September 26, 3013
We slept one more night in Arlington, VA. Just across the river from The Capitol - scene of so much history - good and bad. The old nightmare grabbed me one more time. You know the one - long road, bleak terrain, horrible fire over the horizon, howling wind. This time there was dialogue. One word. A word I’d heard before yet couldn’t make out in the darkness in my room in Arlington.
But in the dawning I remembered. The word was Wasi’chu. You should draw you own conclusion as to what Wasi’chu means literally. These two links might help:
Either way Wasi’chu - the word in my dream - has come to mean something more than it’s literal translation. Aaron Huey delivered an impassioned address to a Ted Talks audience leaving no doubt as to where he stands. This is a bit of a gut check to watch. But it might give a sense of where we are standing right now on history’s broad line and why, for the sake of Mother Earth, we have to step up get passionate and do the right thing.
Sunrise brought a flurry of activity to the camp. The first order of business was the morning brainstorming meeting with the senator and his senior staff. Lincvolt was buttoned up and ready to roll. But there was still much other work to be done.
By the time the business was finished we’d reached mid-afternoon. We felt compelled to distance ourselves from Washington DC - maybe it was a defensive premonition. We rolled across the Potomac once again and onto the Washington streets. Lincvolt wove her way northward through some intense in-town traffic. Boston was on our minds and the need to be there by tomorrow evening. We slipped out onto the Interstate and crossed into Maryland. E-Man was at the wheel and he was determined to put Lincvolt through her paces. We blew up I-95 then onto I-83 and rolled into Pennsylvania one more time. America has the greatest highway system I have ever seen. Perfect for Lincvolt and the hours ahead.
E-Man was on it and he was shakin’ LV down. We blew up and over those beautiful hills and rode hard right through sunset. By the time we stopped for the night our little band was exhausted. And morning started before sunrise. Late night stormy weather invaded my dream.
I did beat the sun to the parking lot to get some fuel ready. We topped up LV’s tank with 100 per cent pure cellulosic ethanol then we got gone. We were in the great state of New York with hours to go before Boston.
The pinging from my Blackberry increased in direct proportion to the sun’s sky climb. It was like hornets buzzing in my pocket. Apparently The Driver’s address to the National Farmers Union had reached out and touched a global hot button. Suddenly everybody was talkin’ about Alberta Oil and a whole bunch of Canadian federal and Alberta provincial politicians, public relations flaks, vested interest groups and ordinary people were engaged in heated debate. What a rush.
A quick glance into the rearview mirror and I could almost see the shitstorm closing in. The term is defined in The Urban Dictionary this way:
Back up in Fort McMurray 97.9 FM Radio was banning music. Premiers and Ministers and Mayors and media mavens were all weighing in. Screaming derision. Old friends were really, really pissed off - especially the ones with vested interest in the Tar Pit - Wasi’chu. A man who I thought to be a mentor was yelling at me on the phone that we were missing the real story and that we hadn’t done our homework. A normally mild mannered university prof, he had become unhinged by The Driver’s criticism of Big Oil. All we did was drive to Fort McMurray to see for ourselves what’s there and to film the whole expedition. But on the road to Beantown Big Oil apologists came out in force to do what they do best - heap hate on the messenger. People genuinely wanted to beat us up. It was fantastic. My response - truth hurts.
We would seek the sanctuary of Boston. A city where people read. We found ourselves at Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club in Sommerville. Mrs. The Driver and her band The Survivors were tearing it up in front of a full house. There were dozens more people pressed up against the windows in the street watching the show. It was hot. Fortunately someone captured part of it on a cellphone. I pulled this off of you tube:
Morning came together quickly in the parking lot near our hotel. First refuel then clean. Lincvolt had to look stunning for her trip into New York City. Leather was cleaned, chrome was buffed, grill, glass and paint were all polished. She looked perfect. Once The Driver put his personal touch and some cleaner on the windshield we were rollin’ through Ivy League country.
In Greenwich we stopped for some lunch and had cod fresh out of the Atlantic. We’d gone Ocean to Northern Lights to Ocean in just over three weeks and the end of this leg of the Great Summer Expedition of 2013 was in sight. A local cop told us that he was seeing a lot more Teslas. Easy to understand why especially once you’ve seen one and even more so once you’ve driven one. Great car the Tesla.
We started to work our way into the city. As we rolled across the Bronx I got some floodback recall flashing across my mind. People who’d helped us navigate this leg of Lincvolt’s journey. The California State Patrol guys; Jerry Price and his daughter Erica and the people at Reno’s best auto dealership West Ford who made the fuel pump transplant happen; Wayne Wadson from Edmonton who fixed our window; Lovely who rode with us to Fort McMurray and who constantly puts herself on the front line in the war against Big Oil/Big Pipeline and the corporate governments they control; The Chief and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations People who took us in like family; The Prairie Chief and the Chipewyan Prairie First Nations People who also took us in like family; the senators of Washington who support family farms; the National Farmers Union; E-Man who kept Lincvolt on the road where she was born to be; all the people who stopped to check Lincvolt out.
We traversed Manhattan on I95 then crossed the George Washington Bridge and turned left, running alongside the Hudson River. At the end of the ride we found ourselves in Frank Sinatra’s hometown, Hoboken NJ. Manhattan was just across the river. Autumn was approaching. The view was perfect.
Lincvolt started rolling up her ramp and into the truck. She’d be going back to California. The Driver gathered the Lincvolt Crew around and we circled him. The mission was a resounding success. It was time to disband. We’d be together again down the road. Hugs and a quick team photo - then we scattered. Within minutes the lot was empty.
P.S. Here is some stuff that’s happened while I was thinking about what to write.
The mean floods of Colorado came. People died. Big Oil/Big Pipeline provided more evidence that fossil fuels are no longer viable:
Everybody knows that the storms are growing more fearsome, more frequent and more difficult to forecast:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is being released. Big Oil and its apologists will try to use this as another launching pad for some very rude behaviour (see shitstorm above) and massive doses of climate change denial. The fact is we are warming but at a slower rate than previously thought. It’s not a reason to celebrate. Means we have time to get on this and fix it:
And here’s something sweet. Unlike the deniers President Obama clearly believes that man-made CO2 is a problem. That is a very good sign. The President continues to make positive steps in spite of the best efforts of Big Oil’s political serfs to block all progress at any cost. The mantra they chant is the mantra of the Capital Extremist.
The tide is turning.