SIOUX CITY | This weekend, travelers will turn their keys, ignite their engines and take off on their first auto adventures of the summer, hauling campers, visiting family and sightseeing.
As Memorial Day, the traditional start of the summer travel season, draws near, gasoline prices in Sioux City remain largely stable, as they have for the past year.
In Sioux City on Tuesday, self-serve regular unleaded gas prices jumped slightly from about $2.19 per gallon to around $2.29 at many stations, though some remained in the lower range.
The local prices are roughly on par with a national average of $2.35 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA.
The EIA is predicting gas prices this summer will remain about where they are now, not rising above $2.41 per gallon.
Nationally, gas prices have been steady for the past year, bouncing between $2.27 in May 2016 to a high of $2.42 last month. These prices stand in stark contrast to prices between 2011 and 2014, when average gas prices hovered around $3.50 per gallon.
Moville, Iowa resident Anessa Opsahl stopped to buy gas at the Pilot Travel Center, 2815 Singing Hills Blvd., where self-serve regular unleaded was $2.19 per gallon.
Opsahl said she and her husband seek the best price available for gas.
"This is the cheapest, everywhere else is $2.30 or $2.27," she said. "My husband's got an app that shows him the cheapest (gas)."
This summer, Opsahl said she is going to Wisconsin for her daughter's wedding, a trip made a bit easier by relatively modest gas prices.
"And then we do a lot of camping," she said. "Every other week."
If the elevated gas prices of three years ago were to return, Opsahl said that would mean less summer travel.
"This to me isn't cheap, I mean I can remember when I lived in Wisconsin, and they're 50 cents higher than us," she said. "But if it goes up more, it is difficult to travel."
Patty Brown, a resident of Selah, Washington, was also at the Pilot station Thursday afternoon. She was traveling north on Interstate 29 to Sioux Falls for a wedding.
Brown said she also plans to travel to Arizona this summer to see her grandson, and to Ohio.
The gas price in Sioux City was reasonable compared to some other places, Brown said.
"They're a lot cheaper here then they are in Washington," Brown said of her home state, where prices run about $2.99 per gallon.
AAA is predicting that Memorial Day will have more travelers on U.S. roads than any year since 2005 - a total of 39.3 million going 50 miles or more. This will be the third consecutive year with an increased number of Memorial Day travelers.