A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘kame’

Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania

Posted by graywacke on July 21, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week 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 relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2451; A Landing A Day blog post number 887.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N41o 22.625’, W80o 27.943’) puts me in NW Pennsylvania:

My local landing map shows that I landed in a spot almost surrounded by the Pymatuning Reservoir, and not far from my titular Conneaut Lake:

Note:  I’m referring to the lake, not the town . . .

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Shenango River (first hit ever!  Note that the Pymatuning Reservoir is the dammed-up Shenango), on to the Beaver River (3rd hit); to the Ohio River (153rd hit).  Of course, the Ohio makes its way to the MM (951st hit).

Speaking of watersheds, check out this map:

Pretty dramatic when you think about it.  North of the line, rainwater ends up going past Quebec City on its way to the North Atlantic, and south of the line, it ends up going past New Orleans on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Just imagining the scenery that the drops of water will be passing through, here’s the St. Lawrence in Quebec City (GE shot by Sabastien Rodriguez):

And the Mississippi in New Orleans (GE shot by Vaughn Dunn):

Unlike the Continental Divide out in the Rockies, this divide is very subtle, lacking any obvious drama.  I can’t help but think of some local residents whose land is on both sides of the divide (or who drive across it every day), but they have no clue.  When I lived in northeastern Ohio, it just so happens that the very same drainage divide was about a half-mile from my house.  I remember going out for jogs, and turning around when I crossed the divide . . .

Let’s move on to Google Earth, and see about Street View coverage for my landing.  Not bad:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I had the OD head south of the Reservoir, so he could get a look at the Shenango proper:

And here ‘tis:

Before leaving GE, let me zoom way back and show you all 474 of my landings since January 2013:

Notice the large landing-free zone that stretches from NY down to Ohio, then southeast to the Carolinas?  See that lonely landing south of Lake Erie?  That’s today’s landing.  Let’s take a closer look at the northern portion of the LFZ:

You can see that today’s landing certainly has no close neighbors . . .

Sometimes I land within a few miles of a previous landing, and sometimes I land in the middle of an LFZ . . .

Moving right along.  Unlike the man-made Pymatuning, Conneaut Lake is natural.  From Wiki:

Conneaut Lake is the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania by surface area.  During the summer season, it is heavily populated with vacationers, many of whom are from the Pittsburgh area. Other than the lake itself, the largest draw to the area has long been Conneaut Lake Park, a popular amusement park.

[More about the amusement park in a bit.]

Conneaut Lake was formed as a kettle lake at the end of the Pleistocene. A large block of ice broke off the receding ice front and was surrounded by accumulating sediment. After the ice melted, the resulting depression was filled with water forming the lake. Lakes that form in this manner are known as kettle lakes.

Water exits the lake through the Conneaut Outlet which flows into French Creek [and then to the Allegheny River, which joins the Monongahela to form the Ohio in Pittsburgh] making it part of the Mississippi River drainage.

Kettle lakes are cool.  I enjoy imagining myself in western Pennsylvania about 10,000 years ago.  In front of me is a mile-high front of ice, with torrents of meltwater flowing away from the ice. The meltwater torrents are heavily loaded with sand and gravel that was entrained within the ice.   Then, this huge chunk of ice at least the size of Conneaut Lake (3 miles long by one mile wide; likely much bigger) breaks away from the ice front. It dramatically tumbles down on the sand and gravel already deposited in front of the glacier.  It fairly quickly gets buried by sand and gravel being carried by the meltwater.  This huge block of ice would remain for some time.

How long might it remain buried, one could ask?  I have no clue.  Heck, it could be buried for years as far as I know.  But eventually, it melts; and as it melts, the sand and gravel above it begins, naturally enough, to subside.  And then, this depression becomes low enough to fill with water, and voila!  There’s Conneaut lake.

Staying with all things glacial, I noticed this on my local StreetAtlas map:

Hmmm.  The Conneaut Lake Kame, eh?  Well, as a geologist, I remembered a kame as a glacial feature, but I was a little vague as to exactly what it is.  Off to Wiki I went:

A kame is a glacial landform, an irregularly shaped hill or mound typically composed of sand, gravel and clay.  With the melting of the glacier, streams carry sediment to glacial lakes that form in depressions on the ice.  The sediment is deposited in the temporary lake, building what is termed a kame delta on top of the ice. However, with the continuous melting of the glacier, the kame delta eventually collapses onto the land surface resulting in the formation of a kame.

Kames are often associated with kettles, and this is referred to as kame and kettle topography. The word kame is a variant of comb, which has the meaning “crest” among others.

This is also pretty cool – so let’s use Google Earth (and hopefully Street View) to get a look at this kame.  Here’s the GE aerial view:

Oh no!  The erstwhile kame has been removed and is now nothing but a sand and gravel pit!  I hate it when that happens!  As they say, this thing kame and went .

So what about the amusement park is noteworthy?  From Wiki:

Conneaut Lake Park is a summer resort and amusement park. It has long served as a regional tourist destination, and is noted by roller coaster enthusiasts for its classic Blue Streak coaster, which was recently classified as “historic” by the American Coaster Enthusiasts group.

Conneaut Lake Park was founded in 1892 as Exposition Park by Col. Frank Mantor as a permanent fairground and exposition for livestock, machinery, and industrial products from Western Pennsylvania.

The park was renamed “Conneaut Lake Park” in 1920 to reflect a move toward more amusements and rides. Rides added over these years included a Tumble Bug, bumper car ride, and a Figure Eight roller coaster (later renamed The Jack Rabbit). In 1938, the park’s signature roller coaster, The Blue Streak, was added.

In 1995, the Park filed for bankruptcy and was taken over by a non-profit corporation.  In the early 2000s, the park experienced a renewed interest, driven by roller coaster and amusement park enthusiasts.  Several of the park’s rides, including the Devil’s Den and Blue Streak Roller Coaster, were repaired by volunteers. In August 2010, the park received $50,000 in funds from a contest sponsored by Pepsi for use in restoring the Blue Streak.

I went to the Conneaut Park website, and found this bit of nostalgia / marketing:

Opened in 1892 as Exposition Park, located on the west side of Conneaut Lake in Western Pennsylvania, a gem survives to this day as a trip back in time. Not a manufactured museum or contrived in any way, Conneaut Lake Park now represents a real alternative to today’s frenetic and agitated lifestyle.

The very feel of the park, indeed even its aroma, hint of a long and steady past there for us to enjoy. Conneaut Lake Park is a salve to nerves stressed to the breaking point – truly a place of relaxation and refreshment.

Who can resist a picnic with family and friends in Blue Streak Grove where the sound of shrieking riders makes you laugh and hurry to finish your meal so you can be where they are, on the ride of your life? Who can pass up playing just one game and trying to win that “Grand” prize stuffed animal? Imagine dancing the night away in the Dreamland Ballroom and watching the sun set from the balcony… No, Conneaut Lake Park is not just an amusement park, it is a way of remembering what so many people tend to forget when they grow older: how to be a child!

To sit in one of the old wooden rocking chairs on the porch of the Hotel Conneaut and watch a July moon rise over the lake, shimmering in reflection off the soft waters while the red and green of the boat’s running lights seem to skate effortlessly over the lake’s surface, captures something no technology could hope to approximate.

Conneaut Lake Park, to so many of us and hopefully many more generations to come, is not just an amusement park, it is memories and good times, carefree moments we all experienced, whether you are ninety years old or nine years old.

So, we offer to you now, to take a ride back in time to remember and to relive and to make new memories as patrons and lovers of Conneaut Lake Park. Hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

Here’s a GE shot of the Blue Streak by David Kenzig:

And another from the GroupOn website:

And yes, I was able to send the OD for a Street View shot of the Blue Streak:

I’ll close with this GE shot of Pymatuning Reservoir by CasMag:


That’ll do it . . .




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