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

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Salimos from Salida with snow falling and spent the night at a boat put in on the Arkansas River which runs north-south. In the morning the Sawatch Range was glorying in a new thatch of snow.
We took a divot in toward the mountains so I could go to the Princeton Hot Springs and Michael, the Spartan who had bathed two days ago, could winterize under the sink in hopes of keeping the water pump from freezing again. Late in the day we got to Leadville, and got a map of the area.
We decided to ski at Turquoise Lake, where Turquoise used to be mined. I exceeded my wimp-0-meter readings with fear of skiing across the lake, fear of the dark and storm closing in but it sure was beautiful!
Michael is processing veggie oil in the library parking lot. (I’m sure this does not surprise you.) We have both been concerned about the environmental crisis this town is undergoing. Leadville, (even the name is ominous to an old public health nurse,) is the home to many mines. After WWII the Bureau of Mines built the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel to help drain local mines of water. The Bureau has never taken responsibility for the water and now there is a crisis. Over a Billion Gallons of acid and metal-laden water has formed an underground pool on the east side of Leadville (by a mobile home park housing many poor including people from Mexico who work here.) A tunnel blow out is feared. An emergency plan has never been developed and now there is a scramble to test sirens and come up with a plan before spring thaw. The bureau continues to say they have no responsibility to test or dispose of the water. State Senator Wiens has been predicting a major disaster, “the most significant environmental catastrophe in the history of the American West.” Days before we arrived, in the midst of huge community turmoil, the EPA had said they would start pumping the water to the Bureau of Mines existing wastewater treatment plan. Lake County remains in a State of Emergency. (You can follow this story at


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