If there were fewer people on the road this 4th of July weekend--I guess I didn't notice. I especially didn't notice during the twenty minute backup along Highway 76 north of Oshkosh starting at the Highway 41 interchange late yesterday afternoon. It would have been nice of the DOT to figure out some way to still allow traffic on 45 this weekend--since it's much better designed to handle a lot of cars compared to 76.
I didn't notice people slowing down to conserve fuel this weekend. Especially, the guy in the pickup truck with the Illinois license plate who zoomed by about ten cars at 75-miles an hour entering a 35 mile an hour zone in Three Lakes. Apparently high gas prices weren't affecting him that evening. However, I will give credit to the whomever was doing 52-miles an hour Sunday afternoon along Highway 45 south of New London until the Highway 10 interchange. Everybody else behind you was loving the great gas mileage we were getting stacked up behind you about 50-cars deep.
High gas prices didn't keep many people off the water this weekend. The people in the cabin next to my parents had their ski boat and pontoon boat out constantly--making sure anyone trying to fish didn't get any peace or calm water. The economic downturn didn't prevent jet skiers from racing up and down the Wisconsin River next to the golf course in Eagle River either.
The tough economic times apparently missed all of the people who packed the main street of Eagle River for some tourist trap shopping, those who waited for over an hour at all of the little restaurants along the rural highways and those who filled up all of the tee times at both of the golf courses I played this weekend. Thank goodness for the hard times--or I might never have squeezed in a couple of rounds.
Now there were some real signs of an economic downturn. There are a lot of boats for sale parked in yards along the highways. There was even one place with a Corvette, a boat and the house all for sale by owner. As I told my wife, there's someone who can't afford any off their overpriced toys anymore. And there is a lot of real estate for sale on the northern lakes. Apparently, the cabin on the lake isn't such a priority when it costs you over a hundred dollars to drive there. Let's just hope, sensible Wisconsin folks are the ones cashing in on reduced property values up there--so we can get rid of the Illinois jerks who keep threatening to turn that area into the "Next Door County".