The License Plate Game

When we started the road trip I was eager to play the license plate game. As we were leaving New England, no one else would paid attention to the plates, because northeastern plates aren’t special in the northeast. But when we finally headed out from Haverford and Philadelphia across West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri toward Colorado, the kids started caring. By the time we arrived in Spokane, the end of the family road trip, we had seen everything except for Hawaii and Rhode Island. All but two!

We referred to Hawaii as “the queen,” because we knew that seeing that plate on the mainland would be a massive stroke of luck.

Leaving the kids in camp, Katie and I visited Glacier National Park on the way home, and tried for full house in that park alone. We nearly nailed it, spotting all but 7. And, amazingly, we saw two Hawaii plates. We saw everything except New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Alabama, and Indiana. This followed the pattern: small, rural and distant states were rare. We then saw Indiana in Waterton Park in Alberta. The key part though, was Hawaii.

We still haven’t seen Rhode Island. More rare than Hawaii, and we drove right past it!

The delicate arch, which we’ve now seen! I don’t know about Utah, but Arches National Park sure is elevated.
Colorado has a great standard plate design.
North Dakota, the “Peace Garden State?”
What kind of lovers, I wonder? Gay lovers, perhaps?
Cheap, printed plate, but good backdrop.
Getting DC (“End Taxation without Representation”) was an absolute coup.
Nevada’s got a great design. But I think they must have meant “Nevada means Home.”
This one is pretty darn rare, too. But you can find them in the Northwest!
It look us a long time before we saw Nebraska.
Canadian Provinces are fun: “Friendly Manitoba.”
“Beautiful BC,” I’m not arguing, but it’s a bit on the nose.
Most of Alberta’s new plates are ugly. This one was classic!
Of course. A Dolly Parton plate from Tennessee. They even have a “Dolly Parton World.” I think someone should tell them who Dolly Parton really was.
Oregon plates are classic and fitting.
Washington’s plates are easy to recognize, but lack energy.
Florida has been using this silly “MYFLORIDA.COM” plate since “.com” was cool in 1999.
Iowa could do better. I dislike these cheap printed (instead of stamped).
California’s plate is at least clearly recognizable.
Idaho leans into the potato thing.
Nothing special about the Indiana plate, but it was one of the 7 we couldn’t find in Glacier National Park, so it was rare.

Still hoping to see RI on the return journey though.

2 thoughts on “The License Plate Game

  1. Marsha Eaton July 6, 2019 / 2:18 pm



  2. Marie July 8, 2019 / 9:02 am

    Rhode Island is waiting for the drive to or from Boston/Logan? Hope so.


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