A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Argyll Scotland’

Argyle, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on February 18, 2010

First timer?  In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  So, a couple of landings ago, I touched the 151’s, but here’s my second OSer in a row . . . MN; 67/51; 4/10; 1; 152.6.  My landing map shows that I landed close to the town of Argyl:

Here’s a broader view:

For the second time, I landed in the Tamarac R watershed; on to the Red Lake R (9th hit); on to the Red R of the North (39th hit); on to the Nelson R (56th hit); on to Hudson’s Bay.

Here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed (as expected) in an agricultural area:

Here’s a GE Street View shot from the N-S road just west of my landing.  This shot is looking southeast towards my landing from where the unnamed tributary that’s right next to my landing (the dark squiggly line on the photo) crosses under the road.  So my landing is in the distance in front of the trees.

Speaking of the unnamed tributary, it’s astounding that I landed in the Tamarac R watershed, and not the Middle R watershed.  Why, you may ask.  Well, check out this annotated landing map:

The river I landed very close to is the Middle, not the Tamarac.  You see that the unnamed tributary mentioned above (that I landed next to) flows north to the Tamarac, not south (as would be expected) to the Middle!

Here’s an expanded landing map (showing only streams) that includes both rivers:

Here’s another GE shot, that shows (in the oval) that the headwaters of the unnamed tributary are remarkably close to the Middle River (about 500 feet away).  It is utterly remarkable that a drop of rain that falls so close to the Middle River has to wend its way instead to the Tamarac, located 8 miles away!!

Nearby is Old Mill State Park, which has a geological discussion that probably has something to do with this most peculiar drainage pattern:

At one time, this entire northwest corner of the state was covered by a vast freshwater lake. Although the area was left fairly level by glacial activity before the lake formed, the lake is responsible for the large level areas found here. Over the centuries as the lake level dropped, large beach ridges were formed as new shoreline was exposed and carved out by the action of the waves. The Middle River valley was cut by the river flowing over the loose sediment left behind by the lake. Each time the lake level dropped, the river would cut a deeper channel. The steep-walled valley and narrow flood plain are typical of a young river valley.

So anyway, my guess is that the Middle River near my landing flows parallel and adjacent to one of these old beach ridges.  This old beach ridge acts as a drainage divide – everything north of the ridge (i.e., my landing) drains north . . .

Phew.  Enough already.

Moving on to Argyle:  Surprise!!  Argyle was founded in the late 1800s when the railroads came through (along with thousands of other towns . . .).  The railroad decided that the town be named Argyle, for no obvious reason.  Likely, it’s named for Argyle (or Argyll) Scotland, which is the home of the Argyle pattern (of socks fame).

Argyll, located on the west coast of Scotland, is incredibly scenic.  Here are some artsy pix:

Back to the somewhat more mundane Argyle MN.  Here’s the Welcome to Argyle sign:

And here’s Argyle in 1892 (doesn’t look too inviting . . .)

And in 1921:

I’ll close with one last shot from Scotland, this of the Kilchurn castle in Argyll (wow . . .):

That’ll do it. . .



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