Saturday, September 02, 2006

Once Upon a Time at the Gas Pump

An article about King’s Canyon National Park in yesterday’s New York Times got me thinking about my trip there in 2003. I took my family on a great road trip – we flew to Las Vegas, rented a car and camped while visiting four National Parks: Death Valley, Sequoia, King’s Canyon and Yosemite.

I used to have an interesting little story from King’s Canyon. Less than three years later, it’s not so interesting anymore. It was the story I called “The highest price I ever paid for gas in the United States” (once upon a time).

On September 6, 2003 I paid $2.79 per gallon at the only gas pump in King’s Canyon National Park. It was shocking at the time. Sure, I’d paid more in Europe – probably that much per liter – but this was America! Still, we didn’t mind spending the money, the scenery was beautiful and it was very remote from any other competition. We paid our money, smiled inwardly, and went on our way. Today I looked up prices from that week on the Department of Energy website. The national average was $1.61.

After we returned home, I enjoyed telling people about that experience for a while and it never failed to impress. I forgot about it until yesterday when I read that article and it made me nostalgic for the good old days: three years ago.

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