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, September 26, 2009

One September Saturday

Chico is an amazing community for sheer doingness! I started off the morning filling in on a talk show on KZFR Community Radio. Friends Bob and Leslie, who I mentioned recently here, came in and talked about their work in Belize (Doroteia Pathways) and with the local ACLU chapter. After that my co-worker Patty Molinaro talked about Breast Cancer screening, prevention, survival.. as well as all the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness Month Activities here.

Then Patty and I went out on the street and found ourselves seeing all the amazing Pastels on the Plaza chalk drawings as well as the wonderful little Chico Palio horses-- I've included three that are near and dear to me- those of the Barber Neighborhood Association, Butte County Behavioral Health and KZFR.

Peace, Art, Culture and Friendship. What a lovely rich benefit to having a day off.

Monday, September 21, 2009


This is the loopings of our veggie voyage, not showing picking up veggie oil in Mineral, Mill Creek and Child's Meadow on the return.

We saw lots of herbicided clear cuts, even stayed in one overlooking the majestic Castle Crags last night.
The Klamath was green with algae and it made us sad for this ancient Salmon river.
There were hunters EVERYWHERE starting on Saturday. Did you know that if you scare off what the hunter is after you get an infraction and if you repeat this action in a three month period you get a misdemenor?
It was a beautiful end to summer and it was hard to come back to our very hot valley.

Scott Mountain

As usual, I'm telling this story out of sequence.
After Shasta we camped one night by Castle Lake and hiked above it and paddled round it. Then we crossed into the Trinities and rode bikes along the spine of Scott Mt. to the Wilderness where we hiked in along the Pacific Crest Trail.
There's a shot here of how Michael pumps the veggie oil in...


We visited Shasta, Trinity, Russian and Marble Wildernesses on this trip.
There are photos here of Taylor Lake, a very accessible lake just off the Etna Summit in the Russian Wilderness-- an easy quarter mile in. Plus photos of one of the easiest hikes into the Marble Mountains to Lake Campbell. There we were able to watch a small bear come to the lake then stroll along the shore before reentering the woods.
We were disappointed by the grazing in the Wilderness as the cows and horses have torn up the trails, pooped in the pristine springs and they are accompanied by cowboys with rifles as it's time to herd the cows down out of the mountains.
According to the Wilderness Act of 1964 traditional activities like grazing can continue in areas where they existed previous to the act. It's really a shame that the semi-easy 8 mile loop to Campbell Lake is impacted this way.

Monday, September 14, 2009


We got the car back and now it is tarped and waiting for a new oil pan and some TLC.
We have started a small vacation on the first rain. A little snow at the foot of the summit of Mt. Shasta. Raindrops on anemone and Sasha at the turn around point above Panther Meadows and below beautiful red Green Butte.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hayden Hill and the Lost Volks

We were going to hike in the Warner Mountains but left too late in the day on Friday to make it all the way up to far northern California before night fall. Instead, we saw some likely looking reservoirs on the map north of Eagle Lake in northern Lassen County. What ended up happening is that we never found any reservoirs. We camped the first night in a burn area and the next day kept going, expecting to use the GPS to find a short cut back to Hwy 139 so we could go on our way. It was like the frog in ever increasing hot water... we should have gone back but back was increasingly far and we thought we could do it based on the map. Still the roads were nothing but old hints of tracks over rocky ground, high up in the sage, juniper and antelope of the high desert. We were doing pretty well...just past where this photo was taken in a place you might find on Google Earth, called Long Valley, when a small rock punctured the oil pan and we came to be stopped once and for all.
Long story short, Michael hiked out seven miles to the nearest neighbor's. Luckily they were kind and generous and came back for Sasha and I in their high clearance truck and we stayed over at their off the grid cabin, 10 miles from their next closest neighbor.

While there I took a ride with them out to the Dream Catcher Horse Rescue Ranch and heard their concerns about over grazing and lack of responsibility in the care of these horses by this non-profit. It was very concerning.

Our new friends are incredibly hard working and creative establishing and maintaining a comfortable life for themselves in retirement far from anywhere.

I just wish we hadn't done the drive in my new veggie wagon. We now get it about how low and vulnerable the clearance is...It was too tempting and we were too confident. Now Michael and friend Peter are out there. Who knows if they will even be able to find the car, much less get it loaded up and safely hauled back for repairs. It's 7000 feet elevation up there so they are prepared but a lot could go wrong.
I'm glad I got to meet wonderful new friends but don't know if it was worth it for the trouble we have caused ourselves. Happy Less Labor Day to you.