First Impression: Back-country North America. Or Australia. I ALWAYS think it’s Australia when it’s this grainy gritty, but quite a lot of the US backcountry is ALSO lacking the hi-def camera that the second pass got. And right now between the red building, the white barn (hiding a school bus?) and the blue sky, combined with the fact that it is VERY NEARLY July 4th here, I’m going to gamble and say we’re in the US.
Looking around. My god, it’s desolate on the southern side of the camera. And FLAT. Very Australian. And very possibly Texan.
That sure does look like a US road sign. Highway 83. Whee.
North is super desolate too. Wow. Are we in a Dakotas state?
I was hoping this smear on the Northern Horizon would offer some kind of clue as to where this road was headed. I always remind myself that the Google Car has to be able to GET here and usually has SOMEWHERE to go.
But this just turned out to be a farm.
It’s SO flat up here, I’m thinking thoughts about the curvature of the earth and wondering if the Flat Earthers realise the inherent flatness of the plains ACTUALLY reveals the curvature, because if everything was flat, eventually you’d see the mountains bounding the flatness. But you don’t. Ergo, there must be a very slight curve relative to you so that things look flat but bend away in the distance.
It’s very frustrating, since I’ve passed two markers for tiny settlements off in the distance, but none of the signs are that legible. I suppose this one miiiiight read UZER?
All I know is that I’m on the 83 North somewhere in the US and that I’ve passed two towns so tiny they only had signs on the road with arrows and nothing saying X miles away. Think I’ll head back to the start and see if I can figure out where I am with the only road I saw besides this one.
Which I do, and circle back through the tiny town only to discover that STILL the road signs are unreadable. I find myself at the corner of School and Main and think that I must’ve been paralleling that on Highway 83–just now seeing it from the other side.
Now I’m prowling through the teeny tiny town trying to a) find its name and b) find the state.
Every sign is illegible in this camera.
A legible sign! But not a particularly useful one?
Another sign, even more generic.
I also found Bencker’s Welding Shop. Aaaaaand not much else. Basically I prowled this tiny town and never found its name because all the signs are too blurry. Boo. I miss the better camera.
It’s so flat I keep wondering if we’re in the states below Saskatchewan. Montana and the Dakotas. Either would fit, me thinks, although I associate the Dakotas more with Badlands.
Another legible and largely useless sign. The Frontier Motel with Restaurant and Pool.
Passing a man on slow-moving equipment. Another sign that this was the first pass camera–his face isn’t blurred out algorithmically. It hardly NEEDS to be, since like the signs, he’s a collection of barely recognisable pixels. I wonder if he knows he’s in Google Maps. It occurs to me that if I were, I don’t know either.
Argh. This near legibility is frustrating me. Selsen City? Steuben City? Seusen City?
And it crosses with the 48 or 43 state highway?
The first still scarcely legible sign with town names and whatnot. It looks like Oberlin and Norton are 20 and 44 miles off respectively and something that looks like Bessner? is closer. But this is our first sign with numbers. Hurrah!
A junction? This could be promising. Or futile.
A minor variation has been introduced to the landscape.
And now the largest town I’ve seen yet on this round.
I think we’re in Jennings! They want you to Czech them out! Seems suspiciously like a thing you’d see in the Dakotas or Wisconsin.
I looked at the map in North Dakota just to see, and there IS a highway 83 up there. None of the names matched though, and I couldn’t see a 383 or a 123 either. So I’m tracing it down just a ways.
And kept tracing through South Dakota and Nebraska and right on into Kansas where I found this cluster of towns that matched the names! Oberlin and Norton and Selden (and Dresden, which I thought I might have also seen) and Jennings and Clayton.
So, when I found the town that I thought was Seusen or something like that, it was Selden and the town we started by must be the town before that. That would be Rexford? There’s a high school specifically called out on the map and it’s close to the 83.
And they do come together on the somewhat generic crossing of Main and School. Okay. We’ll call it.
Booyeah! I feel pretty awesome about that DESPITE spending most of my time squinting at unreadable signs. We eventually got ENOUGH info to figure it out.
The sad thing is….if I had kept following the 83 a few more miles in the desolate direction, I would have eventually run into the 70 and probably had a clearer camera. Ah well.
About Rexford, Kansas: It has a population of 231/232 depending on which year you are checking for. The gender makeup of the city is 50-50. Which is WEIRD because all the rest of the census numbers are expressed as decimal percentages. Like the fact that 7.1% are single woman households and 3.6 are single man households. But exactly 50% on the gender? This must’ve come from the year when there was 232 people in Rexford because otherwise we’d have 50.2% on one of the genders.