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

Friday, April 11, 2008


Michael is processing veggie oil. It’s cold and blowing and bright outside. We are above the Owen’s River Gorge in volcanic pinion pine country. It’s still dry winter here overlooking the Owen’s Valley with both mountain ranges flanking us.
Michael’s birthday is coming up and I have nothing to give him. We are living on forty dollars a day but money’s not really the issue. There is just nothing I can give him that I know about.
I hear the heft, thud, latch and scrape of what he is doing outside as I sit inside the cab warm and comfortable. My praise for him is partly about all that I am not and that I find amazing but also for all he is that stretches beyond what most of us have in our repertoire.
It was “love at first sight” for me with Michael. He was (is) very handsome, his voice and manner were responsible and the being of him just leapt out for me beyond anyone I had seen before. That was about 26 years ago.
Michael has a quiet confidence in the way he faces problems. He can do just about anything. He moves into challenges without anxiety and with a flow that makes things he does seem effortless although they are not. This equanimity and purposeful approach allows him to solve physical or mental hurdles with purpose and calm. He doesn’t fret. He just gets things done whether it’s figuring out truck puzzlers or blanketing a community with yard signs in advance of an election or skiing a transect across a hundred miles of mountain terrain.
I love that Michael has simple joys and a hedonistic streak so we can enjoy sedentary pleasantries together and it’s been him every step of the way that’s got me along the dirt roads and paths of this journey so we could get to the exquisite beauty that often lies beyond the scenic overlooks. He has a sweet flowing spirit which lives groundedly within what life presents and is a comfort and company for me. Soon we’ll be 61 together but next week he’ll brave it first with unstated grace and without fan fare.

We have been trying to get up to the snow to ski. We went up the South Lake Road yesterday and Pine Creek trail that climbs into the John Muir Wilderness this afternoon. We have a term called skikeing (ski+hike) that covers what you have to do this time of year. You hike in your ski boots til you get to snow but soon find yourself carrying the skiis again as there are frequent dry patches.


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