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Notes from the Road : A Green Thanksgiving

Our family took an unexpected road trip from Utah to Detroit over the week of Thanksgiving.  In nine days we logged over 3,700 miles – that’s a lot of jerky and Dr. Pepper.  Even with the Family Truckster, gas costs were less than 20% of the lowest airfare we could find.  I run mid-grade and try to find Tier 1 gas with a high detergent level (not-always possible on the road).  I paid from $1.68 to $2.09.

 

I was surprised at how the world is going Green.  There were hundreds of windmills in a dozen or so wind farms along I-80.  I don’t remember any from the last trip seven years ago.  I saw signs in soybean fields declaring that the yield would be devoted to bio-diesel.  I couldn’t figure out why there were so many fields of brown, un-harvest corn.  Then I realized that ethanol production doesn’t require fresh nibblets.  I saw at least two new ethanol plants and another under construction. 

 

Ironically, E-85 prices were thirty to forty cents a gallon more than unleaded.  How many people are going to pay extra for fuel that delivers worse mileage?  Where does that leave all those poor, naked corndogs?

 

Not so subtle segue: A fair number of abandoned Stuckey’s Pecan Shoppes have found new life as “Adult Superstores”.

 

Anyway, it was a great family road trip (what did 5 year olds do before mobile DVD players?).  Teen texting was through the roof.  Bickering was next to nil.  We managed two visits to White Castle.  Very little road construction.  Nothing but fast, dry roads everywhere except for 40 miles between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming.  Delayed for 5 hours while the interstate was closed.  This picture shows what it looked like when it opened up.  Can you see the trailer in front of us?Wyoming Snow Storm

 

Lance Boldt is the co-founder of AutoNetTV

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Comments




  • I noticed huge wind farms in So.Cal. funny thing several had burned out generators, looked like lightning strikes, but no sign of any repair activity. E85 is a bit of a joke, I don't know of anyone who uses the stuff, and the bio-diesel is just another band wagon, the corporate farms have jumped on, probably getting subsidization to grow. The yeild per section is far too small to make anything approaching a profit at a decent price to the consumer. This 'Green' thing seems to be the latest trendy thing to do. Road trips are indeed lots of fun, having just arrived home from my annul walk-about and already planning for next years. Anyone know where I can find a wrecked Dodge with a Cummins, automatic and four wheel drive?
    Difflocker, 6 years ago | Flag
  • I'm a fan of pictures of road trips. Well done! I've traveled HyWay 80 a few times. Lately it is between the SF Bay Area and Reno. The last long trip was from Minnesota to the Bay Area. I'm going to miss those pecan rolls. Just one note, I'm not a farm kid, but did spend 1 day harvesting dried up corn in Devine, Texas. I imagine that 99% of corn is harvested dried for animal feed and as corn meal. What we see in the supermarket as fresh corn is the tip of the iceberg. Well, then maybe it's only 90%. The pro argument by the ethanol corn growers is that there is a left over feed product after the ethanol part has been harvested. But, I don't know why anyone would pay more for it?
    ho3pp28y, 6 years ago | Flag

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