An Examination of Distance

Since moving to the US and visiting loved on in Canada it has became clear to me that living in the UK has given me a small-skewed look at distance and what it actually means.  This becomes clear when talking to my colleagues and they explain that they drive 25 and 32 miles each to get to work when in Aberdeen it'd take 10 days of working, driving back and forth, just to do what these guys do in a single day.  Scale, it seems, is mental.

So when driving from San Francisco to Houston via a multitude of places, we managed to rack up over 3000 miles on the car.  Total trip miles were around 3300ish, so to put that into perspective, I have decided to scale it against certain things.  So let's take Ontario - the homeland province of my loved one, Connie.  It's massive, and that's the reason I have picked it.  

Ontario, Canada, with Scotland inset.  Open for more detail.
Here is it compared to Scotland in the same scale.  The A in Ontario is where Connie comes from, the other A in Scotland is Aberdeen.  Big, huh?  In fact, the square km of Ontario is a massive 1'076'395 sqkm.  Scotland is 77'872 sqkm, OR, 7.23% of Ontario is covered by 100% of Scotland.  In other words, you could fit around 14 Scotlands into Ontario.  Yeesh.  So, okay, big news, Scotland is small anyway, so let's try something bigger.  What's bigger than Texas?  Not much, not even France.

Ontario, Canada, with Texas inset.  Open for more detail.
Texas is big.  268'581 sq miles (naughty bastards) or 696'241 sqkm.  So, as you can see it's a lot bigger than Scotland (11% of Texas is taken up with Scotland, or just under 9 Scotland's would fill Texas) BUT Ontario is still bigger - the percentages actually come down as such: 64.6% of Ontario would be covered by Texas, or you'd need just over 1 and half Texases (Texai?) to make up the size of Ontario.  Nice.  So, exactly how far did our road trip cover then, in terms of these scales?

Road Trip from San Francisco to Texas Border (2 weeks driving, around 2700 miles)
As you can see here, our driving was long.  It actually stretches from the top of Ontario down, or across Ontario and into Quebex and beyond, but that's not really the point.  The point is that the length of time we drove and the distance that we drove gave me a respect for the distances that the two countries have within them.  All you have to do to deflate the Texan idea of their state being big is to give them a map of Canada and say "See, that's the top of Ontario.  But, Canada goes all the way over that right to the top."

So what' my point?  Well, there really isn't a point per se.  But it's just interesting.  I mean, have a look at the size of those lakes in the bottom of the picture.  The "Great Lakes' they are called.  Then, look at the ocean sized blue shape at the top of Ontario... what's that?  That's Hudson Bay.  Hudson Bay linking with James Bay.  The area of this "bay" is 1'230'000 sqkm.  That means that it's bigger than Scotland, bigger than Texas, Bigger than Ontario.  As a child I was always intrigued by Hudson Bay simply due it's size and location, and the fact that it is so hugely massive.  Thinking that you could fit the whole UK in there several times over, and have space for Holland blew my little mind. 

It still does actually.