‘It’s beautiful’: Campgrounds fill up for Memorial Day Weekend

Spokane, Wash. – On this busy holiday weekend, AAA says more than 39 million people are traveling; nearly 35 million people are traveling by car despite the high gas prices.

The nationwide average price for gas hit another high on Saturday at $4.60 for a regular gallon of gas. In Idaho, another record at $4.72. In Washington, a record again at $5.22.

Regardless of the high prices, families from all over still filled up campgrounds in Spokane.

Bryan Berghout and his family almost didn’t come out from Snohomish County because of the price at the pump.

“We actually did not make the decision to come up until noon yesterday. We were waffling back and forth on whether or not we should go or not, gas prices, weather, the whole thing,” he said. “Last minute, we decided, ‘What the heck, let’s do it.’ We came up.”

Traveling used to not be a second thought for the Berghout family. However, because of the rising gas prices, that’s changing for his family. He spent about $100 on gas going from Western Washington to Spokane.

“It’s nuts. I’ve never seen anything like that. We never thought about traveling before. We’d just go wherever we wanted and not worry about it,” he said. “Now, gas prices are so high, it’s going to interfere with what we can do. You can only do so much.”

Berghout says he reserved the last spot at Riverside State Park’s Bowl and Pitcher campground, booking it in January. Some people booked it nine months out, like the Maier family.

For the first time in more than two years, Francesca Maier’s mother-in-law saw her grandkids. They flew out to Spokane from Pennysylvania and met with the Maiers as they came from the Tri-Cities.

“We already booked this, so we said let’s meet up in Spokane, go to the campsite, we’ll spend time outdoors in a covid safe environment, so that’s why we came here,” Maier said.

Campgrounds are busy for Memorial Day Weekend, kicking off summer camping and travel. Fieldhouse Pizza and Pub felt that, knowing that people usually are on the road rather than dining in.

While fewer people came to visit the pizza place, Chief Operating Officer Casey Curtis says it’s been better this year so far than other Memorial Day Weekends during the pandemic.

“By far, way better than the last few years. People are out dining, so our sales have been increasing like most restaurants have, I would imagine,” Curtis said.

Just like people coming back out for restaurants, travel has, too, despite the high gas prices. Families at Riverside State Park are just taking the time to enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend.

“It’s beautiful out here. It’s been very fun,” Berghout said.

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