While traveling to Uncle Marc's two weeks ago, I took note of the states on license plates we saw to keep my mind off traffic. Not that I'm jittery or anything. Not me! No way! I don't need distractions while traveling.
Here are the states I "collected":
Notice most of the states are colored green. Green represents the plates I saw clearly. I have no doubt that I "found" those particular states. White represents those I did not find.*
Why is Nevada shaded pink?
Well, to explain that, I will have to share another Not-Me moment.
We had passed all the major cities on our route and were traveling along a peaceful, scenic strip of interstate when a white van came up an entry ramp onto the road. We were in the left lane about five feet behind it initially. My mind must have been in left field at the moment, however, because I did not realize there was new license plate potential until we were passing the van. I only got a quick glance at the plate.
I was pretty sure I had seen a sunset with a cowboy in the far left corner.
That must be Nevada!!!
I did not bounce up and down in my seat and yell, "Michael, Nevada! Nevada! Nevada! I think we just got Nevada!"
He did not look at me like I had flipped out.
Poor man, only a few hours earlier I had not nearly ripped his arm off after I had not freaked out over the traffic and construction in Atlanta. Now, I was not asking him to slow down on the interstate so I could get a good look at "Nevada".
Being the nice husband he is, he tried to slow down but couldn't, and "Nevada" got way behind us… until we reached THE MOUNTAIN.
THE MOUNTAIN is near the towns where he and I grew up and is notorious for accidents, particularly the kind that involve out-of-control trucks crossing three lanes of traffic to access the emergency ramps dug into the side of THE MOUNTAIN. I was always told that if I did not drive with extreme caution on THE MOUNTAIN I would surely die.
So as we cautiously drove up the winding incline, "Nevada" took off and passed us like we had lead tires. He moved much too fast for me to get a clear view of his plate.
That had me convinced. He was not threatened by THE MOUNTAIN and drove like I would imagine someone from Nevada would drive. Surely our Appalachian hill would not intimidate an experienced western driver.
Convinced as I was, I did not encourage Michael to speed up and catch him. I did not start cheering "Go, Daddy, go! Go, Daddy, go! Catch Nevada!" I would never do that. No way! Not me. I am far too cautious and would never ask my husband to speed, especially on THE MOUNTAIN, just so I could see a license plate more clearly.
Therefore, it only makes sense that we never caught up to "Nevada".
That did not bug me. Nope, not even a little. I did not wonder if I would ever see another Nevada plate and be able to confirm my sighting. I did not plan to search the internet as soon as we returned home. I did not think about Nevada during every spare moment of our trip. I did not see that sunset in my mind as I drifted off to sleep each night, and the cowboy did not taunt me in my dreams.
Then, during our return trip, I saw this license plate.
You've got to be kidding me!
I had seen a sunset alright, or maybe a sunrise, but not a cowboy.
It was a dolphin!
I was not disappointed. Not a bit. I don't see Florida license plates where I live on a near daily basis.
This did not mean that a Floridian, who lives where there are no mountains, had smoked us on THE MOUNTAIN!
Hoping I was wrong, I did not bother to look up Nevada's plate when I got home.
If I had, I would not have seen this.
So there is a sunset on Nevada's plate!!
But no cowboy.
I'm not bummed. Not bummed in the least!
But I did color Nevada in pink on my map. After all that effort, I think it should at least sort-of count, don't you?
*image from http://www.worldatlas.com