Monday, June 05, 2006

My own little corner of the USA, no Canada, no the USA...

You probably remember from your grade school geography class that the 49th Parallel is the boundary between the U.S. and Canada between Vancouver Island and Minnesota. This produces the curious fact that -- if your are driving -- you have to go through Canada to reach Point Roberts, Washington. Map above.

East of the Minnesota, a bunch of Canada is so far south of the 49th Parallel that 27 states are in whole or in part north on the southernmost point of Canada (Middle Island, Ontario). Twelve states are entirely north of Middle Island.

This brings us to the Northwest Angle of Minnesota -- usually just called the Angle. Besides Point Roberts, it is the only other part of one of the contiguous 48 states that you have to drive through Canada to get to -- like Point Robert, you can go directly by boat.

Unlike Point Roberts, however, the Angle sticks up above the 49th Parallel, making it the northernmost point in the contiguous United States, and Angle Inlet the northernmost town in the contiguous 48. (Maine just looks as if it is the most north point because of map distortions.) It is a 40 mile drive to get from the rest of Minnesota to the Angle -- this means crossing the international border between the U.S. and Canada twice.

The customs check point between Canada and the United States, whether entering or leaving the Angle, is on the honor system. Yes, the honor system. The crossing is officially "Jim's Corner" and the custom house is the little shack in the photo below dwarfed by the sign. It has a video phone to connect to either U.S. or Canadian customs, but that apparently seldom works. If nothing else, the little shack is larger than some Amtrak stations.

1 comment:

The Phoenix said...

So...this is the what Canada will use as its invasion point. Remember that big black out that his the Northeast a couple years ago? You think that was an accident?

The Canadians are sharpening their ice skates as we speak.
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because they crave massive federal debt????