Locals not changing driving habits | VailDaily.com

Locals not changing driving habits

Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyChrinstina Knox said it's hard to save gas when there are kids to transport and work

EDWARDS ” Jerry Nichols is doing what he can to save a little gas. But there’s only so much he can do.

As Nichols gave his Land Rover a full-tank fill-up Tuesday ” a $66 ritual this week ” he said he and his family are trying to cut back on their gas consumption, at least a little.

“We’re car pooling more,” Nichols said. “But with three boys in sports, it’s hard.”

Those boys need lifts up and down the valley for their various events, which, of course, involves a lot of driving. But, Nichols said, he and his wife are trying to be a little smarter about the number of trips they take.

“We didn’t think about it much last year, but we definitely are this year,” he said.

Being smarter about driving sometimes means a kid has to wait around a ball field for a while. “But that’s just the way it is,” Nichols said.

For some people, driving a little smarter means taking the family’s most fuel-efficient vehicle on trips. Nichols’s family does that as often as possible.

So does Stacy Simons’ family.

“We have a minivan we use on long trips,” Simons said as she poured more than $60 worth of regular into her Ford Explorer. “We haven’t really changed our habits, but we do conserve. We combine trips when we can.”

A brief survey of those filling up at the Shell station in Edwards Tuesday indicated that local drivers aren’t much different than motorists around the country: Hurting because of gas prices, but still using about as much fuel as they did a year ago.

“I’m not changing anything,” Christina Knox said as she filled up her Ford pickup. “I can’t, really. I’ve got to go to work. And the kids have to run around.”

There’s needed driving, and then there’s crucial driving.

Former Gypsum resident Bill Sixkiller’s daughter is receiving cancer treatment at the Shaw Cancer Center. The Sixkillers, who now live on a ranch near Craig, have been driving to Edwards and back every weekday for the last several weeks. Much of that driving has been in Sixkiller’s diesel-powered Chevrolet pickup.

Once the driving to the Shaw Center is done, though, “I don’t have to drive much,” Sixkiller said.

“We travel to rodeos in the summer,” he said. “I’m probably not going to go as much this year, and when I do, I’ll take three or four other guys with me and we’ll share the costs.”

High gas prices might cut into Elma Reed’s summer plans, too.

As she was filling the tank of her BMW roadster she said she and her family haven’t changed much about their driving habits. But, to save a buck or two, she was giving the two-seater regular instead of premium.

“We love to go to Lake Powell, and we’re still going to go,” Reed said. “I hope we can go at least once this summer. We’ll just have to work harder to pay for the trip.”

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14624, or smiller@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado

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