in 1898, and the Colonial Irrigation Company of the Honey Lake Valley was incorporated in order to irrigate water for the crops.

However, legal problems with the system and water rights caused delay in its operation and the development of Standish; after several legal battles, the courts placed restraints on their irrigation rights.  In 1905, the courts ordered the auction of the Colonial Irrigation Company.

And that was that.

So, who was Myles Standish?  He was a career military man who joined up with the Pilgrims seeking religious freedom in America.  He took on a leadership role for the Pilgrims once they set up their colony in Plymouth MA.  He led negotiations with Indians, and also defended the colony from hostile Indian attacks. 

He helped negotiate the “Mayflower Compact,” which was necessary because about half of the 104 Mayflower passengers were religious (the “Saints”), and about half weren’t (the “Strangers”).  The Compact was their agreement about how to coexist and therefore survive.

He’s always pictured with this fru-fru collar:

But he was a tough guy, and was actually honored as “Badass of the Week,” by baddassoftheweek.com.

So what I really want to talk about is Honey Lake. It turns out that I landed near Honey Lake back in March 2009, so I’ll be borrowing some from that earlier post.

Anyway, Honey lake is dry most of the time (like when the GE aerial shot was taken).  Although, during a particularly rainy season, it has water.  From TIPurdy.org, this 1987 shot:

I’m sure local boaters are very excited when the lake fills up!

Way back around 13,000 years ago (during the height of the latest Ice Age), what is today Honey Lake was a part of a huge lake system known as Lake Lohontan:

Honey Lake is just above the word “Pyramid.”

The lake covered an area of 8,500 square miles, and had a maximum depth of 900 feet at Pyramid Lake.  The lake was nearly 400 feet deep at Honey Lake. 

The Maidu Indians lived on the shores of the Lake.  From the Honey Lake Maidu website:

The Northeastern Maidu, also known as the Mountain Maidu, lived (and still live) around a series of mountain valleys.

For subsistence, the Maidu depended primarily on acorns, seeds berries, and roots, as well as on deer, pronghorn, wild fowl, and fish.

At one time, the Maidu possessed a rich and complex oral tradition that began with the contest between Earthmaker (K’odojapem) and Coyote (Wepam wajsim) at creation and following the flood.

In his studies of Maidu oral tradition, one researcher found “a complete absence, apparently, of any sort of migration legend; all portions of the stock declaring emphatically that they originated precisely in their present homes.”

Here’s a picture of some Maidu folks back in the day:

Here’s the beginning of the oral Maidu creation story, as told by Leona Morales.  Leona told the story before she died in 1985:

I am Leona Morales and I want to tell you a story that my old people told me.

I was born in 1900 and I know a lot of my old people. My mother (Roxie Peconom) told me the story about a Maker who made this world. They called him Kodomyeponi. The Maidu called him that. My aunt told me stories about it as did my uncle. So I pieced the stories together and I think I got it just about down pat.

I’ll tell the story about the Maker, the man that made this world. He said one day – I don’t know what time it was – the birds and the flowers and even the brooks were singing. Even the little animals were so happy, dancing around. This is the story that was told to me. They were just singing, even the brooks were singing, trees were swaying, and the leaves were dancing in the trees. They were so happy. They saw a bright light in the west and said, “That’s what the old one told us. When we see the bright light in the west, he says, He’s coming. He’s coming. He’s going to make this world right.”

For his people, the old one told us that one day He would come. Now, I don’t know what the old one was, but that’s the way the story goes. Oh, he said, the birds were singing, everybody was just so happy because they had seen the light in the west. A real bright light, kept getting brighter and brighter. It seems like it started from Quincy way. Here was this man. He had a light over his head. He was walking.  He had a cane.

There’s much more, and it’s very cool.   Click HERE to read the rest of the creation story (and more about the Honey Lake Maidu).

A quick aside.  I signed the Honey Lake Maidu website guestbook back in 2009:

And I signed it again for this post:

I’m ready to close things down for this post, and would generally checkout the GE Panoramio shots.  As I noted in a recent post, Panoramio is no more, although the photo icons are still posted on GE (but with no photos).  Here’s a GE shot showing the small blue Pano icons, and the larger circle icons for the new photos:

Ouch. There’s maybe a hundred Pano shots, but just a handfull of new photos.  Oh, well.

I checked out the few photos around my landing, and found none post-worthy.  But I found this 1997 Honey Lake shot from the same site that posted the sail boat photo above (TIPurdy.org):

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

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Blewett, Dabney and Brackettville, Texas

Posted by graywacke on February 8, 2018

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 2388; A Landing A Day blog post number 822.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (29o 11.258’N, 100o 2.347’W) puts me in SW Texas:

Here’s my local landing map:

My very local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Turkey Creek:

Zooming way back, trust me that Turkey Creek discharges to the Nueces River (14th hit):

I’ll start with Blewett & Dabney together, since their history and demise are closely tied together.  Both “towns” were founded due to the presence (and mining) of asphalt rock nearby.  The rock in question is actually a limestone, but it’s very rich in bitumen – a naturally-occurring asphalt.

There was a market for the stuff – it was used (not surprisingly) as a road-building material.  But the market dried up and/or the rock ran out.  Anyway, neither town exists now.  The population of each is zero.

TexasEscapes.com lumped the towns together.  Here’s an excerpt of their write-up (and some pictures):

Blewett and Dabney are easy to find – at least on the official highway Map. But finding them in person is another matter. We did see some surprisingly scenic asphalt rock pits, however:

We spoke to a Texas Department of Transportation cartographer, who said that once a city or town is incorporated – it stays incorporated until it’s officially unincorporated. Which means when a town is abandoned, the last person to leave should file un-incorporation papers with the appropriate governing body before turning out the lights.

Evidently, this didn’t happen for Blewett or Dabney.

Poor old Spofford (although it currently exists) is totally hookless.  So that leaves Brackettville – which sounds like college basketball fans should descend on the town every March.  If you don’t get my joke, don’t worry – just keep reading . . .

According to Wiki, Brackettville (pop 1900) claims to be the “drive-in movie capital of Texas.”  No hook there.  But Wiki also has this:

For many years, it was the base of the famous Buffalo Soldiers, made up of African Americans, who in the years after the Civil War, were recruited to fight in the Indian wars.

So, who were these Buffalo Soldiers?  From Wiki:

Buffalo Soldiers originally were members of the 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed in1866. This nickname was given to the Negro Cavalry by Native American tribes who fought in the Indian Wars.

Although not agreed upon by all scholars, it is likely that both the Apache and Comanche used the term “buffalo soldiers.”

“We called them ‘buffalo soldiers,’ because they had curly, kinky hair … like bisons.”

Some sources assert that the nickname was given out of respect for the fierce fighting ability of the 10th Cavalry.  Still other sources point to a combination of both legends.

Wiki actually presents this picture to show the kinky-haired bison:

The Buffalo Soldiers were highly-decorated, winning 23 medals of honor.

On September 6, 2005, Mark Matthews, the last living Buffalo Soldier, died at the age of 111. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Here’s an interesting aside about Brackettville, from Wiki:

Historically, Brackettville had a relatively large proportion of Black Seminoles (people of mixed African American and Seminole ancestry).  These people were recruited by the US to act as scouts for the Buffalo Soldiers and settled with their families in the town. Their language, Afro-Seminole Creole, is still spoken by some in Brackettville.

I’m certain that most of my regular readers will know what’s coming next.  Yes, Bob Marley will make an appearance!

The only unusual thing is that the video contains the lyrics, so I don’t have to copy and paste them into the post . . .

 

So.  It’s official.  After months of warnings, Google Earth has abandoned Panoramio photos.  Although the Panoramio icons still appear, the photos themselves are gone.  What is slowly replacing the Pano shots are photos that I’ll simply call Google Earth (GE) photos.  So . . .

I’ll close with a couple of GE photos of the Nueces River.  Obviously, children love to jump in the river.  First this, by Jason Hill:

And then this, by Matthew Ricks:

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

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Millbrook, New York

Posted by graywacke on February 2, 2018

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 2387; A Landing A Day blog post number 821.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (41o 45.945’N, 73o 43.977’W) puts me in southern (but still “upstate”) New York:

Here’s my local landing map:

I had absolutely no Google Earth (GE) Street View coverage, so I’ll settle for this GE shot of my landing:

And this zoomed-back oblique shot, to give you a picture of the broader landscape around my landing:

Here’s my streams-only map, showing that I landed in the watershed of the East Branch of Wappinger Ck; on to Wappinger Ck; on to the Hudson River (17th hit):

And yes, water from the East Branch of the Wappinger was in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, making its way past Midtown Manhattan (and Weehawken NJ).  Water molecules from my watershed (at least those near the surface) noted a sudden, unexpected disturbance:

Good job, Sully!!

So.  I landed near Millbrook.  All in all, a fairly unremarkable little town, although located in the lovely Hudson Valley.  Of course, I went to Wiki and checked out the “History” section for Millbrook.  Here’s what it says:

Millbrook is the site of the Hitchcock Estate, which Timothy Leary made a nexus of the psychedelic movement in the 1960s and where he conducted research and wrote “The Psychedelic Experience.”

Interesting.  “Hitchcock Estate” was Wiki-clickable, so, of course, I clicked:

The Hitchcock Estate in Millbrook, New York is a historic mansion and surrounding grounds, associated with Timothy Leary and the psychedelic movement.

The 2,300-acre estate (with its 68-room house built in 1912) was eventually owned by the Hitchcock family, heirs to the Mellon fortune.. Siblings William Mellon “Billy” Hitchcock, Tommy Hitchcock III, and Margaret Mellon “Peggy” Hitchcock, became familiar with Timothy Leary’s work with psychedelic drugs at Havard University and gave the estate over for use by Lear in 1963, after he was fired by Havard.

Leary and the group he gathered around him lived at the estate and performed research into psychedelics there. Leary wrote (with Ralph Metzner) the 1964 book “The Psychedelic Experience” at the mansion.

People who lived at the estate included Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass; more about him later) and Maynard Ferguson, while the numerous visitors and guests included R. D. Laing, Alan Watts, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Mingus, and Ivy League academics.

Nina Graboi described Millbrook as “a cross between a country club, a madhouse, a research institute, a monastery, and a Fellini movie set. When you entered you were greeted by a sign that asked you to ‘kindly check your esteemed ego at the door.’”

The Millbrook estate was described by Luc Sante of The New York Times as:

 …the headquarters of Leary and gang for the better part of five years, a period filled with endless parties, epiphanies and breakdowns, emotional dramas of all sizes, and numerous raids and arrests, many of them on flimsy charges concocted by the local assistant district attorney, G. Gordon Liddy.

Leary and his group were evicted in 1968; Leary moved to California.

So, who is this Leary guy?

From Wiki:

Timothy Francis Leary (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American psychologist and writer known for advocating the exploration of the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs under controlled conditions. Leary conducted experiments under the Harvard Psilocybin Project.

Leary’s colleague, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), was fired from Harvard University on May 27, 1963 for giving psilocybin to an undergraduate student. Leary was also fired, for “failure to keep classroom appointments.”

Leary believed that LSD showed potential for therapeutic use in psychiatry. He used LSD himself and developed a philosophy of mind expansion and personal truth through LSD.

He popularized catchphrases that promoted his philosophy, such as “turn on, tune in, drop out,” and “think for yourself and question authority.”

During the 1960s and 1970s, he was arrested often enough to see the inside of 36 different prisons worldwide.  President Richard Nixon once described Leary as “the most dangerous man in America.”

Interesting aside:  My wife Jody started and ran a day-care center in San Francisco back in the 70s.  I mentioned Ram Dass, above, as Leary’s Harvard (and Millbrook) colleague.  Well, Ram ended up in San Francisco, and his son ended up in Jody’s day-care center.  And yes, this is his picture . . .

So, what is LSD?  From Wiki:

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also known as acid, is a psychedelic drug known for its psychological effects, which may include altered awareness of one’s surroundings, perceptions, and feelings as well as sensations and images that seem real though they are not.

It is used mainly as a recreational drug and for spiritual reasons. LSD is not usually addictive.  However, adverse psychiatric reactions such as anxiety, paranoia, and delusions are possible.

LSD is in the ergoline family and was first made by Albert Hofmann in Switzerland in 1938 from ergotamine, a chemical from the fungus ergot.

[AYKM?  Before a couple of weeks ago, I had never heard of ergot, and here I am featuring it in two of my last three posts!  More about my previous post in a bit.]

The CIA thought the drug might be useful for mind control and chemical warfare and tested the drug on young servicemen and students, and others without their knowledge. The subsequent recreational use by youth culture in the Western world as part of 1960s counterculture resulted in its prohibition.

LSD can cause intense spiritual experiences, during which users may feel they have come into contact with a greater spiritual or cosmic order. Users sometimes report out of body experiences.

Some sensory effects may include an experience of radiant colors, objects and surfaces appearing to ripple or “breathe,” colored patterns behind the closed eyelids, an altered sense of time (time seems to be stretching, repeating itself, changing speed or stopping), crawling geometric patterns overlaying walls and other objects, and morphing objects.

Disclaimer:  I never took LSD, although I once took psilocybin as a college student.  I really enjoyed it, but while under the influence, I thought that I should drop out of school and see America.  I decided I better not do it again . . .

Anyway, just a quick word about ergot and my recent Montana landing, which included the town of Martinsdale, home of poet Grace Stone Coates.  In her poem that I featured was the line:  “You are more bitter upon my lips than ergot.”  I took pains to explain that ergot was a fungus that shows up on ripe grain kernels, tastes awful and can make you seriously ill.

Moving right along.  I landed just over the ridge from Innisfree Garden, a private garden that charges for admission.  I suspect it’s well worth the price (especially on a beautiful spring day).  I’ll close with some pictures lifted from InnisfreeGarden.org:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

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