My granddaughter and I had a fun and relaxing day on our journey to the 45th parallel – halfway between the equator and the north pole.
When we started out yesterday, I had intended to make a day trip to a location that I had learned about a few years ago. Before we headed out, however, I did some quick research on the internet and found a website that showed the locations of quite a few 45th parallel markers in North America. One of them happened to be closer to home than our initial destination, so we started with that one.
Goodnight was a great sport about all this. She enjoyed the drive and then keeping an eye out for the geological marker. It wasn’t as difficult to spot as I had thought. Of course, the upright pole with the sign on it helped immensely, as did the directions I got from the park board’s website.
I was encouraged when GN whipped out her iPod to take some photos, too.
Here’s a closeup of the geological marker.
By the time we found the 45th parallel marker closest to home, it was nearly lunchtime! We turned the car toward our next destination.
After a leisurely 90-mile drive, we arrived in Cadott, Wisconsin. They have a large sign in the city park informing passersby that they are halfway between the equator and the north pole. It’s a lot more obvious than the geological marker we found earlier in the day.
GN like this second stop much better because there was a park/playground involved. Now, as a general rule, it’s been a long time since she’s wanted to spend time at a playground. I understand. She’s growing up and I can’t expect her to go down a slide anymore. Or . . . can I?
The park was lovely. There was some activity there: baseball games going on, people having picnics, and children enjoying the playground. We lingered a while. GN found a post in the parking lot that stirred a movie memory for her – the Karate Kid pose.
A sign in the park points to various locations in North America and notes their respective distances from Cadott. Hmm, not too far from Indianapolis. A Super Bowl XLVI memory made me smile . . .
GN and I stayed in the park a while and then turned toward home. We stopped along the way to have dinner together and celebrate the Earth Day in our own way. (I recommend the spaghetti!) Our journey had basically followed the 45th parallel with minor deviations due to topography. The latitude of our home location is 44.9531° N, so we were not very far from halfway to the north pole to begin with.
The purpose of Earth Day has always been to increase awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. There’s a time for action, attention, and regulations, but awareness can come from seeing what we have and what we would like to maintain (or improve). That’s what our Earth Day road trip was all about for this time.
Fun fact: Did you know there is a town in Oregon called Halfway? The population is listed as 310. You know what the latitude of Halfway is? You can probably guess that it’s darn near 45 degrees. You’d be right! It’s 44.8783° N.
Maybe I have to plan another road trip and go all the way to Halfway!
This was our part of the planet for yesterday. Earth. Take care of it . . . but enjoy it too.