Funny how ideas evolve.
Originally, this was to be a GeoQuiz on U.S. interstates. You were to answer questions such as Ogallala, Neb., and
Youngstown, Ohio, are both on what interstate?"
It had possibilities, but would that subject carry the whole quiz without losing a reader or two?
A look at the map can carry one away. The quiz turned into more of a potpourri thing. It incorporated national parks, capital cities, distances and directions.
The thought occurred to add an international flavor, to ask such questions as, If you went from Juneau, Alaska, to
Paris, France, have you traveled more north or south?"
But in the end, it seemed better to stick to our own country. Keep things simple, you know.
Yes, yes. I hear you. Let's get on with today's quiz.
Oh, and if you've already been playing GeoQuiz in the intro, Ogallala and Youngstown are both on Interstate 80, and
Juneau is farther north than Paris. The latter is kind of a double-reverse psychology question, because you'd think
at first that Juneau was farther north, but then you'd think, That's too easy," so you'd change your answer to
Paris. But then you'd be wrong, because Juneau is much farther north at 58 degrees latitude to Paris's 49 degrees.
Don't worry, the following 15 questions aren't a psych job. Or are they? Answers on Page 11C: 1. Columbia and
Columbus are the capitals of what states, respectively?
2. The place that later became Hot Springs National Park was federally protected with a proclamation from a U.S.
president in 1832. It was made a national park in 1921. In what state is it? And just for fun, name that U.S.
3. You leave Chicago and head south on Interstate 55. When you get to Memphis, 530 miles later, have you traveled
more east or west?
4. You leave Telluride and head for Durango on a series of twisting mountain roads. Assuming you're not wiped off the
highway by an avalanche and arrive in Durango, have you traveled more east or west?
5. You leave Jacksonville on Interstate 10 and continue on to Los Angeles. What states will you visit and how many
times must you stop to pee?
6. You're traveling from Arkansas to Virginia, via interstate. What is the minimum number of states you must pass
through? What interstates should you use?
7. Voyageurs National Park is in what state? What's the top recreation activity there?
8. Death Valley National Park is in what two states?
9. Yellowstone National Park is in what three states?
10. The cities of Warwick, Woonsocket and Wickford Junction are in what state?
11. What words or names are found in multiple states?
12. There's a reason that The Simpsons" takes place in Springfield. There are many Springfields in the United
States. Guess how many states have Springfields, within five.
12a. Only one Springfield is a capital. Which state?
13. Which of these cities is not on Interstate 5? San Diego; Fresno, Calif.; Sacramento, Calif.; Salem, Ore.;
14. Interstate 80 and Interstate 90 split (or converge, I suppose) near Gary, Ind. They end in cities 808 miles apart
on the West Coast. Name the cities.
15. We saved the most complicated for last. This way, if you're really in a hurry, sorry, but you're gonna be late.
Rank, in order, from shortest to longest by road miles, the distance from Durango to these cities: Montrose; Salt
Lake City; Chicago; Alamosa; Albuquerque; Denver; Grand Junction; Calgary, Alberta; and Salida.
Answers: 1. Columbia, S.C., and Columbus, Ohio. (Columbia, Mo., is not a capital.) 2. Arkansas. President Andrew
4. West. This one still blows me away. Doesn't it seem that Durango is way east of Telluride?
5. Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. According to MapQuest.com
it's 2,421.86 miles. If you average 60 mph (that's including stops), you'll be on the road for about 40 hours. At a
potty break every two hours, you will stop to pee 20 times.
6. Just one: Tennessee. Start in West Memphis, Ark., on I-40, and take I-81 when it splits off just east of
7. Minnesota. Canoeing or boating.
8. California and Nevada. Just a tiny bit is in Nevada.
9. Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Almost all Yellowstone is in Wyoming.
10. Rhode Island.
11. Carolina (North and South), Dakota (North and South), New (there's a bunch), North (Carolina and Dakota), South
(Carolina and Dakota), Virginia (West and plain ol' Virginia).
12. 34 or 35 states have towns named Springfield. Rand McNally lists 34, so let's go with that.
13. Fresno, Calif. - the city that doesn't begin with S."
14. Interstate 80 terminates in San Francisco and Interstate 90 in Seattle.
15. Distances from Durango to these cities, using MapQuest: Montrose, 106.
Grand Junction, 168.
Salt Lake City, 394.