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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Paula's Lake

In 2001, right after the 9/11 tragedy, we went up to Loon Lake and canoed to the far side to the boat-in campground. This year we went back there because I asked to be let off hiking duty with my sore heal. This was our annual trip with Ann and Linda, old friends from the health department. We share a love of the natural world and have enjoyed our annual hikes or canoe trips for over 10 years but this is the first time we ever returned to a place we visited before.

As we left town we called our friend Paula. I’d heard the day before that she had been diagnosed with cancer and we wanted to say our Love to her before we got out of range. We promised to do a healing circle for her on Monday morning, the day of her surgery. Her sweet voice on the phone really triggered me and she filled my thoughts and dreams while we were in the mountains.

Loon Lake is north of Hwy 50 on the back side of the Desolation Wilderness. Not far from the famed and infamous Rubicon trail. (Thank Goodness we missed their grinding and roaring this time.) Loon Lake didn’t have any loons but we saw Canada geese and canvasback and one adult bald eagle who flew past our lookout as we placed a necklace from Sri Lanka in a tree for Paula’s mind and spirit to visit.
It was a good trip. Each morning we had to assist small frogs out of the canoes where they had settled under the life preservers. We did hike to nearby Spider Lake and swam around an island there. We also canoed all the nooks and crannies in Loon Lake and wandered around looking for driftwood, garbage in my case, and swimming off the big granite slabs and granite sand beaches. The clarity of the light stays with me back home here in the dull heat and heavy air of the valley.

We had wonderful meals and got Ann and Linda more invested in Scrabble. They're good easy going women and I appreciate their commitment to these annual camping trips.

I sent Paula the cold embrace of the early morning lake before the ripples had started, right at eye level with all the beauty and stimulation the body could appreciate. The clear joy of living.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Sasha and I are on our own this week. We walk by Bruce's peppers on our way to the creek twice a day. The heat is oppressive but the walk back, after swimming in Comanche Creek, is always quite comfortable. The water comes from the high country that feeds Butte Creek.
I've replenished my prayer flags for Tibet both for Tibet and for the color to pick up my spirits. I have a sore heel from our Trinity Mts. hike and it is making me feel more gravid with the heat than I would ever consciously choose to be. I'm slowly making my way in the world.

And I remind myself that these are the dog days in more than one way. Always it is oppressively hot around Hiroshima Day.. My cranes from last year still fly free with this on their wings-- I will write "peace" on your wings and you will fly all over the world... much like the prayer flags the cranes and I hover for a world we can barely discern.
Meanwhile, I've been filling in on some radio shows. It's the big World Music Festival that empties out Chico right now in Grass Valley. This is the spider webby view from the KZFR (90.1FM) studio window down to the Chico Plaza with the post office and other buildings beyond.
I guess it has been a hard week. The architectural review board ok'd the Mosquito Abatement and Vector Control building along the Creek across from us... what's a bit more pesticides along the riparian corridor? Second, the Walmart expansion hearing was gruelling and opponents put up a good fight but when I saw the big buttons with the word JOBS on it I knew we were doomed. In this economy what entity could look at the long term health of the community? It's all about short term fixes...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The land again

This map is what I want to talk about despite a very fantastic weekend of reunions, anniversaries, birthdays and general celebration. Our land is the little 12 acre harp shaped area edged in green.
We are threatened constantly by development interests. The most recent is a big mosquito abatement installation across the creek. They will want to push for a road across the creek and they'll want to drain into the creek.
It's endless the fights to hold the land secure from the threats of toxics and development. I just wanted you to see it. We hold back the challenges to the best ag land in the world. Right here. We also fight for the riparian corridor and the small possibility nature still claims.

Meanwhile there's more to eat out of the garden.

The wild grapes tendril around everything and would swallow up everything if they could.

Michael rebuilt the dock so it is stronger, safer and also reinforced the geriatric dog ramp which Sasha enjoys.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Also-- humans!

The old tadpole catching veggie man...
Howard, our host on his Pine Creek land, with whom we shared pancakes, peaches, strawberries and blackberries this morning.

A stylish little girl who I don't know-- bless her.

Me, Weezie and Karen putting the last girlfriend spin on my much belated birthday.
And finally, the beautiful Anne Creamer, whose company I enjoy very much.

4th at Pine Creek

Sasha can’t stand fireworks so we left town before dusk and headed out to Pine Creek. It’s a prickly world out there but still very beautiful by the creek. We walked out to Barber Rd. after dark and watched the distant, silent fireworks through binoculars across the vast Tuscan mudflow with the Big Dipper over our heads.

This morning we went up to a swimming hole that was full of bullfrog tadpoles. Michael thought you might want to see one up close… I wouldn’t harm one but hope some heron or egret moves in to cut these guys back in their numbers.