It's almost the end of winter, and it's never a bad time to take a step back and remind ourselves of what a special place we live in. Thrillist.com, which ranks things, has ranked Michigan in the top ten most beautiful states. And what's more, we're the only state west of the Mississippi River. Take that, Ohio.

Before we start squabbling, here's the top 10: California - Hawaii - Alaska - Utah - Colorado - Washington - Oregon - Michigan - Arizona - Wyoming.

Most of these are kind of obvious. I think I would put Hawaii ahead of California, because of all the goofy people in California, but we quibble. Most of us have never been to Hawaii, but have seen Magnum PI reruns. Alaska is amazing for its natural beauty. I've never been to Utah. Colorado, yes, check out the skiing areas in the summertime. It's gorgeous and has very little humidity. Washington is nice, but you have to tolerate rainy weather. Oregon, again too many goofballs. Arizona, and its dry heat, but it's still heat. And Wyoming sounded strange, but then you have to remember Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, and the least dense population; wish you could say that for California and Oregon.

The bottom five are Kansas (flat state...boring). Then it's Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Oklahoma. I can't disagree with Illinois. I grew up there. Lived in the northern part (Chicago area) and went to school near the bottom (Carbondale), and in between, like Kansas, there is nothing there... but at least it's not Kansas.

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The Thrillist list is what it is. Bragging rights at the end of the winter, as you open up your bag of salt-vinegar potato chips and wash them down with a Vernor's. But in all seriousness, we do have a lot here. Plenty of outdoor things to do; the state really has some gorgeous scenery. If you like professional sports (stop smirking) we have that. Generally, we have four seasons a year, though less so in the past twenty years or so. The worst thing you could say about us recently is our auto insurance is stupid expensive. Oh, and the roads are terrible in a lot of places.

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