The Saratoga Sun -

People are moving again

Numbers are back up at Interstate 80 gas stations


Mike Armstrong

The Elk Mountain Conoco has seen travelers from all over the USA

Seth Konrath, owner of Elk Mountain Conoco and Walcott Junction Shell gas stations said that he is seeing numbers rising of vehicles coming to his stations after a huge drop off in March, April and May.

"Those months there was a 40 percent drop," Konrath said.

Konrath said in one weekend, traffic came back.

"It didn't start coming back until Memorial Day weekend," Konrath said. "Now we are right up where we were last year, if not a little ahead."

Konrath attributed some of the increased traffic to the fact that many people are avoiding planes and instead of flying are taking to cars.

"RV traffic is probably a little up from this time last year too," Konrath said. "I don't think people are at a point where they feel comfortable going into airports or planes. I know bars in Hanna that are still recovering even if they are allowed to be open."

He is happy that it feels like the interstate is getting back to normal.

"As long as there isn't another outbreak, I think people are going to be out and about after being cooped up for two months," Konrath said.

He said the travelers are from all over the USA.

"The people are coming from everywhere. far as you can imagine," Konrath said. "Alaska, California, the east. I do pay attention."

Down the road at the Shell gas station in Walcott Junction, employee Ed Kennaday agreed with Konrath.

"It is like normal now, like it never happened," Kennaday said. "Everyone is happy that they can go to the campgrounds again."

Mike Armstrong

Walcott Junction Shell employee Ed Kennaday said travelers on the interstate are back up

Kennaday noticed that masks are not as common as they were a few weeks ago.

"You can see that people are getting out from coast to coast," Kennaday said. "It is good to see life coming back to normal."

Kennaday said his family has been in Carbon County for generations. His great uncle was the first forest ranger in Carbon County and Kennaday Peak is named after him.

He is glad for rebound on the highway, but wants people to still be careful.

"People should still take serious about staying safe," Kennaday said. "I personally take vitamin C and D because not everyone gets enough sun and D will take care of that. And of course, people should continue to wash hands. That was common sense before COVID-19.

Both Konrath and Kennaday hope the worst is over.


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