Ed Nicholson is now in the midst of an abbreviated work week at Lyman Lumber. His every keystroke is likely accompanied by thoughts of his family's upcoming trip to Island Lake.
"We just like getting out of town going up there and enjoying the water."
The Nicholsons' hometown is getting a bad reputation among drivers for two reasons, road work is one of them.
"We have more construction going on here in Eau Claire than any other part of the state," said Nancy Martens of AAA.
Then there are the gas prices, which are on the higher end of Wsconsin's $2.28 average, the eighth highest in America according to AAA.
"People are going to spend a little less money on their food or their souveneirs but the percentage that we're up over last year is not really greatly impacting travel at all," Martens said.
"When you leave this town it's always cheaper every place else," said Nicholson.
"So I fill up when I get to where I'm going,"
It could be worse, if their car ran on diesel, which is creeping toward a record high price even faster than gas. The Nicholson's route should get them around the Chippewa Valley's orange barrel obstacle course too. Plus vacation days should ensure Ed and his family beat the rush to the northwoods.
"Fourth of july is the whole spirit of america, they want to get out there and celebrate," Martens said.
Even if Ed has to pay more every year just to drive to Island Lake.
"We'd find ways to make it still work"
After a short work week that ends with a mad dash up north and beyond.