Travelers head up to the Sierra for California’s 1st holiday weekend with no restrictions

Local News

(KTXL) — The Fourth of July weekend is always a busy travel time, and add in that it’s the first holiday weekend since California reopened, travelers are out in full force.

All this meaning many are looking to get away, leaving some exhausted. 

“I have to get skinny somehow,” said Kenny Murch laughing.

Murch is by far the most exhausted person in a crowd of weary travelers. It’s Murch’s job to clean up the rest area on both sides of Interstate 80 in Gold Run. 

“Bathrooms and trash,” Murch added. 

In all his time at the eastbound pit stop, he says he has never been this busy in his three years of working.

“Not like this, there’s a lot,” Murch said. 

While Murch plugs along and drivers carry on, the California Highway Patrol will keep the order. 

“Correct, I think with the COVID restrictions lifting in the nice weekend and the holiday weekend we’re going to see a lot of travel from down in the valley and Bay Area,’” said Lt. Commander Frank Newman with CHP. 

Newman says the CHP will match more travelers this weekend with more of their own to keep an eye on them. 

Of course, getting away up the hill does not necessarily mean travelers have to go all the way to the top of the Sierra. At Mineral Bar Campground just east of Colfax right along the north fork of the American River they have 16 campsites; all of them have been reserved for a while. 

Jason Agena and his family drove up from San Francisco. 

“I mean the traffic sucked coming up here,” Agena said. 

But for the next few days, it is all about the outdoors, and for 8-year-old Jaxon, it’s all about the creatures who live out there year-round. 

“I’m gonna catch lizards bugs and all that kind of stuff,” Jaxon said. 

Travelers planning to go to the Sierra the Fourth of July weekend may find going Saturday is their best bet. It is expected to be much more easy-going on the roads, but the CHP says come Sunday and Monday it will be very busy on westbound Interstate 80, going down the hill. 

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