Odds and Ends 2

On July 12, 2011 · 13 Comments

I once composed of a collection of random thoughts, none of which merited an article on its own, and called it "Odds and Ends." I plan to do the same thing again today. Logically I should call this one Odds and Ends 2, like any good Hollywood blockbuster.

Salt Lake City Area Geo-Oddities?

I will be visiting northern Utah for several days in the near future, primarily within the vicinity of Salt Lake City and Ogden. I’ll be radiating out from there and hitting a number of new counties including some along the nearest borders of Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming. The area on this map will probably be in play.



View Larger Map

I have vague plans for the usual tourist sites but I’m also hoping to track down a few geo-oddities. I have West Wendover, the only spot in Nevada on Mountain time, already on the list. I also hope to bag the Great Salt Lake Base and Meridian.

There has to be at least one 12MC reader located in northern Utah. What other geo-oddities warrant a visit? I’ll take "normal" tourist suggestions too. I’ve only been here to change planes at the airport on previous visits so I’m willing to try just about anything. Also I’m sure the family will want to see more than a meridian marker and Wendover Will. Please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments.


Loop Road

Longtime loyal reader Thias sent me an email message with the enticing title, "Real Loop Road." I absolutely had to follow the link he provided.



Agrandir le plan

Check out this crazy road in Escorca, Spain, on the island of Majorca. It reminds me of a cloverleaf entrance/exit ramp on a limited access highway. However this is a standalone structure, a road that literally loops upon itself as the most efficient way to navigate a steep grade. He wondered if I’d ever seen anything like this before. I had not so I appeal to the 12MC audience. Is this a common design? Can anyone find other instances and post map links?


Strange Searches

I’m not talking about the usual whacky queries sent to me randomly by the major search engines. Rather, I’m referring to people who actually come onto my website and then use the search box on the upper-right corner of the page. I’m amazed by the frequency of people who search for "search." I think it happens because people want to see if it actually works. Just for the record, lots of 12MC articles use the word "search."

I also like the searches that specify exact latitude-longitude coordinates. The search function only examines text so a specific coordinate will not show up unless I’ve used it in an article. Other than 45.000000,-90.000000, the chance of that is practically nil.



View Larger Map

The most recent instance was "38.76697,-121.29991." That equates to 501 Derek Place in Roseville, CA, a town outside of Sacramento. This is the home of the Dream Theater Center for the Performing Arts, "formed to provide adult individuals with special needs a unique and meaningful dramatic arts program to educate them in the arts and to provide a venue in which they can take part in dramatic productions." It sound like a noble purpose and I wish them well.

It would be so cool if my search box was actually as capable as some people expect.


Thanks

I have some additional Thank You’s for various anonymous regular readers. I have no way to identify you, but you know who you are so please accept my appreciation.

A couple of you selected the Google +1 button for the main 12MC page, and for a brief glorious moment I was coming up first in Google searches for the phrase "Twelve Mile Circle." I was even higher than Wikipedia! I hope others will consider selecting +1 since apparently it does matter.

Also a hearty Thank You for the person(s) who mention this site on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ve been recording web traffic from both sources and I’m humbled that you consider these articles important enough to mention to your friends and acquaintances.

On July 12, 2011 · 13 Comments

13 Responses to “Odds and Ends 2”

  1. Aaron says:

    That ascending/descending spiral is popular with trains – check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral_(railway) It’s probably pretty rare with roads though, as most cars are much more capable of going up that amount of grade.

  2. AF says:

    I have seen a loop road like that at least once before. There is one in the road that crests the Smoky Mountains in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Also, I thought there was a really large one somewhere on the Million Dollar Highway (US 550 in CO) around Ouray and Silverton but I don’t see it on the map so I may be mistaken.

  3. Michael K says:

    While in Utah, perhaps on the day you drive to Nevada, you should stop by the Bonneville Salt Flats. It’s the location where they set lots of land speed records, but it’s also open to the public. I suppose it’s more of a general-interest oddity, but speed is at least tangentially related to geography. Anyway, if you go there you can take your (rental?) car up to whatever its top speed is on the wide open flats. Just plan on spending some time at a car wash afterwards.

  4. Ken says:

    The last time I was in South Dakota, I traveled on State Route 87 to get to Wind Cave Natioal Park.

  5. Mike Lowe says:

    I think I once shared my trip to Bear Lake in NE. UT / S. ID. It straddles the border which made it attractive since I was a state counter. I was ignorant of county counting then. the lake is also beautiful in its own right. Logan canyon has twisty roads that this Mazda Miata driver appreciates.

    I’m looking at your map at Mob Rules. A trip to (and around) Bear Lake will definitely net you some counties. The family will appreciate the scenery.

    After visiting the lake, the bride and I drove to Bonneville. My PT Cruiser hit the speed limiter at 122 mph. We were kidless then. I don’t know if both spots are really doable with a young family in one day. SLC traffic may come into play too.

    I really regret not crossing the border into W. Wendover. I already had NV from a Vegas trip earlier and I was driving through there the next day so I missed the border by a few miles.

  6. Mike Lowe says:

    Google “pigtail road” and you’ll find lots of info on spiral roads. I have driven on a few near Mt. Rushmore. Many of the roads around there are fun. I also did the one on US 441 in the Smoky Mountain National Park.

    Oh, the Arkansas Pig Trail stuff that sometimes accompanies the Google search is also fun. There aren’t any spirals but the road tries anyway.

  7. Mike Lowe says:

    Oh, for responder AF above, I have driven that stretch of US 550 a few times. There aren’t any spirals but the road twists and tries to come back on itself. I can think of a couple of first- or second-gear turn switchback areas that could merit a spiral.

  8. Voyager9270 says:

    There are several examples of “loop roads” on Iron Mountain Road in South Dakota, en route from Custer State Park to Mount Rushmore. Evidently, they are known by locals as “pigtail bridges.”

    From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigtail_bridge):
    In the Black Hills of South Dakota, a particular form of spiral bridge, locally called a ‘pigtail bridge’ was introduced in 1932 by Cecil Clyde Gideon, the self-taught superintendent of Custer State Park turned highway designer. He called them “spiral-jumpoffs”. During the planning for Iron Mountain Road, there was a need to negotiate sudden elevation drops while preserving natural features for this scenic highway; the corkscrew design allowed for a spectacular – although expensive – solution to this problem. In order to blend the bridges with their surroundings, natural materials such as local timber were used.

    • Joe says:

      As multiple people have already mentioned, there are a couple “loop roads” or “pigtail bridges” on Iron Mountain Road just SE of Mount Rushmore. Here is a Google Streetview of one of the loops:



      View Larger Map

  9. Christine says:

    Jackpot, NV observes Mountain Time, but is technically in Pacific Time. However, the time zone signs are just south of town, telling you that Jackpot is in Mountain Time.

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