ss_blog_claim=94754a6b1be8770ce22d6ccb8015a428 ¿Where the Heck are You?: Getting Lost In America - Part Three - by Codes & Compass

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Getting Lost In America - Part Three - by Codes & Compass

Getting Lost In America ... The Highs & Lows of Travel in America is a four-part series to help you discover America. Click any of the links for more information about that location or attraction!

You're the top, you're turkey dinner,
You're the
Kentucky Derby winner.
I'm a toy balloon that’s fated soon to pop,
But if, baby, I'm the bottom, You're the Top!*

So let’s get to the bottom of what’s tops in America. In parts 1&2 we discovered just how High and Low we can go in elevation, people, and the weather. Today we are going to check out our Codes and Compass!

Part Three - By Codes & Compass

By the Codes - Let your fingers do the walking dialing, or lick and stick some stamps on your forehead and let the postman deliver you to your vacation destination. (if opting for postal service I recommend you spring for Express Delivery or you may be waiting a long time for that room service order!) Let’s check out the Area Codes and Zip Codes of America.

Compass Points - Get out the old map and compass, or try geo-caching with your GPS. Here are the extremes of latitude and longitude of the United States.

Latitude [going North and South]

  • Highest Latitude or Northernmost point - Point Barrow, Alaska (71°23'N)
  • Barrow, Alaska — northernmost town in all of US territory and most northerly community on the North American mainland.
  • Northwest Angle, Minnesota (49°23' 4.1"N) northernmost point in the 48 contiguous states. Through quirks in mapping and treaties between England and America setting boundaries of the new country this northern bump of America is actually connected to Manitoba and Ontario Canada and physically separated from the US by the Lake of the Woods.

Longitude [going East and West]

  • Highest Longitude or Westernmost point - Amatignak Island, Alaska (179°6'W)
  • Adak, Alaska - westernmost town in the 50 states, by direction of travel.
  • Ozette, Washington - westernmost town in the 48 contiguous states.
  • Lowest Longitude or Easternmost point - Semisopochnoi Island, Alaska (179°46'E) Technically both the eastern and western most points of the United States are in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The distance from the Western most point of the United States to the Eastern most point is only 63 miles across the Bering Sea! However, those of you looking at a flat map of the U.S. may point to Sail Rock just off the coast of West Quoddy Head near Lubec, Maine (66°57'W) as the eastern most point of our country. No quibble here, either point would make for a most interesting journey!

Are all these highs and lows just too extreme for your travel sensibilities?
Maybe you don’t know how to work the map and compass (or those new-fangled GPS gadgets). How about if we just place you on all four compass points at once! The only place where you can be in FOUR states at the same time! The Four Corners - a monument to where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah come to together! Just a little ways from the ancient Anasazi’s home of Mesa Verde National Park.

Looking for something more middle of the road? Maybe you are more of the Goldilocks type of traveler - Not too high. Not too low. Something in between, something just right ... The Geographic Center of the Contiguous United States is pinpointed by a historical marker that is located within a small park near the town of Lebanon, Kansas. Not far from K.C. and all that wonderful Jazz and Blues music and those famous steaks and BBQ!

You're the top, you're the Tower of Pisa,
You're the smile, on the Mona Lisa
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I'm the bottom you're the top!*

Wherever you go, be it High or Low, this summer - Happy trails and happy travels, and enjoy yourselves, your family, the sites and sights, and of course your summer vacation!

Read the whole series!
Getting Lost In America
The Highs & Lows of Travel in America

Part One - By Elevation
Part Two - By Population & Weather
Part Three - By Codes & Compass

* Song lyrics from “You’re The Top!” by
legendary American songwriter Cole Porter.

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