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Sen. Tim Kaine tweeted out a geography quiz on a recent visit to Southwestern Virginia.
"When I stood at Pinnacle Overlook above the Cumberland Gap today, I was closer to 8 other state capitals than to Richmond," Kaine wrote on Aug. 20. "Can you name them?"
The Pinnacle Overlook is part of the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park in the Southwest corner of Virginia. Sitting 2,440 feet high, it offers scenic views of three states: Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Jon Baliles, the first district city councilman in Richmond, took up Kaine’s challenge and on Twitter rattled off a list of state capitals that are closer to the overlook than Richmond: Frankfort, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; Columbus, Ohio; Atlanta; Columbia, S.C.; Indianapolis; Raleigh, N.C.; and Charleston, W.V.
Kaine sent a congratulatory tweet to Baliles.
"Well done! You got them all," Kaine wrote.
We took the quiz, too, and got a different answer.
There were actually nine state capitals that were closer to where Kaine was standing than Richmond. The senator and the councilman omitted Montgomery, Ala.
We checked the driving distance between various state capitals and the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, measuring by the most direct route recommended by Google Maps:
Frankfort, Ky. -- 162 miles
Nashville, Tenn. -- 226 miles
Charleston, W.V. -- 228 miles
Atlanta -- 272 miles
Columbia, SC -- 289 miles
Indianapolis -- 315 miles
Columbus, Ohio -- 318 miles
Raleigh, NC -- 342 miles
Montgomery, Ala. -- 387 miles
Richmond, Va. -- 417 miles
We also used an "as the crow flies" straight line measurement between the Pinnacle Overlook and various state capitals, using daftlogic.com. Although the distances changed, the number of closer state capitals did not.
Frankfort -- 129 miles
Charleston -- 164 miles
Nashville -- 176 miles
Atlanta -- 202 miles
Columbia -- 234 miles
Columbus -- 235 miles
Indianapolis -- 257 miles
Raleigh -- 287 miles
Montgomery -- 329 miles
Richmond -- 350 miles
Kaine says Pinnacle Overlook in far Southwestern Virginia is closer to eight state capitals than Richmond. Actually, it’s nine.
So Kaine gets a "B+" on his own quiz. On PolitiFact’s grading scale, that translates to Mostly True.
Sen. Tim Kaine’s tweet, Aug. 20, 2014.
Google Maps, accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
Daftlogic.com, Google Maps Distance Calculator, accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
National Park Service, "Skyland Road and the Pinnacle Overlook," accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
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