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Riding the 43rd parallel

Descriptions of Manlius, NY on the Internet include the information that the village is located at Latitude 43. 0 degrees, North, and Longitude - 76.1 degrees West. What is the importance of this? Very little probably, unless you are a geographer or navigating with a GPS.

The 43rd parallel travels through central Italy (south of Florence,) northern Spain, southern France, across the Atlantic, enters the United States along the coast of New Hamphshire, courses Vermont before arriving in New York State. Much to my delight, Manlius sits directly on this line which encircles the globe, 43 degrees north of the equator.

Before entering Manlius from Cazenovia, it is very nearly centered on Peck Hill Road, passing North of the elementary school on Enders Road, crossing into the Village of Manlius at the intersection of the Cazenovia Road (rte.92) and Seneca Street (Rte, 173). From there it goes near Flume Road such that if you stand on the bridge over Limestone Creek, you will stand on the 43rd parallel. If you turn up Troop K Road, you will find the 43rd parallel right on the crosswalk of the Calvary Club.

What does this mean? If you should travel to Southern France, near Lourdes for instance, use your GPS to locate 43 degrees latitude, and you will be standing right across the Atlantic Ocean from your home in Manlius. If you travel west, you will cross the United States passing near Muskegon, Michigan, follow the Nebraska/South Dakota border, and all the way to southern Oregon ( not far from Medford,) after passing through Wyoming and Idaho.

Sapporo, Japan, site of the 1972 winter Olympics, is on Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido, close to 43 degrees latitude. Continuing to travel westward along the 43rd parallel will take you through some of the remotest places in the world -- from Vladivostok, along the North Korea/China border, through Mongolia to the Russian Caspian and Black seas.

Our troops in Afghanistan , serve rather far south of our latitude, but Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia share our relationship north of the Equator.

I do not know why I find this to be thrilling. Perhaps, it is because in geography classes no one ever pointed out how longitude, and, in this case, latitude, connected us so precisely to other places and people on the globe.

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