Saturday, August 13, 2005

Still Making Discoveries in our Own Backyard

92-year-old gold panner Dick McDermott thought he knew the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, and the creeks that flow through it, like the back of his hand...till park officials found a 400-foot waterfall that he had never even heard about.

I say "largely unknown" because apparently loggers knew about it, and rumors of its existence had been bouncing around for some time. An old map of the area dating from the 1960s mentioned a "Whiskeytown Falls", but it was never found. As it turned out, the map had been more than a mile off.

Interestingly, the falls were found with a little help from orbiting satellites:

In the spring of 2003, he was looking at global imaging system maps on his computer when he saw a stretch in the creek that dropped in altitude quickly with a sliver of white leading through it.

"I thought, 'That looks like white water to me,'" he said.

It's always refreshing to know that there's still more to discover in the open spaces of the U.S.. It's also reassuring to know that there are still open spaces left, period.

2 comments:

Pa've said...

I had heard about this on other news reports. Big planet, and still, with 5 billion people on it, we still find stuff we didn't know about.

Pandabonium said...

I can see it now, condos over there, a shopping mall over there....

Rodney Dangerfield in "Caddyshack"