Holiday Travel: Kings River Floating

July 3, 2008 8:35:58 PM PDT
For many people, the long holiday weekend is just getting underway, but Independence Day celebrations may be anything but traditional this year.In our Exclusive Action News Poll Conducted by SurveyUSA, we asked 550 Valley people if the price of gasoline caused them to cancel or change plans for the fourth.

57-percent said, "yes" ? They changed or cancelled plans ?

Anna Sanchez and her husband have been traveling from southern California to the Kings River in Reedley for eight years now. Anna's eight sisters will be arriving within the next 12 hours for a huge family reunion. Despite the high price of gas. More than 40 relatives will make the three and a half hour trip from the San Fernando Valley.

Anna Sanchez, Southern California Resident: "It was expensive, but we are still here. It doesn't matter for the price of the gas."

Other California residents who've already made plans for the fourth have also decided to travel. In our Exclusive Action News Poll Conducted by SurveyUSA of the 100 respondents who said they were traveling this holiday 41 percent said they were traveling further over the weekend 29 percent said they would stay closer 27 percent said they would travel the same distance. Two percent weren't sure.

The California Highway Patrol says its officers will be out in force.

Paul Solorzano, California Highway Patrol: "The gas prices seem to have stabilized from what I've seen people are still gonna have vacations and they're still gonna travel if they're already planned. I think there's gonna be enough traffic out there."

Much of the Valley's traffic will be on lakes and rivers with boaters and floaters sharing space.

The river looks pretty calm right now, but give it another 24 hours and it will be a sea of people. Fresno County Sheriff's Deputies say on a normal weekend there's about 500 floaters here on the Kings River. This weekend they expect close to a thousand."

Whether it's inner tubes or rafts floating down the river doesn't cost money.

Anthony Rodriguez, Fresno Co. Sheriff's Dept.: "The cost of gas is going up, it's a short ride to all our lakes and rivers, if you go to the lake it's pretty much free unless you're gonna do some boating ? it's gonna cost you some money. You can do a float ? it's free. We've got tons of people out there."

Anna Sanchez and her clan had to pay a pretty penny for gas and groceries but the family fun will be free.


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