Does it Count if you just "drive"thru a state?

OK now this is the dumbest argument I’ve ever been in but here goes

I was trying to show someone how to make a gif image and I said “I’ll do a map of the United States and I’ll put in green all the states I’ve been in.”

I colored Arizona green. My friend says “You’ve never been to Arizona.” I said well on my way to Las Vegas from LA, we took interstate 40 and it goes through Arizona for a few miles.

She said, “Well you didn’t stop, you just drove thru it so it doesn’t count.” :smack:

Now when I took I-55 to Memphis I had lunch in St Louis and never stopped till I got to Tennessee but I drove through Arkansas to do it. She said, unless you stop and get out it doesn’ t count. She said, “that is like flying over Colorado in a plane. If you flew over Colorado in a plane you wouldn’t say you’ve been in Colorado.”

So I know this is stupid and 100% opinion, but if you just drive thru a state or ride a bus through it and you don’t stop and have your feet physically touch the ground does it count or not. That is count or not as having been in that state

I’d count driving through. That’s nothing like flying over.

Driving through would count in my book, you were under the jurisdiction of NV law, that could only happen in NV.

I have always used two tests for what counts:

  1. Legal jurisdiction: Driving through a state counts.

  2. So closely connected to the ground of a state that I deem myself to be on the ground in the state: This applies to sitting in an airplane during a layover. My understanding is that the feds have exclusive jurisdiction on airplanes, so the state law jurisdiction test would not apply unless you exit the airplane.

A similar test applies in battery cases where a person can he held liable for knocking something out of your hand even though the offender touches the thing in your hand without actually touching you. The thing in your hand is deemed to be so closely connected to you as to actually be “you” for purposes of the law of battery.

So, even though I am in an airplane, and the plane is on the ground, I deem myself to be “so closely connected to the ground” that I am “on the ground” and “in the state.” So, it counts.

Flyovers do not count, IMHO, even though state lines go up into space and the plane is touching the air in the state. There must be contact with the ground. That’s just me though.

Based upon that reasoning, I have been to Arkansas and it counts, dammit!

By your friend’s reasoning, I am not in California right now because I am in a chair and my feet are not touching the ground. That’s just silly talk.

Is there a map somewhere online that allows users to click states to show where you’ve been?

Found it!

We follow the “Feet on ground outside a travel terminus” rule. By that, no, Arizona doesn’t count because you never set foot in the state. Ditto just standing around an airport. Changing planes at O’Hare doesn’t let you check off Illinois.

Driving through the state counts because even if you didn’t stop you were experiencing the state via the view from the car. Flying over doesn’t count because you’re not close enough to distinguish characteristics other than major topography. I consider airports their own little bubble that doesn’t count toward my states visited.

Driving from Las Vegas to LA via I 40 in Arizona is quite a detour, so I’d say you’re visit to AZ definitely counts.

It all depends on the verb.

Been to, which you use, implies simply that you were there. If you’ve only drove through or spent some time in the airport you’ve been there. Otherwise where else could you have been at that time?

Visited implies going somewhere to do something. Stopping for gas and some food in a state wouldn’t count as visiting to me. But if you went and saw the world biggest ball of tin foil then you visited it.

Lived implies that your residence was there. Staying at a friends house for a month wouldn’t count but if you went to college and stayed at a dorm for a week before dropping out and going home then I would count it.

I would never count flying over.

As kids, my brother and I were fanatical about getting in new states, and would sometimes make our parents drive out of their way to cut across a corner of a state that we hadn’t been to previously. We were adamant that a single touch from any part of your body, or anything in contact with your body, allowed you to check off a state forever.

Later on I realized that these pass-throughs were kind of silly, and went back and spent at least one night in all 50 states.

So I guess it depends.

What Fern Forest said. Some people are inflating ‘been to’ to mean ‘visited.’

I’d actually say “been to” has an implication of at least getting out for a while. More than just driving through, although it could be qualified: “Oh yeah, I’ve been to Arizona. We drove through there last year on the way to California.” Then it only means you’ve driven through, perhaps stopped very briefly.

If someone just said only “Yes, I’ve been to Arizona,” I’d think they visited it. Not just drove through.

“Been in” can mean just driving through, or visiting for a short while; “been through” pretty much means driving through, unless there’s more detail: “Yes, I’ve been through all of Arizona; I did a 1,000 mile bike trip there last year.” In that case, “been through” means “visited.”

Anyhoo, for the OP’s purposes, I think he’s perfectly justified in adding AZ to his map.

The hell? I clicked off the states I’ve visited (all except Alaska, Hawaii and Florida) and generated my spiffy map. And there, at the bottom, it reads “visited 48 states (94%)”.

Ummm…I visited 48 of the, what, 51 states?

ETA: Never mind…they count Washington DC as a state.

To avoid future controversy, I’d recommend pulling over and getting out of the car. Now, without a doubt, you’ve been to Arizona, dammit!

I say it doesn’t count. I passed thru a number of states during a trip out West years ago, but I wouldn’t say I’ve “been in” them. Only the ones that we spent the night in, or at least stopped for a while in, count to me.

Basically, I agree with silenus’ “feet on the ground outside the airport” rule. I wouldn’t say I’ve been in Utah because I changed planes in Salt Lake City while flying out to Las Vegas. (We did stop at a town in Utah during that trip out West, however, so I can claim visitation of Utah on other grounds.)

Driving counts for been in. Flying doesn’t, but a stop over would.

Fill a vials with dirt, and label them for showing later.

I’m guessin’ the OP meant I-15. It’s only about 27 miles across the NW corner of AZ, but a beautiful drive through the Virgin River canyon:
I’ve been in 49 numerous times, but only once each in VT. and AK. AK. was a layover, but we were there several hours and visited the Elmendorf mess hall and NCO club, so I figure I’ve been to AK. even though I never left the AF base.

That’s pretty much my rule, too, and when driving i include interstate rest stops and gas stations as a “travel terminus.”

So, for example, i’ve been through New Jersey literally dozens of times on the way to and from New York, Boston, etc. But every time i’ve been through the state, i’ve either been on Amtrak or driving on the Turnpike. Now, when driving on the turnpike, i’ve frequently stopped at rest stops to get a drink, use the bathroom, and fill up with gas. But i don’t count New Jersey on my list of states, because i’ve never been there for any reason except to drive through.

Now, if i decided one day to take the long way around, and drive to New York via the Jersey shore rather than by the Turnpike, then i would count the state, especially since i would probably also stop at a diner or restaurant to have a meal, and maybe have a walk on the beach or something.

All rather pointless and idiosyncratic? Sure. But that just how i count my states.