In the license plate game the turn of the year brings a shot of adrenaline. The waning months of the old year are, in a word, boring. Dispiriting even. Island traffic is way down from its summer peak, though not as “way down” as it used to be. The last holdouts aren’t likely to be spotted on autumn roads — though, true, a couple of years ago it was a thrill to spot Nebraska at the very end of December.
I spotted a respectable though not remarkable 20 in January 2018. In order: Massachusetts (big surprise: on most mornings I see four Mass. plates before I get out of the driveway I share with my neighbors), Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Texas, Rhode Island, Oregon, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Florida, Maryland, Colorado, California, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Nevada, Kentucky, and Illinois.
Nevada? Nevada eluded me all of last year, but there it was, in January, in the rutted dirt parking lot next to Veterans Park in Vineyard Haven. I’d parked there to participate in a well-attended rally at Five Corners, one of the many Women’s March actions that took place across the country on January 20. A great day all around. Here’s the sign I made for it.
Kentucky is a pretty rare bird in January, but nowhere near as rare as Nevada.
The Northeast is predictably solid: the only one missing is Delaware, which is always relatively hard to get, and I’m not sure it qualifies as “Northeast” anyway.
Here for comparison is what the map looked like at the end of January 2017. Iowa and Arizona were the most exotic sightings that month, and neither one is exotic compared to Nevada. I’ve been thinking a lot about the changes the last year has wrought, but I’ll save that for another post.