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Usually, gasoline prices spike as we head into the Memorial Day weekend but hold onto your wallet if you're traveling over the 4th of July weekend now too.

2021 has been a MUCH better year so far than 2020 was, hasn't it? Then pandemic is fading, and things are starting to feel like they used to as our lives get back to some semblance of 'normal.'

One of the things, though, that may not be quite so good, however, is the fact that gasoline prices are much, much higher than they were last year-- and we could soon be crossing the $3 mark for a gallon of unleaded here in Minnesota.

Just to jog your memory, if you go back to mid to late March of 2020, gas prices were falling fast as the effect of the pandemic and shutdowns started to take effect both here in Minnesota and across the country. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, we were paying $1.93 per gallon on March 23rd, 2020, and prices continued to fall all the to the almost unheard of price of $1.50 a gallon on April 17th.

But that was then. And, we're paying much more for a gallon of gasoline now. In fact, according to GasBuddy, some gas stations in the Land of 10,000 Lakes are already at that $3 a gallon mark. Both the Caseys and Kwik Trips in Stewartville and Eyota are already selling a gallon of unleaded for $3 a gallon, GasBuddy noted. And, it probably won't be too long before other stations in Rochester hit that amount as well.

So why is the price of gasoline so high here in 2021? Well, according to this AAA story, via Clarksville Online, we're seeing the highest prices for gasoline on  it's mainly due to three factors:

Crude oil, and in turn gas prices, are more expensive compared to years past mostly due to three major factors: confidence in worldwide vaccination rollout, global oil demand spikes, and the easing of travel restrictions leading to optimism for leisure travel.

And it looks like none of those things are going to go away anytime soon, so we might have to get used to paying $3 a gallon for gas here in the Bold North. And no matter what the price of gas is right now, it's no doubt just a slight bit higher than it was when you first got behind the wheel. Do you remember where gas prices were when we all first started driving?!? Keep scrolling to a walk down memory lane!

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

Listen to Curt St. John mornings from 6 to 10 on Quick Country 96.5
and afternoons from 2 to 6 on 103.9 The Doc