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"Stupid or shocking" travel / geography related things you just learned about

"Stupid or shocking" travel / geography related things you just learned about

Old Oct 15, 17, 1:53 pm
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"Stupid or shocking" travel / geography related things you just learned about

Appalachian Mountains

Born in the Midwest, but lived most of my adult life on West Coast of USA. So I have traveled to various points in the East (of Mississippi), but outside of select places, the geography is not as familiar to me as say the Western USA. Though I did drive through many Eastern states when I went from Boston to Florida then crossing back to the West Coast as part of a 3-month road trip around the USA.

So anyway... this is a thread to share places (anywhere in the world) that - to you - seem shocking in the sense of -- "oh, I didn't know that, now I feel stupid." Include things you knew, but - "didn't really realize."

I say the Eastern part of the USA, geographically, is mostly flat (And boring)...and the mountains there aren't very tall, relatively speaking. After all I did drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and wasn't overly impressed. Being used to 10,000+ feet mountains in CA and WA.

http://www.blueridgeparkwaydaily.com...elevation-map/

Not sure how much of it I drove on or what the highest part was....but after doing some more recent research, I think I have underestimated the Appalachians in both beauty and size. Surely my perspective has changed over time in what I appreciate too.

So -- I didn't realize there were so many mid-size peaks in the Appalachians -noted below. And places which appear to be quite scenic. Lake Placid being one below. Other views in Maine seem enticing as well.


"The summit of North Carolina’s Mt. Mitchell is the highest in the east, at 6,684 feet. It’s followed closely by nearby Mt. Craig (6,647 feet), Clingman’s Dome (6,643 feet, Tennessee/North Carolina), Mt. Guyot (6,621 feet, North Carolina), Balsam Cone (6,611 feet, North Carolina), Mt. LeConte (6,593 feet, Tennessee), Mt. Gibbes (6,571 feet, North Carolina), Potato Hill (6,475 feet, North Carolina), Mt. Chapman (6,417 feet, North Carolina/Tennessee) and Richland Balsam (6,410 feet, North Carolina)."

Source:






So..that's my stupid mea culpa for today.

Last edited by EqualOpp; Oct 15, 17 at 2:01 pm Reason: grammar fix
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Old Oct 15, 17, 2:04 pm
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One more - Smoky Mountains view

and Gatlinburg, TN
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Old Oct 15, 17, 9:38 pm
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Cruise ship routing out of Copenhagen

I took a Baltic cruise that embarked in Copenhagen. The first port was in Germany. I assumed the ship would departing Copenhagen and head right across the Baltic to Germany. Instead the ship turned north and took a longer routing around the island to the north side before heading south across the Baltic.
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Old Oct 15, 17, 11:42 pm
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The Appalachians are often underestimated by people from out west. They actually are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, predating the formation of the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada by millions of years. Geologically, they're more closely related to the Highlands of Scotland. The weather observatory on top of Mt. Washington (6288') in NH actually held the world record for highest wind speed ever recorded for about 80 years.

I was similarly shocked when I moved from NH to CA a few years ago. Not with the mountains so much but driving across the extent of the Great Basin it's mind boggling to see how much of the western US is totally cut off from the oceans. An incredibly different environment than anything I had seen before.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 8:09 am
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My return leg from BZN to MAN was due to change in ORD. I was told that the first leg was cancelled and I would be put on the next plane. This led to a 40 hour trip instead of 14 hour. I noticed that Chicago was on the I90 and suggested to a Bozeite local that I drive instead. He damn near fell off his chair laughing and told me to put in into Google Maps. It was 1,400 miles and would've taken me two days. It was only then that I realised just how <redacted by moderator> big the USA is.

Last edited by JY1024; Oct 25, 17 at 5:00 pm Reason: moderator edit: please watch your language
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Old Oct 16, 17, 8:17 am
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Although it doesn't look exactly that way on a flat map, Los Angeles isn't really west of Las Vegas (okay, some parts of it are, because it's sooo big). Vegas is actually almost due north of LA. It's all about the great circle flying routes, and all that. And, by the way, LA is considerably east of San Francisco.

At least that's what the pilots tell me.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 9:24 am
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You head south from Detriot to get to Canada, the Great White North.

Shame: I married a Windsor girl!
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Old Oct 16, 17, 9:35 am
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How many Canadian Cities are actually further south than the US borer. Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton - all are actually south of the most northern point in Maine. And, the most northern point in Maine is actually south of Seattle. That means a good majority of Canadians actually live south of Seattle!
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Old Oct 16, 17, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by steve4031 View Post
I took a Baltic cruise that embarked in Copenhagen. The first port was in Germany. I assumed the ship would departing Copenhagen and head right across the Baltic to Germany. Instead the ship turned north and took a longer routing around the island to the north side before heading south across the Baltic.
This may have to do with managing time in port. Ships contract for a specific departure time and then have a scheduled arrival at the next port. Probably cheaper to casually cruise to the next port than to pay expensive dock time, especially when you'd arrive in the middle of the night. No need to be there until the pax have had their brekkie in any case.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 10:42 am
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Parts of the great northern state of Maine are farther south than parts of Iowa.

You can go directly south from Grant Park in Chicago and hit Florida.

90% of China is lactose intolerant. And up to 65% of the global population. North America/Europe are outliers.

Traveling from my office in downtown Pittsburgh to downtown Miami, I go west.

Yep, 64% of the Canadian residents live south of Seattle.

Pittsburgh is closer to Washington DC than Manhattan is to DC.

Last edited by CPRich; Oct 16, 17 at 10:53 am
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Old Oct 16, 17, 12:56 pm
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Alaska is the easternmost state in the U.S. (Also westernmost and northernmost, but that was obvious.)

I still find myself taken aback by the raw distances of the western U.S. I remember thinking at one point that I could plan out a weeklong roadtrip involving the Black Hills, Yellowstone, Glacier, the Canadian Rockies, and the Cascades. When I got around to looking at actual driving distances, it became obvious that was realistically more like a 3 week roadie to actually stop and explore a bit in each of those places.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 4:51 pm
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I never realized until I read somewhere (and confirmed on a map) that all of South America is east of Detroit.

El Paso, TX is closer to San Diego, CA than it is to Houston - both great circle and driving distance.

Although Texas is pretty big, Alaska is more than twice the size of Texas.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 5:04 pm
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Old Oct 16, 17, 5:13 pm
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North Dakota and east-central Montana are not flat and boring to drive across (I'd spent a month on Boeing Flight Test deployments at Glasgow MT in 1980-81, but didn't get a chance to go more than maybe 20 miles away by car; this was my first time in ND)

Originally Posted by TuxTom View Post
... driving across the extent of the Great Basin it's mind boggling to see how much of the western US is totally cut off from the oceans. ...
I grew up in Albuquerque NM, but every time I transit the area between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada (western NM, western CO, AZ, UT, NV) I'm in awe of just how much you can see the actual land ... it doesn't matter whether it's from the highway or from the window of the 737 at 37000 feet (although in point of fact I prefer the view from the window of the Q400 at 23000 feet)
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Old Oct 16, 17, 7:55 pm
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Originally Posted by LAX2Anywhere View Post
I never realized until I read somewhere (and confirmed on a map) that all of South America is east of Detroit.

El Paso, TX is closer to San Diego, CA than it is to Houston - both great circle and driving distance.

Although Texas is pretty big, Alaska is more than twice the size of Texas.
With the exception of part of Cape Cod and the state of Maine, all of the US lies west of the easternmost point of the Pacific.

And probably more well known, traversing the Panama Canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific you travel southeast, not southwest.
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