Escape Velocity Reached! Peak Moment On the Road 2013

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Jigalong rides into the sunset

We reached escape velocity Sunday evening July 28th. It was a major marathon wrapping everything up at Lone Bobcat Woods for three tenants on our non-automated homestead, especially with the possibility we may be gone through the winter.

While I provisioned our “Little House”, I felt kinship with my great-great grandmother who traveled from Missouri by covered wagon via the Oregon Trail to settle in central California. It takes a lot of forethought to provision your whole house for months on the road, for various seasons and certainly for myriad uncertainties.

As I tucked away sardines, coconut oil, and local eggs, I thought of her moving lock, stock and barrel—quite literally. I rendered beef tallow for many weeks before leaving. Surely she made tallow into soap and candles too.

Her husband tended the animals who would provide the oxen- or horse-power to cross half the continent. We have the one-time gift of cheap fossil fuel whose horsepower make it possible for us to cross half the continent ourselves.

We plan to travel with the seasons. Up to the Pacific Northwest in summer, then across British Columbia to the Canadian Rockies. Big Nature. A grand sweep of stone inviting awe and gratitude for being alive while wildness remains, even as those grand glaciers are rapidly melting with the accelerating geological-scale climate changes we are witnessing.

Then we’ll turn south along the east slope of the American Rockies with destinations in Colorado and New Mexico in fall. At that point we’ll decide whether to return to California or, as Robyn says, “We may turn left.” We have many friends and fascinating projects we’re eager to visit in the east/northeast.

Our journey may not have as much uncertainty as my great-great-grandmother’s. She could never have imagined how the oil being discovered around that time would cause populations to bloom to a bursting point and fueling technological wonders which accelerated planetary destruction. As our friend and wise elder Mary Nelson reminds us—Oh, the unfathomable power of the exponential!

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