With the price of gas and diesel fuel spiraling out of control, taking even a moderately long driving trip to enjoy the outdoors is becoming more and more of a burden on family budgets. With gas pushing $4 and diesel five, and no end in sight, just about everyone is thinking twice before loading up the family chariot and happily heading off to their get-away destination. This becomes even a bigger burden if the normal work week mandates burning a tankful or two of gas to and from places of employment.
As the old saying goes: When you get lemons, make lemonade. Everyone is being forced to make changes in their driving habits, and that also applies to “recreational trips,” be they one day or perhaps several. Unfortunately, these recreational trips often become the first casualty in this age of soaring fuel prices. Couple what it now costs us to drive our vehicles with the accompanying rise in prices for all goods – that, too, being generated by higher fuel/transportation costs – and lifestyles as we once knew them are changing almost daily.
Since people are working harder and longer today to make ends meet, and government seems intent on taking progressively bigger bites of the money we earn, recreational time is even more important than it ever was since even temporarily escaping the pressures and burdens of everyday life and survival helps us keep our sanity. In the half-a-loaf-is-better-than-no-loaf mindset, scaling back the length of the trips we use to enjoy some outdoor recreation is about our only realistic solution. On the positive side, this even allows us to discover or re-discover opportunities much closer to home.