USA Geography Blind Spots

Look at this map:
or another one that shows the USA and its “contiguous” states.

Add to the list of things that you can see with your eyes but not keep straight in your mind, no matter how often you try to refresh your impressions with facts.

– Of the “Lower 48” Kansas is the “middle” state.
– Most of New Jersey, all of New England, Long Island and the eastern “tall part” of NY State, are all east of the “Outer Banks”
– The East Coast runs SW-NE and not S-N (or N-S)
– 20 states have an Ocean or Gulf as part of their borders, and 8 border the Great Lakes, leaving 20 that don’t border “Big Water”
– Roughly half of the USA-Canada border is a straight line; the only other E-W straight line is the one that forms the northern border of NC and runs (with a minor jog at Missouri) all the way to Nevada; there are no N-S straight lines that go border to border
– The West Coast states are where you can go border-to-border and cover the fewest states

What else can you find to add to the list?

QActually, all of the things you list are things that I keep perfectly in my mind. I’m not confused about them at all. So i wouldn’t be adding to your list, but substituting for it.
Some things that, I admit, surprised me when i first read/heard them (but don’t anymore, since I checked them):

–All of South America is East of Chicago
– Cape Cod is closer to Africa than Florida

– The United States (except for Alaska) is farther south than London

– Seattle is much farther west than San Diego

That arithmetic can’t be right, because:
(1) New York has the Atlantic as one border and two of the Great Lakes as another.
(2) I count 21 states of the lower 48 having the ocean as part of their boundaries.

But that does leave 20 without ocean or Great Lake boundaries.

Southern Ontario is the same latitude as Northern California.

You’re right on the 21. I had overlooked Rhode Island! At first I was wondering if I should have counted PA, since there is the Port there, but that’s river, right?

And I see that not counting NY as having both bodies of water on its borders messes with the math. Maybe counting NY twice and not counting RI at all?

Not long ago in a puzzle I worked I learned (followed it up with a wiki verification) that Duluth is the

Two other oddities:
The westernmost point of Virginia is to the west of the westernmost point of West Virginia.
From the largest city in the U.S. on the Canadian border (Detroit), you go south to enter Canada.

In an old thread I started there were some fun things that might fit in this one:

US Geography Trivia from 04-14-2007, 02:26 PM

Six states are farther north than Maine.
Alaska is the state farthest north, east, and west (the Aleutian Islands cross the 180th meridian).

Just to check… is this saying that the distance from Cape Cod to Africa is less than the distance from Florida to Africa?

I read it first as the distance from Cape Cod to Africa is less than the distance from Cape Cod to Florida, which surely isn’t the case?

When I hear Canadian cities in my mind I picture them all situated somewhere northward of the main US/Canadian border that runs from Minnesota to Washington (Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton). I forget that certain ones like Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec lie somewhere between Michigan and Maine.

Yes, and there are two Canadian cities (Windsor and Fort Erie) where, if you travel due north from the city, you enter the United States.

The southernmost point of Illinois (Cairo) is farther south than the northernmost points in Arizona and New Mexico.

I once drove from Oklahoma into New Mexico and felt like I was doing something really cool, because they “seem like” two states that don’t border.

Yes. That is correct. Cape Cod to Africa is shorter than Florida to Africa.
It wasn’t until after I posted that I realized there might be an ambiguity. But i didn’t change it because i really didn’t think anyone would think the alternative – that Cape Cod was closer to Africa than it was to Florida – was what I meant.

The three closest major cities to Sydney, Australia are:1) Honolulu (5065 mi); 2) Anchorage (7305); 3) San Francisco (7408). OK, that’s not just the lower 48.

From San Francisco, it’s over twice as far to Portland (826 miles) as it is to Los Angeles (347 miles).

That should be “The three closest major cities in the U.S. to Sydney …”. There are a lot of much larger cities closer to Sydney, e.g., Beijing, Tokyo, Calcutta, Jakarta. The closest three cities with a population over a million would be Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide

Portland is closer to Calgary (795 mi) than to San Francisco (826 mi).

You can’t really tell from that map, but Los Angeles is east of Reno.

:dubious: Uh-huh. The thread title specifically stated USA.

Florida is at the western end of the Eastern Time Zone, and some is in the Central Time Zone.