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, October 31, 2010

Season of the Vote

This has been an exceptionally political couple of days as you can see.... I so very much want to ask you to vote for this very bright and kind man, Jim Reed, attorney, from Fall River Mills. He is running against endlessly incumbent (House of Representatives non representing) Wally Herger who I don't want to say anything cruel about.... but wouldn't it be great to dump him into his own private life again????
We had a great upswelling of Democratic fervor today for Jerry Brown and it was a great experience to feel that upswelling of hope again. I really liked what Jerry said about how he will bring environmental jobs to California.

Yesterday a handful of us picketed events of Carly Fiornina and Abel Maldonado. Didn't hurt anyone and had fun doing it. I can't say that I didn't argue a tad with folks I disagree with but no hurtful words... I just don't understand how they can totally deny global warming and the need to move forward in changing all that is damaging our air, water, soil in our pesticide and oil based economy. The needs are so pressing and obvious it is just confounding to speak with the republican faithful.

Please vote NO on 23 and consider just postponing your Peace and Freedom and Green dreams in honor of immediacy and need. Vote Democrat! Let's get the Democrats to listen to us and not rely on them to know or be true to what we want. Let's hire them and then give them the direction they need to do right. Go Jerry!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Now the rains

The rains have returned and with it the obvious. I just cleaned out this ditch a month ago and now it is full of plastic crap again. We are using our creeks and waterways for garbage disposal. The language on our new General Plan is too lofty and not concrete enough about how to stop this problem. You can say you want to save pristine places but then you have to implement a logical plan... Meanwhile, the Greenline is safe again for a little while and we have one less stressor.
This odd photo is of Jessica's amazing dunn colored dreds contrasting so beautifully with the tree, the chain and her little bag. We did a joint press conference-- to Save the Greenline and Vote NO on Prop 23, to save our energy future and she chained herself to the tree until 100 people registered to vote on the last day to register. Of course I fretted about her comfort but that many people were rapidly registered on campus.

We've worked hard these last two weeks with door to door, and hours of voter reg followed by the last minute General Plan contributions, the annual dinner celebrating 50 years of peace and justice work and the Peace and Justice Center, and for me today, the free breast screening day at North State Imaging (50 clinical breast exams in 9 hours for my all time recond of exams in a day. May all the women be spared from Cancer diagnoses!)
On a whim last weekend we purchased a foldable electric bike which I think will be good if and when we need it. It goes 20 mph and 30 miles on a 4 hour charge and is very fun to ride. We bought it used and here it is with our political picks:

Lastly, I found out last weekend that my dear nephew Danny has eloped with the woman he loves, Priya. I am so happy for them and look forward to meeting her. The last time I saw my brother and his family was three years ago on the Veggie Voyage in North Georgia--- Here's to the success and strength of young love. Love and Support to them both!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Indigenous Peoples Day

There is a restless wind outside and I was feeling jangled too so I came in and decided to blog about the odds and ends of life here on Mechoopda land. Above are Bruce's heirloom tomatoes and below are his squash and packing stuff against the hoops of that new winter structure he has put up. Our big issue these days on the land is turkey trapping. There are too many of them and they are eating to much of the farmers' produce. I've been out cutting johnson grass and poke and Michael has been considering how to catch them so we can release them out at Pine Creek where they can live a life with normal predation. Meanwhile the City Council vote on the General Plan is coming nearer so there is stuff about that-- we went door to door down Ivy, Chestnut and Normal on the weekend to inform people about elements of the General Plan that will come as a nasty surprise if people don't know about it-- at least now they can raise their voices.
It is definitely fall with things drying up. It is usually my favorite time of year because it is crisp and I have a lot of energy. Today I started the day with coverage from Alcatraz at sunrise on our local community radio station then followed Indigenous Peoples Day activities in Nevada City over sister station KVMR (89.5FM) I am grateful to hear about what people are doing in their communities to move in the direction of justice, self determination and even reconciliation in some cases.

A couple of nights ago we went to a Mark Herrera for City Council event and I caught the back of Diane Suzuki's head in this shot of Mark. Diane and her husband Jim Brobeck played and sang some beautiful and inspiring music. Despite my frustrations with a smattering of people and things around these parts I still find myself having moments of pure love and admiration for folks here. Same goes with politics. The Democrats mess up everything they do but I'd still rather fight to have them elected than mean spirited Republicans.... I even spent some hours yesterday calling voters in New Hampshire trying to win election for Ann McLane Kuster with the Move-On effort. Every media venue wants us to believe we are powerless and I don't buy Jim Hightower's book says, Even a Dead Fish Can Float Downstream.

This morning I went by my friend Weezie's house to pick up a pan (and see what she'd put for me in it.) I saw this feast of late summer canning on her table-- tomatoes and peaches and all kinds of treats for winter.
The most important thing is to keep going and doing our best, whatever seems most important and most meaningful. Gardening, turkey trapping, canning or politicing. I'm going to go call some people and remind them that the last day to register to vote is on the 18th and write my comments, one more time, with gusto, about elements of the General Plan like holding onto the Greenline and NOT paving over Comanche Creek.
Stay Colorful and Tasty dear reader. Don't let the drones of the dominant culture steal your Beauty.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Deer Lake and Packer Ridge

We had some pretty wild weather up on the Packer Saddle above the Gold Lakes. This high ridgeline ORV dirt road had a few deer hunters but we were there for easy access to the Pacific Crest Trail, which it parallels.
Down below is Deer Lake. The first day we hiked along the ridge and the second day we dropped down to the lake which was serene and wild, the calm between storms with thunder in the distance.

Here's what it looks like from the ridge line. The clouds were really beautiful how light would come through and areas would be illuminated and then angry dark clouds would dominate and then fog would almost obliterate the lake and then it would disappear completely--- all in a brief time of watching the show.

The first night there was hail the size of marbles and it covered the ground in the morning. Lightning and thunder came through in bands, like a marching band parade, each consecutive group louder, brighter and closer together. We hardly slept. The second night the wind was lashing us so strongly we couldn't sleep and I had fear we would just be blown over onto our side. Michael got up in the night and put the nose of the VV into the wind so we finally got some rest from the racket.
It was all otherwordly though-- we left in high winds, driving wind, fog and rain mixed with snow. We were a bit disoriented on arriving home to bone dry, quite warm Chico to start my work week.

Spanish Creek to Frazier Falls

We left town on Saturday afternoon for a respite and were surprised by rain on our first morning out. We were camped on Spanish Creek outside of Quincy.
The photos managed to be out of sequence but we hiked to Upper Sardine Lake, just under the Sierra Buttes in the late afternoon on Sunday. The peaks were socked in and fleeting above the lake.

This is Frazier Falls. We've tried to ski into here before but didn't quite make it. This time of year it has a nice wheelchair accessible half mile trail to this outlook. The creek falls 176 feet and it's worth seeing. It's on the road into Gold Lakes from Graeagle.

This is the top of the's a beautiful time of year in the high county, just before the bitter cold and snow.

So, back where we started in the gentle rain down lower on Spanish Creek before it joins the Feather River.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More photos from the Vigil

This is a lively shot. David far left. My friend Ann Creamer in the wheelchair. It's late at night or I could remember the guy Cathy Webster is talking to-- Cathy was also arrested at the SOA and has shown a lot of leadership in Grandmothers for Peace and on the Chico Peace and Justice Center Board. There is another man I can't see behind and Monica Diamond in the foreground, wonderful friend to Ann. To her right is Lin Jensen who just came out with a book I just bought called Deep Down Things, The Earth in Celebration and Dismay. Behind Lin is Caroline, of much Light and Love and Heart.
This is Mike Hawkins. He always worked on Democratic politics but last year went to Palestine and opened his mind in a large way to the injustices there.

Beth and Ellen. Beth stood on the corner vigiling for years and it was good to see her again. Ellen Simon has remained a friend over the years. She and Scott Murphy were the authors of the Chico Nuclear Weapon Free Zone resolution passed by the City of Chico in the early '80s.

This photo is dark and I won't attempt to name everyone. Jim Anderson, the first BOD president of the Chico Peace And Justice Center is speaking. I made the sign in memory of all the peacemakers we have lost and keep thinking of people to add to the list. It has "just" been a little over 30 years for me in Chico and doing the peace work but it's meant a rich mix of wonderful people, that is for sure.

Peace Endeavor 50 years

We celebrated 50 years of the Chico Peace Endeavor on Saturday. It would have been Willa Taggart's 105th birthday. She is widely credited with starting the vigil and indeed that moment of creation when she knew she was someone and could do something was and is the spark that still arouses movements.
Whatever beginings things have and whatever substance a life shows there is also the hidden and difficult parts. Frank Ficarra was a brilliant person, a jazz man and teacher of Ulysses. He also fell in love with Nicaragua and worked feverishly to educate people about why our country shouldn't back a proxy war there. Now he can't remember things. He was at the vigil with that wonderful smile of his and his second daughter who is equally lovely.
Barb Castro picked up the mantle of "sign carrier" after Willa could no longer do it. She brought the signs to the corner of Third and Main Sts. until events in her own life swept her elsewhere. I miss seeing her on a regular basis but have faith that she will always be an instrument of peace in the world.

The bronze plaque is hard to read now and homeless people sleep on the bench and the city doesn't maintain the planter box but I really appreciate that our foremothers have their names etched into the history of Chico thanks to my old friend Theresa Kerchner.

Dorothy Parker has always seemed frail but she is a very strong woman who went to jail after crossing onto Fort Benning Military Base at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Ga. She wrote a wonderful book and has inspired me for many years. I don't know the other woman but she has been a stalwart at the vigil for the last few years.

Same like the guy holding the Vet For Peace sign. He is very familiar but his name didn't stick with me. Bill Carlson is in the middle. He was our first Peace Center coordinator in 1982 and has stood with the vigil continuously since then. Tom Kinnee is Helen's son and it was wonderful to get to spend time with him over the last week. He has her quiet strength. She and Willa were a dynamic force, complimenting each other and sharing the work of the vigil through many years... Helen was a Christmas birthday and Willa was a Gandhi birthday.