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 30, 2010

Michael leaves

Michael has left to ski this Eastern Sierra route. It's about 35 miles over a number of passes. Of course I'll worry but I'm glad he is connecting to the wild.
Jim Stoltz, Walking Jim Stoltz of over 28,000 miles of wilderness walking came to town to play music and show his gorgeous slides. He is a pure being drenched in appreciation. Where I think of all the rolly rocks, downed trees, ice cold water crossings he sings about the essence of the beauty I'm always on the edge of relationship with. He said in his book, Walking in the Wild Land, when someone asks him "why do you walk?" he wished he could tap himself and pull out the brew and say, "drink this." That is the loveliest and that's what I wish for Michael now.
It's a very rough and helpless time hearing about this oil spill despoiling the habitat of perhaps thousands of miles of the Gulf Coast, thinking of the environmental calamity... better to be gone.
Meanwhile there has been good set on some trees (pictured here is a young plum that had leaf curl and my faithful lemon, totally recovered from the frost zapping it got.) The apricots had rain while they were blooming so they really had poor pollination. All in the cycle of seasons.

The people who went before lived on this land until we exterminated them and most of their cultures. This bedrock mortar, happened on in Paradise, was in an open field near a little creek. I always can see the women working and talking. There is never just one mortar in a rock.
It's all pretty obvious isn't it....

And lastly, remember I said we live on 12 acres of weeds? Well, here they are in the glory and profusion of the rainy April. If they can celebrate so should we, headed into Beltain.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth week

Earth Day. I recorded my energy discretions and reveal them here: wake to electric clock radio, shower with demand hot water heater, pancakes cooked on natural gas range with microwaved thawed frozen strawberries. Did a load of wash with gray water out to blackberries. Hung out on line to dry. Went to work and used computer, phones and copier all morning. Then drove to SF on ultra low sulphur diesel at 42mpg. I stopped on the highway and rested at a place with multiple fans, t.v. screens and a bathroom with continued automatic flushing and sensor monitored hand towel dispenser.. lots of lights and fans. Then squeezed in by 18 wheelers til I-80 where I was (travelling alone,) stuck almost to standstill around the toll plazas before the Bay Bridge. The sky dense with smog; listening to Derrick Jensen on KPFA. Ending the day with over consuming Indian food; taking home the excess in a styrofoam tub then watching TV with my dearest daughter on computer--a serial about a magical blue energy source offered by coniving aliens.
Me of what I have eaten, the clothes I wear, the house and the stuff in it, the car. Me driving insanely through the vallley of discrete natural gas wells and through delicious velvet green hills with conservative candidates (exclusively) advertising campaigns along the "freeway."
No, none of it is good. I know consumer oriented solutions are frought with economic and ideological problems but I can and will do better. I will. My journey was to the honorable and becoming ancient Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, servant to the homeless, those suffering from addiction, disease and alienation. I feel graced to have visited them and added my two cents to assist them and the safety net.
Last weekend up on Brokeoff Michael insisted on taking pictures of me. This one I like because of the cornice behind me:

I don't know what to say about our survival this Earth Day. Enjoy our rammed earth while you consider it....
And be grateful we live where we can grow our own beautiful food. Not everyone is so lucky.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Michael's Birthday Week

You'd think for Michael's birthday I could get a picture of him that he might like, but no. Today we plant!
The columbines in the yard are reliable and you'd think I'd be less wowed by their delicate hummingbird beauty but every year I just have to stop and look at them a couple of times a day... such grace!

Now the mad hatters and others that attended the Tea Party event were slightly less attractive but I just see them as manipulated by cynical right wing forces. A few of us from the Chico Peace and Justice Center leafletted with the pie chart that the War Resister's League puts out every year that shows that at least half the tax pie goes to present and past military expenditures. Our country and our world could solve all it's problems if this money was being appropriated for the good of the land and the people.

Our house is looking so beautiful with its cheerful paint and flowers. Michael's kitchen remodel project is unfinished but very comfortable.
We've had rain, enough to keep all the plants very happy and enough to carry nasty things large and small from urban areas into Comanche Creek. Still this has been a wonderful spring and I am very grateful for the balance of rain and mild weather for Michael's birthday week.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gathering Spring

We are a long way from last week now. Here in the valley it is full on spring. Michael has done the rototiling for the garden and we are just waiting for the waxing moon to plant.
There are surprises everywhere and everytime I can I'm taking pictures of something incredible.

Our neighbor Bruce got a Natural Resources Conservation Service grant to build a giant greenhouse tunnel. The structure itself seems crazy big but interesting.

Even coming home from work sometimes I have to stop in the old Barber neighborhood just because something strikes my eye. This is a whole lawn of amazing eye-popping fresias.
That's it. I could say how disappointed I am by Obama or how my wonderful husband will turn 63 this week but I just want to show you flowers touched by sun...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Good Week Loop

My job takes me to the beautiful rural areas of Northern California. Last week's loop took me from Weed, to McCloud then to Fall River Mills. During the night it snowed and this is sunrise across from the hotel, looking out onto the Pit River. We also visited Bieber, Canby, Tulelake and Dorris and tomorrow, Yreka. In the middle there were three days off.
Today is Easter Sunday and I took this photo of Sasha puzzling over which way to go up on the Pacific Crest Trail in the Rogue River National Forest.
Yesterday we skiied into a trail shelter below Mt. McLoughlin. We met some really great folks from Klamath Falls who shared the warm fire with us.

All three days were snowy but the first day, by Fish Lake was the longest ski and blowiest conditions.
In Tulelake we went out to Petroglyph Point where there are over 5000 images in the largest "collection" in North America. Once upon a time lake waves eroded the cliff so the people could draw into it in a long band around the base. Now, with drought and intensive agriculture the lake has shrunk to a fraction of what it once was.
It was cold and snowing that night too. I sure didn't mind postponing spring awhile for the clouds and wildness of the weather over these last days of voyaging. Michael picked up 95 gallons of veggie oil by labor intensive scooping at a restaurant in Tulelake while I was visiting the clinic.