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Posts Tagged ‘Blanding Utah’

Blanding, Utah

Posted by graywacke on July 2, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now moving towards  an every-other-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 in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2031; A Landing A Day blog post number 449.

NOTE!!!    This is the “Blanding Landing” special edition!

 Dan –  Yet again, my advance down to a Score of 150 has been thwarted by an OSer landing in . . . UT; 71/56; 4/10; 1; 150.6.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 blanding landing 1

And yes, my closer-in landing map shows that the closest town to my landing is Blanding!  I can’t tell you how excited I am, having a Blanding Landing!

 blanding landing 2

I landed in the watershed of Recapture Creek, which flows south to the San Juan R (18th hit); on to the Colorado (161st hit).

 Not only is this my first rhyming landing spot, but it’s also my first landing spot to be obscured by clouds on Google Earth (GE).  Check this out:

 blanding ge 1

Zooming back a little, you can see that this isn’t a small cloud:

 blanding ge 2

And give me a break!  This isn’t some rainy location (like Seattle or New Jersey), but the semi-arid Four Corners region.  So, here’s another first.  GE, you are forsaken!  Bring on Bing Maps (the “1” marks my landing, of course):

 blanding bing 1

And zooming out a little more, here’s another Bing Map:

 blanding bing 2

I landed in a valley, which heads south (part of the Recapture Creek watershed).

Here’s a little background on Blanding, from Wiki:

Blanding (pop 3,200) was settled in the late 19th century by Mormon settlers, predominantly from the famed Hole-In-The-Rock expedition.

More about Hole-in-the-Rock Mormon expedition in a minute, but first this from Wiki about how the town’s name came to be:

 First known as Grayson (after Nellie Grayson Lyman, wife of settler Joseph Lyman), the town changed its name in 1914 when a wealthy easterner, Thomas W. Bicknell, offered a thousand-volume library to any town that would adopt his name.  Grayson competed with Thurber, Utah for the prize.  Thurber got the name Bicknell (along with 500 books) and Grayson was renamed Blanding after the maiden name of Bicknell’s wife (and also received 500 books).

Back to the Hole-in-the-Rock expedition, from Wiki:

Hole in the Rock is a narrow and steep crevice in the western rim of Glen Canyon, in southern Utah.  The hole provided a route to the Colorado River valley, through what would otherwise be a large area of impassible terrain.

In the fall of 1879, the Mormon San Juan Expedition was seeking a route from south-central Utah to their proposed colony in the far southeastern corner of the state [the general vicinity of my landing].  Rejecting two longer routes, they chose a more direct path that initially took them through relatively benign terrain in Glen Canyon.  However, when they were confronted by the 1200-foot sandstone cliffs that surround Glen Canyon, they needed a way to cross to the eastern rim.

They found (and named) Hole in the Rock, a narrow, steep, and rocky crevice and sandy slope that led down to the Colorado River.  Directly across the river was Cottonwood Canyon, a tempting route up to Wilson Mesa on the other side.

They worked for months to prepare the road, using blasting powder to widen the upper section and hand chisels to carve anchor points directly into the sandstone. On January 26, 1880 the expedition (250 people, 83 full-sized wagons, and over 1000 head of livestock) began their descent to the river. Wagons were heavily roped, and teams of men and oxen used to lower them down  slopes approaching 45°.  Posts in drilled holes supported horizontal beams to allow passage of the wagons.

 Here’s a GE shot showing the location of the Hole relative to my landing:

 blanding hole in the rock ge 3

Here’s a low-altitude oblique GE shot looking east toward the Hole, with the Colorado (actually Lake Powell) beyond:

blanding hole in the rock ge

 Here’s a GE shot looking the other way.

 blanding hole in the rock ge 2

From Wiki, here’s a shot of the narrowest part of the Hole:

 blanding wiki HoleInTheRock

 Phew.  Yet another Mormon story in ALAD.  So anyway, the Mormons founded Bluff (south of my landing) as well as Grayson (Blanding) to the north of my landing.

 Being in the Canyonland region of SE Utah, the entire landscape is eye candy.  I began perusing GE Panoramio shots, of which there are plenty.  I decided not to stray more than about 15 miles from my landing (so no shots of Monument Valley).  Here comes a series of GE Panoramio shots . . .

 I’ll start with this shot (about 15 mi S of my landing by Kirill Krylov), of the Valley of the Gods:

 blanding pano   10 mi s kirill krylov  valley of the gods

Henry Scoggin took this one, about 10 mi S of my landing:

 blanding pano henry scoggin 10 mi s

Here’s one by Dondry of the Abajo Mountains, taken about 5 mi SE of my landing:

blanding pano dondry abajo mtns

Here’s one of Comb Ridge by LSessions, about 15 mi West:

blanding pano 15 mi w  lsessions comb ridge

I’ll close with this one by adoverboy2, of Sleeping Ute Mountain, taken about 5 mi SW:

blanding pano adoverboy2 sleeping ute mtn  5 mi s

 That’ll do it.



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