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Archive for January, 2020

Terlingua, Texas

Posted by graywacke on January 31, 2020

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 2471; A Landing A Day blog post number 908.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N29o 40.720’, W103o 37.173’) puts me in the Big Bend area of Texas:

My local landing map shows that I landed way out in the boonies, Miles from Nowhere (credit to Cat Stevens).

I have a very-straightforward streams-only map:

I landed in the Terlingua Creek watershed (1st hit ever!); on to the Rio Grande (53rd hit). 

Note to those few readers who really pay close attention:  I used my standard parenthetical phrase (“1st hit ever!”) that has always been reserved for rivers; not used for creeks.  Well, I am in charge of this blog and I make the rules and I break the rules as I please.  Terlingua Creek is 83 miles long; I’ve had countless “rivers” that are shorter than that.  Ergo – I’m treating Terlingua Creek as if it were a river.  Please address any complaints in the comment section. . .

Even though I’m Miles from Nowhere, I can still manage to have the Orange Dude get a decent look at my landing, courtesy of Google Earth (GE):

And here’s what he sees:

I told the OD to head south, and see if he can find the spot where his road crosses Terlingua Creek.  He complied:


And here’s what he sees:

Pretty obvious that water almost never flows into those drainage structures, eh?

While I had the OD’s ear, I asked him politely to head back north to the end of the dirt road that runs west to east just south of my landing:

And here’s what he sees:

Cowboy Mining Company, eh?  And let’s take a look at the disturbed area very close to my landing, evidently associated with the Cowboy Mining Company:

Of course, I Googled the company.  And what the heck.  I’ll jump right to a very quick video (less than one minute long):

So Cowboy Mining Company mines sodium bentonite.  What’s that?  From Cowboy:

Sodium bentonite is a naturally occurring clay that acts uniquely when it comes in contact with water. When bentonite becomes wet, it absorbs the water and expands many times its dry size to form a watertight membrane or barrier.

Got that? When bentonite gets wet, it expands and becomes entirely impervious to water.  Back to the website, with a little geology:

Bentonite’s parent material, volcanic ash, is the direct by-product of plate tectonics.

During the Crustaceous Period (from 145 to 65 million years ago), the North American Plate drifted westward forcing the eastern edge of the Pacific plate which was diving deep into the earth’s mantle.

Soon a chain of volcanoes stretching from Mexico to southern Canada were spraying large quantities of ash and lava. During these near-continuous eruptions, ash billowed up into high altitude winds. The prevailing winds carried the ash eastward. As the ash began to fall back to earth, it accumulated into deposits that can be seen today.

As the ash drifted east, it landed into the “Western Interior Seaway,” which existed at that time:

As the ash fall subsided, the only activity was the slow accumulation of sediment eroding from nearby landforms. Over the subsequent millions of years, minerals from within the ash and elements in the sea water combined to form the intricate chemical lattice that makes bentonite so unique. Sediment accumulated into massive layers above this mineral-rich soup. The weight slowly compacted the bentonite beds into distinct layers within the Cretaceous formations.

OK.  But what happens next is critical:

Sixty million years ago a period of intense mountain building caused folding and raising of the North American plate. This action elevated the formations and drained the sea.

Class:  Pay attention!  What used to be a seabed got lifted way the heck up above sea level!

The rising land mass began drying up as water trapped within the formations migrated downward. This action further refined the ash by carrying dissolved silica out of the bed, down into the underlying mud.

In the millions of years since, thousands of feet of sediment have eroded from these mountains re-exposing the bentonite layers.

So.  It turns out that I have been professionally aware of bentonite my whole career.  I work in the field of subsurface environmental investigations and cleanups.  One of the things that we do is install groundwater wells for the sole purpose of collecting samples of the groundwater to see if it’s contaminated. 

Without “boring” you with details (one of our standard drilling jokes), we use bentonite to seal around the well; and after the well has outlived its usefulness, we abandon the wells using bentonite. 

My wife and I (my wife, really) is part owner of a drilling company that uses bentonite.  So I went out in our shop where we store supplies, and here’s what I found:

Hmmm.  PDS Bentonite Plug – Natural Sodium Bentonite.  Of course, I was curious if I could figure out if this bentonite comes from the Cowboy Mine right next to my landing. 

Well, the Cowboy Mining website says that they’re a subsidiary of PDS Inc. (getting warmer), so I went to the PDS website.  Here’s their home page (highlighted by yours truly):

I figured they might have numerous bentonite mines in West Texas, but they weren’t clear about that (and they didn’t mention Cowboy Mining).  With some further perusal of the website, I found this photo:

Note the mesa (or ridge) in the background. 

I sent the OD back out to the road adjacent to my landing, and had him look East.  Here’s what he saw:

Ding! Ding! Ding!  Same mesa!  No doubt about it.  The bentonite we buy comes from the mine located directly adjacent to landing 2471! 

Moving right along . . .

Since Terlingua is titular, I knew I needed to say something about it.  I found a piece in TexasHighways.com.  Here are a few excerpts:

From about 1900 to 1950, the Big Bend region was one of America’s top producers of mercury, also known as quicksilver, an element extracted from cinnabar ore. About a dozen mines operated in the Terlingua Quicksilver District. Mining companies dug shafts hundreds of feet deep and lugged out cinnabar by hand, cart, and burro. Furnaces heated the scarlet-red rock to release mercury vapor, which was condensed into liquid metal and bottled in cast-iron flasks. Railroads shipped the flasks around the globe as World Wars I and II drove demand for quicksilver to make ammunition and explosives, as well as thermometers.

Mining heritage is nowhere more tangible than in Terlingua. Terlingua Ghost Town, as it’s now known, inhabits the skeleton of the 1903 Chisos Mining Company. Chicago industrialist Howard Perry opened the mine after discovering that land he received as payment for a debt happened to sit atop rich cinnabar deposits. (According to one legend, the ore was so prevalent that a cowboy observed drops of quicksilver form on the ground from the heat of a branding fire.)

The Chisos Mine turned out to be the biggest mercury producer in the region, and at times, in the nation. In the town’s heyday of the 1910s and ’20s, as many as 2,000 people lived in Terlingua, which had a post office, company store, hotel, school, and dance pavilion. Most of the residents were Mexicans who had moved north to escape the violence of the Mexican Revolution and oppressive working conditions in Mexican mines. Finding work in Terlingua, they built simple homes of stacked limestone rocks and adobe mortar.

Here are a couple back-in-the-day shots of Teringua:

Continuing the geological bent of this post, here’s a little about the mercury-containing mineral, Cinnabar, from Geology.com:

Cinnabar is a toxic mercury sulfide mineral with a chemical composition of HgS. It is the only important ore of mercury. It has a bright red color that has caused people to use it as a pigment, and carve it into jewelry and ornaments for thousands of years in many parts of the world. Because it is toxic, its pigment and jewelry uses have almost been discontinued.

Here’s a picture from the same website (caption below):

Chinese red (cinnabar) lacquer box: A carved wooden box with a red lacquer finish from China’s Ming Dynasty Period (box c. 1522-1566). Boxes like this were frequently painted with a lacquer containing a cinnabar pigment.

As an environmental geologist, I’m a little concerned about toxic mercury contamination in and around Terlingua.  An article entitled “Mercury concentrations and distribution in soil, water, mine waste leachates, and air in and around mercury mines in the Big Bend region, Texas, USA” caught my interest, so I checked it out (well, I checked out the abstract). 

Amazingly, it looks like it’s not as bad as one might think . . .

I’ll close with a couple of shots posted on GE.  First this, a look at the road that runs north-south just east of my landing (the one the OD visited), by Dave Liale:

And this, a shot of a funky old bus, permanently parked in Terlingua by Harlan Kraft:

I’ll close with this, a shot from near the road just east of my landing (looking south, by John Roberts):

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day


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Florissant, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on January 24, 2020

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 2470; A Landing A Day blog post number 907.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N39o 12.927’, W105o 33.528’) puts me smack dab in the middle of Colorado:

My local landing map shows that I landed (of course) way out in the boonies:

Let’s take a Google Earth (GE) look:

I’m definitely in the mountains; and, you get a sneak peak at my watershed stream, Tarryall Creek.  It’s time for a streams-only map, showing that Tarryall Creek discharges to the South Platte River (22nd hit):

Although most (many?) of my readers already know this, the South Platte joins up with the North Platte to form the Platte (74th hit); on to the Missouri (439th hit).  Here’s the map:

OK, OK – and then on to the Mississippi (955th hit).

In spite of my boonie-esq landing, I happen to have pretty good GE Street View coverage of my landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

We got bonus coverage of Tarryall Creek as well!

As I was Google-perusing my local towns, a couple of things caught my eye in the Wiki entry for Florissant:

Florissant, Colorado, was named after Florissant, Missouri, the hometown of Judge James Castello, an early settler. The word florissant is the gerund of the French verb fleurir, which roughly means to flourish, to flower, or to blossom.

A French-English translation says that florissant means flourishing, which I guess is an OK name for a town.

I noticed the word “gerund” above.  Gerund is one of those figures of speech terms that I’m generally aware of, but really have no clue as to what it actually is.   But it was Wiki-clickable:

A gerund is any of various nonfinite verb forms in various languages; most often, but not exclusively, one that functions as a noun. In English, it has the properties of both verb and noun, such as being modifiable by an adverb and being able to take a direct object.

Geez.  No wonder I never understood it.  Wiki gives some examples:

  • Computing is fun. (gerund “computing” as Subject)
  • I like computing (gerund “computing” as Object)

Seems straightforward, but it’s not, and going further in gerund-nuance just isn’t worth my time and definitely not worth yours.

But something else also caught my eye in the Florissant Wiki entry.  The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is just south of Florissant, which is also Wiki-clickable:

The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is famous for the abundant and exceptionally preserved insect and plant fossils that are found in the mudstones and shales of the Florissant Formation (laid down as lake bed deposits approximately 34 million years ago).

The fossils have been preserved because of the interaction of the volcanic ash from the nearby Thirtynine Mile volcanic field with diatoms in the lake, causing a “diatom bloom,” created when silica associated with the volcanic ash creates a quick over-population of diatoms that can’t be maintained. As the diatoms fell to the bottom of the lake, any plants or animals that had recently died were preserved by the diatom falls. Fine layers of clays and muds interspersed with layers of ash form “paper shales” holding beautifully-preserved fossil animals and plants.

I studied diatoms way back in the day as a geology student, but I definitely need to refresh my memory.  “Diatom” was strangely not Wiki-clickable, so I actually had to type “diatom” into the Google search box.  Poor me . . .

It’s all coming back to me now.  From Wiki:

Diatoms are a major group of algae (specifically microalgae) found in the oceans and waterways of the world. Living diatoms make up a significant portion of the Earth’s biomass: they generate about 20 percent of the oxygen produced on the planet each year, take in over 6.7 billion metric tons of silicon each year from the waters in which they live, and contribute nearly half of the organic material found in the oceans.

Diatoms are surrounded by a cell wall made of silica; a microscopic “shell.”  The maximum life span of a diatom is about 6 days; the lifeless silica shells then settle slowly to the bottom of whatever body of water where the diatom resides.

They shells exist in a fabulous variety of shapes.  From the Colorado Science Council, this microscopic image:

From Wiki:

Also from Wiki is this close-up of a particular variety, taken with a scanning electron microscope:

Various varieties of diatoms can be differentiated based on age, climate conditions and water quality, among other factors.  Because of their abundance in sediment, they are commonly used to evaluate ancient climatic and environmental conditions.

Also – perhaps you’ve heard of diatomaceous earth.  Well, duh, it’s made entirely of diatoms!

Back to the fossil beds. I’ll start with these images of critters preserved in the lake bed sediments.  I love the idea that these are snapshots of moments from 34 million years ago:

But it’s not all about the preservation of delicate life forms in the lake bed sediments.  There are about 30 tourist-friendly petrified tree stumps (among the largest in the world); formed when lake levels rose around trees that were present along the shorelines of the lake.  The copious volcanic ash flowing into the lake surrounded the trees, killing them and eventually preserving the tree stumps. 

Here’s a picture of probably the best-preserved (and largest) tree stump (and ancient kin of a redwood):

I’ll close with a plethora of lovely photos posted on GE, mostly taken just south of Florissant.  First this, by Peter Maes:

And this, by Dave T

And this (of the same lake by Bond, Jane Bond):

And this, by John Keeran:

Yet another – this one by Mary Sandoval:

I’ll close with this, by Dan Aquino:


That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day


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Wenden and Salome, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on January 15, 2020

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 2469; A Landing A Day blog post number 906.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N33o 57.270’, W113o 28.824’) puts me in SW Arizona:

My local landing map shows that I landed way out in the boonies, and it sure looks like Wenden is the only game in town:

However, zooming in a little, you see a cluster of small towns, of which titular Salome is one:

As often happens when I land in the desert, I need to go to Google Earth (GE) to see what’s going on with my drainage.  I’ll start with this oblique GE shot:

As you can see, I’ve identified that I’m in the Centennial Wash watershed (3rd hit).  How did I know this, one might ask.  Well, it’s all thanks to the Orange Dude and the Arizona DOT.  Here’s a map:

And here’s what the OD saw at the end of the bridge:

Heading out on the bridge and looking upstream, the OD could get a rather distant view of my landing:

Finally going back to StreetAtlas, here’s my streams-only map:

Centennial Wash heads south where it discharges into the Gila River (40th hit), just west of Phoenix.  As shown, the Gila discharges to the Colorado (rarely, I suspect, 187th hit), near Yuma.

As seems to be happening too frequently as I’m approaching 1000th blog post (this one is 906), I have previously featured my titular town.  Way back in December 2008 (I had just started blogging less than a month earlier), I landed near Wenden.  This was landing 1600, blog post 18.  Hmmm.  Eighteen posts in less than a month.  Evidently, I was truer to the “A Landing A Day” concept back then.

Reviewing that early post, I really didn’t say much worth repeating here.  But I did post this picture (caption below):

Wenden, Arizona:  A town noted for its hospitality

And then from the archives of Arizona State University, this 1916 Wenden family portrait (note that the cow is an honored family member):

I did quote a piece from the “Arizona Outback” website; here’s the first sentence:

Wenden, Arizona is considered the “Gateway to Alamo Lake” and home of the famous “Buzzard’s Roost.”

I followed up with this comment:

Try as I might, I can find no information on the famous “Buzzard’s Roost.”

So, way back in 2008 I couldn’t find anything on the famous Buzzard’s Roost.  But how about 2020?  So I Googled “Buzzard’s Roost Wenden Arizona,” and you’ll never guess what the second listing is.

Oh, you can guess?  Well, you’re right – it’s my 2008 A Landing A Day post.  The first listing is a write-up about a bicycle tour through the area that happens to quote the same thing about Alamo Lake and Buzzard’s Roost.

The third listing also uses the same quote.  So I’m learning nothing about Buzzard’s Roost.  Then I dug a little deeper and saw an ad for land for sale on Buzzard Roost Road, near Salome.  I put the address into GE:


So apparently there really is (was?) a Buzzard’s Roost. Digging deeper yet, I found a book entitled “Arizona in Literature,” by Mary G. Boyer (1970).  In the book is a chapter of writings by humorist Dick Wick Hall, as originally published in the Salome Sun.  One of the pieces is about Dick and others planning on building a golf course near Salome.  Here are some excerpts:

We talked it over and decided that that [i.e, building a golf course] would be a Good Way to get the Laugh on Buzzard’s Roost, the little Side Track a few miles up the line which has been laboring for Fifteen Years under the Delusion that it was a Rival of Salome and that a Post Office printed on a Map means a Town.

Buzzard’s Roost might be able to fool some of Uncle Sam’s clerks back in Washington but all of us out here know that the only way they have been able to keep the Cancellation of Stamps up to the $2.50 a Month (required by the government to keep the Post Office on the Map) is by all of them writing letters to themselves.  We figured if we got a Golf Course started at Salome, the Folks up at Buzzard’s Roost would all be so busy talking about it some of them might forget to write – and then they would lose the Post Office.  Well, that would mean 8 or 10 more people coming to Salome for their mail.

Dick goes on to talk about building the golf course.  He donated access to much of his ranch, and talked his neighbors into donating access to their land for the cause.  They got someone to make up a map of the course that they would use as a guide.  Trouble is, the map got carried around so long in someone’s pocket, that they couldn’t make out if the distances were yds (yards) or rds (rods).  They decided it must be rods. 

Well, one rod = 5.5 yards!  So they laid out one huge golf course.  Back to the narrative:

So we made the First Hole 614 Rods, up the other side of the Centennial Arroya [my watershed stream!].  Some of the holes we made 135 Rods and Upwards, like the Man [who made the map] said, some longer and some shorter.  The Longest Hole is the 14th, 847 Rods, not quite Three Miles, running from the Old Adobe Cabin and across the Ghietta Flats to Mesquite Wells.  All told, the whole Greasewood Golf Course is 6,429 Rods long – just a little over Twenty Miles.  [Greasewood is a common desert shrub.]

It took us over 3 months to get all the Brush cut along the Far a Ways [fairways, I presume] and the tin cans fixed in the Holes, but it was Well Worth it and now Salome has the only Natural Nineteen Hole Greasewood Golf Course in the Whole World.

Starting out to play a Round of Golf on our Course is an Event that takes Time and previous planning, and we generally hire an Extra Man to work in our place while we are gone or put a notice on the Door that we will be back Next Week sometime.  The only time I did get clear around, it took me Three Days and a Half and I used 31 balls.

I got word some time back from Red Katem, who owns Bermuda Ranch and is just learning.  He was out at the 11th Hole and asked me to send him out a Barrel of Water, a slab of Bacon, some Beans, and 3 dozen more Golf Balls.  Red never has got all the around yet, but he keeps trying.

One thing that’s been puzzling us is these so-called Golf Scores we see printed in some of the Papers, where it says that some golfers made it in 72 or 78, Etc.

The Man that made our Map for us was in such a hurry that he forgot to tell us how or what to count and we can’t figure out whether a score of 72 means that he made it in 72 Hours or 72 Days or used up 72 Balls going around.

Pretty funny stuff.  More about the author, Dick Wick Hall, in a bit.

But back to Buzzard’s Roost.  I figure it must have been somewhere near where Buzzard Roost Road hits the railroad tracks, a little less than 2 miles northeast of Salome.  I also figure that “famous Buzzard’s Roost” is “famous” because of Dick Wick Hall’s writings. 

Dick Wick Hall has his own Wiki entry.  The first paragraph:

Dick Wickenburg “Dick Wick” Hall (born DeForest Hall, 1877 – 1926) was an American humorist. As co-founder and initial resident of Salome AZ, he began publishing The Salome Sun, a newsletter containing tall tales and humorous prose. Hall created a variety of characters for his newsletter, the most famous being a seven-year-old frog that had never learned to swim. Excerpts from the Sun became a regular feature of The Saturday Evening Post, appearing in the magazine from 1920 until Hall’s death in 1926.

And this about his death and legacy:

He was at the peak of his fame at the time of his death.  Hall was buried in Salome. His grave was marked by a cross composed of nuggets donated by area prospectors while a statue of a large frog with a canteen strapped across its back stands nearby.  The Salome Lions Club hosts an annual “Dick Wick Hall Day” to commemorate the humorist.  Moreover, his frog is the inspiration for the Salome High School’s mascot.

And here’s the Salome High School Frog:

Wenden’s other claim to fame is that it is the “Gateway to Alamo Lake.”  Well, when I was putting the Orange Dude in position for a look at the Centennial Wash, he looked up the road away from the wash.  Here’s what he saw:

I don’t know about you, but if I were a traveler on the highway (Route 60), I might be thinking, “Oh good!  A place for us to stop for a picnic lunch!”  Well, here’s a map:

So, one half mile from that sign on the highway is another sign (in beautiful downtown Wenden), telling you to turn right.  What it doesn’t say is that you have a 30+ mile drive on a dirt road to get to the Lake!

On your way to the lake, you’d drive pasts that dark spot on the above GE map that I circled.  Here’s a close-in oblique shot of the feature:

This is obviously a volcanic feature of some sort, likely a cinder cone.  Also, you can see the lonely road to Alamo Lake going right by . . .

But it’s beautiful when you finally get there.  I’ll close with this picture of Alamo Lake posted on GE by Carlos Leon. 

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day


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Spur, Texas (Revisited, sort of)

Posted by graywacke on January 8, 2020

Dan:   I’ve been meaning to revisit my Spur Texas post for quite some time now, so here goes.  In that post is the following:

But today, I’m stuck with Spur.  A quick look through the internet confirms two hooks:  the Heaven’s gate cult and tiny houses.  We’ll start on the dark side with Heaven’s Gate.  From Wiki, about Marshall Applewhite:

Marshall Applewhite Jr. (1931 – 1997) was an American cult leader who founded what became known as the Heaven’s Gate religious group and organized their mass suicide in 1997, claiming the lives of 39 people.

[I’m skipping much of my description of Apjplewhite’s life.  But here’s what I’m revisiting.]

In 1996, Heaven’s Gate learned of the approach of Comet Hale–Bopp and rumors of an accompanying spaceship. They concluded that this spaceship was the vessel that would take their spirits on board for a journey to another planet. Believing that their souls would ascend to the spaceship and be given new bodies, the group members committed mass suicide in their mansion.

I remember this, but mistakenly thought it involved the comet that hit Jupiter.  (That would be Shoemaker-Levy in 1994; just a couple of years before Hale Bopp.)

Here’s a cool shot of Hale Bopp from Sky & Telescope (photo by Dr. John Goldsmith):

And now, drum roll please!  Here comes the entire reason for this revisit.  My wife Jody’s father (aka my father-in-law, Austin Miller) was an excellent photographer who owned a very fancy (and expensive) Hasselblad camera – the kind that required a larger than normal film size.  He and his wife (Nan) owned a house at the Jersey shore, right on Barnegat Bay.  Well, he set up his camera on the deck of the house and took a long exposure shot of Hale-Bopp.  The picture was on film, and the only copy of it we have is framed, so here’s a photograph of the framed picture:  

Pretty cool, eh?  

(Quick word to Cheryl, a good friend and regular reader of this blog who, with her husband Dave, now owns the very same shore house:  Surprise!!]

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

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Alliance, Berea and Hemingford, Nebraska (Revisited)

Posted by graywacke on January 4, 2020

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 2468; A Landing A Day blog post number 904.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N42o 2.688’, W103o 2.209’) puts me in W-Cen Nebraska:

My local landing map looks a little different:

As is obvious, I have landed in the same general vicinity on two past occasions. 

I landed near the Sandhills region of Nebraska, which I have discovered has very vague drainage patterns.  Fortunately for me, I already did the necessary legwork, as drainage from landing 2424 passes right by today’s landing. 

So here’s my watershed analysis from that post:

I had to move over to Google Earth (GE) to track my very-poorly-defined drainage pathway, but eventually, I realized that I landed in the watershed of Blue Creek:


As you can see, Big Blue makes its way to the North Platte (32nd hit) [now 34th hit].

Although not shown, we all know (don’t we class?), that the North Platte joins up with the South Platte to form the Platte (71st hit) [now 73rd hit] ; on to the Missouri (433rd hit) [now 438th hit] and, of course, to the MM (939th hit) [now 954th hit].

Moving over to Google Earth (GE).  I had to go very far away (about 80 miles) to have the Orange Dude get a look at Blue Creek:

So, there are three [now four] other landings between 2424 and the Orange Dude!  And yes, 2189 and 2137 [and 2468, not shown] were also in the Blue Creek watershed. 

Here’s what he sees:

Back to now . . .

Staying with GE, I couldn’t get a decent Street View shot of my landing.  But as you can see below, there are flat agricultural areas (with the circular irrigation features) and more-interesting sandhill areas near my landing:

I put the OD in the more-interesting sandhills.  He’s not even attempting to look at my landing; this is just a general-interest shot of the sandhills:

Wow.  We’re not in NJ!  We’re lucky if a two-lane road has a 45-mph speed limit!

If you’re at all interested in learning about the sandhills, go to the search box and type in “Lewellen.”  In my Lewellen NE post, I have a very interesting and enlightening discussion of the geology (and hydrology) of the sandhill region . . .

So.  Since I’ve landed in the area twice before (and since I’m late as usual in getting this post out), I’m going to make this a Greatest Hits post by borrowing previously posted material for Alliance, Berea and Hemingford.

I might as well do them in alphabetical order. 

So what about Alliance?  Well, there’s not much to say except that it’s the home of Carhenge.  Here’s a GE shot, showing the location of Carhenge (the star):

Doesn’t look like much from here, so I’ll zoom in:

There it is, but you can see that I was distracted by the disturbing Pacman image.

Here’s a GE photo (by Mayor Snorkum):

And a close-up by Darel Chastain:

[Note that Berea NE was named after Berea OH.]

Being an Ohio boy, I checked out Berea Ohio.  From Wiki:

Berea was established in 1836. Henry O. Sheldon, a circuit rider clergy, selected Berea and Tabor as possible names for the community. The townspeople decided to simply flip a coin, and Berea won, thus becoming the town’s name.

So, a minister picked the name.  Even though Tabor lost the contest, here’s its biblical significance (from Wiki):

Mount Tabor is located in Lower Galilee, Israel, at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, 11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee.

In the Hebrew Bible (Joshua, Judges), Mount Tabor is the site of the Battle of Mount Tabor between the Israelite army under the leadership of Barak and the army of the Canaanite king, commanded by Sisera.

Barak, eh?  Yes, the name “Barack” has similar roots . . .

So, what about the winner – Berea.  Well, it turns out is a city in Greece, now known as Veria, and is the site of a visit by the apostle Paul.

So, I checked out Acts 17:  1-15.  I’m not big on quoting bible verses in this blog, so I won’t.  But it tells the story of Paul preaching in Thessalonica (today Thessaloniki), where some Jews and Greeks went along with Paul’s teachings, but others did not.  The anti-Paul crowd forced him out of town.

He traveled on to Berea, where he was met in similar fashion, but with a higher percentage ending up on his side.

The folks from Thessalonica who were not happy with Paul’s message traveled over to Berea where they “agitated” the crowd, and forced Paul to travel on to Athens.

Not a great “Paul” story, but evidently good enough for the good folks from Berea, Ohio.

[On to Hemingford.]

Since I landed right in town, I have no choice but to feature Hemingford.  From the town’s website:

Hemingford was first settled by Canadian immigrants in the summer of 1885. The cluster of frame and sod buildings was named in honor of Hemmingford, Canada, the settlers’ former home.

For some reason, it seems as though the Americans dropped one of the m’s.  Had to be a little different, eh?  Anyway, Hemmingford Quebec is south of Montreal, right on the New York border:

I looked for an interesting Panoramio shot in Hemmingford QC, and I found this, by Gueco8288 of a wonderful statue in a park:

For some Hemmingford history (remember, we’re in Quebec now), I found this from the town’s “unofficial” website:

Hemmingford Township QC was named for a pair of small villages, Hemingford Grey and Hemingford Abbotts in Huntingdonshire located in Cambridgeshire, England.

Interesting.  It looks like maybe the town fathers of Hemingford NE wanted to go back to the real roots of the name.  So why did the Canadians add an extra “m?”  I guess they had to be different . . 

Anyway, here’s a GE shot showing the two English villages:

To give you a feel for the area, here are a series of Panoramio shots from the two villages.  We’ll start with this by Traveling Crow (which certainly lets you know we’re not in America).  You gotta love the cat up on the roof:

Traveling Crow has another (a close-up of the chimney of the house on the right).  Is this cool, or what?

Here’s a shot by Azurian looking across the River Ouse:

And this, looking down (up?) the Ouse from Abbotts towards Grey, by Ade Smith:

Back to Traveling Crow, here’s another quintessential British house:

I’ll head back to Nebraska and close with this shot posted on GE by Lance Rowley (located about 20 miles NW of my landing):

That’ll do it . . .




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