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Posts Tagged ‘Summer Lake OR’

Alkali Lake and Wagontire, Oregon

Posted by graywacke on January 17, 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 Landing” above.

Landing number 2240; A Landing A Day blog post number 668.

Dan:  As is obvious from the title of this post, I landed in . . . OR.  This is the fourth state in a row that has been a repeater since I changed my lat/long landing procedure 24 landings ago.  More casual readers:  please skip on down to my regional landing map.  To members of the more serious ALAD nation, read on. . .

For my last 24 landings, I’ve landed in OR twice, SD twice, MN twice, OK twice, MO twice, IA twice and TX a whopping five times!  Here’s my list of larger states with zero landings:  AL, AR, CA, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, NE, NV, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, PA, SC, TN, UT, VA, WA, WI.

Interesting side bar:  I haven’t landed in OH since landing 1809 (and landing 1806 just before that).  That’s over 400 landings without landing in OH!  And I haven’t landed in AL since landing 1749, nearly 500 landings ago! 

The LG (Landing God) works in mysterious ways.  But more to the point right now, I’m ready for a bunch of landings in the above long list of states (which will make my Score go down as inevitably it must . . .)

So here’s my regional landing map:

landing 1

And my very local landing map:

landing 2a

This might not be the first time, but it’s extremely rare that my local landing map shows no towns.  I’ll zoom back a little, and show you not only towns (including Wagontire), but two previous landings nearby:

landing 2b

These other landings certainly influenced my decision not to feature Silver Lake or Summer Lake (the only two actual towns), since they have been well covered by previous posts.

Anyway, it’s time for my space flight in to S-Cen Oregon.  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and then hit your back button.

Here’s a static view showing my three local landings:

ge 1

Regular readers may wonder what has happened to my watershed analysis.  Well, my usual streams-only StreetAtlas map tells me nothing.  But here’s the real story, courtesy of GE:

ge alkali lake

So this is an obvious “internal” watershed, with runoff from my site going no further than Alkali Lake.  By the way, this is my third Alkali Lake internal landing, with one Alkali Lake in Nevada and one in Nebraska.

 Here’s some of what Wiki has to say about this Alkali Lake:

Alkali Lake reached a prehistoric maximum depth of 270 feet and covered about 1450 square miles. Since then, its water level has varied, with an overall drying trend, and is currently dry much of the year.

While it’s interesting that the lake used to be huge, lakes all over the intermontaine West were huge at the end of the the last glacial advance, say 8,000 years ago. So why feature Alkali Lake?  Well, there’s an interesting environmental site at the lake.

The following is loosely taken from Wiki & OregonLive.com:

As the Vietnam War raged, a Portland herbicide manufacturer stored 25,000 barrels of highly toxic and in many cases carcinogenic waste along the southwest shore of Alkali Lake from 1969 to 1971, including components of the Agent Orange herbicide widely used in the war.

These drums were stored with a permit from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, which shut down the operation in 1971 due to poor management practices at the site.

[With permission from the State of Oregon?  “Store” 25,000 drums of hazardous waste?????  What the heck??  And what were they going to do with the drums after “storing” them?  I don’t care how well managed the site was, it was an inevitable environmental disaster.  You can blur over the following, but here are some of what the drums contained:]

The drums contained pesticides and pesticide by-products including 2,4-D and MCPA herbicide residue containing chlorophenols, polymeric chlorophenoxyphenols and dioxins/furans (including 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin).

[The 2,3,7,8 dioxin is one of the most toxic compounds known to man.]

The State of Oregon took over the site in 1974, after losing legal actions against the chemical company to force their compliance with new hazardous waste laws.

In 1976, at a cost of $84,000, the state used bulldozers to push, crush and compact the leaking barrels into a dozen shallow, unlined, 400′ long trenches, then covered them with soil.

It doesn’t get an uglier than this.  I’ll wager that this is the worst $84,000 ever spent in the history of environmental cleanups.  Take a horrific situation and make it immeasurably worse . . .

You gotta check out this YouTube video posted by CraigLaw.  (It’s a choppy video with no production value, but stay with it):

So, here’s some more info from the same sources:

The dumpsite is 10.3 acres and contains an estimated 800,000 to 1.4 million gallons of toxic waste at the site, and is called one of Oregon’s worst toxic-waste dumps by the project manager at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

The DEQ performed a human health and environmental risk assessment of the site and determined that although there is a 40-acre area of contaminated groundwater, there is no discernible risk associated with the site, as long the site remains fenced and covered.

At the present time, there are no plans to clean up the site.

As one might imagine, more than one environmental group believes that the site should be cleaned up.  I read that one cleanup estimate is about $50 million; I’m in the business, and would at least double that . . .

I searched Google Earth, and here’s what I believe is the “site” (it’s the right size, about 10 acres, so this must be it):

ge waste site 1

Here’s a much closer view:

ge waste site 2

Enough depressing environmental stuff.  It’s time to move to Wagontire.  I love the Wiki entry:

Wagontire is an unincorporated community in Harney County, Oregon, United States, on U.S. Route 395. The population has varied recently between zero and two people.

From 1986 to at least 1997, Wagontire was home to two people: William and Olgie Warner.  Planes flying into Wagontire Airport would taxi across U.S. Route 395, fill up at the gas station and cafe.

Really?  There’s an airport?  Of course, I checked out GE.  And low and behold, there is an air strip of sorts right across Route 395 from a commercial establishment:

ge wagontire

The ALAD Truth Patrol verifies at least the likelihood that the Wiki entry is accurate.

Time for some GE Pano shots.  Speaking of Route 395, here’s a shot of it by John Ciccarelli near Alkali Lake:

pano john ciccarelli

And I’ll close with this shot of the “lake” by John Hains:

pano john hains

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2016 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Summer Lake, Oregon (revisited)

Posted by graywacke on June 21, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a 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 2103; A Landing A Day blog post number 531.

Dan –  The pattern for the last five landings is OSer, USer, OSer, USer and, of course OSer, thanks to this landing in . . . OR; 81/68; 4/10; 148.8.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows a water landing in Thompson Reservoir (aka Thompson Lake):

 landing 2a

Zooming back a little, you can see today’s landing along with a January 2013 landing:

 landing 2b

So, the result is a Summer Lake (revisited) post.

My GE shot shows (as you already know) that I landed in a lake:

 GE 1

Zooming back, once again you can see my old landing, about 5 miles away:

 GE

Because I couldn’t find much else to write about (although you will see some new material later), I’m going to lift a piece of my original Summer Lake January 2013 post:

From Wiki:

Summer Lake, for which the town is named, is one of the largest in Oregon at approximately 20 miles long and 10 miles wide.  It was named by Captain John C. Frémont during his 1843 mapping expedition through Central Oregon.

On December 16, 1843, the expedition struggled down a steep cliff from a snow-covered plateau to reach a lake in the valley below.  Frémont named them “Winter Ridge” and “Summer Lake.” From the rocky cliff overlooking the lake basin, Frémont described the discovery and naming of Summer Lake as follows:

“At our feet…more than a thousand feet below…we looked into a green prairie country, in which a beautiful lake, some twenty miles in length, was spread along the foot of the mountain…Shivering on snow three feet deep, and stiffening in a cold north wind, we exclaimed at once that the names of Summer Lake and Winter Ridge should be applied to these proximate places of such sudden and violent contrast.”

The first settlers began to arrive in the Summer Lake Valley around 1870. However, the high desert was difficult to farm, and many early settlers stayed only a few years before moving on to greener country.  As a result, the population of the valley never grew beyond a few hundred people.

John Fremont was an explorer, soldier and politician.  He was the first Republican candidate for president (in 1856).  This was back when the Republicans were the liberals and the Democrats were the conservatives (as we all now know after watching “Lincoln.”)

Here’s a picture of Fremont on a cigar box (with the picture’s caption below):

 fremont cigar

In the old days, this was like getting your picture on the Wheaties box.

This, from Wiki, about the election:

Frémont was one of the first two senators from California, serving from 1850 to 1851.  He was the first presidential candidate of the new Republican Party in 1856.  It used the slogan “Free Soil, Free Men, and Frémont” to crusade for free farms (homesteads) and against slavery.  As was typical in presidential campaigns, the candidates stayed at home and said little.

The Democrats campaigned fiercely, warning that a victory by Frémont would bring civil war [oh, come on – not a chance!]. They also raised a host of issues, including the false allegation that Frémont was a Catholic.  Frémont’s powerful father-in-law, Senator Benton, praised Frémont but announced his support for the Democratic candidate James Buchanan.

Here’s the electoral map. 

 summer-election-results

Poor John.  In spite of a great slogan –  “Free soil; Free Men, and Fremont,” he got nailed by worries about a civil war, people thinking he was (oh no!) Catholic, and his own father-in-law supporting Buchanon.

I’m back.  It’s June, 2014. 

I noticed that just 5 mi north of my landing is Hager Mountain.  Here’s an oblique GE shot of the mountain looking past the lake and my landing:

 GE 3 Hager Mtn 5 mi N

Here’s a GE Panoramio shot of the mountain from the lake by Bend Overall Guidebook (no comment on the handle):

 pano hager mtn over lake bend overall

I stumbled on a webpage by one David Inscho about a 9-day winter stay on the top of the mountain in the lookout cabin.  Here’s one of his photos of the lookout cabin:

 david inscho mt hager pic

More about Mr. Inscho’s adventure later.  Anyway, it turns out that the lookout (which is run by the U.S. Forest Service) is made available for renting during winter months.  Here’s a Forest Service write-up:

Hager Mountain Lookout is perched on top of the mountain, offering 360 degree views as far as Mount Hood and Mount Shasta on a clear day. It is one of a diminishing number of lookouts still staffed for fire detection annually from June through October.

This rugged, winter destination awaits the most enthusiastic outdoor adventurers. After cross country skiing or snowshoeing to the cabin, visitors will gladly fire up the wood stove (fire wood is provided) and set up camp in the 14 x 14 square foot one room lookout. It is equipped with a propane cook stove, one bed and three sleeping cots, as well as a few pots for cooking and melting snow. There is a picnic table outside of the cabin, and an outhouse near by. There is no drinking water on site; visitors must bring plenty for drinking, cooking and washing.

Availability: Hager Mountain Lookout is available for rent November 15 through May 15, after the threat of forest fires in the area has passed. Although the lookout is not available for rent during the fire season, the public is welcome to visit the site and talk with the lookout personnel.

Price and Capacity: $40 per night per group, with a maximum of four occupants. Fees are used directly for the maintenance and preservation of the lookout.

Reservations: The maximum-length stay is fourteen consecutive nights. Phone 1-877-444-6777 or visit www.recreation.gov.

Very cool.  Now, getting back to David Inscho.  You must, simply must, check out his website.  He has a great video of his experience, which you must see.  And then, click on the link under the video to check out his narrative and a number of great photos.  Click HERE.  You simply must. 

As per usual, I’ll close with some Panoramio shots.  First this of Adler Spring Ridge (by Jerome Keim), about three miles NW of my landing:

 pano jerome keim 3.5 nw alder spring ridge

Every non-natural lake needs a dam.  Here’s  Thompson Lake’s (shot by Swaggie):

 pano river swaggie  dam

Here’s a nice shot by Bill Rose of the lake shore:

 pano bill rose

Cool that the little birdie on the fence cooperated with the photographer.

I’ll close with a sunset shot over the lake by (once again) Bend Overall Guidebook:

 pano bend overall guidebook

That’ll do it.

KS

 Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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Summer Lake, Oregon

Posted by graywacke on January 19, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-time-I-get-around-to-it 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.

 Dan –  After three USers, I guess I can’t complain about a solid OSer . . . OR; 75/64; 4/10; 1; 154.7. 

Ignorable minutiae alert – the following paragraph is eminently skippable:

You may have noted (but you probably did not), that the next-to-last number in the above string dropped from 14 last post to 1 this post.  As you may recall (but you probably don’t), that number refers to the ratio just before it; in this case 4/10.  4/10 refers to how many USers I’ve had of my last 10 landings.  I just ended a streak of 14 landings, where that ratio was 5/10 or higher.  Now, starting with 1, I’ll be tracking the number of consecutive posts where that ratio is 4/10 or lower.

 So anyway, here’s my regional landing map, showing I landed in south-central OR:

summer - landing 2

Here’s a closer-in view, showing my proximity to Summer Lake (the town), Summer Lake (the lake), Silver Lake (the town) and Silver Lake (the lake):

 summer - landing

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows an ill-defined arid landscape, with mysterious white spots:

 summer - GE1

Here’s a StreetView shot, with my landing about two miles to the right up on the plateau.

 summer - landing about 2 miles to the right up the hill

 Backing out quite a bit, this GE shot shows an incredible variety of landforms, colors and textures:

 summer - GE3

This oblique GE shot (looking south) shows Summer Lake, with what I assume to be Winter Ridge (based on Fremont’s quote, below in italics) looming over the lake:

 summer - GE2

I landed rather close to the watershed divide between Summer Lake and Silver Lake.  I ended up on the Silver Lake side, so rain that falls on my landing spot (as infrequent as that may be) would flow north and makes its way to Silver Lake, which has no outlet.

 I’m closer to Summer Lake (the town) than Silver Lake (the town) and Summer Lake (the lake) is much more substantial than Silver Lake (the lake), so Summer Lake gets my spotlight.  From Wiki:

Summer Lake, for which the town is named, is one of the largest in Oregon at approximately 20 miles long and 10 miles wide.  It was named by Captain John C. Frémont during his 1843 mapping expedition through Central Oregon.

On December 16, 1843, the expedition struggled down a steep cliff from a snow-covered plateau to reach a lake in the valley below.  Frémont named them “Winter Ridge” and “Summer Lake.” From the rocky cliff overlooking the lake basin, Frémont described the discovery and naming of Summer Lake as follows:

“At our feet…more than a thousand feet below…we looked into a green prairie country, in which a beautiful lake, some twenty miles in length, was spread along the foot of the mountain…Shivering on snow three feet deep, and stiffening in a cold north wind, we exclaimed at once that the names of Summer Lake and Winter Ridge should be applied to these proximate places of such sudden and violent contrast.”

The first settlers began to arrive in the Summer Lake Valley around 1870. However, the high desert was difficult to farm, and many early settlers stayed only a few years before moving on to greener country.  As a result, the population of the valley never grew beyond a few hundred people.

John Fremont was an explorer, soldier and politician.  He was the first Republican candidate for president (in 1856).  This was back when the Republicans were the liberals and the Democrats were the conservatives (as we all now know after watching “Lincoln.”)

Here’s a picture of Fremont on a cigar box (with the picture’s caption below):

369675_f260

In the old days, this was like getting your picture on the Wheaties box.

This, from Wiki, about the election:

Frémont was one of the first two senators from California, serving from 1850 to 1851.  He was the first presidential candidate of the new Republican Party in 1856.  It used the slogan “Free Soil, Free Men, and Frémont” to crusade for free farms (homesteads) and against slavery.  As was typical in presidential campaigns, the candidates stayed at home and said little.

The Democrats campaigned fiercely, warning that a victory by Frémont would bring civil war [oh, come on – not a chance!]. They also raised a host of issues, including the false allegation that Frémont was a Catholic.  Frémont’s powerful father-in-law, Senator Benton, praised Frémont but announced his support for the Democratic candidate James Buchanan.

Here’s the electoral map.  

summer - election results

Poor John.  In spite of a great slogan –  “Free soil; Free Men, and Fremont,” he got nailed by worries about a civil war, people thinking he was (oh no!) Catholic, and his own father-in-law supporting Buchanon.

 I’ll close with this Wiki shot of Summer Lake:

 summer lake from wiki

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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