Eric Chalker isn’t ready to give up on his camping trip to Fort Simpson just yet.
However, he’s well aware it’s not going to be cheap getting there.
Under normal circumstances, he could expect to pay about $100 in gas each way. But if gas prices continue the way they’re going now, he and his travel companions could be paying $150 just to get there.
“It definitely puts more of a pinch on the trip,” he says as he fills his truck at the Shell station on Range Lake Road.
And he’s not only concerned for himself.
“It affects communities like Fort Simpson too — those are thermal communities,” he says.
Chalker’s perspective is similar to many of his fellow Yellowknifers, who say they’re mostly carrying on as usual despite feeling the pinch of rising gas prices.
And NWT residents aren’t feeling the pinch as much as their neighbours to the south.
On May 20, the average national price of gas was 198.6 cents per litre, including 222.8 cents per litre in Newfoundland and Labrador, according to GasBuddy.com.
By contrast, Yellowknifers were paying between 181.9 cents per litre at the Monkey Tree Gas Bar and 195.9 cents per litre at the Co-op station as of May 20, also according to GasBuddy.com.
Even further south, Americans are faring slightly better at the pump, with the national average in the U.S. sitting at 154.49 cents per litre, or $4.591 per gallon, as of May 20.
Prices had been steadily rising for years before suddenly skyrocketing in late February, thanks largely to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a major petroleum exporter.
Ron Leonardis isn’t changing his commuting habits yet. But with the climbing price of diesel, he is trading in his diesel truck for something that runs on gas.
He’s worried Yellowknifers are really going to feel the pinch soon.
“The cost of living for Yellowknife is too expensive for people to live,” he says. “Just to travel from point A to point B, you’re spending way too money.”
Julie Falsetti says she mostly drives to commute to and from work. That doesn’t mean she’s not concerned about paying at the pump.
“Of course I’m concerned; I still have to pay for it,” she says.