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Old 02-16-2020, 11:56 AM
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Geographic anomaly: Tiny bits of Michigan that drain into the Mississippi. Share your geo-anomalies


Most people believe the entire state of MI is within the Great Lakes Watershed.

But this is not true.

These coordinates will take one to a small ditch in the lower peninsula which reaches the Mississippi via the Kankakee river. 46.162811, -89.111886

I just HAD to share that. Thanks for indulging me.

Please share your geographic facts upon which you dwell incessantly.

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 02-16-2020 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:57 AM
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ok, that did not go the way it should, and editing doesn't fix it.

it refuses to include the other comment and link I wrote:



And these coordinates will take one to Misery Creek, which flows into Lac Vieux Desert in MI's UP, a lake that drains into the Mississippi via the Wisconsin river. 46.162811, -89.111886

OK, links are working intermittently, and sometimes only if you click to open them in a new tab. Sorry about that, but I think it's the board that's wonky

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 02-16-2020 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:05 PM
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Now can you reconcile this GL watershed map with the state boundaries?

"Lac Vieux Desert" in Wisconsin? I gotta see this. Road trip!
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Now can you reconcile this GL watershed map with the state boundaries?

"Lac Vieux Desert" in Wisconsin? I gotta see this. Road trip!
Just get a hi res version of that map, and zoom in. You'll see how those tiny tiny bits of MI are out of the GL watershed.

Meet ya at Lac View Desert!
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:41 PM
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Where I live, the sun rises over the Pacific and sets over the Atlantic.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:51 PM
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How about this - a triple continental divide not too far from where I grew up.

Allegheny River to Gulf of Mexico
Genesee River to the Atlantic via the St Lawrence
Susquehanna River to the Atlantic via Chesapeake Bay
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:05 PM
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Where I live, the sun rises over the Pacific and sets over the Atlantic.
That's pretty nifty.

When we were in Costa Rica recently I tried to figure out if that happened in that country, but I couldn't see a place there where it would.

Thought about heading further south to see you, and that sunrise/sunset combo tho!
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:11 PM
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You're in Canada. Now you're in Vermont. Why did you cross the street? To get to Vermont!

You're in Minnesota. Now you're in Canada, just across the street.

You're in Washington (state). Now you're in Canada.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:24 PM
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Kaskaskia, IL is the only Illinois town west of the Mississippi. And only because the river decided to follow a new course after a flood and screw everyone up.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:20 PM
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I live near the headwaters of the St John's River and it's been so canalized and dredged and managed that it's difficult to tell where the north-draining river begins, the east-draining canals begin, and where the swamps in between end. The semi-official source is a little north of my link, called Lake Hell 'n' Blazes, sometimes bowdlerized into Lake Helen Blazes.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:29 PM
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The Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates are connected by a bridge. I've walked over it.

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The Bridge Between Continents spans the Álfagjá rift valley (60 feet wide and 20 feet (6.1 m) deep) near Grindavik, which marks the boundary of the Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates. It was built in 2002 and previously named Leif the Lucky bridge in honor of Icelandic explorer Leif Eriksson who traveled from Europe to America 500 years before Columbus.
Brief article.

Wiki.

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Old 02-16-2020, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
When we were in Costa Rica recently I tried to figure out if that happened in that country, but I couldn't see a place there where it would.
No, Costa Rica isn't as twisted as Panama. In any number of ways.

Another geographic anomaly in Panama: Because of the Panama Canal, the Chagres River discharges its waters into both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Quote:
Thought about heading further south to see you, and that sunrise/sunset combo tho!
Next time you're in the neighborhood, drop by. Bring cheese.

Last edited by Colibri; 02-16-2020 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:42 PM
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All the best surf spots in California are East of Reno, NV.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:43 PM
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Here's a list of Unusual drainage systems, including Isa Lake, WY which drains into both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans (how cool is that?), and Tonlé Sap river, which flows north in the wet season and south in the dry season.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:51 PM
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All the best surf spots in California are East of Reno, NV.
You beat me to that one, although I was going to express it as all the best ski slopes in Lake Tahoe are west of Los Angeles.
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:28 PM
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Digging around, I discovered that the waterway that drains MI's lower peninsula into the Mississippi is called Grapevine Creek. In the 1830's there were plans to run a canal from Lake Erie at Toledo to Lake Michigan at Michigan City, IN by using various waterways, including Grapevine Creek.
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:36 PM
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Aw, I was going to mention Isa Lake! It's only a trickle each way, though: You could step over the streams.
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:01 PM
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I thought it was cool to drive from Istanbul (on the Eurasian Tectonic Plate) to the rest of Turkey (on the Anatolian Tectonic Plate) via the Bosphorus Strait Bridge. I'm not positive, but I think it's the only city in the world that straddles two plates.
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:59 PM
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Aw, I was going to mention Isa Lake! It's only a trickle each way, though: You could step over the streams.
No, no, don't cross the streams!


ETA: Thanks for these, everyone! I'm making a poster along with the usual suspects like Port Roberts, WA and Lake of the Woods, MN for my niece and her kids.

Last edited by digs; 02-16-2020 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:17 PM
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... Another geographic anomaly in Panama: Because of the Panama Canal, the Chagres River discharges its waters into both the Atlantic and the Pacific. ...
The Illinois & Michigan Canal allows Lake Michigan to also flow to the Mississippi River.

Two Ocean Pass in Wyoming is a natural place along the Continental Divide where water can flow to either the Atlantic or Pacific.
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:21 PM
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Another place that feeds two seas: the Danube sources above the Danube Sinkhole, where the Rhine is currently undertaking a stream capture of the upper Danube. A lot of the water disappears from the surface only to appear miles away and feed the Rhine, and whether any water makes it past the sinkholes and thus on to the Black Sea depends on the water flow. Eventually the underground passages might be eroded enough to take all the water away and complete the stream capture, leaving other streams to be the true source of the Danube.
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:28 PM
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I've always wanted to go to the Kentucky Bend just so I could say I've been there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_Bend
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:49 PM
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There are a couple little bits of the state of Delaware on the east side of the Delaware River. On land you can only get to them through New Jersey.
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:45 PM
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... including Isa Lake, WY which drains into both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans ...
It's worth noting that the water that departs this lake (which is actually more like a pond) to the west ends up in the Atlantic1, whereas the water headed east is bound for the Pacific2.


1 - via the Firehole, Madison, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers.
2 - via the Lewis, Snake, and Columbia rivers.
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:10 PM
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Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time.
Except the Hopi nation.
Which means there’s a little bubble of MDT in the middle of a sea of MST during the summer. Which can make scheduling activities interesting if you are staying in Tuba City - you cross the street and lose an hour.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:06 PM
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Not too long ago, I read that a tiny bit of South Carolina is in the Mississippi drainage basin. I'm talking a few acres right on the straight portion of the North Carolina border in either Pickens County or Oconee County. It's swampy land so the direction of flow is not immediately obvious. The fact was discovered quite recently by a teenager poring over online maps, and confirmed by the USGS. Unfortunately I can't find the story online now.

There used to be a few square miles of Dakota Territory separated from the rest of the territory by hundreds of miles. It was created by accident when Wyoming Territory was carved out from Dakota Territory before the course of the Continental Divide was known. It's called Lost Dakota.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:15 PM
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Kaskaskia, IL is the only Illinois town west of the Mississippi. And only because the river decided to follow a new course after a flood and screw everyone up.
Carter Lake, Iowa is also the only Iowa town west of the Mississippi, for similar reasons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_Lake,_Iowa
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:30 PM
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Speaking of Wyoming, two interesting (to me) aberrations:

1) If you travel south on US 20 through the Wind River Canyon, the river looks like it's flowing uphill. (Does an optical illusion count as a geographic aberration?)

2) Rocks on the summit of Heart Mountain are older than those at the base.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:31 PM
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Fishers Island near Connecticut and Rhode Island is part of New York, even though logically it should be part of CT. (CT gave haven to a political enemy of King Someone (James II?), so he punished the colony.) Anyway, because Fishers is so close to the other two states, there's a tripoint (point where three states meet) in the ocean. It's the only oceanic tripoint in the US.

In the ocean, states only get 3 nautical miles of territory, but for lakes, state territories have no such limit. This means that there's two tripoints in the middle of Lake Michigan so Illinois actually borders on Michigan in the middle of that lake.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:53 PM
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The Illinois & Michigan Canal allows Lake Michigan to also flow to the Mississippi River.
Well, the Illinois & Michigan Canal has been filled in for more than 70 years. But the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal supplanted it in 1900 and allows the same trick.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:04 AM
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1) If you travel south on US 20 through the Wind River Canyon, the river looks like it's flowing uphill. (Does an optical illusion count as a geographic aberration?)
There is (or was) a spot in the hills near Los Angeles with a similar illusion. Pull your car off to the side of the road, put it in neutral and take your foot off the brake -- and your car rolls uphill! It's just an odd illusion due to the lay of the land there. High School driver ed teachers always liked to take student drivers there.

In more recent years, I tried to find the place again, unsuccessfully. As best I could tell (if I was even in the right area) the vicinity is all built up beyond recognition with houses and streets now (it was just a back-hills country road then), and maybe there's no place left where it works like that.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:17 AM
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Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time.
Except the Hopi nation.
Which means there’s a little bubble of MDT in the middle of a sea of MST during the summer. Which can make scheduling activities interesting if you are staying in Tuba City - you cross the street and lose an hour.
It's the Navajo Nation which observes DST; the Hopi do not.

Colibri, my father and I went on a tour of Panama. He has an excellent sense of direction. He practically went insane in Panama trying to figure out directions and which body of water we were looking at. I can get lost in a Sears, so I just stayed bewildered. On the other hand we saw wild Panamanian night monkeys and some frog or other which he immediately ID'd, so those were big plusses.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:57 AM
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Carter Lake, Iowa is also the only Iowa town west of the Mississippi, for similar reasons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_Lake,_Iowa
*Missouri River. All of Iowa is west of the Mississippi, but Carter Lake is stuck on the Omaha side of the Missouri.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:29 AM
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Panama Canal is east of Miami FL.

It's further from one end of Tennessee to the other than from Tennessee to Canada.

Number of US states with some portion of their territory north of some part of Canada?
SPOILER:
26
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:31 AM
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Pretty much all of the water in Tennessee flows to the Mississippi River. The water that doesn't go directly there goes via the Ohio River and a few of its tributaries. However, out of the 95 counties, the southern quadrant of Bradley County and a sliver of southwest Polk County (the two easternmost counties on the southern border) drain to the Gulf of Mexico through Mobile Bay via the Conasauga, Oostanaula, Coosa, Alabama, and Mobile Rivers.

Also, due to the shifting of the Mississippi River, some of Tennessee is on its west bank, surrounded by Arkansas and the river. (The most notable part is Reverie, TN. There's no bridge across the Mississippi for miles and miles, so the kids there go to school in Arkansas and Tennessee reimburses Arkansas for their costs.)
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:57 AM
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Not too long ago, I read that a tiny bit of South Carolina is in the Mississippi drainage basin. I'm talking a few acres right on the straight portion of the North Carolina border in either Pickens County or Oconee County. It's swampy land so the direction of flow is not immediately obvious. The fact was discovered quite recently by a teenager poring over online maps, and confirmed by the USGS. Unfortunately I can't find the story online now.
I have long suspected this, and tried to find that bit of SC that drains to the Mississippi on Google Earth, but have been unable to locate it. I do hope someone can find a cite for this as I'd love to pursue this bit of trivia.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:30 AM
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There's a couple parts of Indiana on the west side of the Wabash River. My road atlas doesn't show any towns in either one.

I'm pretty sure there's at least one such place on the Ohio River, but can't remember where. The borders on the Ohio don't go through the main channel, but rather along the northern shore, just like the Potomac. That makes it more likely that something like this would have happened on that river.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:32 AM
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There is (or was) a spot in the hills near Los Angeles with a similar illusion. Pull your car off to the side of the road, put it in neutral and take your foot off the brake -- and your car rolls uphill! It's just an odd illusion due to the lay of the land there. High School driver ed teachers always liked to take student drivers there.
I found a similar road on the way to Yosemite National Park, ca. 1967. Arriving from the west, from San Francisco, the road rises very gradually and the mountains on both sides of the road get increasingly steep. For miles, it felt like we were going down, although my in-car altimeter and logic said we were going up. It was sure to be an illusion, so we stopped the car and tried to roll a soda can on the road (very light traffic in April, in those days). The can refused to roll the way we thought it should, down in the forward direction, so we definitely were subject to a natural illusion. It can be persuasive.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:35 AM
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I thought it was cool to drive from Istanbul (on the Eurasian Tectonic Plate) to the rest of Turkey (on the Anatolian Tectonic Plate) via the Bosphorus Strait Bridge. I'm not positive, but I think it's the only city in the world that straddles two plates.
Never heard of San Francisco? Part on the Pacific, part on the N.A. plate. They had a famous quake 100+ years ago you might have heard of. (Plus several other smaller cities.)

If I stand at the top of my driveway, I'm at eye-level with a continental divide. Can anybody else here claim something like that from their property? Sounds anomalous to me.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:42 AM
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There's a stream near Scranton that does this to me. If you look at it northward on the road you see the stream angle toward the center part of the valley, much lower than the hill you are about to climb: surely the water moves toward that faraway gap in the hills. Then look southbound and all you can see is the hill rising slightly. Yet the water moves southbound toward the seeming higher ground.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:50 AM
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How about this - a triple continental divide not too far from where I grew up.

Allegheny River to Gulf of Mexico
Genesee River to the Atlantic via the St Lawrence
Susquehanna River to the Atlantic via Chesapeake Bay
That happens in northern Minnesota too. Water can travel:
--South to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River
--North via the Red River of the North to Hudson Bay
--East via the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence to the Atlantic
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:25 AM
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Not too long ago, I read that a tiny bit of South Carolina is in the Mississippi drainage basin. I'm talking a few acres right on the straight portion of the North Carolina border in either Pickens County or Oconee County. It's swampy land so the direction of flow is not immediately obvious. The fact was discovered quite recently by a teenager poring over online maps, and confirmed by the USGS. Unfortunately I can't find the story online now.
You know, I'm wondering if it's not this spot: 35°05'08.1"N 82°47'04.9"W

if you look at the terrain, it appears that this area of South Carolina may drain into the Sal Tom Creek and hence into the French Broad River, then to the Tennessee River, and then to the Mississippi.

What do you think?
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:31 AM
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Kaskaskia, IL is the only Illinois town west of the Mississippi. And only because the river decided to follow a new course after a flood and screw everyone up.
Interesting. And it looks like the only way to access it by road is through Missouri. Looks like there's only one road from the southwest that leads into it. (And it looks like the Google Street View car has never visited it yet.) Only a population of 14 in 2000 and looks like the entire precinct is something like 36, but it does have a church and a cemetery (as it used to be somewhat populous, reaching a population of 7000 in the 18th century.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-17-2020 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:49 AM
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Most people believe the entire state of MI is within the Great Lakes Watershed.
I have a feeling you may be underestimating the amount of people who even know what the Great Lakes Watershed even is to believe the entire state of MI is within it. (Heck, I didn't know what it was until now.)
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:02 AM
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if you look at the terrain, it appears that this area of South Carolina may drain into the Sal Tom Creek and hence into the French Broad River, then to the Tennessee River, and then to the Mississippi.

What do you think?
I'm inclined to agree (if there's any such place). West of Moorefield Highway (178) we're definitely in the Savannah system, and to the east, the rugged border seems to follow exactly the watershed (it's not drawn entirely accurate in Google maps).
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:08 AM
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I have a feeling you may be underestimating the amount of people who even know what the Great Lakes Watershed even is to believe the entire state of MI is within it. (Heck, I didn't know what it was until now.)
Well, by people I mean map-literate primates.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:09 AM
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For the optical illusions, the most famous (at least in Canada) is Magnetic Hill, near Moncton New Brunswick.

https://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/P...Magnetic-Hill/
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:13 AM
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If I stand at the top of my driveway, I'm at eye-level with a continental divide. Can anybody else here claim something like that from their property? Sounds anomalous to me.
Not I, but I could see the edge of the Allegheny Plateau, and was only a couple miles from the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico Divide (and probably less than 100 miles from the triple point jasg mentions.)
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:46 AM
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For the optical illusions, the most famous (at least in Canada) is Magnetic Hill, near Moncton New Brunswick.

https://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/P...Magnetic-Hill/
Yeah, there's a few of these around. I seem to recall one in Pennsylvania as we were on our way to Harrisburg from the west, but it was a little bit of a drive off the interstate, and it didn't seem like the most impressive example of this optical illusion.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:46 AM
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The Great Lakes watershed doesn't encompass what many people think. It's heavily weighted towards the north. For example, although eastern Wisconsin is close to Lake Michigan, due to geology and geography, very little EW naturally drains to the lake, but instead, flows west into the Mississippi Valley.

Towards the southern part of the state. only a tiny sliver of land near the lake is actually in the GL Watershed; the N-S line passes thru western Milwaukee Metro. This presents a problem, because the Great Lakes Compact (between Canada & US) prohibits drawing from Lake Michigan (even wells) and discharging outside of the watershed, i.e., Mississippi Valley. Exceptions have been granted, but it's not automatic, and quite controversial.

Sending GL water to Arizona has been proposed (pipelines or tanker ships), and although it might be feasible from an engineering standpoint, it would have to overcome the GL Compact, a highly unlikely possibility.

Although, this year, I'd welcome someone who would haul a couple-bazillion gallons of Lake Michigan somewhere else, and maybe I could get my beach back and save my house.
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