The Article That Nobody Will Ever See

On December 24, 2013 · 9 Comments

Of course you are not a "nobody," it’s meant in a statistical sense. Sure, you and I both stopped here today although we might be the only ones; visitors totals will still come mighty close to zero. Who’s going to read these words I’ve posted on Christmas Eve? Twelve Mile Circle has a diverse audience, and I’m sure even those of different faiths, practices or beliefs will likely have something better to do when everything shuts down around them. Twelve Mile Circle website traffic typically nosedives at this time of year.

No-see-um Lake, Shoshone Co., Idaho, USA

That’s liberating in a sense. I don’t have to develop a real article or wonder whether the topic be a hit or a dud. Instead I’ll share a few statistical tidbits and some upcoming travel plans, and if nobody likes it then it won’t matter. Come back in a few days if you’d prefer.


I began Twelve Mile Circle in November 2007 so it just passed its sixth-year anniversary, an uninterrupted string of aimless muttering that I still find difficult to believe. I remember thinking that I shouldn’t start this thing. I was unsure if I’d have enough material or sufficient dedication to last even a month. Maybe it would become a sad, bit-rotted ghost site. That’s irrelevant I suppose since blogs as a format have been declared dead. Again. It’s a good thing I write for myself and not for money or recognition. I’d starve to death while wallowing in my own tears.

Wow, what a cynical introduction. The whole point of this was supposed to announce that I’m expecting to hit 1,000 articles sometime around the end of February if I continue at the current pace. A decent length novel might clock in at around a hundred thousand words. The complete 12MC body of work would hit somewhere around six or seven hundred thousand words. Crazy. I’ll probably have to do something special for that 1,000th article.

Reader-submitted comments will hit 4,000 any day now, so I receive about four comments per article. That’s growing. It was closer to three comments per article a couple of years ago. That increase can be attributed to a loyal group of readers submitting thoughtful and respectful comments regularly. Those often lead to spin-off articles and are always appreciated.

The 12MC Twitter experiment launched in the Spring seems to be going OK. Just OK. I haven’t used Twitter much except to announce new articles, making it somewhat redundant for anyone using an RSS newsreader. I don’t make any special efforts to build followers. I’ll save that for the celebrities. However, I’ve been stuck on 99 Twitter followers for the last couple of weeks and it’s starting to bug me. Won’t someone subscribe already and push that into triple digits so I can ignore it again?


Riverboat Marathon Series Route

I had such a great time during the Dust Bowl Marathon Series last year that I decided to do it again. I’m not a runner, nor was I last time. I’ll be a driver who transports a runner safely between races.

I think I already mentioned that Mainly Marathons is now sponsoring a Riverboat Series for April 12-16, 2014. That’s five races in five states (Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana) in five days. The only new development for me to note is that I’m definitely going. Plans have been made and reservations have been set. I’m expecting an excellent opportunity for intense County Counting because I have to drive all the way out there. Airline schedules and fares don’t seem to be working out.

Please take a look at the map and let me know of any suggestions for geo-oddities or other cool things to see. I received some great recommendations last year including several places I would not have known about otherwise (e.g., Capulin Volcano). Don’t worry, Bubbleland is already on the agenda. Maybe an adventurous 12MC runner might be interested in one or more half- or full-marathons and/or assorted weird geography?

I pick a different state each year for concentrated travel. Previously I’ve focused on a diversity of places such as Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, Utah’s Great Salt Lake, Oregon’s volcanic interior, and Kentucky’s Appalachian foothills. 2014 will be a little different. I won’t be selecting a state. Instead we’re heading to Ireland in late June or early July, within the vicinity of Killarney. My father will join us and we will visit with his cousins for part of that trip. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the distant relatives, and of course giving Ireland a proper 12MC treatment.

It should be an exciting 2014 on Twelve Mile Circle.

On December 24, 2013 · 9 Comments

9 Responses to “The Article That Nobody Will Ever See”

  1. Marc says:

    Your Jewish readers are on tonight. Happy blogiversary and happy New Year!

  2. KF4LAR says:

    You’ve hit 100 now.

  3. KCJeff says:

    Proud to be one of the few geo-geeks checking in on Christmas eve. Thanks for the great posts over the past few years. Allways look forward to reading them and the comments. Keep up the great work!

  4. Mike says:

    I for one appreciate the Twitter experiment. The slow demise of Old TweetDeck and the sudden death of Google Reader assaulted my productivity this year, but the Twitter alternatives have worked a lot better for me. Enjoy Ireland; can’t wait for another great year here.

  5. Bill C says:

    If you are in Memphis you will have to fight major reconstruction planned for I-240 and I-40 to visit Mudd Island, a geographer’s dream park. I’m certain you’re familiar with it and may have written about it already. I’d visit yearly if I could. Dropping south towards Tunica you’ll encounter the Mississippi casinos and the Mississippi mud eaters . Although the practice is now dieing out, I first read about the plight of those who ate mud / clay in the 1960s in the National Enquirer so I know it cannot be anything but real. You can also check out the Mississippi miasma that building I-69 has become. It is now scheduled to be completed sometime after 2030 and the Mississippi River bridge to Arkansas via I-69 has been stalled indefinitely.

    I also cannot believe you’re celebrating 6 years online! That means I’ve had almost 1800 visits to you site. To think that it all started with research on US border anomalies…

    Thanks, Tom for 6 great years of geographic information relevant to a mass audience and here’s to 60 more! Cancel your retirement plans now…


  6. Mike Lowe says:

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year of geography.

    While in northwest Tennessee, be careful not to miss Lake County. It’s small and easy to miss. My trip through that area was impromptu and I messed it. It may be a long time before I’m there again if ever.

  7. Congrats on 6 years of entertaining all of us out here in Geooddityland. A 12MC article is always one of the highlights of my week and hopefully shall continue to be indefinitely!

  8. January First-of-May says:

    Got a huge comment written up on the 24th, then got busy with other stuff, and recently found out the comment disappeared in a computer reboot.
    That said, I still remember most of the main topics…

    1) VISIT KENTUCKY BEND. I put it in capitals because it is definitely the most important geo-oddity anywhere near your route, being, IIRC, the only true exclave of any US state[1]. (Apparently, you somehow never wrote an article on it, so this could be your cue for that as well. Also, the only possible way there goes through Lake County TN, so you wouldn’t miss that one either.)
    2) If the road situation allows (it’s unclear from the maps), visit Davis Bend/Davis Island (near the Mississippi/Louisiana border), and particularly the Louisiana part of it (which appears to be a very rare double exclave[2] – a type of geo-oddity that technically shouldn’t exist, but somehow does anyway).
    3) If you have an overabundance of time, at some point cross into Missouri. It’s just too close to miss (though that one huge river is mostly blocking the way; by the most obvious route you would also visit Illinois, and there appears to be an alternate crossing near Caruthersville).
    4) On the “nothing to see” theme, your route would almost certainly go through Memphis TN, so you might want to visit the spot where nothing happened (in 1897).
    5) I probably forgot something. Don’t remember what though 🙂
    6) Oh, yeah – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! And Christmas, I suppose (our local version isn’t until January 7).

    [1] maybe – it’s unclear whether Ellis Island counts
    [2] I have enough material written up about double exclaves to make a good-sized article, but it’s probably not structured enough for a proper guest article, so I don’t know what to do with it

    • Oh, we’re thinking a lot of the same things. “Bubbleland” is an alternate name for Kentucky Bend, so be assured that I will definitely visit it — I’ve not written about it in the past because I’ve been saving it all these years for an in-person visit!

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