Monday, November 2, 2009

Geographical Center of the United States

Travel to every county of the United States and eventually you may come across the center of the whole country. I did just that in a visit with my wife to South Dakota this past September - and we discovered that the "Center of the Nation" is in the middle of nowhere.

This flag, on a private ranch in Butte County, South Dakota, marks that spot. We found it by following an unpaved road for several miles, then climbing through a barbed wire fence and hiking the last hundred yards or so. The nearest town is Belle Fourche, about 20 miles to the south.  

Embedded in concrete at the base of the flag is a reference mark (Center - No. 1) placed by the U. S. Coast Guard and Geodetic Survery in 1962. The flag and marker is surrounded by open prairie as far as the eye can see in all directions. It's a great spot in which to stand and contemplate the eternal verities of life.

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