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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Ultimate Voyage


To My Old Brown Earth
by Pete Seeger

To my old brown earth,
And to my old blue sky,
I'll now give these last few molecules of "I."

And you who sing,
And you who stand nearby,
I do charge you not to cry.
Guard well our human chain
Watch well you keep it strong
As long as sun will shine.
And this our home
Keep pure and sweet and green
For now I'm yours
And you are also mine.
My dearest dear, most precious dear is disassembling under the relentless hand of death. I feel pressure, nausea and no pain. My teacher Don Kollmar advises us to be actively conscious, being the ​energy frequency that supports Michael's Soul to support Michael's journey into freedom.
Wherever you are you can join in this with my gratitude.
Unite all our hearts around the world, in troubled lands and sacred spaces unite for the healing release of one, become all. Thank you. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Anniversary, Eqinox and Balance

 Michael and I had a mellow walk this morning out to the back of Riparia and then looped back along the creek to see a coral-looking shelf fungus that Emily had mentioned. Michael is feeling weak and wanted to use one of my walking poles for balance.
 He had a procedure this week to stent his biliary tree because the cancer he has is in the liver and was occluding the bile duct. Unfortunately he got a common complication which was a real set back for us... pancreatitis. It was a scary time that required lots of pain meds and a few days of absolutely no nourishment. Our hope is that his labs will be back to enough of normal that he can start back on chemo on Wednesday.
 All the land partners and friends have been very kind and solicitous but it is all very strange to me... I've been badly spoiled by Michael. I don't know a lot of what I should know but am not sure in advance what all those things are... I stare with foreboding at my car, which has a flat sitting across the road and hope some strong person will come along who just loves fixing flats.
 He did have the get up and go last week to go with me to get bio-diesel for my car though and to teach me how to use our pump. I won't shirk on my commitment to bio-diesel but the veggie voyaging won't happen again unless the chemo works and he gets his strength back.
 I think back to last year at this time. We thought the chemo and surgery had bought us years when we did our loop through Wyoming and Utah... unfortunately he had problem after problem with the truck and on this day we were in Rock Springs and he was really killing himself with wrestling the truck.
 The year before that, when we didn't even know yet that he had cancer we had our scary backwards roll down an embankment south of Hinton on that horrible Alberta road with all the coal, pipelines and clear-cutting... so I guess our 12th anniversary tomorrow in the midst of this awful cancer is just about on track to be the most difficult ever.
Still, we love each other more than ever. We hold hands and cuddle all the time and tell each other how much we love each other... I have this foolish idea that if we can just get into the VV and get up into the high country everything will be ok... it will have to wait though. Please keep Michael in your thoughts or prayers.
Today is also the International Day of Peace. Peace to all of you reading this. He is going about this illness the way he does everything else... with great equanimity. Care for us please but don't be distressed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

the Rubicon and the road beyond

 We left home at dusk and got to the REI on Hwy 50. That put us at Lake Tahoe on a Saturday and it seemed like the place was crawling with our species-- on foot, on bike, in cars. The beautiful waters were criss-crossed by boats. We hung out til dusk but then started up a road... what turned out to be the wrong road to the right place. We were on the Rubicon! It was crazy in the V.V. with its high center of gravity but two guys in a "crawler" took us under their angel/demon wings and got us up to Miller Lake---
 They were Ry-
 and Bobby, two men with extra-ordinary kindness in their self proclaimed hill-billy hearts. What I appreciated most about them was how care-free they were. There's a lot to say about the kindness of these strangers but I'll just hold onto the words and let you enjoy their spectacular tattoos on young healthy bodies.
 We did do a loop of our little home lake..
 and then a twilight walk at moon rise. This little bear had long blond hair on its back, almost like a miniature grizzly. He wasn't afraid of us.. just thought better than to stick around with us.
 After more adventures getting back down the Rubicon we headed north along Hwy 89 and then went up into the Gold Lakes Basin for a night by the Grassy Lake trail. In the morning we hiked to a little braided waterfall, wishing for more time... wishing for more time... wishing for more time...
 Meanwhile some people caught this poor little native rainbow trout and kept it. It seemed like such a sad thing, seeing this juvenile fish gasping in the man's hand. Life is cruel and unfair too often. No matter what determination you have. No matter your intention, wish, willingness to try a new path... sometimes it just comes up that you can't control a certain fate... your beauty and honest path cut short. I dread these things for us but hold us brave to meet fate like the Rubicon it is... difficult but not impossible.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Our Veggie Roots

 Posted Aug. 4, 2007 and written by Michael Pike himself:  "The Veggie Voyager, an ’87 Ford F-250 four wheel drive ¾ ton pickup with an 8’ cabover camper, is a multifuel vehicle, able to run on diesel fuel, bio-diesel, or straight vegetable oil (SVO). Our fuel mileage varies from 12-15mpg.
Diesel fuel has been cleaned up considerably in the past year with the removal of most of the sulfur, but is still a dirty fossil fuel when used in older vehicles like ours, so we only use it for the first few miles while waiting for the SVO to warm up enough to burn.
Bio-d and SVO are both derived from vegetable oil, but Bio-d requires a complex chemical process using methanol and lye to strip off the sticky triglyceride part of the oil molecule. It would be difficult to do while on the road.
SVO only needs to be cleaned or filtered and have any water removed. In order to burn it as fuel we have to heat it up to ideally 150-170 degrees F.
To heat up our veggie oil we have a heater hose from the engine that heats up an oil pick up tube in our veggie tank, then goes to a heated filter and finally to a small heat exchanger box. The veggie line is sandwiched between the heater hoses, so it gets warmed all the way to the fuel injector. A temperature gauge tells me if its hot enough to burn. If its not, there is an electric heater that kicks in.
There is no obvious difference in engine performance when running on veggie. We do lose the nauseating diesel smell, the black soot on hard acceleration, and we have the good feeling of not burning fossil fuel. The gas mileage, unfortunately, is about the same."
 After years of using an Acme juicer centrifuge (seen in the first photo) Michael bought himself a "treat." It is a WVO Raw Power Centrifuge... this enables him to increase waste grease conversion to clean combustible veggie oil from 8 gallons per hour to up to 25 gallons per hour.
 I just wanted to post this first veggie processing with the new centrifuge... so clean! His smile... so big! And, note... this monster centrifuge is made in America... Win, Win, Win!