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

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I'm still running the car on the Arcata bio-diesel. Today 'went to Yuba City for a job interview and came back by way of these bras. I will miss the Cancer Detection Program but I think it will be satisfying to work directly with people again.

Yesterday I went to Oroville and visited old friends from different areas of my life. First, a friend from the radio. She works at the Fish Hatchery. Due to the dam the spring run salmon will die here below the spillway and not even have their roe harvested like what happens in the fall.

I also visited an old nursing buddy. She recently had to take down her old barn. Barns all over America are coming down. She memoralized her's with this photo framed by the wood of the structure.

She's loaned out her land to PIC for food for the Senior Nutrition Program and for "Checkers," a restaurant that trains young people in restaurant services.

She also loaned land to Hmong farmers who bring a deep and ancient knowledge of farming to bring the interface between hot sky and dry earth to life with just the cost of time, water and a good bit of tending.
It was Good to visit with good folks. My next friend gave me plums and cactus and the friend after that let me water a fairy garden... a very good day.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Circulation elementals

Here's our dear upstream Comanche Creek, overgrown with iris but looking quite lovely nonetheless.
It's intensely and deeply summer now. My gardening neighbor Tami is a delight and I'm so glad to have her nearby. The corn is as high as an elephant's eye....

Pastors for Peace came through with supplies to Cuba to challenge the US blockade. It is always nice to see how they paint the bus. This reminder that we are sons and daughters of the earth is never far from me.

There have been some tragedies and losses. My friend from work, Elaine, lost her mom (we gave her this maple.) We also lost our jobs, that's why her office is so bare. Other friends lost their son to suicide, the most tragic loss...

We also lost our city council vote to keep the truck bridge over Comanche Creek so may be looking at yet another referendum. The same issues are in play as 9 years ago when the people of the community voted against this project.

I got this in here twice and can't get it out. I would not vote for Mary Flynn. She's running for re-election...she's the worst of the lot, totally voting for developers interests. A lot of people in the audience said astute and excellent things and some of the council and planning commissioners were clear headed about what our priorities need to be for the future and it certainly isn't car and truck based economy. We have to cut green house gases and they have to stop putting out these cancerous General Plans....they throw around the word sustainability but it seems to have no meaning whatsoever...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Orien in Patagonia

Orien said I could use her photos from Patagonia. She was recently in Argentina in a summer (winter) Latin America law program. When that was completed she and her dad and friend went to Patagonia. Out of dozens of interesting photos I chose these.. the light is so amazing!

Meanwhile, it's been hot as hades at home. My emotional stability has been in question with all the stressors of work and General Plan stuff. At the same time, it's been great having Orien home and having some laid back lizard type time. Three years since I retired last time and went on the Veggie Voyage.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Coastal beauty

What I haven't been writing about lately is our veggie stuff... Michael picked up about 70 gallons of veggie oil at the Silver Dollar Faire in May then a guy from Orland gave him about 100 gallons. Whenever we are up around Lassen we have a loop of businesses we collect from and the V.V. still runs on straight veggie except for when we run on biodiesel.

This trip Michael had to fix the drive shaft on the truch and didn't have time to process veggie oil so he bought cubies at Costco for about 4$ a gallon. We hoped to pick up from the Footprint Biodiesel folks in Arcata but they were shut down on account of a spill they had and the need to complete whatever correction and penance they needed to with Humboldt County.

Luckily we were able to join a new cooperative, SeQuential Biofuels. They started in Oregon and have 35 pumps there and Southwest Washington. They process a huge quantity of biodiesel now with a much smaller carbon footprint than any other fuel with 78% less carbon dioxide emissions than regular diesel.
I'm excited about them because they run their stations on solar, have living roofs and put in bioswales to filter any vehicle runoff. California could be doing this-- regulating biofuels better and using waste oils wisely.

Obviously humans can live better with interdependence.

4th of July

This was a nice weekend to be away and in the cool of the coastal climate with old friends. We visited an old nursing school buddy in Willow Creek and that was wonderful (we got to see her in a play) and then went on to Arcata.
We visited my old friend Angela, her husband Raymond and their kids Lin and Jet.

We hiked out to a point north of Patrick's Point, bathed in the dynamic ocean air. We also celebrated birthdays with next door neighbors and watched 4th of July fireworks.

It was great to see the kids again. Lin plays piano and harpsicord and Jet plays violin. This is Lin with a duck which is imprinted on her... his name is Bluey.
We were both grateful to be out of the heat and I'm very grateful for the open acceptance of old friends.