Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Thursday, November 1, 2007


All Souls Greetings!
We are in Hancock, Maryland, the little bottleneck of Maryland, a strangely shaped state. From this spot (Chesapeke and Ohio Canal National Historical Park) we could paddle on the Potomac to Washington, DC to rebuke the politicians and howl objections in the halls of Congress then paddle out the great Chesapeake Bay to continue our quiet observance of all there is to sense.
We’ve run on 100% biodiesel from Lewisburg, Pa. an area rich with Mennonites. It’s a long story, but started with a Packard’s game. Michael was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin and holds great loyalty for the home team. This was the first time we sought out a bar on the trip. The place we found was on a sprawling highway corridor and closed at 10pm so we ended up seeking out a second…so I guess we went bar hopping. The main thing is that we met a kindly couple at the first place and the woman gave us information on a local biodiesel enthusiast and practitioner with the caveat that he is a very busy man and possibly could not assist us.
The man turned out to be the amazing Preston Boop, Commissioner, contractor, waste recycler, farmer, family and church man, but also biodiesel entrepreneur. He’s one of the people who seem underwhelmed with their own incredible and unlikely profile, very humble and practical, an alchemist who goes home after his full day and cooks up gallons of biodiesel to run over a dozen vehicles driven by family and employees. He is fascinated with working out the kinks, doing it right.
These photos are of Preston and the clear finished product and the final washer behind him, the methanol recovery unit and wash tanks in his passive solar warehouse. He very kindly allowed us to fill both our veggie and diesel tanks with his biodiesel in exchange for a fair trade donation to his church.

We didn’t have much of a usual Halloween. I made eyeballs in blood for dinner (i.e. ravioli and tomato sauce) and we ate by candlelight in a spooky hollow and listened to bluegrass from West Virginia and classical from Pennsylvania. I dreamed of the house we lived in when we lived in New Jersey and woke with great appreciation for my parents and the good lives they provided for my brother and I.
During the day we’d canoed on Lake Raystown, a huge Army Corps of Engineers reservoir. It seemed unnatural until we got into a little finger where invasive grass created habitat for huge numbers of fish. The day was sunny and in the high 60s so we lazed with dragons and bees.


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