How far to the nearest McDonalds?
As expected, McDonald’s cluster at the population centers and hug the highway grid. East of the Mississippi, there’s wall-to-wall coverage, except for a handful of meager gaps centered on the Adirondacks, inland Maine, the Everglades, and outlying West Virginia.
For maximum McSparseness, we look westward, towards the deepest, darkest holes in our map: the barren deserts of central Nevada, the arid hills of southeastern Oregon, the rugged wilderness of Idaho’s Salmon River Mountains, and the conspicuous well of blackness on the high plains of northwestern South Dakota. There, in a patch of rolling grassland, loosely hemmed in by Bismarck, Dickinson, Pierre, and the greater Rapid City-Spearfish-Sturgis metropolitan area, we find our answer.
Between the tiny Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley lies the McFarthest Spot: 107 miles distant from the nearest McDonald’s, as the crow flies, and 145 miles by car!
Suffer a Big Mac Attack out there, and you’re hurtin’ for certain! For a coupla hours, at least, unless graced by the tender blessings of “manna from heaven” - that is, a fast food air drop from the Medi-Copter.
Behold, a visualization of the contiguous United States, colored by distance to the nearest domestic McDonald’s! There are around 13,000-or-so U.S. McDonalds restaurants.
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