Game of States

I guess I’ve been paying the “Game of States” for a long time. Here, brother Tim looks on in disbelief as I place my car on Wyoming. Red slinky is at the ready to console him.

When camping in Holbrook, Arizona a few weeks ago, there was a couple next to me with an Airstream 25FB en route to the “Oregon Trail” Airstream caravan. They had a USA map with state stickers on the inside of the trailer door, like I do.

We starting talking about our personal rules for when/why a state sticker gets added. They only put one on for states in which they’ve camped. I’ve included drive-thru states, altho by now I’ve camped in most – 42 so far.

I have a fun wrinkle I’d like to share. I like to have someone from the state put the sticker on.

I had already applied a lot of state stickers, but starting with my 2018 trip to Alaska I asked a “local” to apply them as this trailer visited new states.

My first “local-applied” sticker was in Wisconsin. I asked my friend Sandy, the Most Interesting Hand Model in the World, to add it. She rode her motorcycle to meet me at my state park campsite and applied it like the pro she is. She’s not called the Most Interesting Hand Model in the World for nothin’.

The second local-applied sticker was added by my cousin, Deanna, who lives in Wasilla, Alaska. I drove the furthest for this one, and it was worth it. Especially since I was greeted by a “Kenai Glacier Martini” when I got there.

You did good – look at that!

On my way South from Alaska, I had already applied Washington and Oregon, but my Aunt Annie added my home-state of California, while I was camped in the Bay Area at Lake Chabot. I guess I could have added it myself, but that’s no fun.

That little wrinkle is now the San Andreas fault.

From California, I headed east to Nevada where Aunt Linda and Uncle Wally applied this sticker at their home in Yerington, Nevada. Aunt Linda (aka “Linda Lovely”) tapped her skills as my uncle’s (“Mr. Blue”) magician assistant for this task. You heard me right. Read more here.

No more baby pics with sticker-appliers, I promise. But since I had them, it seemed a waste not to use them. And I’ve known these three ladies about as long as I could know anyone.

Two years later…

Summer of 2020, as I fled Covid-fearing states closing their borders behind me, Angela of the Toomsuba, Mississippi KOA added a state I didn’t think I’d ever get, with flare and a great accent.

On that same 2020 trip, I drove thru Alabama, but it took two more years to find an Alabamian (yes, that is the correct term) to add the state. In this case, clarinetist and Executive Director of the Delaware Symphony, J.C. Barker did the honors.

And just two weeks ago, the latest sticker was applied by Sarah, the affable front desk clerk at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona.

Thank you, Sarah!

As you can see, this blog post has been brewing for years, and there are a few more to go. I’m accepting applications for an Oklahoman and Arkansan to add those already-visited states, if you have any recommendations. I drove through those states this year on my way to New Mexico. And I still need Kentucky, and the states around Maine. Hawaii is off the table, so the most I’ll get is 49 – seven to go!

When the map is full, do I need to get a new trailer?


But I should probably have my bearings re-packed.

– Special thanks to Sandy, Deanna, Aunt Annie, Aunt Linda, Uncle Wally, KOA’s Angela, J.C., and Sarah for making this post possible.

8 thoughts on “Game of States

  1. Awesome! Honored to be the first, I had no idea! 😀 Great post. LOVE all the photos and “whispers” about future sticker-placement, lol ….

  2. I love it! I filled up the lower 48 on my Airstream. No way was I driving to Alaska! I got a new trailer – an SOB, unfortunately. I started a new map, but it peeled off of it. I bought another map, but I don’t have the guts to try again. Roll on!

  3. As I recall, you started crying the minute your Mom handed you to me. But I held you long enough for you to whisper in my ear… Sorry about the wrinkle in California. GREAT post!

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