A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Headwaters Hill’

Creede, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on June 21, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now moving to 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 2026; A Landing A Day blog post number 444.

Dan –  Hangin’ tough with four 6/10’s in a row, thanks to this USer landing in . . . CO; 68/69 (watch it! Getting close to being PS); 6/10; 10; 150.5.  Jinx or no jinx, I’m here to say that if my next landing is a USer, I’ll be breaking through the sacred 150 mark.  Anyway, here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows true boonies, with only Creede and Wagon Wheel Gap making their mark on the map:

 landing 2

Wagon Wheel Gap isn’t really a town, so the post belongs to Creede.  But first, here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot:

 ge 1

As you can see, I’m at over 11,000 in elevation, making this (perhaps) my highest-ever landing!  I scouted around my landing site and found the nearest mountain peak at nearly 12,500 feet.  It looks like I’m above the tree line . . .

 I landed in the watershed of La Garita Creek, which is just east of my landing and flows south to the Rio Grande (39th hit).   

 Speaking of watersheds, I was checking out a streams-only map of the vicinity of my landing.  Here’s what I saw:

 landing 3

Hmmmm.  The Gunnison, the Arkansas and the Rio Grande.  Well, the Gunnison flows to the Colorado and the Colorado flows to the Gulf of California (sort of; see my Yuma AZ post for more on this sore subject).  The Arkansas flows to the Mississippi, and the Rio Grande flows to the western Gulf of Mexico.  Man.  Three widely-separated watersheds . . .

 Guess what is 100% certain?  That there’s a Triple Point!!  That’s right, it is absolutely (mathematically) inevitable that there is a mountain top near my landing where a hypothetical raindrop, landing exactly at the summit, will split into thirds:  one third will head to the Gunnison, one third will head to the Arkansas and one third will head to the Rio Grande. 

 I did a little research, and found that the triple point mountain is called . . . Headwaters Hill!  Here is a GE shot showing its location (about 30 miles from my landing):

triple point

In 2001, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names (part of the Geologic Survey), approved the name “Headwaters Hill” based on an effort by Western Colorado State University and a Denver cartographer.  There aren’t many major triple points in the U.S., and it’s cool that this one got an official moniker.

 I have a thing about triple points, which started with my knowledge of (and visit to) a triple point in north-central Pennsylvania (near Ulysses).  The hypothetical rain drop on the hilltop there splits and goes to the Allegheny (to the Ohio, to the Mississippi); to the Susquehanna (to Chesapeake Bay); and to the Genesee (to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence).  Think of this:  the third of a drop that starts out in north-central Pennsylvania will hook up with the third of a drop that starts out in south-central Colorado and happily travel together on past New Orleans . . . 

Moving on to Creede.  From the Creede & Mineral County C of C website:

In 1890, the Upper Rio Grande Valley’s destiny changed dramatically. Nicholas Creede discovered a high-grade silver vein on Willow Creek, a tributary of the Rio Grande. The great rush was on! The boom camp’s population quickly swelled to 10,000.  Slab cities and tent towns like North Creede, East Creede, String Town, Jimtown, and Amethyst seemed to appear overnight. Fortunes were extracted from mines with colorful names such as Amethyst, Holy Moses, Commodore, Last Chance, and Kentucky Belle.

 Here’s a back-in-the-day shot (1920) of Creede (from the C of C website):

 creede historical society 1920

Compare this with a modern shot taken from the same spot (from Wiki):

 Creede_Main_Street_2

For all of you regular followers of ALAD, you may be aware of my frequent run-ins with John C. Fremont (see the following posts:  Fremont CA, Truckee CA, Paisley OR, Daniel WY, and Summer Lake OR).  I know have Creede CO to add to the list, and here’s why:

In 1848, Explorer John C. Fremont made a disastrous attempt to cross the San Juan Mountains in the dead of winter while searching for a route for a railroad. The route would be nearly impassable in a normal winter and the winter of 1848 was particularly harsh, with six to seven foot drifts in the mountains. Eleven of the 37 men and all of the 120 mules died on the trip. For several weeks all the men had to eat was mule.

Here’s a GE map, showing where Fremont wintered (only about 5 miles from my landing):

 fremont's camp

Here’s a Panoramio picture of the spot, by Ben Will:

 pano benwill fremont's camp

Back to the Creede town website, here’s a cool poem by one Cy Warman:

 Here’s a land where all are equal
Of high or lowly birth –
A land where men make millions
Dug from the dreary earth.

Here meek and mild eyed burros
On mineral mountains feed,
It’s day all day in the day-time
And there is no night in Creede.

The cliffs are solid silver
With wondrous wealth untold,
And the beds of running rivers
Are lined with purest gold.

While the world is filled with sorrow,
And hearts must break and bleed,
It’s day all day in the day-time
And there is no night in Creede.

I’ll close with this Panoramio shot by A. P. Bailey (about 5 miles west of my landing):

  pano apbailey 5 mi w

That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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