Saturday, October 8, 2011

Just a short trip

Garland Pond, Garland Maine
  Linda and I set out yesterday for a short ride, Garland was our first stop.  We checked out the pond, actually a damned up stream, and I took the photo as exhibit one.  Next we crossed the road and got a better photo of the Library than the one we had.  Distance traveled?  About 12 miles.
  We left Garland on the Oliver Hill Road, a nice ride and went on to Dover-Foxcroft via Route 7, no stopping yet, straight up to Sebec Lake and the "Public Beach".  I got a nice photo of Borestone Mountain (you'll soon see), and the water looked chilly to me.  It was 28 degrees earlier in the day when I started my walk - it feels like fall for sure.  Back in to town a short rest break, and bank visit, and we took off on Route 15 for Guilford.
  We went to Guilford for the sole purpose of walking on the "River Trail" and made over abandoned rail bed.  What a nice walk you can have on that trail!  It's absolutely terrific!  Smooth, level gravel surface and what a view of the river!  The total length of that particular trail is, I think, about 3 miles, we used about one mile of it, so up and back about a two mile walk.
  Back to Dover-Foxcroft via East Sangerville, we used that road so we could get a photo of some of the Highland Cattle, but they were a long ways from the road - so boo hoo, no picture of them.
  Down Route 15 towards Bangor, with a stop in Corinna for lunch at the Countryside, keep going to Kenduskeag. cross the bridge and back to Levant.  Total miles about 75.  Just a short ride.
  The "fall foliage" is a real disappointment, too wet in the spring, leaf drop on maple, birch and poplar is awful, and not much color anywhere we went, only a few very short stretches.
Sebec Lake and Borestone Mountain.
The River Trail.  Is that nice or what?
One look at the Piscataquis River from the trail.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ghosts in here?

Quartzville, Colorado
  There were five silver mines and one gold mine and over 2000 people in Quartzville at one time,
not much is left, that cabin and some mine ruins are it.  The ore is gone, and the people and their hopes moved on too.
Saint Elmo, Colorado
  In it's prime St. Elmo was thriving, there was a telegraph office, 5 hotels, a lot of saloons, some dance halls, a newspaper and a school among other things, and lots of people.  There were a lot of mines in the area some of them valuable.  The Mary Murphy Mine contained over sixty million dollars worth of ore.  But, the town didn't last for long after the mines were "played out", the ore was gone and the people moved on too.  The buildings remain and are kept in "sustained abandonment" by either the State or National Park Services.  This would include some of the other towns too.
Surveyors, Abourville, Colorado, marking "claims". Early 1820's
Arbourville, Colorado.  One of the remaining buildings.
  Arbourville had mines, but it may have been better known as the only town with a brothel in the Monarch District.  The "Parlor House"  was the main attraction in Arbourville.  There were mines here as well.  Those surveyors in the photo picked out the best prospective properties for the men who paid them - kind of like Congress today, money rules unfortunately.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 6, 2007 - The long way around

For reference - click to enlarge
On October 6, 2007 Stevie Smith or Britain, completed a round-the-word trip, just using human power, no motors.  Follow, and pasted from Wikipedia, is the story of "the long way around"
    He set off with fellow adventurer Stevie Smith from Greenwich, London in July, 1994 to travel round the globe (Expedition 360), and had travelled over 60,000 km (37,000 mi) by July 2007. He finally ended his expedition on the sixth of October 2007 having travelled 74,842 km (46,505 mi).[2][3]
  1. Lewis and Smith crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to the US in a wooden pedal boat.
  2. Lewis and Smith split up in Florida, and Lewis roller bladed across North America. Struck by a driver in Pueblo, Colorado, he spent nine months recovering from two broken legs, returning to the trek in May 1996.
  3. Lewis and Smith crossed from California to Hawaii in their wooden pedal boat, where Smith ended his journey.
  4. Lewis continued by pedal boat to Australia. He bicycled through Australia.
  5. Smith then kayaked from Australia to Singapore.
  6. He biked from Singapore to the Himalayas.
  7. He hiked through the Himalayas.
  8. He pedaloed from Mumbai, India crossing the Indian Ocean to Djibouti.
  9. He then planned to travel through Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, and the Middle East before reaching Europe[4] — however, he encountered a problem in Sudan. The Egyptian authorities would not let him pass through their waters, and when his visa for Sudan ran out he was left with an "impossible decision".[citation needed] He attempted to kayak across Lake Nasser to Abu Simbel but was arrested on suspicion of spying. He was released but the Egyptian authorities forbade him from mountain-biking the 178 mile journey to Aswan. He completed this section illegally by riding partly at night[1].
    In July 2007, he reached Syria and then crossed Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria, Germany, and Belgium before returning to London on 6 October
    Lewis expected the journey to last 3.5 years, but due to the many difficulties he faced, as mentioned above, the journey extended to 13 years. Other factors of delay were a bout of depression and a crocodile attack in 2007.[5]
A Pedalo - not the one he used
October 6, 2007 - Greenwich

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What is it, and how does it work?

The Racetrack Playa, seen from space.
  In Death Valley there is a "Playa", a small valley with an endorheic lake (don't ask), it's called Racetrack because of the "Sailing Stones", it's strange but true.
  The valley is about two and a half mile long, the floor is dry compacted sand, and the north end is one and a half inches higher than the southern end (don't know if that makes a difference).
  After it rains, which is infrequently, and it's either a: Cold enough to briefly freeze, or b: starts to evaporate the "sailing stones" go into action.  Not one soul has ever seen them move, or has filmed it, it's been going on for hundreds or thousands of years.  Here's one photo:
A large smooth stone (the track is smooth), you can see the track
The Playa at night, the "arch" is the Milky Way - it's a wide angle lens camera.  You can see one sailing stone,
and the trails of some others.
The  The sailing stones move leaving a smooth track, or rough track depending on the surface of the rock, sometimes rocks will "flip" and leave a different track.  It could be the wind, which reaches speeds of 90 miles and hours, or the freeze/thaw action above; the only constant is the surface is a slick clay when wet, and sand when dry.  Go figure.
Photos by the U S National Park Service.
A rough rock leaves a striated trail.
The rocks only move about every three or four years.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 4, 1941

10/4/41 Willie Gillis debuted
  Norman Rockwell made his contribution to the World War Two "War Bond Effort" with a series of paintings for the cover of Saturday Evening Post.  Mr. Rockwell's efforts paid off handsomely for the effort through the sale of posters. 
  Willie Gillis was an "invented" character, who was an everyman portrayed by Rockwell, the name came from the Wee Willie Winkie children's book.  Mr. Rockwell commonly used live models for his paintings.
  From 1916 to the December 16, 1963 cover Kennedy Memorial, Norman Rockwell did 321 cover images for the Saturday Evening Post, at the time the most popular magazine in print.
  Illustrations from Wikipedia
Willie Gillis "Home on Leave"
"Four Freedoms", a set of four covers
Rosie the Riveter

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's an odd sight

Northeast of Beale Air Force Base, Marysville, California-click to enlarge
  When I was flying as a crewmember in Fleet Tactical Support Squadron Thirty from the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California there were a few times, mostly on training flights, that we would use Beale AFB to do instrument approaches, or come close to landing, go up higher and approach again, repeat about 20 times.  It's boring for an observer up there (most of the time) watching for other aircraft.  I was always fascinated by the "mine tailing's" you can see in the upper middle (left) to top (right) in that satellite image up there from Google Maps.  From that high up you can see the pattern of the dredge as it went back and forth.  Tailing's are the rocks left over after the ore is separated (gold in this case), they're just left there.  These particular piles have covered two whole "temporary" towns, Marigold and Hammondon, that were developed for miners and their families.
  This particular dredge worked the Yuba and Feather Rivers for quite a few years, there are now museums, and a dredge in Marysville for people to check out.  I was never "on the ground" there but it would be interesting to see from eye level.  Ah!  The joys of flying!  I even got paid for sightseeing, what a deal.
A dredge at work, see the rock piles, they're all around it.
A photo from, shows a boy picking over rocks, the dredge is still there,
in Marysville.  The Appeal-Democrat is the newspaper for Yuba and Sutter Counties, California

Sunday, October 2, 2011


The first strip 10-2-1950
  October 2, 1950 - That's the date "Peanuts" debuted in eight newspapers, in the end the characters looked a little different, the story lines increased and most of knew the "Peanuts gang".
  Charles Schulz, we know now, had great success with the strip which grew into TV specials and merchandise.  It started as something simple and caught on quickly, in 1952 the first "Sunday comic" appeared.  The strip ran until January of 2000 when Mr. Schulz died, and continues to this day in re-runs, a huge success.
  Each of the characters had some special quality or behavior that people would identify with and I think that's the reason for the wide impact of this simple comic, it's almost believable that a dog could play hockey!
  Illustrations from Wikipedia.
Charles Schulz at work in 1956
February 13, 2000 - the last original strip
The Peanuts Gang