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

Sunday, August 24, 2008



Darien and Louis just left. The Olympics are STILL ON! Wendy and Hjalmars’ tech beat base is competing with the blare of water polo. It’s comfortable in the rammed earth portion of the house with the swamp cooler on. Eventually I’ll mobilize for more marathon peach and tomato processing. No rush. It’s Sunday.
Yesterday Laurel and I had pedicures. It was her belated birthday gift to me and the first time in this life I have had one. This is Christina, the woman who earns her way in the world through pedicures but says she would like to be farming on 10 acres and canning. I ended up with silver toenails but I’m already so dusted up you can barely tell.
Last night our friends Darien and Louis came to Chico after a friend’s wedding and we were downtown in time for the Candle for Tibet presence. (So small. So like butterfly wings, this “protest.”) Next morning we joined the neighbors for brunch. This is Jim, a Gulf War vet, and Connie; Louis and Darien and my big, one and only watermelon going under the knife.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hard week in August

There’s been not enough free space in this last week to keep and hold my bearings.
Last year at this time we were in the Canadian Rockies and I’m putting the vastness and beauty of that next to my flatlander life in warm, dry Chico.
On Tuesday night many of us tried to get our City Council to send a resolution to Congress requesting the Impeachment of the President and Vice-President. In what I believe was an extreme example of weakness, two of our liberal council people refused to vote for it, claiming it wasn’t a local issue. On Thursday I went before the planning commission and spoke against opening the land around our farm to residential development. Obviously, even without even mentioning a full week of working and trying to put up peaches and tomatoes at every spare moment, this was what I call a hard week. So, here’s some people doing a political act with humor, using lemonade money to help the California budget deficit, and some people (Crazy Grass) playing some fun music to an appreciative downtown crowd in our new cemented central park…

At least there's good people and friends all along the way, this prickly path.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dave Guzzetti photos

Happy 60th Birthday to Dave Guzzetti! Great man and Great party!

Next night, up just south of Lassen National Park: The full moon rose across the meadow in a dent in the forest, with a pine swizzle stick across its face then with a cheery fat boy Caesar headdress but then finally cleared the trees washing light across the dry summer expanse filled with no sound and just the fullness of becoming moon washed.
I forgot the memory card for the camera and that was good. Life was becoming too looked for, framed in right light. I also forgot the Scrabble game and without it I was moon bleached in the pale meadow, part of shadow and reflected light.
My life as “story” is becoming a series of frames viewed from me as observer. In meditation today that appeared flat and two dimensional. The blog has become a pen pal who doesn’t write back… a duty to prove to myself that I exist and my life or views are worthwhile.
From another place inside everything is an invitation to explore the livingness in this dead zone. The texture and presence within what I post may honestly be my own shorthand for what breathes through me. I’m going to leave myself open to this, to this way of sensing it within wholeness.
Little frogs, bluebird families, chartreuse lichen, the long line of Broke off Mountain. Imagine.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Now from Then

Ok, this will be fast. A year ago we were in Canada. Everyday now I read my journal entry to M and we relive how it was then. It was so hot yesterday we rented a movie and had a home matinee. Totally unintentionally, I rented “A Single Curve,” filmed in the Slocan valley and in New Denver, B.C. exactly where we were at this time last year. Ahh.
Being here is just right too.
Pictures are of Daria crowning Emily as Birthday Queen, Lin reading from his new book, Together Under One Roof (Making a Home of the Buddha’s Household) at Lyon’s Books, some of the young people who put on a Darfur benefit the same night, Cecilia of “Africa Connections,” where I like to buy my clothes when not at the thrift shops, and Bobbi, bicycle coffee cart barista and Farmer’s Market think tank host (and so much more.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Political season begins

It’s the start of the political season for us. We went to a Chico Conservation Voters breakfast yesterday and all the progressive candidates were there and a core showing of financial and worker bee supporters (us) turned out. Obama yard signs are showing up around town but I haven’t been to the Democratic Headquarters yet although I did shell out my first 25$ of the campaign toward their rent. I just can’t stand yet another lesser of two evil candidates that we have to work our butts off but that’s our reality. The planet can’t afford us not to fight for her.
All the local politics is too much to start in on here. If you live here you are all too aware. If you don’t, you have your own subset of development issues where you are.
Meanwhile, I made plum jam and pulled out my beans which were becoming a choking hazard. I planted some broccoli and brussel spouts on the faith that it will be cool again someday, sweating all the while.

Friday, August 8, 2008

twix Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Just finished harvesting. ‘Itchy from tomatoes and cucumbers which have scratchy vines and I figure that picking beans is about the best way to face oneself, especially when the bush beans turned out to be runners. The Grub folk were out early harvesting to. What an absolute blessing their energy is.
Energy. I did a show on KZFR about nuclear energy drawing out the links with nuclear weapons proliferation and the corruption of the nuclear industry and its shills. It’s a toxic and frightening scenario we live with and don’t address straight on. I’m glad I did the radio show, despite my many flubs, but now I live from the 63rd Anniversary of Hiroshima to that of the Nagasaki commemoration tomorrow with all the turmoil in the world swirling through me.
Last night I lit a candle for Tibet. Today is the day for action on Burma. Today is the day the Chinese Olympics begins. I won’t be watching but my heart cries out for the people of China, Tibet, Burma, Darfur and America.
Edward Abbey said, “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” Nothing can ruin my soul but I know what he means about the spirit and the crush of inactivity when passion is strong. Tomorrow I’ll bring my chalk to the streets to do my own Shadow Project and education campaign and attend the Peace Vigil. (Every Saturday on the corner of Third and Main Streets in downtown Chico since the early 1960s when the military put an underground nuclear facility in north of town.)
One planet. One people. One conscious effort to survive.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Reservoir Hopping

We just scrubbed off the last duff of the weekend. Outlaws that we are, we managed to car camp amidst our fellow hikers and campers without paying for gas, camping or bathing for four days plus we picked up 70 gallons of veggie “fuel.” Michael has developed an easy way to carry a battery and pump for getting the oil now we don’t have the second set of batteries under the camper (shown here.)
We camped at reservoirs, which defines most all of the lakes you can drive to in California. First we went to Carr, a PG&E lake that is a trailhead for the Grouse Ridge trail. That’s where we saw this oddly blunt bodied non-colored snake. Next night we went deeper down that bumpy road to much bigger Bowman Lake.
The next day we came out to I-80 and went up the Donner Summit road through a migration of the same orange on the inside, mottled leaf brown on the outside, butterflies we’d seen in Sugar Lake, B.C. this time last year. These were succumbing in great numbers with each passing of a vehicle. I was squirming with distress as we lumbered the truck amongst their fragile, flittering bodies, which also littered the road.
We hiked the Judah Mountain trail above Sugar Bowl with dozens of other day hikers out on the Pacific Crest Trail. At lunch, up on an escarpment facing the least human impacted vista, we watched a scruffy juvenile coyote trot smartly just below us while Sasha twisted on her collar to be after him.
Lastly, we went home via Stampede Reservoir and up and around the Henness Pass Road, where settlers and stage coaches once traveled through Washoe land. Beautiful valleys and long meadows leading us back to our usual way home.