[British Columbia, Canada] — Regular readers of the Travelin’ Gringo are probably aware of my fondness for tacky roadside kitsch.

To me, giant fiberglass “muffler men,” Sinclair Dinosaurs, or falling-down barns painted with “See Rock City” are irresistible. They speak to a bygone era in transportation — a time when gas was cheap and cars were huge.

These roadside relics are rapidly disappearing due to the ravages of time and progress. Whenever I see one, I feel compelled to stop and take photographs, and I always wonder how it came to be there.

Sometimes it’s easy to learn the backstory, as in the case of the giant Muffler Man I wrote about in Metairie, LA. I’ve found roadsideamerica.com to be a great resource, and often just stopping to talk to people can yield a wealth of information.

Other times, usually in out-of-the-way places, the story gets a bit murkier, like this rusting Gas Station Man I found sitting in front of a tire shop in British Columbia, Canada.

He was somewhere between Hell’s Gate and Lillooet, but I didn’t think to write down the location at the time. And because I was somewhat preoccupied with covering a lot of ground before nightfall, I didn’t look for anyone to talk to onsite.

Judging from his appearance, I’d guess he’s a relic of the 1950s or 1960s, beckoning travelers with the promise of friendly full-service.

HOG members can read about my trip to British Columbia in the magazine’s current issue (#014, Spring ’12); the story is called “From Sea to Sky.”

If anyone knows more about this roadside icon, I’d love to hear about it. Wish I’d asked a few questions while I was in the area.

I’ll know better next time.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA:

Tourism British Columbia: http://www.hellobc.com/

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains official tourism site: http://vcmbc.com/

 

About Glen Abbott
Glen Abbott is a New Orleans-based travel writer & photographer. He specializes in writing about motorcycle touring and travel, and his work appears regularly in Harley-Davidson's HOG magazine, American Iron, and other publications.

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4 Comments
  1. Vicky

    March 21, 2012

    What a find! I’m like Emme – I’m surprised I haven’t noticed it before. I’ll have to keep my eyes open wider on my next road trip… Great photo!
    Vicky recently posted..The Artist – movie review

  2. VCMBC

    March 13, 2012

    Hey Glen! Great post! The statue was built as a prop for the movie, “The Pledge”, directed by Sean Penn and starring Jack Nicholson. Here’s a little information about the location – http://travelthecanyon.com/lytton.html.

  3. Emme Rogers @ Roamancing

    February 26, 2012

    Driven that road before, so am now wracking my brain to see if I can remember this rustic fellow. Will get back to you if it hits me.
    Emme Rogers @ Roamancing recently posted..IceFest This Weekend at Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville

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