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Old Wawas never die

The changing face of Wawa stores as the company has sold smaller outlets after replacing them with larger gas station markets.

This blog was born with the express purpose of documenting a series of weekly road trips I took, during the summer of 2007, leaving on a different highway out of Philadelphia to simply enjoy and photograph the journey. To be honest, I was just trying to replicate a wonderful road trip I made in 2002 retracing the route of Lewis and Clark in the west (and here in Philadelphia).

Nowadays, my trips are mostly just drives between assignments, but like lots of people on real Road Trips, I like to collect travel mementos. Once it was just "collecting" the right to say "I've been to all fifty states." I completed that goal with Maine in 1984 (I was covering the New Hampshire Primary and in Portsmouth, for a campaign rally, so I drove across the border to Kittery for lunch).

For the past couple of years, I have been collecting old Wawas.

In the 90's, the chain of convenience store/gas stations in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey down to southern Virginia (and Florida) starting building "Super Wawas," - larger stores that added the gasoline pumps. When the new stores opened, the company sold off the older, smaller stores and a few years ago, I started photographing the new businesses in the old Wawas as they remained recognizable, often retaining their distinctive stone front and peaked front roof line.

I didn't know what I'd ever do with the photos, then Sunday's Inquirer had a story on the 50th anniversary of "the little store with the quirky name." So, I quickly dug up some of my photo collection for a gallery, which you can see here.