At the Center – Historical Spotlight: Jul. 2017

While we were camping in North Dakota, about an hour north of Bismarck, we began planning our trek back to Colorado. We had plans to stay at a park south of Custer State Park, which is the state park nearest Mt. Rushmore. From there we had planned on heading to a lake in southwestern Nebraska. But we really wanted – since we started this journey in January to stay in Custer State Park. At that time, the park was booked full. We periodically checked in to see if there any vacancies, but nothing.

So when Cortney sets her mind to something, I highly recommend you do not stand in her way. She was determined to find a way into Custer State Park. So there we were in North Dakota with the departure looming in a couple of days and through her sheer grit and determination she found us a site in Custer State Park, so our planned route south transformed.

Now, I am the one that loves to plan the routes (Cortney has no interest, so long as we get to point B. For more on how Cortney and I are opposite, see the About Us section of this blog!) and so there I was planning our route through the rural highways of the Dakotas when I came across the fact that we had the opportunity to add just 20 miles to our route and visit the geographical center of the United States. I had to jump on it for several reasons 1) it’s nerdy – I am in and 2) it would make a nice post here – nerdy again!

I was bound and determined to visit the actual spot, soon as I heard this news. I took to the internet to do my research reading some articles and studying google maps (had to make sure we could pull in the rig and get out okay). Upon reading about it, I learned that actually the spot is disputed and it actually depends on how you go about calculating the point and how you go about measuring the point. I learned too that the 20 mile detour to see a sign in a man’s field on the very outskirts of town was actually round trip another 14 miles in addition to the 20 and even then it felt awkward to go to a man’s field, in the RV, towing the Civic. So I figured, the sign at the town’s visitor center, that essentially tells you about the geographical center would be sufficient for our purposes.

If you would like to read further on the subject, head over to the Wikipedia article here. It has some neat stuff on the geographical center of the contiguous US which is in Kansas and was the spot prior to Hawaii and Alaska entering the union. You can actually click on a link within the article that will provide the location of the geographical center of your state. Pretty cool? Nerdy? Maybe – hope you enjoy!

And we would love to see your photos of your geographical centers, should you ever visit one, you let us know!

Just Happy To Be Here –



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