"45th parallel," the sign reads. "Half way between equator and north pole." The midpoint between torrid and frigid.
On the grid of imaginary lines girdling our planet, 45 degrees latitude crosses the north Pacific coast, smack dab in the middle of the temperate zone. Posted on Interstate 84, the sign lies between Baker City and North Powder, Oregon.
If we were to cross to Eurasia on this line, we would pass through Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley, Turin and Belgrade on the same imaginary line.
In Stavropol, Russia, east of the Black Sea, "45th parallel" is used as a street name. The line bisects the tragically shrinking Aral Sea and touches the southern toe of Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan.
After going on through Mongolia, it crosses China, just south of the northern "ice city" of Harbin, and then passes across the northern tip of the Japanese island of Hokkaido.