Many travelers will stay close to home

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Anne Johnston will be one of the millions of Georgians who stay home this holiday weekend.

But Ms. Johnston, a senior consultant for Morris Travel in Augusta, can't say the same for her customers.

"I have more people traveling this week than any other typical week, and most are going on short cruises," said Ms. Johnston, who has been booking vacations for 22 years. "We've also had a lot of requests for Hilton Head and Charleston, so, of course, they will be driving."

About 40.4 million people are expected to leave home this Independence Day weekend, according to a recent survey by AAA. The Southeast will lead the nation in the number of travelers, followed by the West.

Overall, however, the number of people traveling is down by 1.3 percent compared with 2007, when gas was more than a dollar cheaper.

Ms. Johnston said that is reflected in many of her patrons' travel choices.

"It pretty much seems to me that people are staying close to home -- the Southeast," she said.

With the national average of a gallon of unleaded gas at $4.09, fuel prices remain a problem for many would-be travelers. As of Wednesday, prices in the Augusta and Aiken areas averaged $3.94, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Meanwhile, area police will bring in additional staff to watch for drunken drivers this weekend, as the holiday falls on the same day as the downtown First Friday celebration. Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Scott Gay said 35 patrols will be added, using deputies who are normally off-duty.

"We are going to be focusing on the impaired drivers -- the reckless drivers," Lt. Gay said.

Temperatures should be in the mid-90s and lows in the upper 60s. There will be a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday, increasing to 30 percent on Saturday and 40 percent on Sunday.

"It's just about right on normal," said meteorologist Tim Hawks, of the National Weather Service in west Columbia, S.C.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or


All prices are for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline as of Wednesday.


Atlanta: $4.02

Augusta: $3.94

Macon: $3.99

Savannah: $4.00

South Carolina

Columbia: $3.88

Charleston: $3.89

Aiken: $3.94

Greenville: $3.83

Myrtle Beach: $3.94


Friday to Sunday: Mostly sunny with a chance of showers or thunderstorms each day. Highs in the mid-90s and lows in the upper 60s.

Source: AAA, National Weather Service


Show us how you spent the Fourth of July. We want your pictures of picnics and parades, boating and barbecues, fireworks and flags. Upload your July 4th photos at augustachronicle.Com/readerphotos

Be sure to include the following information about your picture

- When and where it was taken

- Who is shown in photo (identify people by full name from left to right).

- Name of person who took the photo.

View photos on line at

We'll publish some of the photos in the newspaper after the holiday.

Comments (6) Add comment
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patriciathomas 07/03/08 - 03:18 am
North Augusta......$3.83 (or

North Augusta......$3.83 (or 3.80 if you use a wal-mart card) The CSRA offers a large number of great places to spend a weekend or a week. Out of the way places like the bird sanctuary off of Key Road with its bike path and canoe launch site and gravel 'sand bar' in a shallow, fast moving stream. From horse back riding to trout fishing in a stocked stream, there's a lot of places in this area to visit that most people don't take advantage of. Save money, do a little research and learn the area. After 35 years of looking, I still find new places within 50 miles of Augusta that I've never seen.

christian134 07/03/08 - 07:02 am
Another place to purchase gas

Another place to purchase gas for less than the going rates would be at a Super-Kroger...

DontTazeMeBro 07/03/08 - 08:10 am
twilahzone 07/03/08 - 09:14 am
You know what? I am going out

You know what? I am going out of town--because I do not want to be in Augusta on the 4th of July for once. No, I am not rich. I saved up for this trip beforehand for months. I know how much my gasoline tank holds. I have estimated the miles I will travel (with an extra 200 miles added). It can be done--with some common sense and mathematical skills. Oh, did I mention my vacation trip is to Atlanta--because I cannot afford to travel farther? hahhaha. I am taking advantage of being fortunate enough to travel now---for we don't know what the future holds. Look at it this way--do you want to see your family members out-of-town for Christmas? Well, start saving your pennies now instead of buying those high-priced, high-tech gifts.

jackfruitpaper833 07/03/08 - 09:34 am
have a safe trip and enjoy

have a safe trip and enjoy your time away from Augusta twilahzone.

twilahzone 07/03/08 - 09:43 am
Thanks, jackfruitpaper. ;)

Thanks, jackfruitpaper. ;)

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