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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Scott City, Garden City and Holcomb, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on October 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 2373; A Landing A Day blog post number 807.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (38o 25.848’N, 100o 48.105’W) puts me in W-Cen Kansas (and you can see my previous landing, as well):

Obviously, this is my second Kansas landing in a row, which marks my 64th double, the first for Kansas.

Here’s my local map:

Garden City for some reason didn’t show up (so I added it).  Scott City was hidden behind my lat/long flag.

Before I continue, I’ll take a little Bahamian detour.  As all regular readers know, I often land outside the lower 48, because I define my potential landing area as a big rectangle that includes the lower 48, but obviously extends well beyond.  I simply ignore these faux landings and try again. 

I had one faux landing before I landed in Kansas.  Here it is, just off Royal Island and near Spanish Wells:

Oh my!  I’ve been to Spanish Wells many times, and even been on a boat exploring Royal Island!  Let me zoom back a little:

As friends and family (and regular readers know), my wife Jody & I are regular visitors to Eleuthera, where we have a house (although it’s on the verge of being sold – boo!!). 

So anyway, a couple of trips ago, Jody and I were sitting on the front porch drinking coffee after an early morning shower, admiring (as always), the lovely little island that’s just out front.

As the sun came out, a marvelous rainbow appeared off to the right.  Seeing a photo op, I ran down the beach to catch this shot:

OK, so I’ve posted this photo before, but I’ll use any excuse to post it again!  And while I’m at it, here’s another shot by yours truly:

Before leaving the Bahamas, here are a coupleo f Royal Island shots by Bee Blonde:

Now back to Kansas.

My watershed map is based solely on Google Earth (GE), so I’ll jump right on the yellow pushpin and drift on down to West Kansas farmland.  You can, too, by clicking HERE.

By using the GE elevation tool, I quickly realized that I landed near a fairly sizable topographic depression, and that any rain that landed on my landed would simply accumulate not far away in the bottom of the depression.

In case you missed it on the trip in, here’s what the depression looks like (the center of the depression is the dark area just north of my landing:

I couldn’t help but noticed the lines on the ground that look and act just like topographic contour lines.  Using the GE elevation tool, I found out that the lines are, in fact, essentially topo lines:

I can imagine that various lakes have existed at various times in the past, and left lines where the former shorelines were.  See what I mean?

But what I don’t get is the apparent 2981 contour line.  That line would be above the elevation of any lake, as the water would overflow to the south when it got higher than 2977.

Mystery identified but not solved. 

I wanted to see if the official USGS Topographic map also showed a depression.  It does:

The blue area shows that this is at least sometimes a lake. The little hill at elevation 2981 is nowhere to be seen.

So – it’s time to check out nearby Scott City.  From Wiki:

In October 1884, two women from Chicago, Illinois claimed the land that Scott City is on and built a cabin. The following February, two men from Chicago came to the cabin and settled. Soon after, many people started arriving in the county and Scott City was then founded in 1885.

Oh my.  One’s imagine can run wild with various scenarios that remain consistent with what Wiki says.  The ALAD Nation needs additional information!

Here’s some more detail, from ScottCity.net:

A few nomadic stockmen held their herds near what would become Scott City, but civilization began when the first permanent settlement was made in Scott county in October, 1884 by Mrs. M.E. De Geer and her daughter, Mrs. I.L. Eastman.

[Phew.  So now we know it was a mother and daughter.  But they are both married!  Where are the husbands?  Continuing . . . ]

These brave women from Chicago, Illinois, selected and filed on claims where Scott City now stands, and built a cabin which was shared with many newcomers the following severe winter.

[This doesn’t help at all!  “Cabin which was shared with many newcomers??”  What the heck were these married women doing?  Continuing . . .]

Frank H. Miller also came from Chicago in October, 1884, for the improvement of his broken health. He hauled lumber from Garden City to construct Mrs. De Geer’s cabin, and remained through the winter of 1884-85.

[Ah ha!  There was a man who helped the good ladies build their cabin.  And he stayed the winter!  Sounds scandalous to me!  Continuing . . .]

Charley Waite [not a husband] came in February 1885, and a month later was followed by John Keeve [also not a husband]. These Chicago boys came for a broader field of enterprise and to enjoy the fine climate of the plains. They were brave, self-helpful young men, well reared, but equally well suited to the rough work of pioneering.

[These must be the two men from Chicago mentioned in Wiki; although Wiki suggests that they stayed in the De Geer cabin.]

Mrs. De Geer’s daughter married Frank Miller soon thereafter.  In March 1885, Mrs. De Geer began the publication of the “Western Times” and from this time the county filled up rapidly.

Mrs. Eastman got married?  But she was already married!  I’m sorry, but the more we learn, the more we don’t know.  I see a tailor-made opportunity for a little ALAD storytelling:

Chicago, April 1884

Mrs. Eva De Geer was distraught.  Her husband of 23 years, Samuel, lay gravely ill.  The De Geers were quite wealthy, and could afford the finest medical care available in Chicago.  But even the best doctors that money could buy were unable to reverse Samuel’s now rapid decline.

Adding to her distress was that fact that her daughter Maude’s marriage to Mr. Joseph Eastman was deteriorating as quickly as her husband’s health.  That no good scoundrel, Joe Eastman.  Eva had grave concerns about her daughter’s marriage three years ago.  She didn’t like Joe Eastman the day she met him, and her opinion of him never changed.  He was an arrogant braggadocio with a violent streak. 

Yes, he was good looking; yes, he could be charming, and yes he had social status and excellent financial prospects.  She went so far as to actively attempt to dissuade Maude from the marriage all together, but to no avail. 

They seemed happy enough for the first year, but then signs of tensions in their relationship were unmistakable (and, in Eva’s opinion, inevitable). 

It was practically on the day of their second wedding anniversary that Eva noticed bruises on Maude’s face and arm.  Maude claimed she had stumbled and fallen while performing some simple household chore; Eva knew better.  And then two more times in the ensuing months, it happened again.

So now, everything was coming to a head.  Eva’s dear husband wasn’t going to make it, and it was critical that Maude get away from Joe.  And – it must be said – Maude had seemingly caught the eye of Mr. Frank Miller.  Frank was a casual acquaintance of Joe’s, and Maude and Frank had met at several social engagements.  They fervently hoped no one (especially Joe) had noticed the sparks (subtle as they may be) that were flying between them. 


Chicago, June 1884

It was all over.  Eva’s beloved Samuel was gone; he passed quietly in May.  Also in May, Maude finally came to her senses and moved in with her mother.  Thank God there were no children.

And yes, with Joe out of the way, the sparks that flew between Maude and Frank were now obvious to all.  Eva’s more prudish friends were shocked, because it was easy to put 2 and 2 together and figure out that this new relationship probably sprung up while Maude was still married.

Mother and daughter were sitting in the living room, finally trying to put their lives back together and make some plans for their futures.

“I’m so grateful that Father left you enough money that you don’t have to get a job in some sweat shop hell hole,” said Maude.

“Daughter!  Watch your language!”

“I’m sorry, Mother.  I’m just enjoying the ability to use the kind of language Joe used all the time, but wouldn’t allow me to utter.”

A brief silence followed while Eva collected her thoughts.

“I’m over 50 and feeling at loose ends.  Here’s what I think.  I think I’ll sell this house – after all, it’s way too large for the two of us, and the upkeep is expensive.”

“And where, pray tell, are we going to live?” asked Maude.

“Where would you like to live?”

“You really want to know?”

“Well, I asked, didn’t I?” replied Eva.

Maude took a deep breath and squared her shoulders.  “Out west,” she said.

Eva smiled.  “I was hoping you were going to say that.  And, if I might be so bold as to ask, would Frank be part of your plans?”

Maude quickly nodded.

“I thought so,” said Eva.

They talked on for over an hour, remembering the trip they took as a family 10 years earlier, leaving Chicago by train and traveling to Wichita, Kansas.  Charles’ older brother Robert lived out on the prairie just south of Wichita.

Eva reminisced:  “Remember how exciting it was the ride the train?  And the tracks to Wichita were completed just a couple of years before our trip.  Let’s go back to Wichita, meet up with Robert, and see what it takes to start a new life out there.”

“You didn’t ask how Frank fits in.”

“I didn’t need to,” replied her mother.  “He has spent a lot of time out west and knows how to handle himself in a hostile environment. He will be very useful.”


Chicago, Early October 1884

So the three of them – Eva, Maude & Frank – bought train tickets from Chicago to Wichita.  A letter to Charles’ brother Robert announcing their intentions had been sent (although rather vague about the duration and reason for their visit), and a return letter from Robert saying he’d be delighted to host three sophisticated Chicagoans as his guests was received.


Wichita, Early October 1884

“Why sister Eva and niece Maude – so delighted to see you.  And you sir,” as Robert extended his hand to Frank in greeting, “to whom should I thank for escorting these brave women to the wild, wild west?”

“My name is Frank Miller.  I have known these fine ladies for quite some time, and thought I could be useful as they seek a new life.”

“A new life?  Really?  Maude and Eva – I think we have some catching up to do, eh?”

After retiring early (after all, traveling the train from Chicago is so tiring), the next morning provided plenty of time for casual chit chat.

After Robert was filled in on all of the details about the lives of the Chicago De Geer family, he got around to some pertinent questions:  “So, what are you looking for?  A new life here in Wichita?  Out on the prairie?  In a smaller town?”

Eva replied:  “Frank can build a cabin from scratch, Maude can cook, make and mend clothes, and I can finance the whole shebang.  I’d like to find a start-up community in need of a newspaper, since I spent a few years working for the Chicago Tribune back in the day.”

“I happen to know of just such a place a little bit north, but mostly west of here.  I’m not sure it has a name, but a good friend of mine told me that shares of land are available for a very reasonable price; well within your budget, Eva.  The land is going like hotcakes, but there are still major parcels available.  It’s about 30 miles north of Garden City.”


Thirty Miles North of Garden City, Late October 1884

The work was hard, but Frank and the ladies managed to buy a horse and wagon, haul lumber, supplies and furniture from Garden City up to their plot of land, and build a rudimentary but functioning cabin.  It only had two bed rooms and two beds . . .

Mail service was available in Garden City; Maude wrote letters to several single young men she knew, encouraging them to join in their homesteading adventure.  Two of them – Charley Waite and John Keeve – responded enthusiastically. 


Scott City, February 1885

The winter was tough, but firewood was plentiful, and the road between Scott City and Garden City remained passable for much of the winter. 

“Maude,” said Frank one unseasonably warm early February day while Eva was outside enjoying the sunshine, “I think it’s about time we legalized our relationship, and I’d . . .”

Maude interrupted:  “It’s about time you asked, Frank Miller!  Of course, I’ll marry you!  We’ll soon have neighbors (and maybe a child); what would they think if we weren’t married??”

There was a Methodist church in Garden City with a minister they had met and liked.

“Well, what are you doing next Sunday?” asked Frank . . .

One day in later February, they heard a horse approaching.  Always a little nervous about visitors, they peered out a window.

“It’s John Keeve!” exclaimed Maude.

John, who slept on the floor of their cabin while building his own cabin, was an enterprising young man who eventually became a pillar of the community.

A month later, Charley Waite (who had worked with Eva at the Chicago Tribune) similarly arrived – also sleeping for a time on the floor of the cabin.

As the weather warmed, homesteaders began flooding in.  Eva found a used printing press in Garden City, and hired Charley to help with the writing and publication of “The Western Times” Scott City’s first and only newspaper.

The rest is history . . .


Right next to Garden City is the little town of Holcomb. But before visiting Holcomb, I’d like to return to my local landing map from my previous landing – which, as you recall, was also in Kansas:

The circled towns are those I featured in that post.  You’ll notice that the town of Murdock didn’t make the cut.  Well, it almost did, based on this, from Wiki:

 Notable People

  • Alvin Dewey (1912-1987), special agent of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Alvin was Wiki-clickable, so of course, I did:

Dewey was born in Murdock, Kansas in 1912.  He is most known for his role as the chief investigator of the 1959 murders of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas.  This murder case was made famous by Truman Capote’s 1966 book In Cold Blood.

I checked on Holcomb, and realized it was far away from my landing.  I wasn’t familiar with In Cold Blood, so decided to pass on this potential hook.

But then, in a truly amazing coincidence, I landed near Holcomb for this, my very next landing.  So, In Cold Blood it is.  From Wiki:

Herb Clutter was a widely respected self-made man, who had established a successful and prosperous farm in western Kansas from modest beginnings. He employed as many as 18 farmhands, and former employees reportedly admired and respected him for his fair treatment and good wages.

His four children—three girls and a boy—were also widely respected in the community. The elder daughters, Eveanna and Beverly, had moved out of their parents’ home and started their adult lives. The two younger children, Nancy, 16, and Kenyon, 15, were high school students living at home.

Clutter’s wife, Bonnie, a member of the local garden club, had been incapacitated by clinical depression and physical ailments since the births of her children, although this characterization of her has been disputed by surviving family members.

Two ex-convicts recently paroled from the Kansas State Penitentiary, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, committed the robbery and murders in the early morning hours of November 15, 1959. A former cellmate of Hickock’s, Floyd Wells, had once worked as a farmhand for Mr. Clutter, and had told Hickock about a safe at the farmhouse where he claimed Herb Clutter kept large amounts of cash.

Hickock soon hatched the idea to rob the safe (which he believed contained as much as ten thousand dollars), leave no witnesses, and start a new life in Mexico with the cash.

According to Capote, Hickock described his plan as “a cinch, the perfect score.” Hickock contacted Smith, another former cellmate, about committing the robbery with him.

After driving more than four hundred miles across the state of Kansas on the evening of November 14, Hickock and Smith arrived in Holcomb, located the Clutter home, and entered through an unlocked door while the family slept.

Upon rousing the Clutters and discovering there was no safe, they bound and gagged the family and continued to search for money, but found little else of value in the house. Still determined to leave no witnesses, the pair briefly debated what to do; Smith, notoriously unstable and prone to violent acts in fits of rage, slit Herb Clutter’s throat and then shot him in the head.

Capote writes that Smith recounted later, “I didn’t want to harm the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.”

Kenyon, Nancy, and then Mrs. Clutter were also murdered, each by a single shotgun blast to the head.

Hickock and Smith left the crime scene with a small portable radio, a pair of binoculars, and less than fifty dollars in cash.

Six weeks passed; but on the basis of a tip from Wells, Hickock and Smith were identified as suspects and arrested in Las Vegas on December 30, 1959.

Both men eventually confessed after interrogations by detectives of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. They were brought back to Kansas, where they were tried together for the murders.

They both pleaded temporary insanity at the trial, but local doctors evaluated the accused and pronounced them sane. The jury deliberated for only 45 minutes before finding both Hickock and Smith guilty of murder. Their conviction carried a mandatory death sentence at the time.

After five years on death row at the Kansas State Penitentiary, Smith and Hickock were executed by hanging just after midnight on April 14, 1965.

The novel was hugely successful, and three movies followed.

Here’s the trailer for the 1967 movie – “In Cold Blood” – that depicted the novel:


And then there’s the 2005 movie “Capote” that’s obviously about Truman – but revolves around the Clutter murder story.  Here’s the trailer for that:


I have a Kindle, and it just so happens that last night I finished reading a novel I had been reading for a couple of weeks (I’m a slow reader).  And I figured what the heck, I’ll down load “In Cold Blood.” 

Here’s how the book begins:

The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kanas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.”  Some 70 miles east of the Colorado border, the countryside, with its hard blue skies and desert-clear air, has an atmosphere that is rather more Far West than Middle West.  The local accent is barbed with a prairie twang, a ranch-hand nasalness, and the men, many of them, wear narrow frontier trousers, Stetsons, and high-heeled boots with pointed toes.  The land is flat, and the views are awesomely extensive; horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples are visible long before a traveler reaches them.

Holcomb, too, can be seen from distances.  Not that there is much to see – simply an aimless congregation of buildings divided in the center by the main-line tracks of the Sante Fe Railroad, a haphazard hamlet bounded on the south by a brown stretch of the Arkansas (pronounced Ar-KAN-sas) River, on the north by a highway, Route 50, and on the east and west by prairie lands and wheat fields.

Here’s a GE shot of Holcomb, with the railroad running through the center of town and the Ar-KAN-sas River to the south:

I doubt it has changed all that much since 1959.  OK, there’s a new high school and a new community park with a pool.  Also – Capote mentions dirt streets in town, and now they’re paved . . .

As regular readers know, I always try to point out unusual place name pronunciations.  I’m ashamed to admit that this is the first time I’ve run across this particular pronunciation of the Arkansas River.  Wiki weighs in (supporting Capote), saying that people in Colorado and Kansas typically pronounce it as shown above, while folks in Oklahoma and Arkansas pronounce it as one pronounces the state name.

Alrighty then.  I think it’s time for some GE Panoramio shots near my landing.  I’ll start with this, by JR Cowell, taken about 3.5 miles north of my landing:

I’ll close with this, by frequent ALAD contributor, JB the Milker, taken just west of Scott City:


That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Cleveland, Kingman, Zenda, Rago and Norwich, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on October 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 2372; A Landing A Day blog post number 806.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (37o 29.460’N, 98o 0.759’W) puts me in S-Cen Kansas:

My local landing map highlights my titular towns:

My watershed analysis shows that I landed in the watershed of Blue Stem Creek, which in turn is part of the watershed of the Chikaskia River (2nd hit):

Zooming back:

The Chikaskia flows to the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River (12th hit); on to the Arkansas (130th hit).  And of course, it’s all rolled up into the watershed of the MM (923rd hit).

Now it’s Google Earth’s turn.  Click HERE to see what south central Kansas really looks like.

I’m out in boonies Kansas, but there’s excellent Street View coverage.  Check this out!

Wow!  The GoogleMobile is working its way east to west on all of the back roads!  Let’s take a closer look:

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

I had him turn 90o to get a look at the back country dirt road:

With the intense Street View coverage, I knew I’d get a local look at the Blue Stem Creek.  And I do:

Here’s what the OD sees:

I sent him south a little to get this look at the Chikaskia:

This is the kind of bridge they build to carry dirt road traffic.  I wouldn’t want to drive across this bridge on a dark and stormy night . . .

So.  This is going to be one of those little-of-this-little-of-that posts.  Here’s another look at my local landing map:

I think I’ll start in the middle, then head north, and then go west to east along the southern tier.  So that makes Cleveland first.  Wiki:

Cleveland was named in 1879 after Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland was situated at the geographic center of Kingman County, and it hoped to become the county seat, which was located in Kingman at the time.

The issue was brought up for a vote; Kingman won.

[Based on the extensive ALAD data base of similar situations, Cleveland’s viability would soon decline.]

The town had 80 residents as of 1887.  [Assuming 4 folks per house, that’s 20 houses.]  By 1912 it contained a school, a church, two grain elevators and a large hotel. [Yea, but how many bars?] 

The town declined, and by the 1950s it had only the school, the church, one elevator, and eight homes. [Down one elevator, a hotel and a bunch of houses.]  The school closed in 1958 followed by the church in 1967.

Cleveland now contains only the grain elevator, described by a resident as “one of the busiest elevators in the area”, and a few houses.

Viva l’elevateur!  (OK, according to Google, I should say viva le silo à céréales.)

Et voici le silo (GE Panormio shot by BlueBuffSteve):

We’ll move up the Cleveland-Kingman road to (you guess it) – Kingman.  Kingman is pretty much hookless.  I noticed a former Major League Baseball player name of Don Lock.  The name was familiar, so I clicked. 

Well, Don’s career peaked in the early-mid ‘60s with the Washington Senators, when I was a Cleveland Indians fan living in Ohio.  I suspect that when the Indians played the Senators, I was at least aware of Don Lock.  I don’t know, maybe I liked his name.  Or maybe I knew someone else named Don Lock. 

Don also played a couple of years with what is now my team, the Phillies.  Here’s Don in a Phillies uniform:

Anyway, I was checking out Don Lock on October 10th, when I noticed something at the very beginning of the article that had escaped my attention:

Don Wilson Lock (July 27, 1936 – October 8, 2017).

Oh my.  He died (at age 81) just two days earlier. . .

Moving right along to Zenda.  Here’s all that Wiki has to say under “History:”

Zenda was named after the 1894 novel The Prisoner of Zenda.

This was (and still is) a very popular and well-known book (well, maybe to you, but not to me). Here’s the set-up, per Wiki:

The Prisoner of Zenda (1894), by Anthony Hope, is an adventure novel in which the King of Ruritania (a mythical realm) is drugged on the eve of his coronation and thus is unable to attend the ceremony. Political forces within the realm are such that, in order for the king to retain the crown, his coronation must proceed.

Fortuitously, an English gentleman on holiday in Ruritania who resembles the monarch is persuaded to act as his political decoy in an effort to save the unstable political situation of the interregnum.

The novel has been adapted to stage (s), movies (m), radio (r) and TV (t) numerous times.  Here are the dates of the various productions:  1895(s), 1913(m), 1915(m), 1922(m), 1925(s), 1937(m), 1939(r), 1952(m), 1961(t), 1963(s), 1979(m), 1984(t), 1993(m), 2012(m) and 2015(m).  Geez – you’d think I’d have heard of this. 

BTW, the 1979 movie was a comic version starring Peter Sellers and Elke Sommer; the 1993 movie is “Dave,” which is loosely based on Zenda.  The later two movies are Bollywood & Korean.

Anyway, the most famous is the 1937 movie.  Here’s the trailer:

OK, OK.  I’ll put The P of Z on my reading list . . .

Moving on to Rago.  Here’s the entire Wiki entry:

Rago is an unincorporated community in Kingman County, Kansas.  Rago is the hometown of Clyde Vernon Cessna, original founder of Cessna Aircraft.

So here are some Clyde Cessna highlights (from Wiki):

  • His family moved to Rago from Indiana when he was 2.
  • In the early 1900s, he became an automobile dealer in OK.
  • In 1911, he built his first plane, “Silverwing,” a monoplane.
  • After 14 unsuccessful attempts to get airborne, he flew a short distance before crashing into trees attempting to turn.
  • He repaired the plane, and had more successful flights, leading to a 5 mile flight and landing (at the point of departure) in December 1911.
  • Between 1912 and 1915, he built numerous airplanes, making his living flying exhibitions.
  • Here’s a picture of one of his exhibition planes, the Comet:

  • With the coming of the World War, the flying exhibition market ground to a halt [so to speak], and Clyde returned to the family farm in Rago.
  • After the war, he returned to the aviation business, and eventually started up Cessna Aircraft Corporation. Here’s one of his early planes, a Cessna DC-6B:

  • And here’s Clyde with one of early planes:

  • Clyde gave up on the business as the Depression hit. He sold it to two of his nephews, who built it into a global success.
  • Cessna was bought in 1985 by General Dynamics, and then bought again in 1992 by Textron.
  • Clyde died in 1954 (aged 74) in Witchita (which is where the corporate Cessna headquarters are still located.)

Moving right along to Norwich.  The only thing of very slight interest is that the town was named after Norwich CT. 

The only thing of very slight interest about Norwich CT is that the first time that the word “hello” appeared in any printed document was in an 1826 article in the Norwich Courier newspaper.

How about that!  So, you’re on the streets of Philadelphia in 1768, and along comes Benjamin Franklin.  Old Ben was a friendly guy who routinely greeted people on the street, even those he didn’t know.  But guess what?  He didn’t say hello!

According to an impeccable source, here are the common greetings in use at that time in America:

  • How do you do? (Howdy – the contraction of “how do you do” didn’t come along until the 1800s, and then used mostly in the South).
  • Good Day / Morning / Afternoon
  • Greetings!

Although neither the Norwich City website nor Wiki say anything about the name origin, I can only assume that Norwich CT was named after Norwich England.

So what the heck, I took a quick virtual look-see.  Norwich (pop 135,000) is about 100 miles NE of London:

So, Norwich looks like a wonderful old city – a great place to explore.  There are things to see like the Norwich Cathedral, began in 1096 and completed in 1145 (pic from Wiki):

But then this caught my eye:

What was I looking at, right in the heart of Norwich?  Well, there’s excellent GE Street View coverage, so I took a look.  Here’s what the OD sees:

A bunch of little, striped roofs.  Hmmm . . . looks like a market place, so I Googled Norwich Market, and lo and behold, it has a Wiki entry:

Norwich Market is an outdoor market consisting of around 200 stalls in central Norwich, England. Founded in the latter part of the 11th century to supply Norman merchants and settlers moving to the area following the Norman conquest of England, it has been in operation on the present site for over 900 years.

Oh my!  The next thing the OD saw was this cool building across the street from the Market:

I had him look down the street:

And a little further down the same street:

Wait a minute!  The OD is on the sidewalk!  A walking Google Cam?  He went around the corner:

No doubt!  He’s walking, and the girl (or guy) right in front with the Hollister hoodie is reacting to the camera.  And turning the corner, it’s getting narrower!

They’re selling paper planes and e-cigarettes . . .

Right behind this booth is a more traditional British institution:

Good Food . . . . Local Ales . . . Fine Whiskies . . . Afternoon Teas.

Afternoon teas?  We’re not in Kansas anymore!

Completing the circuit, we’re back to looking at that cool building we started with:

Enough already!  It’s time to head back to Kansas.

I’ll close with this GE Panoramio shot of a lonely tree by LucyGoose (just west of Kingman):

That’ll do it . . .




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Third Mesa, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on October 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 2371; A Landing A Day blog post number 805.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (35o 42.227’N, 111o 15.415’W) puts me in N-Cen Arizona:

My local landing map shows that I landed fairly close to Cameron, and about 50 miles east of a bunch of “towns.”

You’ll learn soon enough why I expanded my local map so far east, and why “Third Mesa” ended up being titular.

My very local streams-only map shows that I landed right in an unnamed wash or arroyo which discharges (rarely, I suspect), into the Little Colorado (21st hit):

More about the unnamed wash in a little bit.  Zooming back quite a ways, you can see that the Little Colorado makes its way to the Grand Canyon, where it ends up in the Colorado (180th hit):

Because StreetAtlas shows the stippled course of the unnamed wash, I hoped that maybe, just maybe I’d be able to find a name for it.  I Googled “USGS topographic map Cameron,” and was able to find a site where I could download free topo maps.  Believe me, it took me quite a while before I was able to definitively find the wash in which I landed.  But here ‘tis:

So, as you can see, I landed right in the Tohachi Wash.  I have more to say about the wash, but first, click HERE to experience the Google Earth (GE) random yellow push drop.

So, back to the Tohachi Wash.  Of course, I Googled it, and found this, from TheWave.com (a website about the natural beauty of the American Southwest):

The Red Rock Cliffs area is also of interest, especially Tohachi Wash where the “Hopi Clown” resides.

The website included a picture of the “Hopi Clown,” taken at night:

I’m not sure why it’s called the “Hopi Clown,” but I’d be willing to bet that the Hopi didn’t name it that.

Anyway, the website also included a map that showed me more-or-less where the Hopi Clown resides.  I found it on GE and determined that it was in the headwaters of the Tohachi Wash:

Zooming in on the circled area:

And yes, the little dot is the Hopi Clown.  Let’s zoom in more:

And even more:

Surprisingly, there are no GE Panoramio shots of this striking rock formation.

The very existence of the Hopi Clown lets us know that we’re in Hopi country. 

I found a February 2015 LA Times article by David Kelly about his trip to Hopi country.  Here’s a small excerpt:

The Hopi, whose history stretches back 10,000 years, are perhaps the least assimilated, most reclusive Indian tribe in the nation. Their ancestors built the cliff palaces of Mesa Verde, Colo., and the Great Houses of Chaco Canyon, N.M.

The Hopi say they sprang from a gash at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and migrated here, to the center of the spiral, or the center of the universe.

Today that universe consists mostly of three slender islands of rock encircled by the Navajo Nation. The Spaniards called them First Mesa, Second Mesa and Third Mesa. The inhabitants call it Hopiland.

The first person article is very interesting; click HERE to check it out.

From the Wiki Hopi entry:

The name Hopi is a shortened form of Hopituh Shi-nu-mu (“The Peaceful People”).  The Hopi Dictionary gives the primary meaning of the word “Hopi” as: “a behaving one, one who is mannered, civilized, peaceable, polite, who adheres to the Hopi way.”

In the past, Hopi sometimes used the term “Hopi” to refer to the Pueblo peoples in general, in contrast to other, more warlike tribes.

Hopi is a concept deeply rooted in the culture’s religion, spirituality, and its view of morality and ethics. To be Hopi is to strive toward this concept, which involves a state of total reverence and respect for all things, to be at peace with these things, and to live in accordance with the instructions of Maasaw, the Creator or Caretaker of Earth. The Hopi observe their traditional ceremonies for the benefit of the entire world.

Here’s a GE shot showing the three inhabited Hopi Mesas:

I landed near First Mesa a while back – my January 2014 “First Mesa” post.  Just type “first mesa” into the search box to check it out.  Anyway, since I landed closest to the Third Mesa this time, I thought that it should become my titular location.

From HopiArtsTrail.com, here’s a representation of the Third Mesa:

Here’s a little history on Oraibi, the oldest settlement on Third Mesa (Wiki):

Oraibi was founded sometime before the year 1100 CE, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements within the United States.

Oraibi remained unknown to European explorers until about 1540 when Spanish explorer Don Pedro de Tovar (who was part of the Coronado expedition) encountered the Hopi while searching for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. Contact with the Europeans remained scant until 1629 when the San Francisco mission was established in the village.

In 1680 the Pueblo Revolt resulted in decreased Spanish (and Christian) influence in the area and the cessation of the mission.  Subsequent attempts to reestablish the missions (and Christianity) in Hopi villages were met with repeated failures.

Hopi interaction with outsiders slowly increased during the 1850–1860 time period through missionaries, traders and surveyors for the US government. Interaction with the US government (and culture) increased with the establishment of the Hopi reservation in 1882. This led to a number of changes for the Hopi way of life. Missionary efforts intensified and Hopi children were kidnapped from their homes and forced to attend school, exposing them to new cultural influences.

In 1890 a number of Oraibi residents more receptive to the cultural influences moved closer to the trading post to establish Kykotsmovi. The continuing tension caused by the ideological schism between the “friendlies” (those open to these cultural influences) and the “hostiles” (those who desired to preserve Hopi ways) led to an event called the Oraibi Split in 1906.

Tribal leaders on differing sides of the schism engaged in a bloodless competition to determine the outcome, which resulted in the expulsion of the hostiles, who left to found the village of Hotevilla (still on the Third Mesa). Subsequent efforts by the displaced residents to reintegrate resulted in an additional split, with the second group founding Bacavi.

With the loss of much of its population Oraibi lost its place as the center of Hopi culture.

Here’s a GE shot of Oraibi:

And a low-angle shot showing how the town is perched on a ridge.

Here’s a quick look at the Second Mesa:

And this Wiki shot from one arm of the Mesa (near Shongopovi), looking across to the town of Mishongnovi, perched on another arm:

Here’s an oblique GE shot, showing another view of Mishongnovi:

And while I’m at it, how about First Mesa?

Here’s a GE shot of the First Mesa (I lifted this from my earlier post):

Also from my earlier post, this quick “flyover” of the First Mesa:

I’ll close this post with this lovely GE Panoramio shot by Steven3880, taken near the headwaters of the Tohachi Wash (it appears that the Hopi Clown has some nearby acquaintances):

That’ll do it . . .




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Ducktown and Copperhill, Tennessee

Posted by graywacke on October 14, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2370; A Landing A Day blog post number 804.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (35o 2.494’N, 84o 31.797’W) puts me in SE Tennessee:

Here’s my local landing map:

Bear with me for my watershed analysis.  There are many streams in SE TN.  Here’s a very local view:

I landed in the watershed of the Graham Branch, on to the Peter Camp Branch, on to Big Creek.  A little less locally:

The Big Creek goes to the Ocoee River (1st hit ever!); on to the Hiwassee River (2nd hit).  A little less locally:

As you can see, the Hiwassee discharges to the Tennessee (34th hit).  As you can’t see, the Tennessee (of course) discharges to the Ohio (146th hit); on to the MM (922nd hit).

It’s Yellow Push Pin Time, it’s Yellow Push Pin time.  Geez.  Let me date myself – that’s supposed to be song to the theme song of the Howdy Doody show.  Anyway, please click HERE.

Boy, did I land out in the woods!  Just to give you an idea of scale, here’s a Street Atlas map with the public wilderness areas shaded in (and highlighted):

As you might suspect, I have no Street View shots anywhere close to my landing, and even if I did, you wouldn’t see much since I’m deep in the woods.

I have no Street View bridges over Big Creek, but I was able to place the Orange Dude along the Ocoee River, about 4 miles north of my landing:

The OD is right opposite where Big Creek discharges into the Ocoee.  Here’s what he sees:

You can’t actually see Big Creek, but you can see the dip in the ridge opposite, which is caused by Big Creek valley.  The steeper part of the Big Creek Valley is hidden back there somewhere . . .

So what about Ducktown (pop 500) and Copperhill (pop 350)?  First Ducktown (Wiki):

The Cherokee village of Kawana— which means “duck town” in English— is believed to have been located at the confluence of the Ocoee River and Tumbling Creek (about 7 miles west of where it is now). The village’s name first appears on Cherokee records as “Ducktown” in 1799. According to tradition, Ducktown was named after a Cherokee leader named Chief Duck.

Ducktown was the center of a major copper-mining district from 1847 until 1987.

And Copperhill (pop 350):

For years, up until the 1980s, the production of copper and the release of sulfuric acid denuded the area of any greenery, although the area has now been greatly reforested, due to a multimillion-dollar effort by the successor companies to the original copper company.

The copper and acid plants have been permanently closed and most of the plant infrastructure already removed.

Glenn Springs Holdings has cleaned and purified all the surrounding creeks and waterways, and water quality is now back to near pristine condition according to published EPA and Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation studies.

I found a good write-up about the environmental damage caused by the local copper industry.  Here are excerpts from the article by Dave Tabler, in AppalachianHistory.net:

In August 1843, a Tennessee gold prospector working on Potato Creek discovered a reddish-brown and black decomposed rock that contained deep red crystals; his “gold” turned out to be red copper oxide. At the time, this copper deposit was one of the world’s largest finds.

By 1855, five major mining operations were operating full swing. The Copper Basin, a 75-square-mile long geologic formation, was fast becoming home to the Southeast’s largest metal mining operation, employing more than 2,500 people at its peak.

Who could have foreseen that the largest man-made biological desert in the nation would emerge out of this economic fervor?

By 1861, trees were becoming scarce in the Basin. Wood was needed to fuel the smelters. Also, the ores contained significant sulfur content. When roasted, the sulfur was released, forming sulfur dioxide, which later rained down as sulfuric acid. After the trees had been cut, the gases from the open smelting destroyed the remaining vegetation.

By 1878, about 50 square miles had been stripped of vegetation from logging and acid rain. Without trees and undergrowth, the top soil began to erode and huge gullies formed. Very few plants or animals survived. The nation was getting its first look at the long-term effects of acid rain.

In 1885, the Tennessee Copper Company (the major consolidated operation) was sued by the State of Georgia because of the impacts of acid rain.   In response, the TCC erected smoke stacks 150 feet tall to solve the acid rain problem, and in 1905 erected a 325 foot stack. The stacks helped locally but dispersed the gases over an even wider area. Instead of settling lawsuits, this tactic created more lawsuits from a broader area.

Tennessee courts ruled that the value of the copper companies’ contributions to the county out-weighed damages they caused.

In 1906, Georgia sought an injunction preventing TCC from using the open roast heap smelting method, and the Supreme Court granted it in 1907.

This injunction, had it been enforced, would have probably meant the end to mining, which in turn would have killed the Basin economically. TCC mining engineers instead proposed the idea of condensing the gases to produce sulfuric acid. Georgia officials agreed to wait and see if the new process would help the situation.

In 1908, the company built two acid plants which did in fact contain the sulfur dioxide output.  And so, even though the Court had found for Georgia, it did not enforce the injunction. Ironically, sulfuric acid ultimately replaced copper as TCC’s major product

Reforestation efforts began in the 1920s and 1930s and concentrated efforts began in the 1940s.

Working with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), hundreds of acres of pine were planted between 1939 and 1944. The CCC workers also built dams and covered the ground with straw to prevent runoff.

Based on the Wiki article, reclamation efforts have continued from the 80s through the present, performed by Glenn Springs Holdings.  Quick aside, Hill Environmental Group (my wife’s environmental clean-up company) has a project for Glenn Springs Holdings in NJ . . .

Here are some historic photos from the City of Ducktown website:

Here’s another, from WildWaterRafting.com:

From Wild Water Rafting???  FYI, the Ocoee is a renowned white water rafting spot.

And this cool shot (apparently of striking miners), courtesy of the Ducktown Basin Museum:

Before leaving this subject all together, I was checking out GE Street View in Copperhill and found this suspicious-looking (to me) yet apparently geologic formation:

Trust me – these are spoils from the mining operation, not a natural bedrock outcrop . . .

Moving right along – I noticed that Copperhill TN and McCaysville GA are adjacent towns that should be separated the Ocoee River, but are actually bisected by an arbitrary state line:

Here are some GE Panoramio shots of the state line as it passes through the towns.  First this, by AGW88:

And then a couple more by Sammie 59:

I couldn’t resist.  Here’s the ALAD proposal for a re-drawn state line:

Before I close out this post, I’d like to point out that my landing was in the path of totality for the August 21st total eclipse.  Here’s a map with Ducktown circled:

Zooming out, you can see my landing, but you can also see the location labeled Fair Play SC:

Well, Fair Play just happens to be the spot where a bunch of our family & friends (from New Orleans) gathered at a rental house on a lake for the specific purpose of viewing the eclipse.

The skies were clear, and of course, the eclipse was awesome.  The house had a dock on the lake; here’s a pre-totality shot of some of our group on the dock:

And yes, all of us have eye protection, and most of us are wearing eclipse tee shirts . . .

Anyway, I’ll close with a pretty shot of the Ocoee River (from the Ducktown website):

That’ll do it . . .




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Cuttalossa, Pennsylvania (Revisited)

Posted by graywacke on October 10, 2017

A Landing A Day blog post number 803.

Dan:  I struggled with the title of this post.  Actually, this is a follow-up to my Liberty Mills and North Manchester, Indiana post (from August 2017).  And yes, I did mention Cuttalossa, Pennsylvania in that post (and, no, I did not land near Cuttalossa, Pennsylvania.)    Well, here’s the story, quoting me from that post:

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

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

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

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

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

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

And a little further south:

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

It certainly looks like some old mill structures, eh?

So, anyway, I decided to take a trip up to Cuttalossa with my wife Jody and my granddaughter Jessica. 

Just upstream from the mill shown in the above photo is this waterfall, which now tumbles over the dam that used to divert the creek to the mill wheel:

In my North Manchester post, I said that the Cuttalossa Creek flows into the Delaware Canal.  Guess what?  WRONG!  I saw with my own eyes that the creek flows into a culvert that flows under the canal, and out to the Delaware River.  Oh, well . . . .

And, of course, this whole diversionary trip to Cuttalossa is about Daniel Garber, the artist. 

Here are a few wonderful Daniel Garber paintings not included in my previous post:

But I’ll close with my own photo, looking downstream along Cuttalossa Creek towards Cuttalossa.  Daniel:  I can’t believe you didn’t paint this!

And then, working a little computer magic, I came up with this:

Are you kidding me?  Why bother to learn how to paint?  This is awesome!

That’ll do it,



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Arock, Jordan Valley, Rome and Danner, Oregon

Posted by graywacke on October 6, 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 2369; A Landing A Day blog post number 802.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (35o49.646’N, 104o 1.270’W) puts me in SE Oregon:

Here’s my local landing map:

Note that I added “Danner” and “Rome” – more about why I did that later.

My streams-only map shows that I landed adjacent to the Owyhee River (9th hit); on to the Snake (83rd hit); on to the Mighty Columbia (173rd hit):

Click HERE to dutifully follow the Google Earth (GE) yellow push-pin as it falls  to a gentle landing in SE Oregon.

Looking at the GE shot below, you can see that I actually landed in the watershed of an unnamed tributary to an unnamed tributary of the Owyhee River:

This looks like a very cool spot, eh?  Unfortunately, there are no GE Panoramio shots to give us a better look.

Zooming back (and getting the Orange Dude up and running), I can get a look at the Owyhee and at least be aware that my landing is off in the distance:

Here’s what the OD sees:

Standing on the bridge and looking around, the OD noticed great picture-taking lighting looking upstream and to the north east:

So, of course, he had to check out downstream and to the south east:

I’m sure that you noticed that the OD was located on a bridge in Rome.  Well, Rome isn’t much (and as one of the GE Pano photographers noted, this Rome could have been built in a day).  Here’s what Wiki has to say:

According to Oregon Geographic Names, Rome was named for the nearby geologic formations that suggested the ruined temples of Rome, Italy.  The 100-foot high “Pillars of Rome” are formations of fossil-bearing clay.

And yes, there are GE Pano shots of the pillars, by John from ID.  Here’s one:

And then, stepping back a little, Idaho John also took this one:

A lovely spot, indeed. 

Moving east to Arock.  From Wiki:

Arock was supposedly named in 1922 for a large rock bearing Native American petroglyphs in the vicinity.

OK.  You’ve got a cool rock with petroglyphs and decide you want to name the nearby town after the rock.  Can’t you do any better than Arock?  How about Coolrock?  (OK, so maybe not.)  Uhhh, how about Indian Rock?  Why not talk with a local Indian, and then use the Indian name for the rock?  Wait!  Here’s a good one:  Boulder!  (Or Aboulder, if you must).  Oh well . . .

As I mentioned earlier, Danner wasn’t on my Street View map (and it doesn’t show up on GE), so I checked out Jordan Valley next.  From Wiki:

In the center of town stands the pelota fronton, built in 1915 by Basque settlers, many of whom had been recruited from Spain to herd sheep. Their descendants are a noticeable presence today in Malheur County.  The pelota fronton was last used regularly in 1935.

It turns out that pelota is a Basque game that involves throwing or hitting a ball up against a wall (jai alai – the game they play in Miami with long, curved paddles – is a derivative, also Basque) and “fronton” is the name for the pelota court.  Here’s a GE Pano shot of the fronton by B. Lyon:

Actually, the photo is of the backon of the fronton.

Back to Wiki and Jordan Valley:

Sacagawea’s son Jean Baptiste Charbonneau is often said to be buried in Jordan Valley, as that is the closest incorporated city to Danner, the actual site of his burial.

As mentioned above, Danner appears on no maps.  However, Danner has a Wiki entry that more-or-less describes where it is (west of Jordan Valley, north of Jordan Creek).  I went to GE, with the hope that there were Panoramio shots of the Charbonneau grave site.  And there were, and I was therefore able to find Danner:

Notes: 1.)  I put my cursor on one of the Pano shots (entitled “JB Charbonneau”, and you can see how I found the “town” in the first place.  2.)  I added the yellow pushpin labeled “Danner.” 3.)  And yes – there’s a Danner Road.  4.)  What’s up with Old Ion Road?  A quick Wiki search reveals that Ion used to be I.O.N., which stands for Idaho Oregon Nevada.

And here’s the grave marker (Pano shot by John Barenberg):

So what about Monsieur Charbonneau?  I’ll start with his mom, from Wiki:

Sacagawea (1788 – 1812) was a Lemhi Shoshone woman who is known for her help to the Lewis and Clark Expedition in achieving their chartered mission objectives by exploring the Louisiana Territory.

Sacagawea traveled with the expedition thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean, and helped establish cultural contacts with Native American populations.  In addition, she provided Lewis and Clark with extensive information concerning natural history.

At approximately age 13, Sacagawea was sold into a non-consensual “marriage” to Toussaint Charbonneau, a Quebecois trapper living in the Sacagawea’s North Dakota village.  She was one of two wives so obtained by Charbonneau. He may have “won” Sacagawea while gambling.

Sacagawea was pregnant with her first child when Lewis & Clark arrived near the same village to spend the winter of 1804–05. They agreed to hire Charbonneau as an interpreter because they discovered that Sacagawea spoke Shoshone, and they knew they would need the help of Shoshone tribes at the headwaters of the Missouri.

Clark recorded this in his journal on November 4, 1804:

… a french man by Name Chabonah, who Speaks the Big Belley language visit us, he wished to hire & informed us his 2 Squars were Snake Indians, we engau him to go on with us and take one of his wives to interpret the Snake language …

Yo Mr. Clark.  You sure could have used Spell Check!  Back to Wiki:

Charbonneau and Sacagawea moved into the expedition’s fort a week later. Lewis recorded the birth of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau on February 11, 1805, noting that another of the party’s interpreters administered crushed rattlesnake rattles to speed the delivery.

Concerning her death:

An 1811 journal entry made by Henry Brackenridge, a fur dealer at Fort Manuel Lisa Trading Post on the Missouri River, stated that both Sacagawea and Charbonneau were living at the fort. He recorded that Sacagawea “…had become sickly and longed to revisit her native country.”

The following year, John Luttig, a clerk at Fort Manuel Lisa, recorded in his journal on December 20, 1812, that: “…the wife of Charbonneau, a Snake Squaw, died of putrid fever.” He went on to say that she was “aged about 25 years. She left a fine infant girl”.

Documents held by Clark show that her son Baptiste already had been entrusted by Charbonneau into Clark’s care for a boarding school education, at Clark’s insistence.

Note:  An alternate story has it that she lived a long life, dying in 1884 amongst the Shoshone.

Here’s a Wiki picture of the Sacagawea dollar, where she’ portrayed with her son Jean Baptiste:

Concerning Jean Baptiste (from Wiki):

Sacagawea’s son Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau continued a restless and adventurous life. He carried lifelong celebrity status as the infant who went with the explorers to the Pacific Ocean and back. When he was 18, he was befriended by a German Prince, Duke Paul Wilhelm of Württemberg, who took him to Europe. There, Jean-Baptiste spent six years living among royalty, while learning four languages and fathering a child in Germany named Anton Fries, who died in infancy.

 [“Anton” sounds French, eh?  Had the poor boy lived, I’m sure his nickname would have been French Fries . .]

After his infant son died, Jean-Baptiste came back from Europe in 1829 to live the life of a Western frontiersman.

He became a gold miner, hotel clerk, and in 1846, led a group of Mormons to California. While in California he became a magistrate for the Mission San Luis Rey. He disliked the way Indians were treated in the Missions and left to become a hotel clerk in Auburn, California, once the center of gold rush activity.

After working six years in Auburn, the restless son of Sacagawea left in search of riches in the gold mines of Montana. He was 61 years old, and the trip was too much for him. He became ill with pneumonia and died in a remote area near Danner, Oregon, on May 16, 1866.

I found many mother-and-son pics; these are lazily un-credited:

It’s time to close things out with a couple of local GE Pano shots.  Here’s one by Jeremy Fox of the Owyhee Canyon:

And an amazing wildflower shot by Neale Jenks:

That’ll do it . . .




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Trementina, NM

Posted by graywacke on October 1, 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 2368; A Landing A Day blog post number 801.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (35o49.646’N, 104o 1.270’W) puts me in NE New Mexico:

My local map shows many small towns in addition to my titular Trementina:

My streams-only map is one of the funky Street Atlas shots that just give a hint about a stream apparently named Devils Creek:

After looking at Google Earth, I can confirm that there is a stream course headed south just east of my landing, which ends up hooking up with La Cinta Creek:

And as you can see, La Cinta Creek discharges to the Canadian River (49th hit).  As regulars are well aware, the Canadian makes its way east to the Arkansas (129th hit) which makes its way east to the Mississippi (921st hit).

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) yellow pushpin drop that amazingly ends up exactly where I landed.  Click HERE to experience the drop.

Here’s a GE shot showing Street View coverage:

And what the OD sees:

A Street View shot of the La Cinta canyon is much more dramatic than the creek itself.  The road the OD was just on continues west and drops into the canyon:

And here’s what he sees:

By the way, la cinta means “ribbon.”

As you can see on my local landing map, I had a veritable plethora of small towns to check out.  Essentially, I found the entire area:

But then, along came Trementina.  Before I go to Wiki, here’s a GE shot of the little there is of Trementina:

From Wiki, about the name:

Trementina (an unincorporated community) was named after the Spanish word for turpentine, in reference to the pitch of the pinyon pine which was used by the Spanish Americans as a folk medicine and a substitute for chewing gum.

OK – that’s a little interesting, but enough for Trementina’s titular status?  Not really. 

I then noticed a Wiki-clickable bullet under “See Also.”  It said “Trementina Base.”  So, I clicked:

Trementina Base is the popular designation for a property of the Scientology-affiliated Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) near Trementina, New Mexico.  The CST is an entity formed to manage the Church of Scientology’s copyright affairs.

According to the CST, the purpose of the base is to provide storage space for an archiving project to preserve Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s writings, films and recordings for future generations. Hubbard’s texts have been engraved on stainless steel tablets and encased in titanium capsules underground. The project began in the late 1980s.

So it caught my interest. Continuing:

Copies of Hubbard’s text are preserved and stored in deep vaults, guarded by tight security. The underground compound “stands as a symbol of the timelessness of Hubbard’s texts and as a three-dimensional manifestation of the ‘purity of Hubbard’s legacy.”  The base also has its own private, concrete airstrip.

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!

Back to Wiki:

The huge symbol on the base, distinguishable only from an aerial view, is specifically that of the Church of Spiritual Technology.  Former members of the Church have said that the symbol marks a “return point” for Scientologists to help find Hubbard’s works when they travel here in the future from other places in the universe.

Okey dokey.  Anyway, I checked out access to the Base, and it ain’t easy to get to.  Here’s a map:

The entire 12 miles is dirt, and there are numerous stream crossings that would require a high-riding 4-wheel drive, like this:

Most of the way in is a public county road (County Road C56A), so I guess the CST guys don’t have to maintain the whole thing.

I found what I suspect is at least part of the underground storage facility, right between the airstrip and the symbols:

I showed you that stream crossing a couple of pictures back.  I’ll zoom back just a little:

A house is for sale!  From Realtor.com:

Wow.  880 acres, and a really nice house for the bargain-basement price of $500,000.  Check out this shot of a second-floor balcony:


Some real architecture!  The house has solar & wind power with a back-up propane generator.  It also includes two wells, a water storage tank, water catchment, propane & wood heat.  It has a telephone land line plus high speed internet.

And the downside?  Well, how about an hour and twenty minutes to the nearest grocery store (in Las Vegas NM)?  The closest gas station (with a small convenience store) is a full hour away.

Anyway.  If you’re interested in more information about the house, click HERE.

Well, I’ve been avoiding it, but I guess I have to say something about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.  The first thing I learned is what the “L” stands for.  As a Lafayette College grad, I was surprised to learn that yes, he was Lafayette Ronald Hubbard.

I spent some time perusing Wiki (both Hubbard’s entry and the church’s entry), the Scientology website and anti-Scientology web sites.  Geez.  There’s way too much stuff for me to crystallize and disseminate.

But I’ll say this:  Ron is a fascinating and compelling guy. He somehow went from poverty (as a second-rate sci-fi writer) to amazing wealth and fame. Obviously, many have found his writings to be inspirational and life-changing.  Obviously, many have found him to be a fraud.  Obviously, many former faithful are bitter about their experiences. . .

But I’m ready to move on.  Just a few paragraphs ago, I was writing about the trip to the grocery store (in Las Vegas NM) from the house that’s for sale.  When I was zoomed way back on Google Maps looking for grocery stores, I noted that the town of Tucumcari was in the running for closest grocery store (but it lost out to Las Vegas by about 20 minutes driving time).

As soon as I saw the name of the town, a female voice popped into my head, singing:  “From Tucson to Tucumcari . . . .”  Since my brain couldn’t readily supply the artist and song, I went to Google and quickly found out that the singer was Linda Ronstadt, and the song was “Willin.”

My familiarity with the song stemmed from my first wife’s love of Linda Ronstadt, back in the mid-to-late 70s.

Google also told me that Linda R. was covering a Little Feat song, so on to You Tube I went to check it out.  I recalled that this was a truck-driving song, with a romantic line about “Dallas Alice” (which Linda dutifully sang).

Anyway, it’s a great song – very authentic.  And Little Feat’s rendition is, of course, authentic (more so than Linda’s, no knock on her). 

I found a You Tube Little Feat version with no video – so just listen and follow the words.

I been warped by the rain
Driven by the snow
I’m drunk and dirty, don’t ya know
And I’m still . . . willin

And I was out on the road, late at night
I seen my pretty Alice in every headlight
Alice, Dallas Alice

And I’ve been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that’s ever been made
Driven the back roads
So I wouldn’t get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
Then I’ll be willin’ to be movin’

Well I’ve been kicked by the wind
Robbed by the sleet
Had my head stoved in
But I’m still on my feet
And I’m still . . . willin’

Smuggled some smokes
And folks from Mexico
Baked by the sun
Every time I go to Mexico
And I’m still . . .

And I been from Tuscon to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that’s ever been made
Driven the back roads
So I wouldn’t get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
Then I’ll be willin’ to be movin’

The first two lines of the chorus (with the “T” place names) is truly wonderful poetry . . .

FYI, Tonapah (pop 2,500) is in the Nevada desert, about halfway between Reno and Las Vegas.  I’ve never featured it on this blog, although it did get a couple of mentions.

Tehachapi (pop 14,000) is in S-Cen California, also never featured by me (aka, the landing god never put me there).  It is known by rail fans as the home of the Tehachapi Loop.  Here’s a GE shot, luckily showing a train navigating the loop:

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot of the loop by DanNew:

It’s time to close out this post with this shot that was included on the real estate website (presumably taken close to the house that is for sale):

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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