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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A fire in the heart

 We had a fire this week on the land. Bruce's shed burned down along with many of his tools and rolls of tubing and miscellaneous. Trees were singed and it was pretty dramatic with raging flames shooting up in a black smoked roar. Fire-fighting is what I came home from work to. Again the fear is on me about fire in these dry days. Our garden hoses meant nothing to this fire--luckily it was geographically distant from our homes.
 It was in the low 90s tonight with some interesting clouds and better than average light conditions. Michael went up to see an Earthship (environmentally aware building project) and I had some time to walk the land and look out over a sea of squash by myself with the camera.
 Bruce has a lot of interns this summer and he's very effective and productive. He has out of season winter green leafies which show a little beetle damage but still look lovely in their chlorophyll best.
 He always uses more plastic than I like but it is efficient to train the tomatoes up, the beans and cucumbers up.... I guess old fashioned trellises were made from twine and metal... more work?
The day hasn't all been pastoral. I started out with a Close GITMO vigil then drove to Oroville (on bio-diesel) for this march and rally put on by the NAACP. It felt right to be there-- among those who are grieving and angry about the Zimmerman trial and the loss of Trayvon Martin because of... what? I feel a lot of responsibility right now on a lot of different fronts. All of us really must.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Respite from the valley heat

We went over to the coast with Ann, Linda and Kevin. To make it possible we bet on Michael's usual upswing after chemo but he over-did it getting ready to go and didn't really get the upswing of energy until we got home. Never-the-less, despite him not feeling well, it was really nice being over in the cool and appreciating the moisture and green of the coast. It was only a three day trip but all in all worth it. We'll stay home now until the last two cycles of chemo are over.

 We explored up to the Smith River and down to Big Lagoon with Fern Canyon and Gold Beach in between. Ann wasn't in this photo but she valiantly hobbled everywhere we did despite a bad hip. Part of the reason we went now is because she if facing hip surgery and a long recovery in another week. We've been hiking and paddling with Ann and Linda annually for many years and didn't want to let a year go by... even if our adventure was a short one.
I have to admit we didn't go on veggie oil. We took a little gas Suzuki "side-kick," that's like a little Jeep. My bio-diesel car is too low to use on bad roads and the Veggie Voyager requires the veggie oil to be processed, something that Michael wasn't prepared to do with the valley heat, the time frame we had and how he was feeling. We hope to be back to it in August when we go back on the road, after he recovers one last time from chemo. This trip just really made me lust for the road and appreciate my dear husband and traveling friends all the more.

Friday, July 5, 2013

the 4th

 The City of Chico is cutting back on all services in our incredible Bidwell Park but we still had the speeches and the booths at One Mile. Charles was there with the Peace Panel Project. He has probably 50 panels now--each with an important message and often his graphics are moving. It is a profound experience to read through them.
Caroline and her friend were there with the campaign to stop the isolation and injustice against Palestine. The Soda Stream campaign seeks to educate the public not to buy this product made at an illegal Israeli settlement on Palestinian land.
 Then these lovely campaigners are working on a Fracking petition to the Butte Co Board of Supervisors in anticipation of the need to have a Fracking Moratorium on the ballot. (We won't be protected by federal legislation nor at the state level so we must do it county by county.) I just learned of a (storage or disposal) injection well near Gray Lodge.. a wetlands area the whole pacific flyway uses as winter feeding. The fracking menace is creeping closer and closer and its wonderful so many people are motivated to address the concern.
 And of course, the die-hards of the Single Payer movement fight on. Such bad news that employers have an extension on offering health care insurance. I've been telling my women's health patients... hold on.. you'll have insurance in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act... well, no, I guess they won't and it's because of all the problems and complexities of the bill itself. Single Payer wouldn't have all these moving parts and would be much simpler to implement and the benefit is that it would be comprehensive, including dental care and vision care. (I love that Carolyn is holding her Stop Foreclosures sign... you can't help multi-tasking when there are so many issues that need our attention.)
 I was there in my orange jumpsuit with the ridiculous black stuff sack over my head saying Close Guantanamo. Call Obama 202-456-1111 but I have no photo to share of it.. hard to orchestrate a photo while hooded.
Thanks to all those who protest out of conscience and compassion and the need to have a future to aspire to.. No speeches for us about our glorious wars and thanking veterans for our liberty. They get Thanked plenty even if no one can give them their (innocent) lives back so the words, constantly repeated from the podiums, probably ring pretty hollow.  We move forward to prevent the next wars and create a good quality of life for all.
Meanwhile the hot weather and dry conditions present big problems to humans, animals and plant life but the bees forage on. We were grateful today not to rise over the 100 degree mark, that's for sure.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

of past times

 Tomorrow is the 4th of July and I had no computer to use to blog for the last bit of time. I'm starting back from the full moon...that super-sized moon. I don't know how to make things any different than I see them and the camera sees them. We did go up for the opportunity of the full moon though and I took a bunch of photos up there on the ridge... all for this same silver dollar.
 We had a freak rain storm last week ? so M and I drove up to above Cherry Hill and camped out in the rain and just enjoyed the green and a nice 12 mile bike loop around Colby Meadows.
 The next momentous thing was Orien's half birthday. She was born on Christmas eve so never got winter parties so we always had swim parties for her in the summer. This was an opportunity to celebrate... something we love doing.

 Then it was my birthday. Weezie kept me going all day with Breakfast out, a movie and then we joined Laurel for a spa treatment and ended up with a swim party... really the sweetest gathering of friends. So lucky to round this bend of 66 with such kindly people.

Then lastly Karen's birthday, right on the heels of mine. The treat was seeing her son Ben who was a little guy when they lived on the land. Ben is a fine man now and was here with his partner Caroline. I'm so glad they could come to be with Karen and we got to talk about old times.
Michael took this photo... we are both puttering along in the extreme heat. Ready to leave the valley next month and get back into the mountains.