A Landing a Day

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McIntosh, Leroy, Jackson and Saint Stephen, Alabama

Posted by graywacke on March 16, 2018

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

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

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

Landing number 2392; A Landing A Day blog post number 826.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (31o 17.998’N, 88o 0.998’W) puts me in southwest Alabama:

I suspect that approximately zero of my readers noted that the last three digits of my random latitude are exactly the same as the last three digits of my random longitude.  See the .998? 

Moving right along to my local landing map:

I found at least a minor hook with each of the four highlighted towns. But before checking them out, here’s my watershed map:

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of good ol’ Stream Perennial, to the Tombigbee River (9th hit).  Although not shown, just a little ways downstream, the Tombigbee hooks up with the Alabama River to form the Mobile (24th hit) – and on to Mobile Bay.

I don’t get a good Google Earth (GE) Street View (SV) look at my landing, but I can look at the little road upon which I landed:

And here’s the SV shot of the little road:

I couldn’t get the Orange Dude (OD) to take a look at the Stream Perennial, but of course, he could get a look at the Tombigbee.  I was shocked as I saw this image:

. . . until I realized that this bridge is just downstream from where the Alabama River and the Tombigbee come together to form the Mobile . . .

Here’s a look upstream:

This bridge is part of a system of bridges about 6 miles long crossing the flood plain of the Mobile River:

So I have some minor tidbits for each of my four titular towns.  Since it’s the closest, I’ll start with McIntosh.  From Wiki:

McIntosh is near the site of Aaron Burr’s arrest in 1807. A historic marker has been placed to document this event.

What the heck; here’s a little Aaron Burr (mostly taken from Wiki) for you to chew on:

  • He was the third U.S. Vice President, serving under Thomas Jefferson
  • In 1804, the last full year of his single term as vice president, Burr shot his political rival Alexander Hamilton in a famous duel.
  • The two had been locked in a bitter political feud for years, and eventually agreed to the duel.
  • They were both in NY City, but rowed across the Hudson to Weehawken NJ (anti-dueling laws were less enforced in NJ than in NY).
  • It was common for both principals in a duel to fire a shot at the ground to exemplify courage, and then the duel could come to an end.
  • However, it likely that Hamilton fired first, but intentionally missed Burr.
  • The bullet hit a tree above and behind Burr.
  • Burr knew that a projectile from Hamilton’s gun had whizzed past him and crashed into the tree to his rear.
  • According to the principles of the code duello, Burr was perfectly justified in taking deadly aim at Hamilton and firing to kill.
  • Hamilton was mortally wounded by the shot in his lower abdomen; he was taken back to NY where he died the next day.
  • Burr was charged for murder in both NY and NJ.
  • Burr fled to South Carolina, where his daughter lived with her family, but soon returned to Philadelphia and then to Washington to complete his term as Vice President.
  • He avoided New York and New Jersey for a time, but all the charges against him were eventually dropped. In the case of New Jersey, the indictment was thrown out on the basis that, although Hamilton was shot in New Jersey, he died in New York.
  • What happened next is confusing (at best) and tedious/boring at worst (this is me talking). The bottom line is that he traveled to Louisiana involving some land deal, made some arrangements with some local militia, and ended up being charged with conspiracy (and treason) by President Jefferson.
  • He was arrested near my landing!
  • He was tried, but acquitted; he lived in NY until his death in 1833.

My next three towns are clustered a few miles north of my landing.  I’ll start with Leroy, home of portrait artist Simmie Knox.  He is best known as the painter of the official Bill Clinton presidential portrait.  From Wiki:

Simmie Knox was born in 1935 in Aliceville, Alabama to Simmie Knox Sr., a carpenter and mechanic, and Amelia Knox.  At a young age Simmie’s parents divorced and he was sent to live with his aunt and uncle on their sharecropper farm with his eight cousins in Leroy.

At age 13 he was hit in the eye by a baseball while playing a game, and it was suggested that drawing would aid his recovery. His segregated school did not have an art program, but the Catholic nuns who taught him recognized his talent and found someone to teach him.

He attended Central High School in Mobile.  Subsequently, Knox studied at Delaware State College while working in a textile factory. He then enrolled at Tyler School of Art, Pennsylvania, where he attained his masters degree.

Comedian Bill Cosby is credited with raising his profile in the 1990s when Knox was commissioned to paint 12 members of the Cosby family.  He subsequently painted notable figures such as Muhammad Ali, and Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, before coming to the attention of the White House.

In 2000 he was selected to create a portrait of President Bill Clinton, becoming the first black American painter to paint an official portrait of an American president.  The paintings of Bill and Hillary Clinton took two years to complete and are hanging in the White House’s East Wing.

He has painted dozens (hundreds?) of portraits both official (government-sponsored) and private.

Here are a few of his more famous portraits:

And this cool one of Hank Aaron and his parents:

 

Moving over to Jackson.  This Wiki piece caught my eye:

During World War II, a prisoner-of-war camp was built and operated that held 253 captured German soldiers.  Many of the prisoners were members of the Afrika Korps.

“Afrika Korps” was Wiki-clickable, so click I did (starting with their creepily-cartoonish logo):

The Afrika Korps (German: Deutsches Afrikakorps) was the German expeditionary force in Africa during the North African Campaign of World War II. First sent as a holding force to shore up the Italian defense of their African colonies, the formation fought on in Africa from March 1941 until its surrender in May 1943. The unit’s best known commander was Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (“The Desert Fox.”)

And here’s a shot of some German military hardware in the desert:

I certainly can’t tell their nationality . . .

In 1940, the Brits routed the Italians based in Libya, an Italian Colony.  Hitler sent Rommel to shore up the Italians, and stop the Brits, which he did.  But as time went on, the tide turned for the Germans.  From Wiki:

The remnants of the Afrika Korps and surviving units of the 1st Italian Army retreated into Tunisia. In May 1943, the Afrika Korps surrendered, along with all other remaining Axis forces in North Africa.

And some of the Afrika Korps ended up in Jackson, Alabama . . .

Now we’ll head upriver to Saint Stephen.  FYI, “Old Saint Stephen” was right on the Tombigbee River.  Based on railroad availability, the current Saint Stephen “New Saint Stephen” was located a few miles east of the river.  Old Saint Stephen exists only as a historic park.

From Wiki:

Old St. Stephens was situated on a limestone bluff that the Native Americans called Hobucakintopa, at the fall line along the Tombigbee River where rocky shoals forced the end of navigation for boats traveling north from Mobile, 67 miles to the south.

As early as 1772, British surveyor Bernard Romans noted that “sloops and schooners may come up to this rapid; therefore, I judge some considerable settlement will take place.”

Notice the phrase “fall line?”  In the eastern US, the fall line designates the line separating hard bedrock formations from the younger, unconsolidated sediments that make up the coastal plain.  Here’s a USGS shot (the Piedmont Plateau is much older bedrock):

As in Saint Stephen, the fall line was identified as a spot for development because ships couldn’t go further upriver, and needed a port to off-load cargo ships and transfer the cargo to land-based transport.  Here’s a Wiki-list of Fall Line Cities:

Watertown, Massachusetts (Charles River)
Lowell, Massachusetts (Merrimack River)
Hartford, Connecticut (Connecticut River)
Fall River, Massachusetts (Quequechan River)
Bangor, Maine (Penobscot River)
Augusta, Maine (Kennebec River)
Rochester NY (Genesee River)
Pawtucket, Rhode Island (Blackstone River)
Trenton, New Jersey, on the Delaware River
Paterson, New Jersey, on the Passaic River
Conowingo MD (Susquehanna Riveer)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the Schuylkill River
Wilmington, Delaware, on Brandywine Creek
Baltimore, MD, on Jones Falls, Gunpowder Falls and Gwynns Falls
Washington, D.C., on the Potomac River
Fredericksburg, Virginia, on the Rappahannock River
Hanover, Virginia, on the North Anna River
Richmond, Virginia, on the James River
Petersburg, Virginia, on the Appomattox River
Weldon, NC and Roanoke Rapids NC on the Roanoke River
Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on the Tar River
Raleigh, North Carolina, on the Neuse River
Fayetteville, North Carolina, on the Cape Fear River
Camden, South Carolina, on the Wateree River
Columbia, South Carolina, on the Congaree River
Augusta, Georgia, on the Savannah River
Milledgeville, Georgia, on the Oconee River
Macon, Georgia, on the Ocmulgee River
Columbus, Georgia, on the Chattahoochee River
Tallassee, Alabama, on the Tallapoosa River
Wetumpka, Alabama, on the Coosa River
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on the Black Warrior River

Hmm.  Don’t see Saint Stephen on the Mobile River.  Strange that it didn’t take off . . .

Speaking of Saint Stephen, here’s GE shot of the limestone bluffs at Old Saint Stephen, by Ryan Beverly:

I’ll close with this GE shot from a few miles west of my landing (by Jan Bowen):

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Syracuse, Nebraska

Posted by graywacke on March 10, 2018

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

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

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

Landing number 2391; A Landing A Day blog post number 825.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (40o 46.805’N, 96o 0.816’W) puts me in southeast Nebraska (aka SE NE):

My local landing map shows that I’m in the midst of the usual VP* of small towns (pop less, often way less than 1,000), with a larger one (Nebraska City, pop 7,300) thrown in:

*Veritable Plethora

As you can tell by the title of this post (and the red oval), there was one & only one big winner.

Here’s my watershed analysis:

I landed in the watershed of the South Branch of Weeping Water Creek, on to the Weeping Water Creek, on to the Missouri River (425th hit).  The Mighty Mo makes its way to the Mighty Miss (928th hit).

I’ve got good Google Earth (GE) Street View coverage of my landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I sent him down the road a piece to get a look at the South Branch of Weeping Water Creek:

And here’s what the OD sees:

Of course, I checked out all of the towns shown on my local landing map.  After an exhaustive search, I ended up with only Syracuse.  OK.  So, there’s practically nothing to say about Syracuse.  From Wiki:

The community was named after Syracuse, New York.

So, what about Syracuse NY?  From Wiki:

Syracuse was named after the original Greek city Syracuse, a city on the eastern coast of the Italian island of Sicily.

So what about Syracuse Sicily?  From Wiki:

Syracuse was founded in 734 or 733 BC by Greek settlers from Corinth and Tenea.   A possible origin of the city’s name is that there was a nearby marsh called Syrako.  A variant of Syrako was “Syracuse.”

The nucleus of the ancient city was the small island of Ortygia. The ancient Greek settlers found the land fertile and the native tribes to be reasonably well-disposed to their presence. The city grew and prospered, and for some time stood as the most powerful Greek city anywhere in the Mediterranean.

Here’s the city as a whole:

And the ancient portion of the city, the island of Ortygia – what looks like the peninsula in the above photo.  Here’s a GE close-up:

Syracuse is a very cool old town.  I’ll do a little photo tour, starting with the Roman Amphitheater (GE photo by Tancredi Landi):

The amphitheater is not in Ortygia, but all of the remaining shots are.

Here’s a GE photo by Lady K:

:

And this, from a GE 360 shot:

Here’s a lovely waterfront café (from GE Street View):

There is a maze of incredibly narrow “streets”  in Ortygia.  Here’s a typical GE Street View shot:

There’s a wonderful plaza there – Piazzo Duomo. Here’s a Street View shot:

And a shot of the Catholic Church in the Piazzo by Tomas Posvai:

Staying in the Piazzo, here are a couple of shots captured in GE 360s:

The silver dude’s very cool, but not permanent.  And how about the woman with her leg up and clapping?  I love it.

I’d love to have the time, flexibility (and money) to hang out in Syracuse for a while . . .

I thought I needed to head back to Nebraska – so I scanned the GE photos near my landing.  Hmmmm.  Not much to choose from, but I settled on this, by Bluegrass Playgrounds:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Equinunk, Pennsylvania

Posted by graywacke on February 25, 2018

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

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

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

Landing number 2390; A Landing A Day blog post number 824.

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

Here’s my local landing map:

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

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

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

*Just for the heck of it.

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

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

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

And here’s what he sees:

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

And looking downstream:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes:

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

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

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

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

Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

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Susanville, Standish and Honey Lake, California

Posted by graywacke on February 16, 2018

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

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

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

Landing number 2389; A Landing A Day blog post number 823.

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

Here’s my local landing map:

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

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

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

Here’s the downstream view:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that was that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honey Lake is just above the word “Pyramid.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I signed it again for this post:

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

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

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

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

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Blewett, Dabney and Brackettville, Texas

Posted by graywacke on February 8, 2018

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

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

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

Landing number 2388; A Landing A Day blog post number 822.

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

Here’s my local landing map:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, who were these Buffalo Soldiers?  From Wiki:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

And then this, by Matthew Ricks:

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

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Millbrook, New York

Posted by graywacke on February 2, 2018

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

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

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

Landing number 2387; A Landing A Day blog post number 821.

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

Here’s my local landing map:

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

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

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

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

Good job, Sully!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, who is this Leary guy?

From Wiki:

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what is LSD?  From Wiki:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

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Tecopa, California (Revisited)

Posted by graywacke on January 24, 2018

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

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

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

Landing number 2386; A Landing A Day blog post number 820.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (35o 39.470’N, 116o 23.356’W) puts me in southeastern California:

Here’s my local landing map:

Not much around, eh?

It turns out that back in March of 2009, I also featured Tecopa (thus the “revisited”).  That post is very different from this post, but go ahead and check it out, if you’ve a mind to . . .

As was true for my March 2009 post, I landed in the Amargosa River watershed (4th hit).  Here’s a broad Google Earth (GE) shot:

The Amargosa heads south, and then loops to the west past my landing, and then heads north (and appropriately enough), dies in Death Valley (7th hit).

Here’s a closeup near my landing:

From Wiki:

Except during flash floods that occur after cloudbursts, most of the course of the Amargosa River is dry on the surface.  The flow is generally underground except for stretches near Beatty and just downstream from Tecopa, California, in the Amargosa Canyon.

GE gives me a Street View look at the (dry) Amargosa, and my landing location:

Here’s what the OD sees:

While I’m on the road (Route 127), here’s a GE Pano shot by Jim Nieland looking north across the Amargosa valley:

I have some photos of the river – with actual water.  Here’s one in the Amargosa Canyon (from chinaranch.com):

And here’s another Amargosa Canyon shot (GE Pano by WiseWater):

Here’s a rare shot of the Amargosa River actually looking like a river, taken a few miles downstream of my landing (GE Pano by Steve Gaskin):

Obviously, a very rainy period led to the above picture.  Speaking of wetter times, how about 200,000 years ago when there was a large lake – Lake Tecopa – that covered about 100 square miles just north of the town of Tecopa. 

It was formed in a tectonic basin – that is, a depression in the earth caused by tectonic forces and the resulting faulting (as is Death Valley).  The lake began to overflow at its southern end, resulting in the cutting of the Amargosa Canyon.  The water then flowed down to Death Valley, feeding another lake, Lake Manly. 

Here’s a map:

For all of you doubters out there, here’s a picture of evidence of Lake Manly shorelines:

Moving right along . . .

There’s a place called “China Ranch” south of Tecopa:

China Ranch is currently a fig farm, and has a website.  From ChinaRanch.com:

Little is known about activities or people here at China Ranch from 1850 until the turn of the century. According to available sources, a Chinese man named either Quon Sing or Ah Foo came to this canyon after many years of work in the Death Valley borax mines. He developed the water, planted fruits and vegetables, and raised meat for the local mining camps. It became known as Chinaman’s Ranch.

Sometime in 1900, a man named Morrison appeared, and, as the story goes, he ran the Chinese farmer off at gun point and claimed the Ranch for his own. Morrison eventually sold out, but the name had stuck.

Since then the canyon has had many owners and worn many different faces, including a fig farm, cattle ranch, hog farm, alfalfa farm, and others.

The date grove was planted from seed in the early 1920’s.  Approximately half of the trees are male and produce only pollen. The females bear in the fall, yielding from 100 to 300 pounds of dates in a season.

This is quite the oasis.  I found a number of GE Panoramio shots, including this, by David Cure-Hrycuik of date palms:

And this, also by David C-H:

And this incredible shot by Listratov:

Here’s a Wiki shot by Michael Baird of some badlands along the edge of China Ranch:

Very close to my landing are three natural features:  the Dumont Dunes, the Ibex Dunes and the Saratoga Springs.  It’s GE Pano time, starting with the Dumont Dunes:

First, this aerial shot by BikeCam:

And this wild shot by Fel35:

And this, by RobVZ:

(Yes, such vehicles are allowed on the dunes.)

OK, now for the Ibex Dunes:

First, this by Chris Cleveland:

From EarthRover:

And also from EarthRover:

My final stop is Saratoga Springs:

First this, by Danny Merkle:

I’ll close with this by Chris Cleveland:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

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Martinsdale, Lenepp, Two Dot, Sixteen and Ringling, Montana

Posted by graywacke on January 15, 2018

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

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

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

Landing number 2385; A Landing A Day blog post number 819.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (46o 23.391’N, 110o 14.310’W) puts me in central Montana:

Here’s my local landing map:

And yes!  Every town on the map is titular!

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of that fan-favorite, Stream Perennial; to the Little Elk Creek; to the Musselshell River (16th hit):

Zooming back:

The Musselshell heads east to join up with the Missouri (424th hit); on, of course, to the MM (927th hit).

As always, I checked out Google Earth to see if I could get a look at my landing.  Well, I’m quite a ways away:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

And I got a look at Little Elk Creek:

Here’s the downstream view:

The above shot caught my eye, as looking like impressionist art.  I zoomed in to get rid of the roadway:

I’m going to make a statement, here, early in the post, the likes of which I’ve never made before:  I really enjoyed researching & writing this post!  It’s laid-back, folksy, pertinent, fun and real.  Wow.  What a set-up.  Well, here goes:

I’ll start with Martinsdale, which was the long-time home of a poet, Grace Stone Coates (1881 – 1976).  She moved there with her husband when she was 28 years old, and didn’t begin writing poetry until she moved there.

She was well published, and became known in some literary circles. 

I didn’t investigate her writing to any depth, but one of the first poems I ran across was entitled “Mutterkorn.”

I believe you’ll enjoy the poem more with a little background up front.  “Mutterkorn” is (I think) a German word for either ergot or ergotism.  “Ergot” is a purple plant fungus that grows on harvested grain crops that, if eaten, can cause ergotism with symptoms like convulsions, nausea, diarrhea, and gangrene formation. 

Wiki says this about ergot:

Dark-purple or black grain kernels, known as ergot bodies, can be identifiable in the heads of cereal or grass just before harvest.

The poem also mentions Gehenna. From Wiki:

Gehenna is a small valley in Jerusalem. In the Hebrew Bible, Gehenna was where some of the kings of Judah sacrificed their children by fire. It was deemed to be cursed.  (Note that modern archeology has established child sacrifice.)

In Hebrew, Christian and Islamic scripture, Gehenna is a destination of the wicked.  The King James Version of the Bible usually translates the Greek/Hebrew “Gehenna” with the Anglo-Saxon word Hell.

The poem also mentions “unmatured [corn] kernels”  After a deep search, I found a quote from a 1900 magazine for hoteliers (The Hotel & Motor Hotel Monthly), speaking about serving corn in their restaurants.  This is about “unmatured” kernels, which apparently are corn kernels ripe for eating.  I can only assume that “mature” kernels have hardened.

The unmatured kernels when prepared and cooked in different ways form the excellent vegetable, which is dear to the heart of every true American.  In buying, select the freshly picked and closely-kerneled ears, which have a snowy-white appearance and in the milky state; the latter feature can be easily determined by slightly depressing one of the kernels with a thumbnail.  If a starchy milk oozes out, it is in the peak of condition.

And finally:  an alternate meaning of the word “bland” is “soothing.”

So, you are now prepared to read (and understand) this poem, which is a doozy.  Apparently, Grace fell hook line and sinker for some guy, and the relationship turned a little sour . . .

Anyway, here ‘tis:

Mutterkorn

You are more bitter upon my lips than ergot
Purple corruption on the nourishing kernel;
Bitterer to me than brackish desert water,
Bitter as tears in dreams that shame Gehenna.

Because you were sweeter upon my tongue than honey,
Blander than milk in unmaturing kernels;
Stronger than swooning breath of the sun-sucked berry,
You are now more bitter in my throat than death.

Ouch.

Don’t worry.  This post goes uphill from here.  Time to move to Lennep.  Like Martinsdale, it was a railroad stop on the old electric segment of the Milwaukee Railroad, but unlike Martinsdale, it is now a total ghost town with no inhabitants.  It still has a Lutheran church that is being meticulously maintained (although note the lake of sidewalks or roads):

Lennep is named after Lennep Germany (in western Germany, just north of Cologne), which has a historic and scenic center.  Here are three GE Panoramio shots by Ralf Es:

OK, so maybe Lennep wasn’t much better than Martinsdale.  How about Two Dot?

Wiki lets us know that the name of the town came from a local rancher’s brand, which was, unsurprisingly, simply two dots.

I managed to stumble on a blog post written by Dr. Gregory Frazier in MotorcycleUSA.com, entitled “Two Dot Adventure.” 

Here are some excerpts:

“You going to crash that motorcycle,” the bartender said as he poured a third double-shot of whiskey into the cowboy’s glass.

“Nah, this stuff just loosens me up, lets me ride better than when I’m sober,” was the retort from the already well-oiled cowboy leaning on the bar.

“That’s what you said last time you busted yourself up on that motorcycle. You could get killed one of these times.”

The cowboy emptied the glass in one toss-back, coughed once or twice, set the glass on the bar and growled his reply towards the bartender, “Yeah, well you know I’m from Two Dot and don’t give a damn, so give me another.”

[Remember the above quote.]

The next double he drank a bit slower, sipping it while looking in the mirror behind the bar. About halfway through his drink he turned to me and asked, “That your BMW [motorcycle] outside?”

I said it was, not sure if my reply was going to prompt a compliment or challenge. Instead I got neither.

“Where are you headed?” he asked.

I told him I was looking for a quiet camping spot for the night further north, somewhere along the Musselshell River.

He pondered this for a few seconds, and then said, “I’ve got a Honda 900 out front. If you want we can ride up there together. I know a couple of places you might like, real quiet like and right on the river.”

I thought, “Why not, he’s a local and should know the best places.”

. . . . .

It was while eating the big, two-handed burger and wiping grease from my chin with a shirt sleeve that the cowboy came into the bar, sat down three stools away and quickly knocked back the two double-shots of whiskey. Sipping my cola and dipping fries in the pool of ketchup on my plate, I knew well enough not to bother a man in Montana who was obviously a serious drinker, so kept my eyes averted and voice to myself.

The cowboy never introduced himself by name, just asked if I wanted to join him, an offer I accepted.

Before leaving the bar my new guide bought two six-packs of beer which he stored in the six-pack designed storage spaces of the Vetter Windjammer fairing on his Honda.

While we filled our gas tanks before leaving town he reduced the 12-pack supply to 11, frowning when I declined to help him “lighten the load.” He said, “Hell, guess I’ll have to drink them all myself before we hit the gravel road or they’ll explode from being shaken up.” As we drove out of Big Timber across the Yellowstone River I saw him toss another empty can over the bridge railing. . .

Here’s a picture of a similarly-decked out “Vetter Windjammer Honda:”

To read all of Dr. Frazier’s post, click HERE.

Here’s a GE Street View shot of the Two Dot bar:

Remember that I said to remember the quote:  “I’m from Two Dot and I don’t give a damn?”

Well, Hank Williams Jr. has something to say about that (be sure to follow along with the words below):

 

“Twodot Montana”

I bet you been wondering why you ain’t heard from me
And what kind of trouble I’ve gotten into
Well just kiss all the babies and feed all the horses
And oh hell I might as well tell it to you

I’m in Deerlock Montana in the territory prison
They’ve got me for something that I didn’t do
I’ve been framed for killin’ a dude down in Dillon
But babe don’t you worry cause I always come through

I’ve climbed up the Rockies and swam down the Snake
I spent winters trappin’ in the mosery breaks
This ain’t the first time I’ve been in a jam
I’m from Twodot Montana and I don’t give a damn

These walls are so old that it’s easy to go
Right through the tunnel and out in the yard
There’s just one more fence of the barbed wire and then
I’ll be a free man but there’s one more old guard

I see his gun and there’s no way to run
But I’ve got to try cause I can’t live locked up
I feel the fire from that colt .45 and this
High country cowboy just run out of luck

I’ve climbed up the Rockies and swam down the Snake
I spent winters trappin’ in the mosery* breaks
This ain’t the first time I’ve been in a jam
I’m from Twodot Montana and I don’t give a damn.

*I Googled “mosery” and only found references to this song.  Oh, well.

And now for Sixteen.  From Wiki, about the name:

The town took its name from Sixteen Mile Creek, which runs through the narrow valley containing the village.

But there’s a truly amazing story from Sixteen.  From LostAndFoundMontana.com:

In 2000, Sixteen had a handful of part-time residents and only two year-round residents, Bill McDonald and his mom Helen.  A few years later Bill’s mom passed, leaving Bill to tend to Sixteen. Many who knew Bill said he was born 100 years late. He carried a .44-caliber pistol in the back of his pants and bowie knife on his hip.

In 2009, the town’s population grew to three, when part-time Sixteen residents Michael and Ingrid Eckberg moved there full time. Michael Eckberg had fallen in love with Montana in 1961 when he traveled there on the railroad with his dad, a dining car chef on the Northern Pacific.   In 1993, they bought a place in Sixteen. Once Eckberg retired, they moved their full time in 2009 – the draw too great.

Here’s a video from the same website, featuring Michael Eckberg:

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/84234534″>Sixteen, Mont.</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user6898324″>Montana Journalism</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

Now, back to some website verbiage.  Here comes the amazing (and tragic) part of the story:

But in 2010, a tragic incident befell the town. Only the town residents know what happened that morning. It left Bill McDonald fatally shot and Michael Eckberg in the hospital with multiple stab wounds. Meagher County Attorney Kimberly Deschene said it was a case of self-defense. No charges were filed.

They were neighbors. They were friends. They were Sixteen. The Eckbergs and McDonalds often shared dinner together. When Bill left he’d always say, “thanks for the groceries.”

It’s the kind of tragedy played out on stage, but this was real. Now the town’s existence lies in the hands of the Eckberg family, the only year-round residents. When asked about the incident Michael Eckberg gazes toward the sky and wonders why did it have to happen? Yet, his love and passion for the town of Sixteen remains strong.

And here’s another video from the website:

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/46828886″>Sixteen</a&gt; from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user6898324″>Montana Journalism</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

Phew. 

Moving along to Ringling.  From Wiki:

Ringling was originally called Leader, but was renamed for John Ringling of the Ringling Brothers Circus family.  John Ringling was a financier of the railroad through Ringling, as well as its president. He also owned a summer home & spa in the area.

Here’s a Wiki shot of town:

But more importantly, Jimmy Buffett wrote a song about Ringling!  I love the album cover.   As always, the words follow:

 

“Ringling, Ringling”

Ringling, Ringling
Slippin’ away
Only forty people, livin’ there today
Streets are dusty and the bank has been torn down
It’s a dyin’ little town

Church windows broken
That place ain’t been used in years
Jail don’t have a sheriff or a cell
And electric trains they run by maybe once or twice a month
Easin’ it on down to Musselshell

Ringling, Ringling
Slippin’ away
Only forty people livin’ there today
`Cause the streets are dusty and the bank had been torn down
It’s a dyin’ little town

And across from the bar there’s a pile of beer cans
Been there twenty-seven years
Imagine all the heart aches and tears
In twenty-seven years of beer

So we hopped back in the rental car
and we hit the cruise control
Pretty soon the town was out of sight
Though we left behind a fat barmaid, a cowboy and a dog
Racin’ for a Ringling Friday night

Ringling, Ringling
You’re just slippin’ away
I wonder how many people will be there a year from today
`Cause the streets are dusty and the bank has been torn down
It’s a dyin’ little town
It’s a dyin’ little town

I’ll close with a couple of GE pano shots, taken near my landing.  First this, by David Cure-Hrycluk:

And this, by Dann Cianca:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

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Hopkinsville and Cerulean, Kentucky

Posted by graywacke on January 10, 2018

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

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

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

Landing number 2384; A Landing A Day blog post number 818.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (37o 9.258’N, 87o 29.930’W) puts me in west Kentucky:

Here’s my local landing map:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of (and right next to) Craborchard Ck; on to Drakes Creek:

Zooming back, we can see that Drakes Ck makes its way to Pond River (2nd hit); on to the Green River (10th hit); on to the Ohio River (149th hit):

Although not shown, we’re in the mother-of-all watersheds (926th hit).

I have excellent Google Earth (GE) Street View coverage of my landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

Even closer is Street View coverage of the Craborchard Creek:

And here ‘tis:

So.  As seems typical for many recent posts, I spent an inordinate amount of Google time looking at the VP* of towns in the general vicinity of my landing.  I managed to find a little to write about for my two titular towns.  I think I’ll start with Hopkinsville.

*veritable plethora

It turns out that Edgar Cayce (1877 – 1945) was born just south of Hopkinsville, and spent formative years in Hopkinsville.  I suspect that for most of my readers, the name Edgar Cayce is familiar, and it is likely that some of you actually know at least something about him. 

I’m somewhat familiar with him, primarily because my wife Jody’s mother (aka my mother in law) was quite taken with Cayce and his teachings (especially about reincarnation).  Jody is probably somewhat less taken with Cayce, but still knows more about him than I do. 

So who is this Edgar Cayce guy?  From Wiki:

Edgar Cayce was an American Christian mystic who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while in an apparent trance. A biographer gave him the nickname, “The Sleeping Prophet”. A nonprofit organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment, was founded to facilitate the study of Cayce’s work.

Some consider him the true founder and a principal source of the most characteristic beliefs of the New Age movement.

Cayce lived in Hopkinsville KY, Selma AL and Virginia Beach VA.  The headquarters for the Association for Research and Enlightenment is in Virginia Beach, and includes a health center & spa, a library, a bookstore/gift shop and conference center.

From EdgarCayce.org:

Cayce’s psychic abilities began to appear early in his childhood. As an adult, Cayce would put himself into a state of meditation, connecting with the universal consciousness and from this state, came his “readings”. From holistic health and the treatment of illness to dream interpretation and reincarnation, Cayce’s readings and insights offer practical help and advice to individuals from all walks of life, even today.

Here’s a screen shot of a segment of their webpage:

Back to Wiki:

Cayce’s clients included a number of famous people such as Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin.

Gina Cerminara published books such as Many Mansions and The World Within [in our library]. Brian Weiss published a bestseller regarding clinical recollection of past lives, Many Lives, Many Masters. Thomas Sugrue wrote the “definitive” biography, There is a River [also in our library].  These books provide broad support for spiritualism and reincarnation.

As one would suspect, Cayce was subject to a wide range of skepticism and outright criticism. There’s no doubt that he gave prophecies that didn’t come true and performed healings that were unsuccessful.  But he must have had some successes . . .

There’s no doubt that he’s a fascinating character, worthy of further research and reading – if you’ve a mind to . . .

Time to move to Cerulean.  There’s not much, but here goes.  From Wiki:

The greatest extent of the Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 was at Orchardale Farms, located near Cerulean.

I’m not sure of the accuracy of the above statement; the longest duration of totality was in the vicinity of 2 minutes and 41 seconds, and was generally located in Western Kentucky / Southern Illinois.  Here’s a graphic from GreatAmericanEclipse.com:

Back to Wiki:

The local 19th-century health resort Cerulean Springs earned a reputation throughout the Upper South. According to legend, the spring’s color changed to cerulean by the New Madrid earthquake of 1811.

So, cerulean is a color?  News to me (although I doubt the earthquake story).  Anyway, “cerulean” was the Miriam Webster “Word of the Day” back on 11/1/2011:

 

 

I’ll close with this GE Panoramio shot of the Apex Natural Bridge (by Woodland Trekker), located about 10 miles southeast of my landing:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Mormon Lake, Canyon Diablo and Meteor Crater, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on January 3, 2018

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

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

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

Landing number 2383; A Landing A Day blog post number 817.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (34o 48.726’N, 111o 19.104’W) puts me in central Arizona:

Here’s my local landing map:

A StreetAtlas streams-only map shows nothing about my watershed, so I jumped over to Google Earth (GE) to track the drainage from my landing:

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of the Canyon Diablo, on to the Little Colorado R (22nd hit).   Although not shown, we all know that the Little Colorado discharges to the Big Colorado (181st hit) just north of here in the Grand Canyon.

I won’t even bother with attempting to use GE Street View to get a look at my landing spot. But near to my landing are two entirely different landscapes.  First this, just south of Mormon Lake:

This is a scenic region filled with Ponderosa Pines:

And then, a few miles to the east:

A much more arid, flat landscape:

But, I could get a Street View look at Canyon Diablo (which is an arroyo, or often-dry drainageway), where it ducks under I-40:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees. 

By the way, I had no clue that the arroyo was named Canyon Diablo until I checked out this Street View shot . . . which motivated me to Google Canyon Diablo . . . where I learned that there’s a nearby Canyon Diablo ghost town (which is shown on my local landing map).

Here’s a GE shot showing the town, the crater, and the Orange Dude’s location on I-40 when he looked at the Canyon Diablo:

From Wiki:

Canyon Diablo is a ghost town on the edge of the arroyo Canyon Diablo. The community was settled in 1880 and died out in the early 20th century.

[Interesting aside:]

The town, which is about 12 miles northwest of Meteor Crater, was the closest community to the crater when portions of the meteorite were removed. Consequently, the meteorite that struck the crater is officially called the “Canyon Diablo Meteorite.”

[Continuing]:

The ramshackle community originated in 1880, due to construction delays caused by the fact that the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad ordered a bridge that was not long enough to span Canyon Diablo.  This unfortunate fact was only discovered when the bridge arrived on site from the manufacturer.

Consequently, for six months the transcontinental railroad ended at the lip of Canyon Diablo while another bridge was manufactured and shipped to the work site.

Although the railroad ended at the edge of the canyon, work on the railroad route still progressed.  A community sprung up at the edge of the Canyon, which quickly included numerous saloons, brothels, dance halls, and gambling houses, all of which remained open 24 hours a day.

No lawmen were employed by the community initially, so it quickly became a very dangerous place. Its population was mostly railroad workers, along with passing outlaws, gamblers, and prostitutes.

The town was designed with two lines of buildings facing one another across the main street. This center street, however, was not named Main Street, but “Hell Street”. Lining Hell Street were fourteen saloons, ten gambling houses, four brothels and two dance halls.

Within a short time the town had 2,000 residents. Within its first year, the town received its first marshal. He was sworn in at 3:00 pm, and was being buried at 8:00 pm that same night. Five more town marshals would follow, the longest lasting one month, and all were killed in the line of duty. A “Boot Hill” cemetery sprouted up at the end of town, which in less than a decade had 35 graves, all of whom had been killed by way of violent death.

When the railroad bridge was completed, the town quickly died.

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot by Archelaus of ruins of some of the railroad workers barracks along the Canyon:

And a Wiki shot of the original bridge:

And a GE Pano shot (by PhotographersNature) of today’s bridge:

I hate to say this, but the Canyon Diablo is way smaller just a few miles upstream, where it is crossed by I-40.  Couldn’t they have re-routed the rail line?  Oh, well . . .

In total contrast (I suspect) to the town of Canyon Diablo is the town of Mormon Lake.  Although it’s not a Mormon town per se, the area around the lake was settled in 1873 by numerous Mormon families who operated dairy farms.  Do you think that young men from the community in the late 1890s were warned not to venture the 20 miles northeast to Canyon Diablo? 

The town has always been a tourist / resort community, centered around Mormon Lake Lodge (built in 1924).  This about the Lake, from Wiki:

Mormon Lake is a shallow intermittent lake located in northern Arizona. With an average depth of only 10 ft, the surface area of the lake fluctuates seasonally. When full, the lake has a surface area of about 12 square miles, making it the largest natural lake in Arizona.

Here’s a GE Street View shot of the lake in October 2011, when there wasn’t much of a lake.  Note that the San Francisco peaks are about 30 miles away:

So, the elephant in the room is Meteor Crater.  Here’s a GE Pano aerial shot of the crater by Sergio Araujo:

From Wiki:

The crater is about 3,900 ft in diameter (three-quarters of a mile), some 560 ft deep, and is surrounded by a rim that rises 150 ft above the surrounding plains.

The crater was created about 50,000 years ago.  At that time, the area was an open grassland dotted with woodlands inhabited by woolly mammoths and giant ground sloths.

It is believed that about half of the meteor’s bulk was vaporized during its descent through the atmosphere, leaving few remains in the crater.

The object that excavated the crater was a nickel-iron meteorite about 150 feet across.

The crater came to the attention of scientists following its discovery by American settlers [Mormons?] in the 19th century. Dubbed the Canyon Diablo crater – from Canyon Diablo, Arizona, the closest community to the crater in the late 19th century (but now a ghost town).

It had initially been ascribed to the actions of a volcano – not an unreasonable assumption, as the San Francisco volcanic field lies only about 40 miles to the northwest.

In 1891, two theories were presented for the crater:  Albert Foote said that it was caused by a meteorite and Grove Karl Gilbert said it was volcanic.

In 1903, mining engineer and businessman Daniel Barringer supported the meteorite theory, and further bought mineral rights below the crater, supposing that an iron meteorite was buried there.

Barringer’s arguments were met with skepticism, as there was a reluctance at the time to consider the role of meteorites in terrestrial geology. He persisted and sought to bolster his theory by locating the remains of the meteorite.

At the time of discovery, the surrounding plains were covered with about 30 tons of large oxidized iron meteorite fragments. This led Barringer to believe that the bulk of the impactor could still be found under the crater floor.

Impact physics was poorly understood at the time and Barringer was unaware that a large portion of the meteorite vaporized on impact. He spent 27 years trying to locate a large deposit of meteoric iron, and drilled to a depth of 1,375 ft but no significant deposit was ever found.

It was not until 1960 that research by Gene Shoemaker confirmed Barringer’s hypothesis. The key discovery was the presence in the crater of the minerals coesite and stishovite, rare forms of silica found only where quartz-bearing rocks have been severely shocked by an instantaneous overpressure.

It cannot be created by volcanic action; the only known mechanisms of creating it is naturally through an impact event, or artificially through a nuclear explosion.  Shoemaker was uniquely aware of this as he had been researching the shocked mineral formations that were formed after the nuclear detonation testing in the Nevada desert (particularly the Sedan crater).

[See photos of the Sedan crater, below.]

Therefore, when similar minerals were seen at the Barringer Crater, he was certain that a similar kind of sudden shock compression was responsible for the crater, which effectively ruled out the then more mainstream view that the crater was the result of a comparatively less sudden volcanic eruption.

Shoemaker’s deduction is considered the first definitive proof of an extraterrestrial impact on the Earth’s surface. Since then, numerous impact craters have been identified around the world, though Meteor Crater remains one of the most visually impressive owing to its size, young age and lack of vegetative cover.

I featured the Sedan Crater in my July 4, 2017 Indian Springs and Mercury NV post.  From that post:

Here’s a Wiki shot of the Storax Sedan blast:

And the crater:

I’ll close with a couple of Mormon Lake GE Pano shots.  First this, by Brian More:

And this, by AZWestyMan:

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

 

 

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