Thats plates, not pilates.

2009-04-26 16:50:15.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Meteorologist

Last month I became a year older, which in New Hampshire, means car registration is due. I paid my fees and went on with life as usual but it did get me thinking about license plates in general. In New Hampshire, with the exception of government and veteran plates, there are only two types of plates to choose from: the standard “Old Man of the Mountain” plate or the vanity “Moose” plate. But why only two when our closest neighbors have multiple? Maine has their standard plate and at least eight vanity plates that I know of. Vermont has there standard plate and at least ten that I know of. Massachusetts has their standard plate and at least fifteen plates that I know of. And when I lived out west, my home state of California had its standard with at least 10 to choose from while my neighboring Nevada had its standard with nearly 50 vanity plates.

While a vast majority of cars on the road use their states standard issue plates, vanity plates provide drivers with a distinction of being unique while at the same time supporting a cause/organization they believe in. One example I can think of is the “Yosemite Fund” plate in California. With this plate, people pay $50 or $90 (if personalized) to get this plate with a renewal rate of $40 or $70. Out of these fees, $20 of each purchase or renewal goes to helping conserve the National park. So it is a win-win situation for all parties. The state registers your vehicle and gets money, the conservation group gets money and you get a unique plate that supports a cause.

So why not try this in New Hampshire? To me, Mount Washington is the new state icon since the Old Man does not exist any longer. So, why not make a plate that represents this unique icon? It would bring a new vanity plate to New Hampshire for residents to choose from as well as providing extra income to the summit community. A similar fee of $50 or $90 could be set up with the similar renewal rates. Out of these fees, some of the proceeds could be divided with the Observatory and with Mt. Washington State Park.

To help you envision how cool this would be, during my recent vacation, I used photoshop to create some examples of plates I thought would be cool. Since none of my pictures “popped”, I used pictures from our Photo Journal from December 2007. The two I used were “Setting Moon From Wildcat Summit” by Al Lambert and “Brochen Spector and Building Shadow” by Mike Pelchat (aka, Mt. Washington State Park Manager). I then adjusted various colors, opacities, sizes, etc and added common plate numbers and lettering. “Plate A” and “Plate B” are color examples of what these plates could look like while “Plates C-G” are black and white representations of what these plates could look like.

Plate A
Plate B
Plate C
Plate D
Plate E
Plate F
Plate G

So those are my examples and I am sure there are plenty of others that people could think of. I don’t know, maybe I am the only one that thinks this would be neat but maybe there are others. But I have no idea how to submit a vanity plate idea to the state. In Nevada you just fill out a form and submit it. But it sounds a bit more difficult to do in New Hampshire. An example is the current Conservation Plate. The current Conservation Plate came about by a 1993 fourth grade class at Holderness Central School who put forth the idea. It wasn’t until 1998 that the plate came to reality. So, maybe my dream will remain just that, a dream. But maybe someone out there will find this interesting and will run with this to make the summit plate a reality. I guess only time will tell.

On a separate topic, Saturday saw a large convective storm pass the summits during the early morning hours. There was no lightning with it but it did produce a rare sight up here, a rainbow, or least a partial one. Here are some pics of it:

Birth of Rainbow
Rainbow at its peak
Secondary Rainbow (if you look behind the tallest radio transmitter on the left, you will see a faint yellow bloch, this is a secondary rainbow that was trying to form.)
Dissipation of a Rainbow (the peak its touching is Mt Monroe by Lakes of the Clouds Hut)


Ryan Knapp,  Meteorologist

Find Older Posts