Originally published Thursday, December 20, 2018 at 10:15p.m.

The Friday Catchall:

• GAS PRICES — The Prescott area has some of the highest gasoline prices in Arizona.

Not a new thing. In September, The Daily Courier reported this — and little has changed since, except that gas prices are falling elsewhere in the country; GasBuddy.com reports that gas prices have fallen in all 50 states, highlighting “what will greet motorists at the pump this Christmas.”

However, Dennis Thomas, a local truck driver, has noticed that gas prices are higher in Prescott and Prescott Valley than practically anywhere.

For instance, it costs $2.49 in Mohave Valley, $2.75 in Flagstaff, and 10 cents more than that in Cottonwood, he said.

In the Prescott area, prices are equal to Cottonwood or higher.

Thomas understands stations have their gas hauled in, which is one of the price factors. Since gasoline distribution in Arizona all stems from either Tucson or Phoenix, northern Arizonans are all subject to the same rule: the farther north you live, the more expensive it is to transport the gas to that area, according to AAA Arizona.

“Then why is gas more in Prescott than Flagstaff, which is even farther north?” Thomas asked this week.

He knows that gas stations in Needles, California, have only a 5-cent difference in price across town. That may be because they all have the same owners, he added. “But that’s not what’s happening in Prescott. I am all over the state and compare prices. It used to be Flagstaff being the highest because they had to haul it farther.

“I wish someone would go talk to somebody, and tell them: ‘You guys are screwing everybody.’”

Thomas concluded that it is because gas stations have to maintain a certain profit margin. “Then how was it $2.74 on Thursday and $2.88 less than 5 miles away?” he pondered.

According to AAA, other factors include stations that sell the most gas (volume), cost of crude oil (which is falling, by the way), transportation costs, the brand of the gasoline, the marketing a company does to attract customers, and whether they are independents or corporation-owned.

Local factors also include the cost of real estate in the area (Prescott-area prices are up — in a big way), and then there’s the wrench in the system: competition.

That is the human factor.

Know this: we’re going to keep following this and asking the simple question, “Why?” I too would like to save a couple bucks here and there.

Please email me at twieds@prescottaz.com with your insights.

• EXCERCISE — Last week I told you about a survey stating that Arizonans wouldn’t walk very far, sometimes even if their lives depended on it.

I have met someone who exemplifies “why?”

“Therese,” who lives in Prescott, is an “older” woman, she said (she’s in her 70s). “I have never been very athletic or good at sports, except maybe golf, which I hated. In my younger adulthood, I would sporadically start an exercise routine and stay faithful to it for months at a time. Then I would quit until the next time I was motivated,” she wrote this week. 

“The reason I didn’t exercise more when I was younger is very simple: I find exercise just for the sake of exercise terribly repetitive and boring. I just can’t wait till it’s over.”

That is something I have often battled and agree with; my mind wanders too much when exercising. Sadly, there are consequences.

“So now I am paying the price,” Therese said. “Now when I try to get into an exercise regimen it is very painful, and I don’t seem to improve with continued effort. It’s too late for me, but I would caution all those couch potatoes out there to heed that old adage, ‘a body in motion stays in motion.’”

Very true, Therese. Thank you for writing.

‘Nuff said.

• PICK OF THE WEEK — (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): Valley of Lights drive-through light display, through Sunday, Dec. 30, Fain Park, 2200 N. Fifth St. Prescott Valley. This year’s is really nice, folks.

Merry Christmas to all!

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.