The Third in my Four Corners of the USA Quest

“I collect places.”

It’s an odd thing to say, but becoming very true as we continue this traveling lifestyle. 

I’m on a quest to collect the four corners of the contiguous/mainland USA. I can’t seem to find any online references to these spots as a group, so maybe I’m alone in this (which would be so appropriate).

I can’t even quite come up with a good pithy definition of what these points are that doesn’t require 2 minutes of explanation.

NW - Cape Flattery, WA

It all started when we visited Cape Flattery in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington.

That was the Northwest corner - you could go further North in the continental US but not be as far West, and further West but not be as far North.

It’s looking at the combination of the two directions that for some reason fascinates me.

Cape Flattery exists on an Indian reservation so we had to buy a special pass to visit there.  I remember two things about it - the Cape itself was breathtaking, but the parking lot and trail were trashy. I know there is a long political history and lots of extenuating factors but I was disappointed to see that the land wasn’t better cared for.

SW - Border Field State Park, CA

My second grab in this collection was the Southwest corner which is the odd and depressing Border Field State Park which sits at the border between the US and Mexico South of San Diego.

Border Field State Park is in a similar position - you can go more South and not be as West, or more West and not be as South.

You’d think an ocean-front chunk of land in California would get treated better as well, but with a road subject to flooding, sewage-infested water, and overly dramatic presence of the Border Patrol this visit didn’t leave us proud to be Americans.

The Mexican people we could see through the fence looked to be having a better time with their land than we were with ours.

SE - Riviera Beach, FL

We are currently in Florida and I wanted to get number three in this series.

This one was a puzzle as the shape of the country here doesn’t provide for as nice and obvious of a “corner” as the other three do. Studying the map it got to be a bit arbitrary, but we calculated the Southeast “corner” to be Riviera Beach, FL.

I could find points along the coast that were further South, but not as East. Further East, yes, but also more North.

We found a nice city park nestled into the hotels, condos and shopping malls. It might not be the most exact SE point but would be close enough for our purposes.

 

 

The trick was timing, but the campground MsBoyink had us booked into played our hand for us. With numerous empty sites surrounding us they were unable to extend us past the one initial night we had booked, so we had to visit the beach with the trailer attached.

Beating the Crowds

That meant early morning was going to be best and I realized that while we had experienced numerous sunsets over water we had never watched the sun rise over water, and this would be the chance to do that.

I expected some push-back from the kids about getting rolling by 6AM for a 7AM sunrise, but greased the skids a bit with cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate to be consumed on the beach.

I’m happy to say that we were rolling out of the campground at 5:56AM - a new record for us. We easily found parking by the beach and there were even chaise-lounges to enjoy the warm ocean breeze. There were enough clouds for a dramatic sunrise and other than a few joggers we had the place to ourselves.

Boyink by the Atlantic

Boyink by the Atlantic

Dramatic clouds

Dramatic clouds

Miranda by the water

Miranda by the water

MsBoyink having coffee with her sunrise

MsBoyink having coffee with her sunrise

Boyink kids reclining and eating

Boyink kids reclining and eating

There it is...right on schedule

There it is...right on schedule

Still dramatic

Still dramatic

A bit out of place amidst the beachfront crowd

A bit out of place amidst the beachfront crowd

The Missing Place

With three of the four places collected now we set our sights on Quoddy Head State Park - where the Northeastern most point (also the Easternmost point in the US) is the oddly-named West Quoddy Head Lighthouse.

I guess we’ll figure that out when we get there.

7 Comments The Third in my Four Corners of the USA Quest

  1. Picture of Rebecca Kite Rebecca Kite April 10, 2014

    If your going to Maine a must stop is in Yarmouth to see the Delorme shop with the giant globe. Haven’t make it there yet but I hear it is awesome.  Cool to collect the 4 corners of the U.S. are you doing National Parks along the way? Safe travels. Becki

  2. Picture of Boyink Boyink April 11, 2014

    Thanks Rebecca - we’ll add that to the tickler list when we head up that way (not sure when that will be yet).

    We do visit National Parks - our most recent one was Big Cypress here in Florida. We’re not on a mission to “see them all” but try to visit them when we can.

  3. Picture of Melonie Melonie April 11, 2014

    Beautiful pictures.  Didn’t know the sunrise was so pretty ;), might just have to get up in time to see it for myself one of these days.

  4. Picture of Boyink Boyink April 11, 2014

    Thanks Melonie!

    I’m not typically a early bird but once in a while it’s well worth it. The last sunrise we got up for was Easter at the Grand Canyon.

  5. Picture of Joel Joel June 25, 2015

    Great blog Michael!!

    I’ve also had such a passion since I was in Cape Flattery, WA (Being a native of Washington State, it was also the place that started my passion for this adventure!) 

    I’ve been to Maine - when you go - follow the fence east of the light house; towards the edge of the cliff…you’ll see a corner where two fences meet—for me that was as far North and East as I could have gone (with out getting arrested or breaking any laws!)

    Currently living in Florida, I always thought Key West was the South East point…so thanks for the tip about Rivera Beach—guess I’ll have to take a short road trip next weekend!

    Now, regarding the Southwest corner.  I disagree with your assessment of the location of this corner.  If you look carefully on a map of California called “Cape Mendocino” [ https://www.google.com/maps/@40.4349515,-124.3995255,2715m/data=!3m1!1e3 ]  it’s just across from “Sugar Loaf Island”.  That is as far West and South as you can get.  Your location is more south, but not as far west as you can get.

    Hope you get to see your 4th corner!

  6. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink June 25, 2015

    I can see your point about the SW corner.

    I became fascinated with Border Field State Park because no one really talks about it much - it’s a rather dismal spot. Being able to see Mexico through the fence it felt more like a corner of the USA and shouldn’t be missed on a “Corners Quest”.

    Cape Mendocino somehow seems less satisfying as a corner in the West than Riveria Beach in the East. It doesn’t have much “Southness” to it. But we’re headed west again in the fall so will put it on the map to visit.

    Maine..not sure when that one is going to happen.

  7. Picture of Colin Paterson Colin Paterson July 14, 2015

    Love it. I’ve been to Border State Park and had been wanting to achieve the same goal. Good luck.

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