At the state line

In days of yore when I was a kid, (before the advent of minivans with dvd players) when the family went on long car trips staying entertained was a real chore. True, asking “are we there yet” repeatedly might hasten arrival at one’s destination at least ten or twenty percent, but still that meant many dull hours left staring out the windows. If dad became aware of our boredom he might point out an interesting sight…’oh, look there’s a water tower’, or ‘guys if you look at the dashboard you’ll see that the odometer is going to roll over from 49,999 miles to 50,000 in six tenths of a mile’….But otherwise it was up to my brother and I to provide our own entertainment.

I recall one thing we used to do on such trips was to lean forward and extend one’s arm forward when approaching a state line and snottily announce “I was in Kentucky (or Iowa or wherever) before you were.” On one occasion I recall stopping at a rest stop located a few yards from a state line where my brother and I jumped back and forth over the state line saying things like “how are things over in [whatever state]?”

Were we the only kids that did this? Any other drollery you can recall associated with jurisdictional boundaries? (edit: and for the purposes of this discussion we will not consider ‘my side of the back seat’ to be a bona fide jurisdictional boundary)

I and my siblings did it.

I think a lot of travelers coming west from Kansas into Colorado (known for its purple mountain majesties) on I-70 are surprised to find that eastern Colorado looks a lot like western Kansas. Pikes Peak isn’t visible on the horizon for another 70 miles or so.

This summer we drove 2200 miles to our new home on the west coast. I think at state boundaries my Gen-X husband and I crowed with excitement while our four-year-old daughter stayed lost in her portable DVD player.

My mom used to honk when she passed state boundaries in our car. The only interesting thing I’ve done with state boundaries lately is visit Brattleboro, VT, and then walk across the bridge to NH for the express purpose of being in New Hampshire: that remains the only time I’ve been in NH.

As a big kid (I was 20) I was camping at a remote campground in Big Bend National Park and got a huge kick out of wading across the Rio Grande into Mexico.

I don’t think I’d attempt that now!

I can think of one other entertainment-related activity associated with proximity to state lines and that occurred during late adolescence. You see, the legal drinking age in Wisconsin was 18 at the time and…

Not so much state lines, but I do remember straddling the Continental Divide (for Non-US folks, this is the spot where water falling west of it flows to the Pacific while water east of the line heads toward the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico).

In later times, I have stood on either side of the Greenwich Meridian in England and on either side of the Equator in Equador.

I can remember doing this as a kid at Hoover Dam. Up until I became an adult, it was my only experience ever setting foot in Arizona. I was fascinated by what sort of strange and cosmic things might be happening with the time as I straddled the border. I’m an hour ahead! I’m an hour behind! AHHHHH! Good times. :slight_smile:

Conversely, on a relocation road trip from LA to DC last year, I was startled by how quickly Colorado began to look like “generic midwest” after getting east of Denver.

Me too, and I watched some kids hopping back and forth between the hemispheres. I also took a picture of my feet as I stood at “Four Corners” (where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet).

I’m sure my brothers and I did something like the “I got there before you did”. I remember it specifically being done on a school trip to Colonial Williamsburg with classmates.

We used to play the alphabet game, find signs with words that start with all the letters. Usually the game stalled at Q until I figured out that you had to look at gas stations for Quaker State signs.

The other game was to see who would do something that would get mom or dad really mad at us. I usually won that one.

My family does that, too. Our other favorite, established a few years ago on a road trip to PA, was the license plate game. My kids like that one so much, they still jokingly point out out-of-state plates whenever they see one. It’s kind of funny, when we’re driving up and down the parking lanes at the mall, and one of my kids will exclaim “Montana!” and point.

As a kid, I recall my Dad honking the horn in the Detroit/Windsor tunnel at the point we went crossed from the US into Canada, easy to spot since the flags are painted on the wall next to each other.

As an adult, I drank a toast each time flying to Asia when the GPS display would show the plane passing the international dateline. No one else seemed amused.

Hell, I did the jumping back and forth over the border thing LAST MONTH, between Canada and the US, as my daughter elfbabe recorded the event.

There’s an entire monument with a road leading to it,just so we can do that kind of stuff!

When I was a kid I was terribly disappointed that the scenry didn’t change dramatically when we crossed the state line. My father tried to cheer me up with fun facts like, “Look the gas station on this side of the state line is three cents more than the gas station on that side!”

These days I’m absurdly happy when I cross the time zone line in Indiana and the clock on my cell phone magically shifts an hour.

And of course, while there, you spit or emitted other bodily fluids onto the ground right at the line, right?

And there’s an entire industry built up around this in the immediate vicinity of Four Corners.

I get super-carsick and as a kid got dibs on the front seat, so I was always in whatever the new state was first!

Not as a kid, but I was underwhelmed at the point where PA, MD and DE meet.

IIRC it’s in a post office parking lot. No marker.

For a time, still might be true, the first visible building upon entering West Virginia through one interstate was a trailer.

Sailors have an extensive tradition about it. Not state lines, of course. Notable navigational lines like the Equator.