50 State License Plate Survey begins for 2006
We got Hawaii! (Well, really NOAH found Hawaii for us!)
February 24, 2006
Back in 2002, we started our 50 State License Plate Survey to see how long it would take us to spot license plates from all 50 states in little Pinedale, Wyoming. For a county that doesnít even have a single stop light, we get a surprising number of visitors from all over the country every summer. It helps to have Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks just a little over an hour away!
Just for fun, we wanted to see how long it would take us to get every state each year. We started our survey on Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, the beginning of our "tourist season", and went until the end of the year. When we first began, we started out with just driving through Falerís General Store parking lot and seeing who was parked there. Thatís one place where everyone eventually ends up when they come to Pinedale.
A couple of years into the survey, we were frustrated when states we were missing were showing up at the post office, Laundromat and the Cowboy Bar, but not at Falerís, so se couldnít officially count them. So we changed our rules! We expanded our spotting area to include anywhere in town, and other areas, like the trailheads in the county, where a lot of hikers from out-of-state leave their vehicles to go up into the mountains. Even with the rule change, some years we still couldnít find Hawaii, Delaware, New Hampshire or Rhode Island.
Well, believe it or not, today Hawaii was in town! Well, WE didnít actually see it ourselves, but Pinedale Roundup editor Noah Brenner stopped us in Falerís parking lot to tell us that HE saw the Hawaii plate. Heís a very reliable source and thatís good enough for us!
It also gave us the idea to add a new twist to our survey. This year, weíre going to give the four hardest states a HEAD START! If we spot any of those states between now and Memorial Day, they get counted. We wonít start counting any of the other states until the Memorial Day weekend.
Want to join the fun? If you happen to find one of our Head Start hardest-to-find states in Falerís parking lot, and take a picture of it from a recognizable angle to verify the plate and location (try to get the Falerís big fish in the picture angle), weíll count that as a verified sighting and give you name credit on our 50 States page! By November, we get really desperate, so feel free to help us out if you want to participate! (Hawaiiís plate has a rainbow on it. It might still be around to grab picture proof!) E-mail your story and the photo to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "50 States License Plate Survey" or "We found Delaware!" or something similar in the subject line.
This is not at all a scientific study, obviously. We have learned some interesting demographic information about our visitors by doing it, but mostly we just do it because it is fun! So watch our map fill in with yellow and see how quickly we find all the states this summer!
50 State License Plate Survey for 2006