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

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday at Beale. It was.

 It was good to be back at Beale after so much time away. Our friend Shirley, above, right, had just been acquitted and gotten good coverage for an earlier anti-drone protest. The day was warm and hazy with dust from the plowing for rice fields and distant fires but the land was still green with a sprinkling of wild flowers.
 Caroline and I rode down together (on bio-diesel) and were delighted to be in such good company.
 There was a Good Friday service that started off with the recognition of the power of the four directions and much about the fear and challenge of those last hours of the life of Christ for there was an analogy to our own times as things seem bleak now too. The songs of the Civil Right era with their contemporary verses lifted our spirits.
 And after a communion breaking of bread by a young woman minister 11 people gathered themselves and crossed the line into Beale Air Force Base with a letter to discuss with the Base Commander.
 Among them was Nobel Prize nominee Kathy Kelly who spoke to us about the suffering of the Afghan people impoverished and in refugee camps because of the drone strikes.... the examples of wounded children in agony and with missing limbs were sobering. A moving testimony and  indictment of a morally corrupt foreign policy of domination by robotic drones.
 I love the purpose of these people striding together into an unknown legal situation. They moved across this line, this arbitrary line, in order to put drone "warfare" on trial not to sacrifice themselves. If Christ was alive would he not be with them? (Below is Reverend Sharon Delgado of Earth Justice Ministries. You can read more about this day from her blog and from Learn more about Kathy Kelly's international work at Voices for Creative Nonviolence.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Some of the things..

 Spring Birthdays, like Marcia's, found us at her Faery home(s.) Drinking in the beauty and the relaxation of her little island life.
 Such a nice break being with my sisters along the gentle Butte Creek...
 Another thing to tell about is Re-Doin-It Right. Women are committed to only buying second hand and altering as needed and some are even so committed they are raising flax and will spin and dye the cloth themselves. This is because of how working people are treated in the contracts big box stores have with factories in poor countries but also because of the endless waste in our country.
 Lastly, a good retirement party for a good man out at the GRUB farm. You can have a wonderful CSA box that will feed 2 for just 15$ a week from them. Local. organic. Heartseeded.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Inserting Uncertainty

 We've gone away every other week before chemo three times now. It's a lot of work to get away from town but it always has released us from care. This time we headed up Friday afternoon on a chilly over-cast afternoon and spent the night at Wilson Lake, a place that has always been a respite for us. We've been there when it is frozen over, alight with moon showers, dulled out by forest fire smoke, dry as a meadow and sprouting mist like floating dervishes. It was just wet, gray and nourishing it's noisy population of ducks and geese this time.

 The next day we parked at the McGowan Lake trail and headed a straight perpendicular until we were up in the open country high above the established trails, crossing and recrossing the big pawprints of a wandering bear. We stopped for lunch with the sun on our backs but clouds loomed up and filled the sky by the time we were done.
 We got up to Lassen National Park Lodge parking lot for a brief flurry of sleet and settled in for what could have been a pleasant night but Michael got quite ill with flu-like symptoms and it was very distressing. In the morning he was better but still queasy and not wanting to eat.
 So we did a little exploring above Payne's Creek as we moved down toward the valley. All the time running on straight veggie oil--just want you to remember the commitment Michael has made and that this is how we roll.-- By the time we got home it was over 80 degrees and it seemed we'd traveled a thousand miles through delight, discomforts, seasons and uncertainty to this fixed position here at the kitchen table. In this beautiful spring sunset delivered home to the week ahead.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April fulls

 Michael's been working on the electrical shorts on the Veggie Voyager. This is what a day under the hood looks like. Whereas I'd like to say my world is more like this:
 However, that's not really true either. I've been working hard on the Frack Free Butte County campaign to get a Ban on Fracking in our county and pretty much missing a lot of my usual love affair with nature.
 It was nice to stroll around after the rain this morning with Michael and get completely soaked below the knees. It is all so luxurious right now at Riparia! This is the area by the swimming hole.
 So, I am just posting photos of lilacs, ceanothus and apple blossoms just to celebrate this brief and magical time of the year.
 We've had thunder, lightning, hail, rainbows and even tornadoes but now it looks like the second phase of spring has begun. The heat will return and with the longer days it will be staight on to summer.
 But I love the little caresses of spring. So fleeting and  soft-earthed... so easily dug and so willing in new growth.
 Whenever I come home it's this little jog by my neighbor's house and the well-head and into the arches of the great old black walnut trees and the canopy of their branches that I know my home life is re-joined. There is much that needs doing in this world but living with beauty needs to be the fuel that stokes the spirit.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Snow above 7000 feet

 We made it to Shasta last night and the photo above is out of sequence from lunch today at the base of the wide bowl of Panther Meadows. The photo below is from 7000 feet, from Bunny Flats. The lot was full of people and cars... many from Washington and Oregon. Apparently these snow chasers couldn't find much of what they craved north of here either. There's been a lot of rain up there but not much snow.
 We just went up the road this morning. It was icy in the tree shadows and pocked with snowmobile and other tracks. The day was bright and warm but the air was sweet and it felt complete to be toiling along on the uphill and just gliding along on the down.
 I was reminded of two days before when I'd gotten into a heated discussion about Sierra Pacific Industries clear cutting with an SPI patrol guy who was kicking us out from where we were already leaving from our over night camping spot. The old growth trees, especially the gnarly old ones near the edge of tree line, are always such characters. I can't help but wonder what this summer will bring to the forests, both wild and "even aged" tree farms that are passing more and more as "forests."
 The snow locked into the freeze-melt cycle up here where the nights still freeze is really one of the last reserves California has for surface water in Shasta Dam and the Sacramento and the Delta and many points south. The mountain stands so silently and so immutably above all the concerns we have about drought.
 On the ski down Michael insisted on a photo of me. Ok. Now there is a photo of me too. It's too bad I missed his poetically beautiful telemark turns through the trees.
It was a long drive back down to Chico from Mt. Shasta. Michael processed 35 gallons of veggie oil to make the trip possible and drove the entire way. Now tomorrow it is back to the indoor veg out of chemo. I wish I could bottle the air from Shasta to infuse all of our days.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Back country

 There's some disagreement if this is Kosk Creek or the Pit River but it's a lovely hot springs and Michael caught my best aspect in this first shot... so good to have the stress cook away in the cool air, hot water and rolling clarity of the waters. Faithful Selkie had trouble with finding a comfortable spot but she also seemed to settle more calmly into her new family's eccentric but fun wanderings this trip. 
 Spring is doing what it always does, despite the dryness. The dogwoods are shooting leaves out the tips of their twigs and small flowers are quickly blooming and disappearing. The north side moss, worts and succulents aren't as deeply moisturized as they like but they have that persistent look to them-- a bring-it-on patience.
 We found more name changes at the Cabin Creek trailhead that was labeled Squaw Creek on the Pacific Crest Trail signs. We hiked up to the Trinity Divide and felt the free comfort of being in the woods without a care on the down-hill.
 In nature there is time for silence and time to even out the fears and hopes with a sense of just being present to what is, as it is, in the harmony and wonder of it.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Our Message to Governor Brown!

 People flowed in to the Capitol today from all over the state and they spoke with one voice, usually in Spanish and English to Ban Fracking in California. There is a lot of disappointment in our so-called environmentally friendly Governor who is obviously in the pocket of the Oil and Gas Industry. What I loved was the large number of outspoken young people.
 As you can see (badly) from this map-- the interest of the fossil fuel industry will extend up our rich agricultural heart-land and will include the Sacramento Valley where we live in Butte County. We have initiated a Fracking Ban Ordinance which will now get qualified for the ballot in November. It's been a lot of work but the human energy is there, doesn't require millions of gallons of fresh water nor toxic chemicals and doesn't have health consequences beyond our own over-work.
 There were thousands of people in Sacramento today and I couldn't capture a fraction of them here but I am reassured with all that I heard and saw. We really are going to stop this. On the state level SB 1132 which will put a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, in the state and off our coasts, has been introduced. If you read this from outside Butte County that's where we need your help. Please read about and support this legislation.
 It is for our Mother Earth that I ask your help-- for her rich farm soils and remaining clean aquifers. It is also for our little people... especially for them.