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Posts Tagged ‘Lake Lahontan’

Susanville, Standish and Honey Lake, California

Posted by graywacke on February 16, 2018

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

Landing number 2389; A Landing A Day blog post number 823.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (40o 13.417’N, 120o 28.783’W) puts me in NE California:

Here’s my local landing map:

I won’t bother with a streams-only map, because guess what?  Water that flows into Honey Lake doesn’t go anywhere!  It either evaporates or sinks in . . .

Jumping right to Google Earth (GE), here’s a an oblique shot showing my landing in the hills above Honey Lake:

Here’s another GE shot that shows the Orange Dude standing where the unnamed “stream” that flows from my landing crosses under a road just before making its way into Honey Lake:

Here’s the downstream view:

The upstream view does double duty, giving us a landing shot as well:

I’ll start with a little (very little) about Susanville (pop 18,000).  It turns out that the main economic engine for the area are three prisons – two State, one Federal.  From Wiki:

The prisons and their effects on the community, including the provision of much needed jobs, were explored in the documentary, Prison Town, USA (2007), aired on PBS.  Nearly half the adult population of Susanville works at the three prisons in the area where 11,000 people are incarcerated.

I found a couple of back-in-the day shots.  First this, of Main Street Susanville in 1894:

And then this, also of Main Street, taken in the year of my birth (1950):

Boy, does that picture make me feel old . . .

Now I’ll move a few miles southeast for a quick look at Standish.  From Wiki:

Standish was established in the 1890s, as a development of the Associated Colonies of New York, whose job was to “create utopian communities in the West”.   As a part of this project, Standish was designed based on the beliefs of Myles Standish, and the economic structure was designed under the ideas promoted by Mormon leader Brigham Young.

The design of the town was supposed to model European communities which had the majority of residents leaving the village during the day in order to work in the nearby fields.

A 240-acre site was chosen to build the town in 1898, and the Colonial Irrigation Company of the Honey Lake Valley was incorporated in order to irrigate water for the crops.

However, legal problems with the system and water rights caused delay in its operation and the development of Standish; after several legal battles, the courts placed restraints on their irrigation rights.  In 1905, the courts ordered the auction of the Colonial Irrigation Company.

And that was that.

So, who was Myles Standish?  He was a career military man who joined up with the Pilgrims seeking religious freedom in America.  He took on a leadership role for the Pilgrims once they set up their colony in Plymouth MA.  He led negotiations with Indians, and also defended the colony from hostile Indian attacks. 

He helped negotiate the “Mayflower Compact,” which was necessary because about half of the 104 Mayflower passengers were religious (the “Saints”), and about half weren’t (the “Strangers”).  The Compact was their agreement about how to coexist and therefore survive.

He’s always pictured with this fru-fru collar:

But he was a tough guy, and was actually honored as “Badass of the Week,” by baddassoftheweek.com.

So what I really want to talk about is Honey Lake. It turns out that I landed near Honey Lake back in March 2009, so I’ll be borrowing some from that earlier post.

Anyway, Honey lake is dry most of the time (like when the GE aerial shot was taken).  Although, during a particularly rainy season, it has water.  From TIPurdy.org, this 1987 shot:

I’m sure local boaters are very excited when the lake fills up!

Way back around 13,000 years ago (during the height of the latest Ice Age), what is today Honey Lake was a part of a huge lake system known as Lake Lohontan:

Honey Lake is just above the word “Pyramid.”

The lake covered an area of 8,500 square miles, and had a maximum depth of 900 feet at Pyramid Lake.  The lake was nearly 400 feet deep at Honey Lake. 

The Maidu Indians lived on the shores of the Lake.  From the Honey Lake Maidu website:

The Northeastern Maidu, also known as the Mountain Maidu, lived (and still live) around a series of mountain valleys.

For subsistence, the Maidu depended primarily on acorns, seeds berries, and roots, as well as on deer, pronghorn, wild fowl, and fish.

At one time, the Maidu possessed a rich and complex oral tradition that began with the contest between Earthmaker (K’odojapem) and Coyote (Wepam wajsim) at creation and following the flood.

In his studies of Maidu oral tradition, one researcher found “a complete absence, apparently, of any sort of migration legend; all portions of the stock declaring emphatically that they originated precisely in their present homes.”

Here’s a picture of some Maidu folks back in the day:

Here’s the beginning of the oral Maidu creation story, as told by Leona Morales.  Leona told the story before she died in 1985:

I am Leona Morales and I want to tell you a story that my old people told me.

I was born in 1900 and I know a lot of my old people. My mother (Roxie Peconom) told me the story about a Maker who made this world. They called him Kodomyeponi. The Maidu called him that. My aunt told me stories about it as did my uncle. So I pieced the stories together and I think I got it just about down pat.

I’ll tell the story about the Maker, the man that made this world. He said one day – I don’t know what time it was – the birds and the flowers and even the brooks were singing. Even the little animals were so happy, dancing around. This is the story that was told to me. They were just singing, even the brooks were singing, trees were swaying, and the leaves were dancing in the trees. They were so happy. They saw a bright light in the west and said, “That’s what the old one told us. When we see the bright light in the west, he says, He’s coming. He’s coming. He’s going to make this world right.”

For his people, the old one told us that one day He would come. Now, I don’t know what the old one was, but that’s the way the story goes. Oh, he said, the birds were singing, everybody was just so happy because they had seen the light in the west. A real bright light, kept getting brighter and brighter. It seems like it started from Quincy way. Here was this man. He had a light over his head. He was walking.  He had a cane.

There’s much more, and it’s very cool.   Click HERE to read the rest of the creation story (and more about the Honey Lake Maidu).

A quick aside.  I signed the Honey Lake Maidu website guestbook back in 2009:

And I signed it again for this post:

I’m ready to close things down for this post, and would generally checkout the GE Panoramio shots.  As I noted in a recent post, Panoramio is no more, although the photo icons are still posted on GE (but with no photos).  Here’s a GE shot showing the small blue Pano icons, and the larger circle icons for the new photos:

Ouch. There’s maybe a hundred Pano shots, but just a handfull of new photos.  Oh, well.

I checked out the few photos around my landing, and found none post-worthy.  But I found this 1997 Honey Lake shot from the same site that posted the sail boat photo above (TIPurdy.org):

That’ll do it . . .




© 2018 A Landing A Day





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Hazen, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on September 17, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week 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 2121; A Landing A Day blog post number 549.

Dan:  I’m staying out west and staying with the OSers (in fact, 6 of my last 7 landings have been OSers), thanks to this landing in . . . NV; 83/77; 4/10; 7; 149.0.

Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

 landing 2

Fasten your seatbelts and let’s go via Google Earth from Swan Lake MT (my last landing) to this one:


Here’s a ground-level GE shot looking general east past my landing.  Pretty cool, eh?

 GE 2

Zooming back a little, you can see I landed on a double-humped hill:

GE - island

This is one of the landings (like Drummond Island MI), where a quick elevation trace on Google Earth (GE) shows my drainage pathway.  It goes in a fairly straight line between my landing and a local low point about two miles away:

 GE - drainage

OK, so if it was a huge rain and the local low filled up, I suppose I could extend the drainage analysis, but I’m in the Nevada desert and we all know any rain ain’t goin’ nowhere.

So, I checked out Fernley.  Not much in the way of a hook.  But let me tell you, this is a thriving community.  Just like I did 12 posts ago for Lonerock and Hardman, Oregon, I’ll present a population trend analysis.  By the way – before I do Fernley, let me remind you that Lonerock and Hardman peaked at less than 200 folks back in 1920 and have been going downhill ever since.  But check out Fernley:

 Fernley pop

OK, so an Amazon.com distribution center just announced it was relocating from Fernley to nearby Reno (about 30 miles away), but obviously, Fernley has more going for it than just Amazon . . .

So, I looked at Wadsworth. Wiki tells me that Joe Conforte was the owner of the first legal brothel in the United States (the Mustang Ranch in 1967).  But the Mustang Ranch was not in Wadsworth.  Back in 1957 or so, he opened the Triangle River Ranch in Wadsworth, with some questionable (read illegal) activities going on.  In 1959, Conforte served 22 months in jail after attempting to blackmail Washoe County District Attorney Bill Raggio, who summarily had the ranch burned down.

Now wait a second.  This scoundrel . . . er – I mean entrepreneur . . . is arrested and convicted of blackmailing a DA (and operating an illegal brothel).  And then, a mere 8 years later, the State of Nevada decides that he’s the right guy to open the first legal brothel.  Yea, right . . .

OK, moving right along.  How about Hazen?  Well, I had to use Hazen as my titular town, because . . . 

It's happening in Hazen

So let’s see.  Well, Hazen is the site of the last lynching in Nevada (a gentlemen named Red Wood in 1905), but that’s no hook. 

OK, there’s a Hazen site on the National Register of Historic Places.  Here’s a Wiki picture of the Hazen Store:

 800px-HazenStore2 wiki

Part of it was built in 1904, then moved to its current location in 1944, when the rest of the structure was built.  According to Wiki, it’s on the Register “as an illustration of a commercial property on the Reno Highway.”  Yea but – so’s the Dunkin’ Donuts in Fernley . . .

So it turns out that there’s no hook at all.  But there are some cool back-in-the-day pictures.  First this old Lincoln Highway road sign (taken on Route 50 about halfway between Fernley & Hazen):

 hazen motorcities.org lincoln highway sign

And this 1911 shot of the Palace Hotel.  Quite the place . . .


With a very nice lobby!


Here’s a shot of the Recreation Inn Café & Bar.  I wonder what sort of recreation goes on at the inn?

 hazen - old time

And this shot (most prevalent on the web) of “Saloons and Disreputable Places of Hazen, 1905”:

 hazen- Saloons_and_disreputable_places_of_Hazen_(Nev.)_June_24,_1905.-_By_Lubkin_-_NARA_-_

Moving right along.  Of course, I checked out Panoramio photos close to my landing.  The closest one is this, posted by Robert Stolting (of Fernley) with an intriguing title:  “Sculptor’s Work, High and Dry.”

 pano robert stolting .67 mi se tufa

The caption for the photo:  “Tufa formation, formed thousands of years ago from calcium carbonate precipitating out of a spring entering an ancient crash water lake.”

Right out of the gate, I had to see what a “crash water lake” is.  I mean, I’m a geologist and that’s an expression I’ve never run across.  After a quick Google search, it looks like no one else has ever run across it, either.  I think that Mr. Stolting intended to say “fresh water lake.”

Once that change is made, the caption makes perfect sense.  Tufa is a limestone rock formed when spring water, enriched with calcium carbonate (the stuff of limestone), discharges underwater into a fresh water lake.  The calcium carbonate precipitates out of solution, progressively forming tufa one microscopic layer at a time (all of this under water).  When the water levels retreat, out pops the tufa!  Tufa can result in some very interesting-looking formations. 

Here are two tufa shots (or is that tu twofa shots) at Pyramid Lake (located about 30 mi NW of my landing; just NW of Nixon on my local landing map above).  First this, from Photo River Blog (Hammon Photography):

 hammon photography photo river blog

And this, from Rachid Photo:

 rachid photo

Any question why it’s called Pyramid lake?  

So, we need a big ol’ lake near my landing.  As discussed in my Susanville CA post, the lake is Lake Lahontan, of which Pyramid Lake is a remnant.  Here’s a map of the lake (from Stanford U.):  

 stanford lake lanohan

You can see that my landing was right on the shoreline (more about that later).  Also – see the portion of the lake that crosses the border into California?  That’s near Susanville (mentioned above).

Here’s what Wiki has to say about the lake:

At its peak approximately 12,700 years ago (as the continental glaciers were in retreat), the lake had a surface area of over 8,500 square miles. The depth of the lake was about 900 feet at present day Pyramid Lake, and 500 feet at the Black Rock Desert. Lake.  At its peak, Lahontan, would have been one of the largest lakes in North America.

So let’s look a little closer at my landing location (thanks to a USGS map), and the location of the tufa deposit in Robert Stolting’s Pano photo:

 usgs lahonton map

Note that the lake elevation is 4370, and my landing elevation is 18′ above that.  So, I landed right on the shore of the lake, or even more likely, on an off-shore island (the double-humped hill shown on the GE shot near the beginning of the post).  The tufa (and its associated underwater spring) was less than a mile to the south of the island (in about 140’ of water, at the deepest).  

There you have it.

Moving right along (and keeping with Robert Stolting).  The second closest Pano shot to my landing is another of his photos, about 1.5 mi NE of my landing:

 pano robert stolting 2 mi NE

I’ll close with this shot by SlakingFool, about 12 mi SW of my landing:

 pano slakingfool, e of fernley looking towards hazen

That’ll do it.




© 2014 A Landing A Day




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