POLLOCK PINES (CBS13) – With coronavirus restrictions lifted, people were celebrating liberty from the worst of the pandemic this Independence Day weekend.

Americans are on the move from the road to the airports. An estimated 48 million people are expected to travel through the holiday weekend.

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Many people are heading up Highway 50 towards Lake Tahoe, and some are taking their campers to the forest. Most everyone is happy to be out of the house.

“You get a little stir crazy,” said Kevin Wolf, coming from the Bay Area. He and his wife, along with their pups, are looking forward to celebrating freedom in more ways than one.

“It’ll be nice to feel like it’s a normal year,” Elizabeth Wolf said.

AAA estimates the number of people hitting the road will be up 34% from last year, and everybody has their own reason.

“Getting out of Sacramento and the heat,” said Kirsti, from Citrus Heights.

She said it’s worth it, even despite what she paid at the pump.

“Ridiculous. I just filled up a half tank and it was 80 bucks,” she said.

The Thao family also packed their pickup for a weekend away.

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“We’ve been in the house for so long. We just really want to take them out,” said Chris Thao.

He and Tiffany Thao grabbed their grandkids and are eager to explore the outdoors.

“All my grandkids can play in the water and they love that,” Tiffany Thao said.

Locals from Pollock Pines, the Phillips family, said they know the allure of their location and plan to stay put – avoiding the traffic troubles and highway headache they watch build every weekend.

“We don’t get on 50 on Fridays – and on Sunday, we don’t go to Placerville because they’re all coming home,” said Hank Phillips.

The couple said it’s even worse over a holiday weekend and they welcome visitors to El Dorado County.

“We can’t be stingy with our beautiful areas,” Phillips said.

They hope the people passing through remember the rules, though.

“No fireworks in El Dorado County at all,” said Ellen Phillips. Her husband agreed, “Uh uh – zip, zero tolerance.”

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Traffic seems to be soaring to pre-pandemic levels, with more people taking advantage of their freedom from restrictions.

Heather Janssen