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Archive for December, 2019

Bill and Lance Creek, Wyoming

Posted by graywacke on December 23, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week 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 relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2467; A Landing A Day blog post number 903.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N43o 18.489’, W104o 35.143’) puts me in E-Cen Wyoming:

You can see I landed way out in the boonies:

(But only about 70 miles northeast from my Douglas Wyoming post just two landings ago).

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the Cheyenne River watershed (20th hit):

Before zooming back, I’ll zoom in using Google Earth (and a stream-identifier app) that shows that more locally, I landed in the watershed of Lance Creek:

Zooming back as promised, you can see that the Cheyenne discharges to the Missouri (437th hit):

Of course, the Big Mo can’t help itself but run into the Mighty Mississipp (953rd hit).

Hopping back on GE, you can see that I had to go about 20 miles east to get the Orange Dude’s closest look at my watershed stream (the Cheyenne).  You can also see why I didn’t bother with a Street View shot of my landing:

And here’s the OD’s view of the not-so-mighty Cheyenne:

Before leaving GE behind, I had the OD find a typical stretch of roadway and adjoining terrain for us to take a look at (even though it’s quite a distance from my landing).  Here ‘tis:

It’s time to get to know Bill.  From Wiki:

The settlement began shortly after World War I, when a doctor moved there. It was called “Bill” by the doctor’s wife due to a number of men in the area with that name. Before long, Bill had a post office and small store selling sandwiches to truckers and a country school for children from surrounding ranches.

The owner of the store even established the “Bill Yacht Club” which had no boats (let alone water) but sold hats and T-shirts to passing tourists who felt they were in on the joke

After World War II, the town’s population began to decrease and, by the 1980s, Bill was reduced to just the small store and adjacent residence. Then, after the turn of the 21st Century, the Union Pacific Railroad, which ran past Bill, decided to develop a stop at Bill for resting and changing crews. They built a small rail yard with shopping district, and the town thereafter redeveloped. The new development more than doubled Bill’s population from 5 (including pets) to 11 people in just two years.

By 2008, it had been developed much further to include a 112-room hotel and a 24-hour diner (both open to everyone but catering especially to railroaders). Also the post office and elementary school were restored (although the “post office” is now a bar). The hotel serves railroad employees as a crew-change station on the coal line running south through the area from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coal mines. Railroad conductors, engineers, and other employees are required to stop and take mandatory rests in Bill.

Here’s the GE shot of Bill:

Here’s a GE Streetview shot of the Bill Store and the Post Office (aka downtown).

And the new hotel and restaurant:

Moving on to Lance Creek.  Although Wiki says nothing about the oil boom history of Lance Creek, other sources note that oil was discovered here in 1917, and soon, the Lance Creek oil field was the largest producing field in the Rocky Mountain region.  The town of Lance Creek boomed, reaching a population of nearly 2000 in the 1920s.  Oil production declined in the 1930s and 1940s, and the town pretty much disappeared in the 1950s. 

Wyoming Trails and Tales (.com) had these pictures:

Note that caption says that the oil from the well is being discharged into a “dammed-up gulch.”  Amazing.  Today, it’s a major environmental problem when even small amounts of oil leak onto the ground.  Back in the day, necessity demanded (at least I assume they had no choice) that they pumped thousands of gallons of bubblin’ crude into a ditch!

Here’s all that remains of Lance Creek today:

As you can see, amazingly, the GoogleMobile actually took a spin to visit the only side road in Lance Creek.  Although the Orange Dude was excited to experience some local color, he didn’t have much to see:

Wiki did have this to say about Lance Creek:

Lance Creek is the namesake of the Lance Creek Formation, a rock formation from the Late Cretaceous that has yielded fossils from a diverse number of species.

Oh boy!  Geology!  “Lance Creek Formation” was wiki-clickable:

The formation includes buff-colored sandstone and drab to green shale. It is Upper Cretaceous in age (deposited 66 – 69 million years ago, at the end of the Reign of the Dinosaurs).

The formation varies in thickness from about 300 ft. in North Dakota, to almost 2,000 ft. in parts of Wyoming.

The Lance Formation was laid down by streams, on a coastal plain along the edge of the Western Interior Seaway. The climate was subtropical; there was no cold season and probably ample precipitation.

The Western Interior Seaway was also wiki-clickable:

The Western Interior Seaway was a large inland sea that existed during the mid- to late Cretaceous period as well as the very early Paleogene, splitting the continent of North America into two landmasses, Laramidia to the west and Appalachia to the east.

The ancient sea stretched from the Gulf of Mexico and through the middle of the modern-day countries of the United States and Canada, meeting with the Arctic Ocean to the north. At its largest, it was 2,500 feet deep, 600 miles wide and over 2,000 miles long.

Back to the Lance Creek Formation:

Tens of thousands of Late Cretaceous vertebrate remains have been recovered from the Lance Creek Formation. Fossils are found in extensive bonebeds, including nearly complete, sometimes articulated dinosaur skeletons.

Other animals known from the formation include crocodiles, champsosaurs, lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs and salamanders.  Marine fossils are also found in the formation, suggesting that the sea was nearby. The bird fauna is mainly composed of orders still existing today.

Champsosaurs?  They’re semi-aquatic reptiles (meaning they lived both in and out of water), and they looked like this:

Here’s a smattering of the dinosaur species that have been found in the Lance Creek formation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll close with this shot of my watershed stream, Lance Creek, taken a mere three miles south of my landing (and posted on GE by Elifino 57):

 

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2019 A Landing A Day

 

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Corinth, Georgia

Posted by graywacke on December 12, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week 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 relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2466; A Landing A Day blog post number 902.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N33o 18.695’, W84o 59.590’) puts me in W-Cen Georgia:

 

 

Here’s my local landing map:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Golden Creek:

And then on we go to Mountain Creek.  Zooming back:

Mountain Creek makes its way to the New River (first hit ever!); to the Chattahoochee River (4th hit).  Zooming back:

The Chattahoochee (doing its job as the boundary between Georgia & Alabama) discharges to the Apalachicola (11th hit).

Wow.  The Chattahoochee to the Apalachicola.  What a lyrical confluence.  I wonder how many 10-syllable, 25-letter confluences there are (only counting the river names)?

Moving over to Google Earth (GE), let’s see if the Orange Dude can get a decent look at my landing.  I guess so!

From a mere 80’ away,

Here’s what he sees:

From up by the South Forks Convenience Store & Service Station:

Here’s his view:

The OD headed southwest to find the spot where the Golden Creek flows into Blalock Lake (#2):

And here ‘tis:

As usual, I checked out the various towns near my landing (sorry Newnan and Grantville), but settled on teeny Corinth (pop 213 back in 2000). Here’s a GE shot:

Wiki has little to say:

The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1839 as the “Town of Corinth”.  The community’s name is a transfer from Ancient Corinth, in Greece.  A post office was established at Corinth in 1833, and remained in operation until 1914.  Corinth disincorporated on May 1, 2000.

Now I understand why I had to put up with 2000 population data.  So what about Ancient Corinth?  From Wiki:

Corinth was a city-state on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta:

The modern city of Corinth is located approximately 3 mi northeast of the ancient ruins. Since 1896, systematic archaeological investigations of the Corinth Excavations have revealed large parts of the ancient city.

For Christians, Corinth is well known from the two letters of Saint Paul in the New Testament, First and Second Corinthians.

Ancient Corinth was one of the largest and most important cities of Greece, with a population of 90,000 in 400 BC.  The Romans demolished Corinth in 146 BC, built a new city in its place in 44 BC, and later made it the provincial capital of Greece.

As you might guess, Wiki has a very lengthy article on Ancient Corinth, detailing various wars, invasions, high points, low points and earthquakes (including ones in 375 and 365 BC, which largely destroyed the city, and one in 856 AD, that killed an estimated 45,000 Corintheans; and then, in 1858, the Ancient city was destroyed once and for all, leading to the establishment of modern Corinth about 3 miles away).

Check out this cool silver coin from about 325 BC:

Here are some ruins pics from Wiki:

I figured that someone had dug a canal through the isthmus, and I was right:

From Wiki:

Several rulers of antiquity dreamed of excavating a canal through the isthmus. The first to propose such an undertaking was the tyrant Periander in the 7th century BC. The project was abandoned and Periander instead constructed a simpler and less costly overland portage road, named the Diolkos or stone carriageway, along which ships could be towed from one side of the isthmus to the other. Remnants of the Diolkos still exist next to the modern canal.

The philosopher Apollonius of Tyana prophesied that anyone who proposed to dig a Corinthian canal would be met with illness. Three Roman rulers considered the idea but all suffered violent deaths; the historian Suetonius writes that the Roman dictator Julius Caesar considered digging a canal through the isthmus but was assassinated before he could begin the project.  Caligula, the third Roman Emperor, commissioned a study in 40 AD from Egyptian experts who claimed incorrectly that the Corinthian Gulf was higher than the Saronic Gulf. As a result, they concluded, if a canal were dug the island of Aegina would be inundated. Caligula’s interest in the idea got no further as he too was assassinated before making any progress.

The emperor Nero was the first to attempt to construct the canal, personally breaking the ground with a pickaxe and removing the first basket-load of soil in 67 AD, but the project was abandoned when he died shortly afterwards. The Roman workforce, consisting of 6,000 Jewish prisoners of war, started digging 150 ft trenches from both sides, while a third group at the ridge drilled deep shafts for probing the quality of the rock (which were reused in 1881 for the same purpose).  The canal was dug to a distance of four stades – approximately 2,300 ft – or about a tenth of the total distance across the isthmus.

So anyway, in 1893 (after 11 years of work), the canal was finally completed.  Back to Wiki:

The canal experienced financial and operational difficulties after completion. The narrowness of the canal makes navigation difficult. Its high walls channel wind along its length, and the different times of the tides in the two gulfs cause strong tidal currents in the channel. For these reasons, many ship operators were unwilling to use the canal, and traffic was far below predictions.

Another persistent problem was the heavily faulted nature of the sedimentary rock, in an active seismic zone, through which the canal is cut.  The canal’s high limestone walls have been persistently unstable from the start. Although it was formally opened in July 1893 it was not opened to navigation until the following November, due to landslides.

It was soon found that the wake from ships passing through the canal undermined the walls, causing further landslides. This required further expense in building retaining walls along the water’s edge for more than half of the length of the canal, using 165,000 cubic metres of masonry.  Between 1893 and 1940, it was closed for a total of four years for maintenance to stabilise the walls. In 1923 alone, 41,000 cubic metres of material fell into the canal, which took two years to clear out.

Although the canal saves the 430 mile journey around the Peloponnese, it is too narrow for modern ocean freighters. Ships can pass through the canal only one convoy at a time on a one-way system. Larger ships have to be towed by tugs.  The canal is currently used mainly by tourist ships; around 11,000 ships per year travel through the waterway.

JFTHOI*  here’s a YouTube video of a dude flying an airplane “through” the canal.  He’s a total hot dog, doing all sorts of loops & dives between (and then under) bridges (not bad for an old guy):

 

*Just For The Heck Of It

I’ll close with this rare (I assume that snow is fairly rare here) shot just outside of Corinth (Georgia, not Greece), posted on GE by Gastavo Flores:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2019 A Landing A Day

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Douglas, Wyoming

Posted by graywacke on December 5, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week 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 relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2465; A Landing A Day blog post number 901.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N42o 38.670’, W105o 35.131’) puts me in Cen-SW Wyoming:

Here’s my local landing map, showing my proximity to titular Douglas:

My streams-only map puts me in the watershed of the wonderfully-named Wagon Hound Creek (aka Wagonhound Creek):

As is obvious, Wagon Hound Creek flows into the North Platte River (33rd hit).  Although not shown (you’ll have to trust me here), the North Platte unsurprisingly flows into the Platte (72nd hit) which unsurprisingly flows into the Missouri (436th hit) which even-more-unsurprisingly flows into the Mississippi (952nd hit).

From the Wagonhound Land & Livestock Co. website, this about the name of the creek:

Named for a hazardous creek crossing notorious to Texas cattle drives in the 1800’s known to have claimed many a drover’s wagon, the Wagonhound Creek flows just yards from today’s ranch headquarters.

From their website, here’s a picture of thirsty horses drinking their fill from the Wagonhound:

And I found out a little more about the name from author Henry Chappel’s website:

Wagonhound Creek, named for a rough crossing where pioneer wagons often broke their tongue-axel junctions, called “hounds.”

Heading over to Google Earth, I couldn’t get the Orange Dude any closer than about 3.5 miles:

And here’s what he sees:

I had to go a good distance east to find a suitable crossing of Wagonhound Creek:

Here’s a downstream shot:

And a cross-stream shot:

So what about Douglas?  I’ll start with this early 1900s Main Street shot:

The modern version of Douglas has a very classy website.  Here’s their homepage (OK, a portion of their homepage):

Look at the very stylistic critter below (and blending in) with the mountains.  Look closely.  There are obviously antlers, but what about the curved line streaming back just behind the antlers.  Just part of the mountains?  No.  All of the mountain accent lines are straight.  Hmmm.  Rabbit ears?

Let’s look at the entire page:

We get to see a couple of Canada geese, but more importantly, note that it says “Home of the Jackalope.”  I’ve heard of a jackalope, but was not quite sure what it is.  From the website:

MEET JACK

Let the rest of the world take notice. Douglas, Wyoming is the one, true home of the rare, mysterious and elusive fearsome Jackalope, also known as the “warrior or killer rabbit.”

The jackalope is the result of an auspicious mating of the jackrabbit and a now extinct pygmy deer. Though their range once spread across much of the American West, their only remaining range is in the vast high plains surrounding Douglas. These antlered creatures are otherwise similar in appearance to a jackrabbit, yet capable of speeds up to 90 miles per hour.

[I was kind of ready to believe what I was reading, but 90 mph???  Continuing . . .]

Their rarity is ensured by the fact that they only breed during lightning flashes.

[OK, it’s grain of salt time . . .]

They are known for their other unique characteristics: their fondness for whiskey and their uncanny ability to mimic human sounds. This latter quality is often demonstrated by their mimicking the singing of cowboys around the campfire; and has often aided them in eluding potential captors by calling out “there it goes” to divert them in the wrong direction.

Their milk is known to have amazing aphrodisiac qualities as well as a wide range of medicinal powers. However, the females can only be milked when lulled into sleeping belly up, generally as a result of a whiskey induced stupor.

Fortunately, jackalope milk may be obtained at the Douglas Visitors Center along with hunting licenses. However, those seeking licenses should beware of the difficulty in bagging a jackalope. Besides their innate ability to blend in with their natural surroundings, licenses are only issued to those with a demonstrable I.Q. of less than 72 and are only valid between the hours of midnight and 2:00 A.M. on June 31st of each year.

While the traveler is unlikely to have the opportunity to have an actual sighting of the rare and ferocious jackalope, they will witness

its strong impact on the community. The jackalope is the prominent feature on the City seal and

logo, which testifies that “We know Jack”.  We embrace the wild and independent nature of the jackalope, and welcome visitors to share in the fun.

So anyway, it turns out that two taxidermist brothers from Douglas (Ralph & Doug Herrick) invented the Jackalope in1934, and sold an antlered rabbit as a joke.  Pretty soon, they couldn’t make enough Jackalopes to keep up with the demand, and the legend was born.

I noticed a cluster of GE photos not far north of my landing.  They were pictures of Ayres Natural Bridge.  Here’s a 1950s postcard of the bridge:

And a more recent shot, from Trip Advisor:

I’ll close with this shot posted on GE by Claude Bougeois, of a cattle drive along Wagon Hound Creek:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2019 A Landing A Day

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