A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘St. Croix River’

Afton, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on December 25, 2010

First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times 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), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan – I guess four USers in a row is too much to hope for, so here’s a solid OSer . . . MN; 69/53; 4/10; 9; 156.0.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Afton and the St. Croix R.  Note that the St. Croix is the boundary between MN & WI. I’m not suffering angst about not landing in WI (it’s OSer, too):


Obviously, I landed in the St. Croix R watershed (4th hit); on to the MM (763rd hit). Here’s a pretty shot of the St. Croix near Afton:


Here’s a broader view, showing my proximity to the Twin Cities:


Here’s an even broader view:


My GE shot shows what looks like pretty ritzy properties – after all, this is only 15 miles east of St. Paul, well within commuting distance:


About Afton, from the Washington County Historical Society website:

Afton Township was first settled about 1837. According to many historical accounts, Mrs. C. S. Getchel gave Afton its name. The landscape reminded her of Robert Burns’ poem, “Afton Water,” with its “neighboring hills, and the winding rills.”

Afton’s first name, however, was Catfish Bar, alluding to a large sandbar in the St. Croix River that is still visible when water levels are low. In the days before bridges, or even ferryboats, Catfish Bar was a place where the river could be forded by cattle and horses.

Here’s a GE shot showing Afton and the “Catfish Bar,” jutting out from the opposite bank.  (The weird color change down the middle is because this is edge between two different aerial photos.)


So, here’s “Afton Water” by Robert Burns:


Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes, [braes = hills]

Flow gently, I’ll sing thee a song in thy praise;

My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream,

Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

 

Thou stock-dove, whose echo resounds thro’ the glen, [stock dove = pigeon]

Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,

Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,

I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.

 

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,

Far mark’d with the courses of clear winding rills;

There daily I wander as noon rises high,

My flocks and my Mary’s sweet cot in my eye.

 

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,

Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;

There oft, as mild Ev’ning sweeps over the lea,

The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

 

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,

And winds by the cot where my Mary resides,

How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,

As gathering sweet flowrets she stems thy clear wave.

 

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,

Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays; [lays = poetry]

My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream,

Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

 

If reference to Robert Burns sounds familiar, it should.   My June 2010 Burns, Oregon post featured Robert Burns, for an obvious reason.

Anyway, here’s a nice shot of the St. Croix from Afton State Park:


I’ll close with this rainbow at the Park.


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin

Posted by graywacke on July 28, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a two-or-three-times 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), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  The curse continues with yet another western OSer . . . WI; 38/35; 1/10; 11; 154.7.   It seems like 150 is now months away . . .

Same old story – but my more astute readers may question my audacity in including WI as a “western OSer.”  Good point.  But here’s the thing.  From WI, IA and MN west through WA and OR (with the exception, of course, of ID), the states are all OS.

Rather than discuss the distribution of OSers, I’ve made this map.  I apologize for the rough graphics.  But, as you can guess, the X’s are OSers and the O’s are USers.


You can see the general trend of many western OSers, and then all of the southern tier USers.  The unmarked states are a mixed bag (and the states are kind of small for my coarse graphics).  Anyway, all of this, to justify my calling WI a “western OSer.”

Ten of the last eleven landings have been western OSers.   Here’s the list:  WA, KS, AZ, WY, ND, AZ, OR, SD and WI.  Incidentally, the lone USer was NC (not shown with an “O” on the map, because that landing made it a PSer . . .)

So, here’s my landing map showing my proximity to St. Croix Falls and Taylors Falls MN along with the St. Croix River, which serves as the boundary between WI and MN.


Here’s a broader view:


I landed in the Big Rock Creek watershed; on, of course, to the St. Croix R (3rd hit); on to the MM (749th hit).

Here’s my GE shot, showing a mixed wooded, agricultural and suburban land use.  I landed right next to a house:


Here’s the StreetView (looking west) showing the driveway you’d take if you wanted to visit my landing site:


This area was all about the lumber industry back in the day.  Here’s a cool shot of an 1884 log jam on the St. Croix at Taylors Falls:


The St. Croix falls don’t exist anymore – they’ve been replaced by this dam:


Taylors Falls (downstream from the dam) aren’t much – rapids, really:


From a local website:

Taylors Falls is located adjacent St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin at the Dalles of the St. Croix River, an area of forested bluffs and high cliffs. The first interstate state park in the United States, aptly named Interstate Park, was jointly founded by the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin in 1895 and straddles the border of the two states immediately south of the city.

There’s a tourist jaunt you can take by boat to visit the Dalles.  Here’s a picture:


What’s a dalles, you might ask:

dalles

/dælz/

the rapids of a river running between the walls of a canyon or gorge. Also, dells.

Origin:
1825–35, Americanism ;  OE dæl dale

Here’s a shot of the dalles (taken just downstream from the above picture – you can see the boat dock):


I’ll close with this Panaramio shot of the river north of St. Croix Falls, near where I landed:


That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2010 A Landing A Day

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