VANTAGE POINTS

6/18/2017

Living in the United States offers Americans who reside here a unique opportunity to stand in one location and view multiple states, just by rotating 360 degrees. With North America’s diverse geology, including 2 major North-South mountain ranges and a pair of immense oceans on each side, elevation above sea level has a distinct, but not a decisive, advantage. The highest point on this continent is Mt. McKinley, or Denali as it is also known, at 20,237 feet. This is one hell of a vantage point, but if you’re stout enough to climb this leviathan lump, all you will see on a clear day is one state: Alaska, and, NO, Sarah Palin, you can’t make out Russia, even from there. Traveling to the Southwestern United States at an elevation of 5,000 feet, you can be viewing, and standing in 4 States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah) all at once. Moving eastward through America, passed the Mississippi River, has an advantage, in that the states in this region are physically smaller and are, therefore, more numerous. Three locations exist where 5 States come into view: atop the Empire State Building in New York, standing on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, and on Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts. On Lookout Mountain in Georgia, they advertise you can see 7 states, but it is false. Only 5 are visible because 2 are beyond the curvature of the earth calculated at that elevation. There is only one place in this country where 7 States can be observed legitimately, and it is atop the highest man-made stone obelisk in the world, the Washington Monument. At 555 feet above its foundation, Maryland and Virginia are visible, even on a cloudy day. West Virginia’s mountains poke out on a clear day and looking straight down on the District of Columbia, even through the murky, obscure atmosphere of government, the other 4 states come into view. The State of Confusion, the State of Deception, the State of Deceit, and the State of Desperation come into focus, crystal clear. 

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