Do you ever dream of adventure, or yearn to travel to distant lands? Have you ever imagined traveling to the four corners of the earth? In the novels I’ve read, the thoughts of these journeys have brought forth visions of mysteries and wonders…
This weekend, I got my wish. Well, sort of. I was able to travel to one of the four “corners” of the world. And while there were no enchanted paths or magical tests or trials required to get there, it was still worth traveling to. Amusingly enough, this corner of the world is located in Poniatowski, Wisconsin.
Yes, I’m a nerd. I love the gimmicky points-of-interest that that evoke a sense of accomplishment and the bragging rights of “Yes, I’ve been there!”
It all started with a simple visit to a 45th parallel marker, north of Green Bay, WI. There are many such markers throughout the states along the 45th, but after stopping at this one, my fuzzy brain recalled seeing a write-up about the 45×90, a “corner” of the earth, posted recently on Facebook. I knew then, I simply must find that marker and visit it.
It was a lovely mid-70’s day, overcast and perfect for driving. After driving nearly 3 hours with the occasional stop for gas station “roller food” and coffee, we traveled through rolling farmland, miles of forest, and ginseng fields. At last (Thank you, Google) we finally found the location.
The 45×90 point was a short drive down Meridian Road, about a half hour West of Wausau, WI. This is THE center of the Northwestern hemisphere, 45°N latitude x 90°W longitude! Yeahhhhh, we made the trek and uh, conquered it.
We walked down the lonesome gravel path, adorned with wild flowers and a few benches for relaxing, until we reached the concrete pad marking “the spot.” There were a few interesting info-graphics and the area was fenced in, to keep folks out of the farmer’s field. It looked like the state had purchased the land from the farmer, along with the path area, because there were several warning signs on each side of the path, and it really was in the middle of a farm field.
Side note: After my visit, I realized I have numerous relatives in the area, in Dorchester, and never knew about this spot and how it was so close to them.
Up until recently, there was a marker at an incorrect location. It was approximately 1,000 feet west of the true spot, which as of last year, has been updated. The newly updated marker locates the only “corner” of the world that is easily accessible. Two of the corners lie within the Indian and Pacific oceans, and the remaining one, some remote area in China.
After our visit, we headed back to the Wausau Area Visitor’s Center to sign the “45×90 Club” book, and to get a free commemorative coin. The book has been in existence since 1978 and is estimated to contain over 10,000 signatures. The coin we received was heavy – 4 oz – and durable. It will proudly go on display at my desk at work.
It was perfect goal for a day trip and an enjoyable drive through the countryside. If you go, make sure you make the trip to Wausau afterwards, to collect your coin and perhaps purchase some Wisconsin delights at the visitor center such as honey or ginseng.
Could it be, that someday an angel will hold back the winds in Poniatowski, Wisconsin at the end of time, as in Revelations 7:1?
Perhaps, but until then, the gentle winds blow and softly rustle the farm fields with a quiet, hushed sigh.