45×90 Club

The ground was wet from the morning’s April showers. My shoes were slipping in the muddy cornfield. Looking around I didn’t see much – the drive here put me further north than I had been in a while. I took another glance at the GPS – We were getting close.

One early spring day as I gazed at a map of my fair state in the comfort of my apartment I noticed two lines crossing at a point west and north of Wausau near a town called Poniatowski. It was the 45º north line and the 90° west line. “I wonder if there is anything there?” I thought to myself.

A quick Google search planted the seeds for the adventure to come. Not only was there something there but going there entitled you to become a part of the 45×90 Club. This was going to happen.

A visit to my girlfriend’s in Stevens Point was the perfect jumping off point and also provided a fellow adventurer. (Adventures are generally more fun with company). We left on an overcast morning. We hit a few patches of rain on the drive north but it stopped by the time we pulled into the small lot with the information board and ceremonial marker.

The informational Marker at the 45x90 point in Poniatowski, WI

The informational Marker at the 45×90 point in Poniatowski, WI

Firing up the GPS showed that this indeed was not the actual spot – we had a little distance to go. After making our way close and walking in circles for a bit we finally hit it. X marks the spot – the point where we were now standing was halfway between the equator and the north pole while also being halfway between the Prime Meridian and the international date line. There are only 4 points on earth like this – only one other is on land – in China.

Success! The Victorian Explorer in me was thrilled.

Success! The Victorian Explorer in me was thrilled.

The drive and muddy walk were worth it. I also do some geocaching so I guess I am a bit of an enthusiast about these sorts of things. On our way back through Wausau we stopped at the visitor’s bureau and received our official 45×90 Club coin (“Exact Center of the Northwest Hemisphere”)and signed the log book. We paged through the entries dating back several decades and marveled at all the different people from different countries who have gone out of the way to stop at this point simply because it was there.


If you are in the area consider making the trek! Some informational links and other people’s stories  are below: