Monday, May 26, 2008

The message, it seems, is not getting through

I had to work today. Which, for those of you who know me, or have suffered through my blog posts (or worse yet, both! horrors!), means I was out driving around in the day's horrendous traffic.
Had to go from Waynesville to Saluda, but I-40 was stalled due to an accident and the volume. So I took the twisties NC-215 and US-276 through the savage heart of the Pisgah National Forest.
If I saw one group camp with 4 SUV's each with a trailer hauling motorcycles, jetskiis, ATV's, or boats, I saw 100.
Observed one group up close as they pulled into the Sonic in Marion. First SUV had the pontoon boat. Two people in it. Second one had Jetskiis on a trailer, and lots of gear in the back. One person in it. Third SUV was pulling the camping trailer, presumably where they all stayed. Two adults, two kids in there. Finally a last SUV with one adult, one kid, pulling a trailer with 2 HD road kings, an ATV, and an outboard motor.
Seems like $4/gallon gas ain't slowing this show down at all.

Maybe $10/gallon will get their attention, huh?


Bobby Coggins said...

Based on my current budget spreadsheet calculations, $13.89 a gallon would force me to make some changes.

Have you considered that higher gas prices will actually increase local travel (as opposed to far away jet-travel), and vacations closer to home just as you saw? That group may be pooling their resources to maximize their vacation experience...and enlarging their impact on the environment locally.

Kelly said...

That is unbelievable. Just the sheer wastefulness of it, in addition to gas prices climbing as high as they are.

In follow up to some of thunder pig's points, working in the vacation rental industry means I pay a lot of attention to travel projections. AAA seems to believe that more and more people are vacationing closer to home (makes sense). Plus, piling a family of 4 into an SUV and paying for the gas is still cheaper than buying plane tickets for a whole family - especially the way jet fuel is forcing the airliner prices up, up, up! People don't want to forgo their summer vacation, they'll just rethink the way they do it.

What I'm curious to know is how the rates of European tourists will be affected. With the dollar - Euro exchange, think of how much cheaper it is for someone in the EU to travel to the US!