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

Monday, May 30, 2011


Wonderful benefit yesterday on the land for Doroteia Pathways work in Belize and Guatemala. Here is Mamuse leading people in one of their songs... harmony and beauty and oneness with the moment and one another.

Today Weezie and I celebrated her birthday with a full day of enjoyment. We went out to breakfast, then to a matinee, then out to the monastery in Vina and walked around enjoying a meditation as well as wine tasting of their wonderful New Clairvaux wines before a picnic on the river.

Lastly wanted to mention that Sue Hildebrand, our Peace and Justice Center coordinator was appreciated the other evening at the garden behind the center and I realized what a remarkable job she has done at bringing people together.

This other photo is of her in her M.C. garb for the acoustic picnic on the creek yesterday. Lovely.

Monday, May 23, 2011

then getting away

After the excitement of Orien's graduation we decided to get away. Michael processed veggie oil and we camped the first night on the Yuba River where it takes off up the hill toward Nevada City on Hwy 20. The Northern California Greenlife Eco Fest was going on at the Fairgrounds so we went by with some of the Veggie Voyagers books. This photo is of M with a new kind of electric bike that has a lithium battery and is a better hybrid than the one I have. Find out more at in Sacramento.

We headed up Hwy 49 and had a walk along the Yuba but ended up at the end of the road above Bassets in the Gold Lakes Basin for the second night. In the morning we took a ski off to the East and in the afternoon we skied to Salmon Lake in the basin with dramatic clouds bringing light and shadow to the crevices of the granite outcroppings in a dramatic way.

Last night we camped at Yuba Pass and got some rain but over all the snow was about 4-6 ft. throughout the high country, covered in a light duff but still very skiable. The air was sweet and enlivening and we skied to the south in the morning along the crest, looking out to the vast green Sierra valley.

It's hard to come home to our voles in the garden and land and community obligations but it was a good reminder of the beauty and freshness that's available. Spring is still unfolding in the mid high country and hasn't even started above 6,000 feet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grown to Juris Prudence

Michael, Sheldon and I just got back from Orien's Golden Gate Law School graduation in S.F. We are in settling mode after a lot of anticipation, some nerves, some muni adventures in the rain and time targets in a still strange city. Orien's wonderful friends really are the joy of her life and these are some of them and excuse me for wrongful spellings- Crystal, Kareem, Lauren, Suman, Liat (Happy Birthday!) and Nicki in these pictures but all her other law school friends and their friends and families who we met and ate and celebrated with.... as well as other friends who also shared a toast for her.

We are very proud of Orien and hold her dear in our hearts every single day as she now plows through law review with the goal of passing the bar. Her generation holds our hopes and most profound respect for the work ahead.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Black Butte beyond

Michael is home again and we went for veggie oil in Orland yesterday and beyond to Black Butte. Enjoyed the dynamism of the weather and for me it was a treat to walk through the long oat and needle grasses along the shoreline. Also went out to Pine Creek a few days ago on my's more prickly there so my walk was more prescribed but the buckeye is blooming and it is beautiful there too.

There is a lot of intensity right now but also the celebration of Orien's graduation from law school. We are headed out for that now. Last night the Doin' It Justice choir sang a song called "It Takes a Village" and I started to think about that added dimension of community and how much it has meant. Thank you for all who helped her and provided her with support along her path.

Monday, May 9, 2011

More Earth

How you know it's summer is when Little Chico Creek dries up and that is far from happening. These have been delicious cool days and we even had about an inch of soaking rain with a dramatic thunderstorm last night making everything fresh today.

I've been transplanting a few hundred sunflower volunteers out of my garden spot and will try to find them good homes. I also came up with the probably unsuccessful idea of stuffing urine soaked dog hair along the gopher runs... if I can move them out before the tasty vegetable roots come up I want to do that...there's too many of them to have a very successful garden here despite our good soil.

The elderflowers are lacey and showy right now, the matrix of many fruit clusters to come. I was mainly struck by the light and the structure of them against the dark greens behind them.

Mothers' Day was a fine day with Dance Church, a No on A brunch and later wine and chocolate tasting at the Chico Peace and Justice Center. Next store the Ray Ray gallery is celebrating May as bike month with these unique bikish structures. I love my new bike, which is a girl's cruiser...prrfect and yesterday I rode it everywhere.

The only draw back to this wonderful Fair Trade event in the garden behind the Peace Center was that it was Sue Hildebrand's last function as our Director. She's really multi-faceted and I just hope our next coordinator will have a good fraction of the skills that Sue brings to the job so effortlessly. Here she is with Susan Tchudi, the President of the BOD and KZFR deejay for the Ecotopia (Tuesday eves) program and mom of wonderful adult children. They are standing in front of the fair trade chocolate we got to sample and you can buy very reasonably at the Center. (Shameless advertising I do not regret.... chocolate depends on child slavery in the "free market" and it is deplorable...this is the delicious and living wage way to save other mothers' children on the other side of the globe.) At least Sue will still be our neighbor, which is a very good thing.

Michael is still in the mountains. At least I heard from him this weekend. My dear daughter we'll get to see graduate from law school... that will be the next posting. (Yeah!!)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Endangered Species Faire

The embrace of Mother Earth lasts far longer than the embrace of our earthly mothers but I love this picture for the proxy embrace by Mother Kathy and her dear Dale inside the Mother Earth with such a loving and sentient look to her (painted by Kathy.) The Endangered Species Faire is about the children and I think today was very successful as many were educated and touched.

You really have to click on this turtle picture unfortunately to get the intricate pattern of its caripace and head. It's a wild turtle of our area. Despite the beautiful puppet turtle you never can touch nature for her brillance.

I got to fly a gorgeous dragonfly, one of my favorite creatures (also made by Kathy Faith) and not endangered but part of the great web of life. When you see a lot of dragonflies you know you are at a healthy water environment. She caught the flexibility of the big head which swings seemingly free of the body. I love all the green in this photo and am grateful for our long spring.

And this for you who might not be good at guessing is a chinook salmon. It's a perfect seque for me to ask you to call our rep this week and say you want GMO altered salmon to be labeled (AB 88.) Perhaps if we demand labeling the consumers will keep the genie from getting too far out of the bottle. For me the idea of altering this heritage species is devastating. ( Jim Nielsen 916-319-2002) They say the great forests of the west are dependent on the life cycle of the wild salmon... their bodies nurture the soils, the trees and the critters. How foolhardy our species is (but I love the little human legs here.)

Happy Mothers for Peace Day tomorrow. One thing more this mother would like to ask. Google Mothers for Peace and help us decommision older nuclear plants like Diablo Canyon and stop more nuclear plants from being built. Celebrate your moms.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Home 3 Years!

May Day, International Workers of the World, Beltain and Mother Earth all gathering on the stage of these days of Bin Laden dead and War, Ignorance, Poverty and Injustice still alive. All co-existing somehow. Blessings on these commemorations clicking along like frames in a cartoon, round and round split with new events each year.

So Thoreau's sign looks a bit blurred here, "Time is a stream I go fishing in." We were walking along Clear Creek below the Butte College campus in tick infested fresh tall grass enjoying our slow nature infused way to Cherokee to celebrate May Day with friends. Michael picked up 11 ticks and me, just 6.

This morning I had the good fortune to have breakfast with Laurel on her birthday. Here with Weezie, Karen and Anna. What a blessing to have such good people in my life.

Back to the creek and the strength and fortitude of the oak; thoughts on Michael. He's taking off again. This time for a Mammoth to Rock Creek ski, average elevation 10,400 ft. 35 miles, 6 passes. Spring conditions which include avalanches and swollen creeks. Just him and 12 year old Sasha.

Life is precious. I still miss the road (7/07 to 5/08 documented here on the blog) and the constant unfolding of beauty but I also find it here at home. Here the annual return of the fragile and fluttery columbine. Sure is time to go finish my transplanting and stop spinning with my thoughts. All our relations.