Most of you probably know that Arlington Place is a riverfront neighborhood located in Minnesott Beach, NC and is known for having some of the highest elevations in Pamlico County. But did you know that AP is also located smack dab on the 35th parallel aka 35° north latitude or 35N for short? If we’re going to get technical (and since I’m a graduate from Appalachian State Universities Geography department we’ll definitely get technical 🙂 ) 35.00° north latitude passes right through the AP playground!
Each degree of latitude is roughly 69 miles apart. So in our area traveling to the north one degree would land you very close to Edenton and almost directly on top of the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. In the middle of the state that would place you near Durham and in the western part of NC you’d be close to Linville Falls. Along the southern boundary in the eastern part of the state you’d be near Portsmouth. In the central region you’d be in Fayetteville, and in mountainous western area you’d find yourself in Highlands.
Being the adventure inclined geography nerd that I am this got me thinking… what areas would you pass through if you left AP and traveled west around the world staying within the bounds of the 35th parallel? I decided that I needed to find some answers to that question and it was quite easy thanks to Google Earth and its comprehensive database of global imagery and information.
So if I were to set out from AP and head west around the world within the 35th parallel here are 10 spots I’d explore.
1. Chattanooga, TN
The first stop on our trip is about 600 miles from AP and was a favorite climbing destination for me. The sandstone cliffs along the Tennessee river offer up some amazing climbing opportunities with spectacular views. But those trips were solely focused on climbing and I’ve yet to venture into the city proper which has been hailed as one of the best cities in the US for outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, according to visitchattanooga.com…
“Surrounded By Mountains and the Tennessee River that winds through the heart of downtown, Chattanooga has earned a reputation as one of the best outdoor cities in the nation. In fact, Outside magazine has named Chattanooga the “Best Town Ever” twice and one of the 24 Best Mountain Towns in the U.S. for 2022.”
2. Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
We’re now roughly 1,100 miles from AP and entering the heart of America. Arkansas is known as “The Natural State” and according to the US Forest Service website The Ozark-St. Francis National Forest puts the natural in The Natural State of Arkansas. With over 1.2 million acres to explore and boundless opportunities for camping, fishing, caving, hiking, biking and off-roading there’s a little something for everyone.
3. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
The next stop on our adventure is about 1,000 miles from our previous stop in the Ozarks and roughly 2,100 miles from AP. Despite the name there’s nothing to be scared of, unless not observing daylight savings time scares you. The Petrified Forest NP is known for its fossils, particularly those of fallen trees from over 200 million years ago. Back then the region that is now the park was near the equator on the southwestern edge of the supercontinent Pangea. I’ve not visited the park but have driven past it on I-40 and can attest to the magnificent colors of this semi-desert landscape.
4. Inyokern, California
Roughly 2,600 miles west of AP we come to an old railroad town in California named Inyokern. The population in 2020 was 988 which makes it about the size of Oriental. Inyokern has several claims to fame such as the most sunshine of any place on the North American continent with 355 sunny days per year. It’s also home to past and current world champion musical saw players! But this will just be a stopover for exploring the vast Sequoia National Forest roughly 45 miles to the west. Sequoia NF is home to the Giant Sequoia tree and home to the famous General Sherman. I can attest that standing beneath one of these magnificent trees is an awe inspiring experience.
5. Mill Creek Trail, Big Sur, California
Approximately 2,900 miles into our journey we’ve reached the Pacific Coast and our final destination in the US on our tour of the 35th parallel. It only seems fitting that we finish this leg of our journey at another Mill Creek. This one being located along the breathtaking route of Highway 1 in Big Sur, California. According to hikingbigsur.com, “Mill Creek Trail is one of the spookier hikes in Big Sur since you are threading a deeply wooded and rocky canyon with little open sky. You’ll also notice that many of the huge redwoods have been cut down years ago, with their stumps remaining as silent testament to their grandeur.”
6. Tokyo, Japan
With over 8,000 miles and the with Pacific Ocean now between us and AP it’s time for some urban exploring in Japan’s busy capital of Tokyo. There’ll be no limitations on things to do but touring the city streets in go kart dressed as your favorite Mario Kart character will be first on the list!
7. Busan, South Korea
Thousands of miles from AP but only about 600 from Tokyo is Busan, South Korea, the second most populous city and the next stop on our 35th parallel adventure. Busan is a large port city with the busiest port in South Korea and the 6th busiest in the world. It’s well known for its beaches, mountains and Buddhist temples. Busan is also famous for its International Film Festival which was the first ever film festival in Korea and one of the most important film festivals in all of Asia.
8. Famagusta, Cyprus
Over 5,000 miles from Busan and almost 14,000 miles from our starting point at AP we arrive to the east coast of Cyprus and the lovely seaside city of Famagusta. The city was founded in 274 BC and was an important port city along the Silk Road. The historic city center is surrounded by the fortifications of Famagusta, which have a roughly rectangular shape, built mainly by the Venetians in the 15th and 16th centuries, though some sections of the walls have been dated earlier times, as far as 1211.
9. Birgu, Malta
Continuing along the 35th parallel for another 1,800 miles we arrive in Birgu, Malta and find ourselves almost 16,000 miles into our travels from AP. Malta is the 10th smallest country by area and the 4th most densely populated sovereign country in the world. Malta is home to three UNESCO world heritage sites, the Hypogeum of Ħal Saflieni, the city of Valletta, and the Megalithic Temples of Malta which have been determined to be some of the oldest free standing structures in the world.
10. Tangier, Morocco
We’ve now covered nearly 18,000 miles since heading west from AP and have reached the final destination on our adventure around the 35th parallel. Tangier is approximately 2,200 miles west of Malta and famously known as a haven for international spies both real and fictional. References to Tangier can be seen in the classic James Bond films From Russia with Love, The Living Daylights and SPECTRE. The immaculate blue and white houses earned it the nickname “the blue and white city” but it’s the birthplace of the Tangerine, a delightfully delicious mandarin orange hybrid first cultivated here.
11. Arlington Place
Nearly 4,000 miles from Tangier we arrive back to AP. We’ve covered close to 22,000 miles on our journey around the 35th parallel. We’ve seen some amazing cities and vastly different landscapes within the 35ths 69 mile wide swath. When it comes to the benefits and rewards of traveling I like to think that Mark Twain said it best…
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
True as that may be I also know one thing else for certain… It’s GOOD to be HOME!