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Gas prices affecting holiday travel for some, but not all

June 30, 2011|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — With Independence Day weekend approaching, residents and visitors to Washington County talked about how gasoline prices in the area have, or haven’t, affected their travel plans this summer.

Ashia Walker of Hagerstown said she was going to visit family in Virginia this weekend. She said her travel plans have not been affected at all by the price of gasoline.

“Gas has actually gone down recently,” she said. “It takes a lot to fill up my truck but I’m having an easier time with it right now.”

Beverly Dallaire, who was visiting Hagerstown from LaGrange, Ky, said she rented a car that would get better gas mileage during the trip.

“Gas is higher up here,” she said. “When we left home it was almost down to $3 a gallon, so it’s been interesting to see it get a little bit higher as we’ve come up here.”

After hovering around $4 a gallon during the spring, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Hagerstown this week ranged from about $3.56 to about $3.66, according to AAA’s fuel price finder at http://aaa.opisnet.com/index.aspx.

AAA’s website listed the average cost of filling up a vehicle with a 15-gallon tank at $53.95, down from last week’s average cost of $54.62 or last month’s average of $57.05

David Hall, of Cumberland, Md., was camping in his RV with his family in Williamsport. He said higher gas prices have forced him to cut down on the trips they take.

“I'm sure gas has affected everybody’s travel,” Hall said. “We took a trip to Indiana earlier this summer, but that will probably be the only long trip we can take for a while. I can’t even come down here to Williamsport as much.

Chris Anderson, a sales representative in Hagerstown, said that although he travels often for his job, he plans to stay home over this holiday weekend.

“I have to travel 30,000 miles a year for my job, and it’s rough on my company,” he said. “Our economy's dependence on cheap gas is just not sustainable.”

Irine Jepchirchir, of Boston, said she was in Hagerstown for the summer for a scholarship program by the Review and Herald Publishing Association. She lives in Boston and said the cost of gas has prevented her from going back home for a visit.

“It’s very frustrating because I want to go home and see my family,” she said. “Gas has made everything more expensive. I was going to take a trip to see my friends in New Hampshire but I couldn’t because gas was so high.”

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