May 25, 2007

Road Trip Stuff

A little over a month ago, I was on a road trip to Dallas. But rather than hop on I-10 for a mind-numbing drive through southern Texas, we took the US-60 into New Mexico, where we caught US-380. Along the way, I got to see the VLA, drove past (well, about 20 miles north of) the Trinity site, hit downtown Roswell for a little weirdness, and then we hit The Great Flat Squat. From Roswell to Dallas, there is little that would pass muster as a piddling hill. With no chance for perspective, it becomes very hard to see the more interesting things going on around you.

For example... what in the hell is going on here in the plains east of Roswell? Is a farmer with a lot of land, time, and a sense of humor screwing with the UFO nutjobs?

Also, to the far right of that map along 380, you'll see a place marked "Tokio." Even zoomed in close, it's hard to tell that this town is almost completely abandoned. It was a depressing sight even at 70 mph. Oh, and Texas is so damn huge they have two (2) Tokio's.  The other Tokio changed its name during World War 2 for obvious reasons, but it was never a very big place to begin with.

Posted in Random Debris by: Will at 12:03 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 You talking about those fields which are plowed in a circle? That's actually quite practical. First of all, that plowing pattern reduces the rate at which the wind blows away topsoil. Second, they irrigate fields like that using a radial arm on wheels that slowly moves around the circle continuously, with sprinklers mounted on the top of it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 26, 2007 06:34 PM (+rSRq)

2 I thought he was talking about the stretched-out fish shape that looked like it was scarred into the side of a ridgeline.  It didn't even occur to me to that he might have been talking about the circles... but then, I DO live in the Midwest, where that's pretty common stuff.

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 26, 2007 08:56 PM (ccSyJ)


No, I'm quite familiar with the circles. We have a few sprinkled (har har) here and there in Arizona. I was referring to what looks like miles-long gigantic paint splashes east of Roswell. It doesn't look like a trick of light or anything like natural topography.

Posted by: Will at May 26, 2007 10:01 PM (olS40)


That appears to be a photography artifact. If you zoom in further and scan around, you can't see the border of that area.

If you zoom further out, you'll see that there are several such shapes in that area. My guess is that they're the result of erosion, and they appear the way they do in the low-res pictures because of lighting and film choice.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 26, 2007 10:07 PM (+rSRq)


Having done a bit of zooming in and out, it does seem to come and go. You have to zoom in a bit for the software to grab more recent images. The high-res imagery doesn't have the same artifacts in most cases. But from what I remember of the topography, the prevailing run-off was to the southeast.

I wish there were high-res images of the pointed area. from that other link. i don't know enough about satellite photography to make an educated guess. It could be that whatever topography (maybe a fine layer of sand/dust kicked up from a particularly nasty windstorm and deposited in an expanding fan) we're seeing has been whiped away since the lo-res images were taken.

Posted by: Will at May 26, 2007 10:39 PM (olS40)


Most of the pictures on Google Earth aren't from satellites. That's what you get for places like Tajikistan, but for Europe and North America what you're seeing is pictures taken from high flying aircraft. They used to use Lear Jets for this; I don't know what they use now.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 27, 2007 12:12 AM (+rSRq)

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