The United States is a vast and geographically diverse country. The climate can vary from 20 below Fahrenheit all the way up to over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Towns in the U.S. can range from a population as little as one to over eight million. Sections of the country can be located over 1,000 miles from the nearest ocean, or be flush with coastline. While parts of America can be truly beautiful, they can also be inherently dangerous with high altitudes and extreme temperatures.
With all the extremities that exist in the United States, we’ve compiled a list of the most extreme moves in the U.S.:
Highest to Lowest Population
New York, New York to Monowi, Nebraska: The smallest town in the United States has a population of just one. Elise Eiler is the only resident of Monowi, Nebraska. Eiler maintains her home, a library, and a tavern in the town. Can you imagine moving from New York City, with a population of over 8 million, to a town with a population of just 1? While it would seem lonely, it could help to get a better night’s sleep!
Easternmost Point to Westernmost Point (Contiguous U.S.)
West Quoddy Head, Lubec, Maine to Cape Alava, Washington part of the Olympic National Park: This move would take you from the point where the sun first touches the United States to the last place it sets in the lower 48. Both of these areas are strikingly beautiful. West Quoddy Head maintains a lighthouse on the Atlantic coast and Cape Alava represents the edge of the massive Olympic National Park. In total, the move would take you 3,585 miles, a 54 hour drive according to Google Maps.
Largest Difference in Altitude
Furnace Creek, California to Alma, Colorado: Furnace Creek, California is located within Death Valley National Park. While it is famous for its extreme heat, Death Valley is also the lowest point in the United States. At 282 feet below sea level, Death Valley is the 8th lowest point in the world. In contrast, Alma, Colorado is located 10,353 feet above sea level. At 1.96 miles high in altitude Alma is nearly the “Two-Mile High City.”
Largest Average Temperature Difference
Barrow, Alaska to Marathon, FL: Located above the Arctic Circle, Barrow, Alaska has an average temperature of just 11.7 degrees Fahrenheit according to Weather.com. Much further south in the Florida Keys, Marathon, Florida maintains the highest yearly average temperature in the U.S. at 78.5 degrees Fahrenheit according to CurrentResults.com. Though Marathon does not experience the 120 degree heat common in Death Valley, it also maintains a warmer temperature at night. Since the temperature is more constant in the Florida Keys than desert areas, Marathon upholds the title for highest average annual temperature.
Northernmost Point to Southernmost Point (Continental U.S.)
Angle Inlet, Minnesota to Key West, Florida: The Angle Inlet is the only part of the continental United States located above the 49th parallel (U.S.-Canada border). In order to reach the Angle Inlet, you have to drive through Manitoba, or travel by boat to stay within U.S. boundaries. The geographic oddity is due to a clerical error that occurred in the Treaty of Paris in 1783. While northern Minnesota can certainly be beautiful, it’s quite different from the tropical paradise of Key West. The island on the southwestern edge of Florida maintains a tourist attraction claiming to be the southernmost point in the continental U.S. However, the attraction is actually slightly north of the actual southernmost point on the private island of Ballast Key.
Cloudiest to Sunniest city
Buffalo, New York to Yuma, Arizona: The amount of sunshine a person is exposed to can have a major effect on a person’s health. More sunlight can lead to better mental health. On the other hand, greater exposure to sunlight poses health risks such as skin cancer. If you live in Buffalo, sunlight becomes less of a threat. According to CurrentResults.com, Buffalo is cloudy 85% of the year, with 311 cloudy days. In contrast, Yuma, Arizona is sunny 90% of the time from sunrise to sunset. 242 out of 365 days in Yuma are clear, meaning clouds cover less than one third of the sky. Moving from Buffalo to Yuma certainly would make for a drastic difference in climate. However, it might be tough to find the same quality of wings!
Shortest to Longest Average Commute
Buffalo, New York to New York, New York: Buffalo area residents have an average commute of just 20 minutes compared to 34.7 minutes in New York, According to CNN Money. It’s no surprise that New York City has the longest commute. However, it may come as a shock is that the city with the shortest commute is in the same state. Then again, the Buffalo metro area has a population just over 1 million compared to New York’s metro population near 20 million.
Longest Possible Move by River
Three Forks, Montana to Venice, Louisiana: This extreme move takes us back in time. To a time before the interstate system, or even the railroad network. If you were bold enough to move by river, the longest route would take you from the headwaters of the Missouri River all the way to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi. According to US Geological Survey the Missouri River is 2,341 miles long. The river begins in Three Forks, Montana and drains into the Mississippi in St. Louis. From there, according to Bucktrack.com, it would be about 1180 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. The route in total is 3,521 miles long. The interstate system is much more efficient, as this route would only take 2,098 miles by car according to Google Maps.
Furthest Point from the Oceans to Honolulu
Near Kyle South Dakota to Honolulu Hawai’i: The furthest point from either ocean in North America lies at a longitude of -101.97 and latitude of 43.36, according to a study conducted by Daniel Garcia-Castellanos and Umberto Lombardo on poles of inaccessibility. This location is about 7 miles north of the town of Kyle, South Dakota in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The spot lies just over 1,018 miles from either ocean. Imagine living near Kyle, one of the most isolated places from an ocean on earth, and moving to the heart of Waikiki Beach. However, Kyle’s distance from the ocean doesn’t make it boring. The Pine Ridge Reservation is located near the Badlands National Park.