Plymouth, New Hampshire

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

People who buy a car know they can choose the make, model and color, but they can’t completely control how their license plate looks.

For the most part, license plate designs are a point of pride for people. The last Texas license plate featured a cowboy in the desert, a couple derricks, and a space shuttle flying overhead through big, bright stars towards the moon. All this was a bit much but I guess it summed it up.

New Hampshire’s license plate, on the other hand, only has the Old Man of the Mountain and the phrase “Live Free or Die.” Sure enough, these two things sum up New Hampshire.

The Old Man of the Mountain, a geological formation off the side of a cliff, formed a profile of an old man if you looked it at the right way. This profile dominated everything from their statehood quarter to their highway signs to roadside replicas for storage units.

When I first saw the New Hampshire quarter, I thought, “This is what New Hampshire’s all about? A rock?” Obviously not, but everyone is obsessed with this Old Man, even after the cliff fell in 2003, people are still coming out to see where the Old Man once was. There’s even a memorial for this “man.”

The other part of New Hampshire, the “live free or die” part, is just as important and it isn’t always political. I took a detour because my GPS and I were fighting and I ended up driving through a covered bridge. Under the bridge was a rope swing, people kayaking and kids playing in the river.

Everyone had their clothes on, but you know what I mean.

So while the Old Man of the Mountain went with death, New Hampshirites are living free: No state tax and liquor so cheap other neighboring states cross borders just to buy some.