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 29, 2010

end of August yet again

Five years since Hurricane Katrina. We listened to the milk toast NPR story this morning eating our waffles and farmer's market strawberries. From our time there we know that the RIGHT of RETURN was not honored and people were forced out by gentrification and the destruction of structurally sound public housing. (See archives for December, 2007.) I'm getting increasingly intolerant about a lot of things and prefer to point a finger at racism when that's what I see.
On a related issue, this morning I spent a lot of time noting who sponsors FOX news so I could get serious about Boycotting them... the only two we have used are AARP and Travelocity. I know it will mean nothing unless I follow up with letters so that's one more thing to do. Lots to do... usually there is a big uptick in activity around this time of year and that is especially true for me as I have started clinic nurse practitioning again.
Meanwhile, squash just keep getting quietly bigger and the garden forges on with some things finishing up and some things going on to total excess. The GRUB folks brought by an enormous melon for us yesterday... How will we eat more than a fraction of it before the fruitflies sweep us away? It looks like one of those pods in Invaision of the Body Snatchers.

Yesteday was unseasonably cool. Laurie and I went walking in Upper Bidwell Park and dropped down to return through the golf course where deary deer were grazing without a care. Before that Anna and I did a call in show on KZFR on immigration as well as the environmental consequences of paper use. Here she is with fellow radio-ite, nurse, (bicycle) coffee cart host, Bobbi at Farmer's Market. Despite the time and effort of radio show involvement I really enjoy the opportunity to project a progressive voice for justice and sanity.

Meanwhile, the new fall plantings are beset with turkey predation. The cute turkey chicks grew quickly. We now have a dozen turkeys for our dozen acres. Which means our next land meeting will entail some decisions. My choice is to trap and remove most of them to some less agricultural land. I know there are other options....but it is hard to think about them. Iwould rather give them a chance against coyotes than humans.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Life unfolding like the datura, spinning through time. One day a blossum, the next wilt. The light inside and the light outside calling the shots.
It has been a pretty amazing time: Leo gathering and lovely birthday women, city council general plan hours on hours, Prop 23 sandwich boarding and voter registering, Move On demo at Herger's office without much punch but again, GREAT WOMEN. Still the light illuminates and we enjoy the summer... below a brilliant bird house gourd flower.

And what would Riparia be without her sunflower volunteers...? We have consensus to Save the Greenline and will do it. This beautiful farm land, beaming with productivity and fertility. Do you see the bee at the top of the shot?

A lot of flowers are at the end of their blooms, like the hollyhock glowing from the top of her stalk. I replanted all the empty spots in the garden, pushing for one more round of flowers and vegetables before winter. I will wait to put in winter crops... optimist and fool that I would to be. No work yet. Just the light, passing through the days of blue skies and our time here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On the PCT

For the 12th year we hiked with old work friends Linda and Ann. This year we returned to Gumboot Lake, where Michael and I had been last October in an early snow shower and found it blazing with flowers.
We ran into through hikers who had started at the Mexican border and were mid-way to Canada along this waterless 22 mile section of the Trinity divide.

The lakes in the region are purposely chosen to be away from the Pacific Crest Trail since the snow melts around them later than on the ridge. Unfortunately this means the hikers have to dip way out of their way to get to places like Gumboot Lake.

It was a beautiful stretch, even if each day's hike was long for us gals. The first day we went south to Lake Helen and the second day we went north to "gem-like" Porcupine Lake.

The water was cold but we were able to swim each day and shake off some of the dryness and ache while enjoying the beauty around us, far from the joyless news of Afghanistan, Pakistan and even local politics.

I hiked alone alot of the time because Linda and Ann like to talk so much there is little time to catch the forest critters when I'm with them.

Michael was usually way ahead of us dozing by the time any of us would catch up with him. It was lovely being able to have views of Shasta, even if the air was somewhat hazy from fires.

I appreciate the opportunity to run the VV on straight veggie oil and get out into beautiful Siskiyou back country with old friends and dear Michael and Sasha. It's hard to be home...more on that next.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


KZFR's 20th birthday party was held at Scotty's Landing. Where we were, shooting down on this tranquil scene, there was a two hour wait for french fries and a really great party with wonderful people. We did get the opportunity to paddle in to the party by canoe though. -- a great family to be part of... I'm grateful to have been involved the last 18 years.
This butterfly is much more amazing than this photo but the others are out of focus. We walked down the Bizz Johnson rails to trails from Goumaz, where we camped by the Susan River and saw this beautiful, exhausted butterfly.

We stopped at Lake Almanor. Mt. Lassen has lost most of its snow and there was a layer of smoke over the town of Chester. The water was strangely warm.

We camped a night along Humboldt Road, off a meadow. It was spongy and wet and full of life.

This is Humboldt summit, looking out to Lassen from a different angle. Unfortunately we only had about 20% of the trip on biodiesel and no veggie. We'll go again this weekend but Michael is committed to processing veggie oil so we can run the truck with good conscience.
After that I'll gear up to work on the NO on Prop 23 team. California has to have AB 32 the state climate change legislation that will be prevented by Prop 23 if the oil companies and republicans have their way.