Confession: Sometimes the smell of gas makes me weak in the knees–in a good way. That, and the smell of used motor oil and Gunk.
These three things–gas, used motor oil, and Gunk–in combination transport me back to a significant portion of my youth where I spent a lot of time helping Dad in our garage. Gunk was a product my dad used to clean his hands at the end of a day fixing one of several Volkswagen engines or their interchangeable-parts-cousins, one of several lawnmower engines.
I’m pretty sure Gunk, a cleaning product with the fine aroma of gasoline, was meant for cleaning car engines, but Dad kept jars of it in the garage and the house for soaking his fingers like he was soaking in Palmolive. (Palmolive was a dishwashing liquid, peddled for other purposes on their TV commercials, such as skin beautification–I can still remember Madge, Palmolive’s TV-commercial mascot, saying, “So gentle, you can soak your hands in it.”) No insult to Dad (God rest his soul.), but I seriously doubt Gunk’s inventors envisioned their product being used as part of my father’s beauty regimen.
Odd as it seems, altogether or individually, gasoline, motor oil, and Gunk transport me back to a happy childhood. Grease-soaked rags. Bolts. Workbenches. And Dad.
So, it should not have been a surprise to me (nor now, to you!) that I found myself snapping pictures of gas pumps on our recent lengthy road trip to eight national parks in the west and northwest United States.
The initial rush might have hit me back at this eclectic barn/garage in Oregon on the way north to Olympic National Park in Washington State:
In Wyoming, somewhere near Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park, I snapped this photo of a well-kept (or well-refurbished), old-school Texaco pump:
Then, I got a rush of nostalgia when we stopped for gas at this Sinclair gas station shortly after entering the state of Utah (I’ll bet I haven’t seen a Sinclair dinosaur since I was a kid.):
We hit the mother load outside of Lake Utah State Park in Provo, Utah, with this great display alongside a storage facility. Fabulous! I love the antique visible (a.k.a. see-through) gas pumps.
Here’s a great article about these antique visible gas pumps from a fella who pumped them when they weren’t antiques . . .
and then check out this great video showing a working vintage gas pump in Glendale, Utah. I love it!
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This was just one experience of many on our three-week Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip to eight national parks in the western United States. To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:
or check out any of our posts along the way . . .