Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Live from the 45th parallel


Well almost live... the Internet is a little spotty up here.


CADOTT, Wis. – Heading north into the Northwoods, I have found that there's some novelty to being exactly smack-dab-in-the-middle of two geographically notable places. I think it probably takes a special type of person to appreciate it...

When you live in Wisconsin it's terribly easy in the winter months to fall into the false belief that you're a heck of a lot closer to the North Pole. Truth be told: In Appleton, we're closer to the equator.

This sign in the small rural town of Cadott – oh who am I kidding, anything north of Eau Claire is a small rural town – signifies its claim to fame... being very, very near the 45th parallel. The sign, which is located in the town's Lions Park is actually 3 miles south of the actual 45ºN latitude line.

As I proceeded north from the sign, I switched my car's GPS to display the actual latitude and longitude readout – it's accurate to about 6 feet.

Maybe I'm a complete dork, but approaching the 45th Parallel was like approaching 100,000 miles in a car. As the display changed to read 45º00'000", I looked at the nearest street sign...

Sure enough: 45th Parallel Road.
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