A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Fourche Maline’

Talihina, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on January 3, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-three-or-four days 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) please see “About Landin above.

Landing number 2237; A Landing A Day blog post number 665.

Dan:  My Score went up a whole point from 1139 to 1140 thanks to today’s landing in . . . OK.  No idea what I’m talking about?  Type “Grand Rapids” in the search box and check it out.  Don’t care?  Then simply continue by taking a look at my regional landing map:

landing 1

And here’s my local landing map showing a plethora of small towns (with the titular town highlighted):

landing 2

Here’s my streams-only map:

landing 3

It shows that I landed in the watershed of the Fourche Maline (1st hit ever; more about the peculiar name in a minute); on to the Poteau River (2nd hit); to the Arkansas (120th hit); to the MM (875th hit).

So what’s the story with the Fourche Maline?  Well, Fourche is the French word for “Fork,” as in the fork of a river.  Maline is from the same Latin base as malign and malignant.  In French, it means cunning or clever, but I suspect that the original name of the stream has sinister overtones.  By the way, “Poteau” is also French – it means “post.”

It’s time for my Google Earth (GE) space flight.  For some reason, my GE space ship made an awkward approach to earth, looking down on Antarctica before heading in to SE Oklahoma.  Click HERE to check it out (and then hit the back button).

I have halfway decent StreetView coverage, about a mile from my landing:

ge sv landing map

Here’s what the orange dude sees:

ge sv landing


There’s an unnamed tributary of the Fourche Maline near my landing (although the locals probably have a name for it).  The orange dude didn’t have to travel far to get a Street View shot:

ge sv unnamed trib

And here’s what it looks like:

ge sv ut

And of course I simply must get a look at the Fourche Maline:

ge sv fm map

And here ‘tis:

ge sv fm

Hey – if it’s big enough for a steel frame bridge, it’s big enough to qualify as a river . . .

So I spent my usual inordinate amount of time checking out all of the little towns, looking for the elusive hook.  I’ll say the hook was elusive.  In fact, I would declare the entire area:


I settled on Talihina just because I like the name origin.  Wikipedia lets us know that the town was named after the Choctaw words for railroad.  In Choctaw, tully means iron and hena means road (and the original phrase got mangled into Talihina). 

As my readers know, I run across countless midwestern/western towns named after railroad executives, railroad lawyers and other miscellaneous railroad employees – typically in the town’s attempt to lure a railroad line.  I’ve also run across countless towns across the country with names based on Indian words or names.  But this is the first time I’ve run across a town with Indian & railroad roots at the same time . . .

During the spaceflight in, you may have noticed that landing 2149 was nearby:

ge landing 2149

Given the hookless nature of this landing, I thought I’d borrow a couple of little items from that January 2015 post.  First, here’s one of my favorite Street View shots of all time:


At the time, I said:  Grandpa and grandson had no idea that their Sardis Lake fishing trip was being immortalized by Google.  I hope that they’ve since learned about this . . .

Both 2149 and 2237 were in the Ouachita Mountains; in my 2149 post I did a little Ouachita Mountain geology:

Anyway, most geologists believe that the Ouachitas were originally part of the Appalachian mountains.  Here’s a USGS graphic; first look at the index map to see the location of the main map, and then read the words:


OK, so I added the black lines to make the connection a little more obvious.  That orange and gray protrusion that has cut off the Ouchitas from the Appalachians contains younger coastal plain sediments more-or-less associated with the Gulf of Mexico / Mississippi River.  Well, maybe you learned a little geology . . .

Back to the here and now, I noticed many GE Panoramio photos just south of my landing:

ge pano shot map

All of these photos are associated with the Talimena State Park and more specifically, the Talimena Scenic Drive.  (By the way, search as I might I couldn’t find out where the name Talimena comes from.  It’s likely also of Choctaw origin). 

I checked ‘em all out, and found some highlights.  I’ll start with this shot of the Talimena Drive itself (by Alan Brodie):

pano alan brodie


I found a couple of lovely shots by PJRoos:

pano pjroos 2

pano pjroos talimena scenic drive


I’ll close with this sunset shot by Dallas 1959:

pano dallas 1959


That’ll do it . . .




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