In the old song, Wonderful World, the lyrics describe a person who doesn’t know much about history, biology and other subjects, but does knows that “I love you, and I know that if you love me, too, what a wonderful world it would be.”
Another of those subjects in the song he doesn’t know much about is geography, and I can relate – when it comes to geography, like the song says, “I can’t claim to be an ‘A’ student.”
My lack of geographical knowledge was reinforced recently when my husband read a quiz question in the newspaper to me:
“How many state capitals are located west of Los Angeles?”
Smug, I answered, “That’s easy – Hawaii and Alaska.”
“You’re right,” he said. “So far.”
“So far?” I echoed.
“You named two. There are six.”
Six state capitals west of Los Angeles?
Six? How could that be?
My smugness drained away.
But I wanted to answer this, to prove I wasn’t totally geographically illiterate.
I started by envisioning Los Angeles:
Stars posing on the Walk of Fame…
OK, but what about Los Angeles’ geographic location?
Easy – Southern California:
I know that California’s west coast is formed in an eastward direction, and from Santa Barbara to San Diego the coast looks like a sea monster took a big bite out of it.
So maybe, I reasoned, the capital of California might be west of Los Angeles?
“Sacramento?” I guessed.
“Right,” my husband said. “Three more to go.”
“Maybe, um…” I was floundering here.
“The capital of the state of Washington?” (Don’t know much about state capital names, either.)
Only two more to go.
I reasoned that if Washington’s capital was west of Los Angeles, then maybe…
“Oregon it is,” he said. “What’s number six?”
I’d done alright with my three guesses – and they were guesses – but now I was stumped.
I tried to envision a map of the western states, and I couldn’t imagine any more of them with a capital that was west of Los Angeles.
I shook my head, and gave up.
“Nevada’s state capital is west of Los Angeles,” said my hub. “Carson City.”
Never mind the capital’s name. Nevada’s capital? How could that be?
I went online and pulled up a driving map:
It looked iffy to me.
So I enlarged the map and added a straight north-to-south line:
And sure enough – Nevada’s capital clearly is west of Los Angeles.
So there we are:
The six states with capitals west of Los Angeles are Hawaii, Alaska, California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada.
After all this research and map reading and comparing, I am SO ready!!!
Bring on Jeopardy!
I’ll take Geography for $1000!
Let’s go for it! I’ll wager everything I’ve won so far! I live in Southern California, and I know how many beaches Los Angeles has.
(Final Jeopardy music playing.)
(Answer: What is zero? The City of Los Angeles is a landlocked metropolis with no access to the ocean. The County of Los Angeles has more than a dozen beaches.)