The Great American Road Trip from @abcnewsradio and @astoneabcnews
Today: Lebanon, Missouri
ABC News Radio Correspondent Alex Stone stops in Missouri, where residents are being affected by high food prices and are holding onto their automobiles longer.
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ABC News Radio’s Alex Stone explores gas prices, the economy, and culture across the America. Read about yesterday’s stop in Oklahoma City, OK.
ABC News Radio Correspondent Alex Stone is hitting the road. Starting on Sunday, May 8th, Alex will begin a Flagstaff, Arizona, to Chicago, Illinois, road trip along historic Route 66. During the five day, 1600 mile journey, Alex will speak with Americans about gas prices, food prices and how their lives are being touched daily by the economy. Stone will find out how people are changing their day-to-day life to cope with the many challenges they face.
Ride along with ABC News Radio Correspondent Alex Stone on his Great American Road Trip.
Short link to the blog: http://abcn.ws/isWhnE
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(LEBANON, Mo.) — It’s hard to believe there’s only one more travel day left before we arrive in Chicago at the end of Route 66. This week has flown by. So far, with about 500 miles left to go we’ve spent a little over $230 on gas. The most expensive gas we found was along I-40 in New Mexico and Texas. The cheapest we’ve seen was in Oklahoma City.
Our driving day from Oklahoma City to Lebanon, Missouri on Wednesday was full of interesting stories from folks we stopped and talked to along the way. Leaving Oklahoma City, we chatted with a car mechanic named Joe Janis.
We’ve seen the reports that say used car prices are at all-time highs right now. Joe backed that up by saying he’s getting calls constantly from folks who are looking for used Toyota Camrys and Hondas because they know the cars get good gas mileage, and they don’t have the money to buy new cars. Joe is also seeing a whole lot of older cars in for service where owners are running them longer — sometimes way past when he thinks they should drive them — just to save money and keep from having to buy a new car.
From Oklahoma City, we drove quite a distance to Baxter Springs, Kansas. Route 66 only dips into the southeastern border of Kansas for a few miles, and that’s where we stopped, interested to see how rising food prices are affecting folks in Baxter Springs. We found a locally-owned grocery store, Baxter Foods, but it’s only locally owned for a few more days — it’s about to be taken over by a grocery store chain. While food prices may come down as a result, the employees of the small store are worried they will lose their jobs or lose pay with the new company.
Dave Mitchell, the produce manager at Baxter Foods, told us prices are going up surprising quickly. He says customers are complaining about it but there is little they can do because it costs more to truck in food because of the gas prices. Also, produce is hard to grow in Oklahoma because of drought, and in the Mississippi region because of flooding.
Outside the grocery store we met a mom who says food prices are impacting her life greatly. She and her husband are trying everything they can to cut down on spending at the grocery store. They are now attempting to raise their own meat — mainly pigs — and grow their own garden full of veggies so they don’t have to buy them at the store. She called it an experiment but she’s hoping it will work.
Now, we move on from Lebanon. We have a long day of driving ahead, about 500 miles until we get to our destination.
Talk to you from Chicago!
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