Comments on: The Grand Tour: A Post-Peak Travelogue http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Fri, 09 Jan 2009 20:51:46 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: arbaiten http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9981 arbaiten Fri, 05 Sep 2008 17:48:06 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9981 ]]> By: Fern http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9728 Fern Sat, 30 Aug 2008 16:36:25 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9728 I'm just back from a semi-emergency trip to visit my mother in Chicago - one of my cousins thinks she should be in 'supported living', and I had to go and evaluate myself. (All is fine with my mother - I think that it's a combination of some people not believing that mostly blind and deaf folks are functional humans, and my cousin being broke and wanting PAY to live with my mother while cousin moves instead of being greatful for free room and board). Anyway, before I left I had to do some highway driving here east of DC, and I could see the tollway and a freight train line from Mom's balcony. I've counted trucks on the highways for years and years. Typically here in my area I'd be passed by 25 trucks going the other way on the highway in any given 5 minute period. But the week before last - 16. It sort of confirmed what I'd noticed on the streets in the area. Watching the tollway (not really fair, since it's under construction so more construction trucks while 18 wheelers might be avoiding the area) also showed less truck traffic. Train traffic seemed in the normal range, but I've never really focused on that before. Flights into and out of O'Hare are clearly down (and I was on a much smaller plane to O'Hare than they used to have on the route). Most evenings I could only count 6 planes visible on take-off/landing paths at a time. After the FAA glitch when they were playing catch-up, it got up to 16 for an hour or two. But 20 year ago busy was 24 planes in the sky at a time taking off, landing, circling and stacked up, all visible to anyone watching. Fern I’m just back from a semi-emergency trip to visit my mother in Chicago - one of my cousins thinks she should be in ’supported living’, and I had to go and evaluate myself. (All is fine with my mother - I think that it’s a combination of some people not believing that mostly blind and deaf folks are functional humans, and my cousin being broke and wanting PAY to live with my mother while cousin moves instead of being greatful for free room and board).

Anyway, before I left I had to do some highway driving here east of DC, and I could see the tollway and a freight train line from Mom’s balcony. I’ve counted trucks on the highways for years and years. Typically here in my area I’d be passed by 25 trucks going the other way on the highway in any given 5 minute period. But the week before last - 16. It sort of confirmed what I’d noticed on the streets in the area. Watching the tollway (not really fair, since it’s under construction so more construction trucks while 18 wheelers might be avoiding the area) also showed less truck traffic. Train traffic seemed in the normal range, but I’ve never really focused on that before.

Flights into and out of O’Hare are clearly down (and I was on a much smaller plane to O’Hare than they used to have on the route). Most evenings I could only count 6 planes visible on take-off/landing paths at a time. After the FAA glitch when they were playing catch-up, it got up to 16 for an hour or two. But 20 year ago busy was 24 planes in the sky at a time taking off, landing, circling and stacked up, all visible to anyone watching.

Fern

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By: Lisa T. http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9479 Lisa T. Tue, 26 Aug 2008 01:38:36 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9479 Oh, I thought you screened your posts. Regarding the camper...prices are down right now. We can't afford to build right now, but I'm thinking we can use it as a temporary spot while we map out the land. I have heaps of peppers, pears, and apples. How to process for the winter? Lisa Oh, I thought you screened your posts.

Regarding the camper…prices are down right now. We can’t afford to build right now, but I’m thinking we can use it as a temporary spot while we map out the land.

I have heaps of peppers, pears, and apples.

How to process for the winter?

Lisa

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By: Lisa T. http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9478 Lisa T. Tue, 26 Aug 2008 01:35:54 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9478 Sharon, I missed your posts. Will you share about the permaculture camp? RVs and dirt roads (or gravel) This past weekend my husband used up two tanks of gas in the Chevolet van to pull a 28 ft. camper to our yard. You see....we live in a flood zone. I have vivid memories of Floyd and Dennis and the water rising. So, if you had 40 acres, and a mule, what would you do???? Right now we are flushing the lines, hooking up power (30 amp....solar panels?? Thank you for your posts. I have printed off the info on your book and submitting it to the library. It covers three counties here in the Southeast, and although the local community college said their budget wouldn't be able to cover it, the county library will be stocking it on their shelves (I'll donate it if I have too) To the person whose freezer went out. I've thought the same thing. Just recently our neighbor was frying up loads of bacon and other stuff when hers went out... so I can't count on freezing. Just wanted to let you know I read....edit, don't post, but thank you nevertheless. I've read Canticle for Leibowitz.... what about movies? Love sci-fi...........and the fact that you have that list to refer to. Lisa Sharon,

I missed your posts. Will you share about the permaculture camp?

RVs and dirt roads (or gravel)

This past weekend my husband used up two tanks of gas in the Chevolet van to pull a 28 ft. camper to our yard.
You see….we live in a flood zone. I have vivid memories of Floyd and Dennis and the water rising.
So, if you had 40 acres, and a mule, what would you do????

Right now we are flushing the lines, hooking up power (30 amp….solar panels??

Thank you for your posts.
I have printed off the info on your book and submitting it to the library. It covers three counties here in the Southeast, and although the local community college said their budget wouldn’t be able to cover it, the county library will be stocking it on their shelves (I’ll donate it if I have too)

To the person whose freezer went out.
I’ve thought the same thing. Just recently our neighbor was frying up loads of bacon and other stuff when hers went out…

so I can’t count on freezing.

Just wanted to let you know I read….edit, don’t post, but thank you nevertheless.

I’ve read Canticle for Leibowitz….
what about movies?
Love sci-fi………..and the fact that you have that list to refer to.
Lisa

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By: Rebecca http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9474 Rebecca Mon, 25 Aug 2008 21:02:46 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9474 I haven't traveled anywhere this summer, but I live on the I-65 corridor so we get a lot of trouble coming through. I've seen MORE RVs than usual this year and I can't help but wonder if maybe some of those people are actually living in them. What I've noticed locally is the poverty. Now, this a pretty affluent place. There are more Ph.Ds per capita in this city than anywhere else in the country. There is a LOT of money in this town. But like every place, it has its underbelly and I've noticed the deepening poverty of many. Its a slow thing, but noticeable. The poverty is also creeping slowly but surely into the middle classes. More and more people are having their lights cut off (and that number is only going to go up with the 20% rate increase that's coming in October). The food banks stay empty. Food goes out as fast as it goes in. And yet the chamber of commerce keeps saying all good things are. Hah. Our fair here doesn't actually have any exhibitions or animal competitions. It's rides, games, motorcyle racing and not much else. The only food there is from the vendors and the only animals are in -the petting zoo. Not kidding. This is a city fair. I haven’t traveled anywhere this summer, but I live on the I-65 corridor so we get a lot of trouble coming through. I’ve seen MORE RVs than usual this year and I can’t help but wonder if maybe some of those people are actually living in them.
What I’ve noticed locally is the poverty. Now, this a pretty affluent place. There are more Ph.Ds per capita in this city than anywhere else in the country. There is a LOT of money in this town. But like every place, it has its underbelly and I’ve noticed the deepening poverty of many. Its a slow thing, but noticeable. The poverty is also creeping slowly but surely into the middle classes. More and more people are having their lights cut off (and that number is only going to go up with the 20% rate increase that’s coming in October). The food banks stay empty. Food goes out as fast as it goes in. And yet the chamber of commerce keeps saying all good things are. Hah.

Our fair here doesn’t actually have any exhibitions or animal competitions. It’s rides, games, motorcyle racing and not much else. The only food there is from the vendors and the only animals are in -the petting zoo. Not kidding. This is a city fair.

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By: Lisa H http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9473 Lisa H Mon, 25 Aug 2008 19:50:47 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9473 It's a very small world: my family and I just got back from a 2 week vacation near T-Berg as the locals call Trumansberg. My dh spent summers there and even lived there a couple of years when his dad was ill and couldn't work. We went to the same local fair you did: we all looked at the cows and the ribboned veggies and preserves. Housing is a lot cheaper there than it is here in SF bay area but then heating those houses costs a LOT! We saw a lot of property for sale. DH kept wanting to buy property, we love the houses with the wide, wrap-around porches...an emotional response, not a practical one. Our cousins are English professors at Cornell and so can afford to do all their shopping at the fabulous Ithaca farmers' market. They spend most of their discretionary income on local, organic food and they think it's well worth it. They almost bought a house in T-Berg but in the end bought one so close to Cornell that it's a 20 minute walk to work. My dh's family farmed in this area in the 1700s and 1800s, the soil is only 6" deep in most areas, the farming is very poor. There are several grave yards where his ancestors are buried nearby. This was a sentimental journey for him and like you it is unlikely that we will return. It sure is beautiful there this time of year! LisaH It’s a very small world: my family and I just got back from a 2 week vacation near T-Berg as the locals call Trumansberg. My dh spent summers there and even lived there a couple of years when his dad was ill and couldn’t work. We went to the same local fair you did: we all looked at the cows and the ribboned veggies and preserves. Housing is a lot cheaper there than it is here in SF bay area but then heating those houses costs a LOT! We saw a lot of property for sale. DH kept wanting to buy property, we love the houses with the wide, wrap-around porches…an emotional response, not a practical one.

Our cousins are English professors at Cornell and so can afford to do all their shopping at the fabulous Ithaca farmers’ market. They spend most of their discretionary income on local, organic food and they think it’s well worth it. They almost bought a house in T-Berg but in the end bought one so close to Cornell that it’s a 20 minute walk to work.

My dh’s family farmed in this area in the 1700s and 1800s, the soil is only 6″ deep in most areas, the farming is very poor. There are several grave yards where his ancestors are buried nearby. This was a sentimental journey for him and like you it is unlikely that we will return. It sure is beautiful there this time of year!

LisaH

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By: Julie Mason http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9472 Julie Mason Mon, 25 Aug 2008 19:35:07 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9472 It's Fair time in Central PA--Grange Fair, that is, the only fair in the country (so I'm told) where people still tent on the grounds. http://www.grangefair.net/ It's also THE time to see RVs galore on the road...people also come in them to camp at the Fair, but this may be their only trip this year, from the nearby towns to the Fair grounds. It's a true agricultural fair with multiple buildings of produce, baked goods, and handiworks, most, it seems, with ribbons, plus barns of every farm animal and auctions of the 4-H raised critters bought at good prices by local businesses. It was good to hear your thoughtful views of all you saw. Makes me think our little oasis may still have much that will translate well into the future. It’s Fair time in Central PA–Grange Fair, that is, the only fair in the country (so I’m told) where people still tent on the grounds.

http://www.grangefair.net/

It’s also THE time to see RVs galore on the road…people also come in them to camp at the Fair, but this may be their only trip this year, from the nearby towns to the Fair grounds.

It’s a true agricultural fair with multiple buildings of produce, baked goods, and handiworks, most, it seems, with ribbons, plus barns of every farm animal and auctions of the 4-H raised critters bought at good prices by local businesses.

It was good to hear your thoughtful views of all you saw. Makes me think our little oasis may still have much that will translate well into the future.

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By: Kate http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9471 Kate Mon, 25 Aug 2008 19:24:19 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9471 I appreciate your post and your perspective, Sharon. I know the region very well. In recent years, my travels have taken me most often from Northeast NY into the Adirondack Mountains in NY or to southwestern or mid central Vermont. I just returned from ten days in Vermont, where I chose to buy a tiny camp instead of buying in the Adirondacks, eight months ago. I wanted to live in a mountain region that was more a rural town area than an area devoted to tourists. The balance is a bit better in Vermont. By the way, I saw a lot of RVs, about 20-30 each day I drove. Vermont has both rural poverty and second homes. Half of the residential property in Vermont is owned by people who live out of state -- like me. There is great need for carpenters, contractors, roofers and people with handyman skills. What I sense is hurting is the stores. People in the local hardware store, family owned grocery, and another grocer a couple miles away all said business is hurting badly. Several store fronts in the tiny downtown were vacant. I bought a new grill at the hardware store when I could have gotten it cheaper online. But it's a very can-do area. Paving is taking place. Re-painting crosswalks before school starts. Re-grading the dirt roads several times after all the rain. Utilities have subcontractors cutting back trees in the forests to stop power problems. There is a lot of activity. I think whatever the future holds, we Americans will adapt, but there will be great inequities in how people do that. Just some random thoughts. Kate I appreciate your post and your perspective, Sharon. I know the region very well.

In recent years, my travels have taken me most often from Northeast NY into the Adirondack Mountains in NY or to southwestern or mid central Vermont.

I just returned from ten days in Vermont, where I chose to buy a tiny camp instead of buying in the Adirondacks, eight months ago. I wanted to live in a mountain region that was more a rural town area than an area devoted to tourists. The balance is a bit better in Vermont.

By the way, I saw a lot of RVs, about 20-30 each day I drove.

Vermont has both rural poverty and second homes. Half of the residential property in Vermont is owned by people who live out of state — like me. There is great need for carpenters, contractors, roofers and people with handyman skills. What I sense is hurting is the stores. People in the local hardware store, family owned grocery, and another grocer a couple miles away all said business is hurting badly. Several store fronts in the tiny downtown were vacant. I bought a new grill at the hardware store when I could have gotten it cheaper online.

But it’s a very can-do area. Paving is taking place. Re-painting crosswalks before school starts. Re-grading the dirt roads several times after all the rain. Utilities have subcontractors cutting back trees in the forests to stop power problems. There is a lot of activity.

I think whatever the future holds, we Americans will adapt, but there will be great inequities in how people do that.

Just some random thoughts.

Kate

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9469 Sharon Mon, 25 Aug 2008 16:56:09 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9469 Leila - The French wine makers may prefer the finger lakes, but at least the sample we had suggested that the champagne was pretty horrible too. I hate to speak badly of home state agricultural products, but the tasting we did, plus the Finger lakes wines I've had so far all have topped out at "mediocre" - I don't claim the world's most subtle palate, either. We also have tons and tons of ag festivals, town harvest festivals, etc... from maple sugaring season through Christmas as well. Stephen, I grew up around the Topsfield fair and my sister now lives less than a mile from there - it is a fond childhood (and courtship with Eric) memory, and one of these years I've got to get back for the fair. Sharon Leila - The French wine makers may prefer the finger lakes, but at least the sample we had suggested that the champagne was pretty horrible too. I hate to speak badly of home state agricultural products, but the tasting we did, plus the Finger lakes wines I’ve had so far all have topped out at “mediocre” - I don’t claim the world’s most subtle palate, either.

We also have tons and tons of ag festivals, town harvest festivals, etc… from maple sugaring season through Christmas as well.

Stephen, I grew up around the Topsfield fair and my sister now lives less than a mile from there - it is a fond childhood (and courtship with Eric) memory, and one of these years I’ve got to get back for the fair.

Sharon

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By: Lisa Z http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9464 Lisa Z Mon, 25 Aug 2008 13:17:05 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/24/the-grand-tour-a-post-peak-travelogue/#comment-9464 Leila Abu-Saba--we have many similar things going on here in Minnesota. A Garlic Festival started a few years ago and is getting bigger every year. The Farmer's Market scene is exploding with all kinds of towns starting them--and they seem to be using a community festival model more than a "just put a table in the parking lot and sell veggies" idea. We have a sustainable farming organization that is working hard to support sustainable farmers and train up new ones: http://www.sfa-mn.org/. There are art/local food crawls (yes, combined) in many rural regions of the state too. Most of these things have sprung up in the last 8-10 years--or at least gotten more visible, and I've been following this stuff for at least 13 years. Our county fairs are still going strong, at least where I've seen them. The 4H kids and the older women, and some younger moms, are still really into entering homemade foods, homegrown flowers and produce, and crafts at the fairs. And the Minnesota State Fair is of course the biggest and best attended in the nation. We still do have a lot of agricultural pride here in the Heartland, and it's so exciting to see so much pride around sustainable methods. (Of course, we still have all the mono-cropping, GMOs, terrorist seed companies, etc., but at least there's a strong movement for something better.) Lisa in MN Leila Abu-Saba–we have many similar things going on here in Minnesota. A Garlic Festival started a few years ago and is getting bigger every year. The Farmer’s Market scene is exploding with all kinds of towns starting them–and they seem to be using a community festival model more than a “just put a table in the parking lot and sell veggies” idea. We have a sustainable farming organization that is working hard to support sustainable farmers and train up new ones: http://www.sfa-mn.org/. There are art/local food crawls (yes, combined) in many rural regions of the state too.

Most of these things have sprung up in the last 8-10 years–or at least gotten more visible, and I’ve been following this stuff for at least 13 years.

Our county fairs are still going strong, at least where I’ve seen them. The 4H kids and the older women, and some younger moms, are still really into entering homemade foods, homegrown flowers and produce, and crafts at the fairs. And the Minnesota State Fair is of course the biggest and best attended in the nation. We still do have a lot of agricultural pride here in the Heartland, and it’s so exciting to see so much pride around sustainable methods. (Of course, we still have all the mono-cropping, GMOs, terrorist seed companies, etc., but at least there’s a strong movement for something better.)

Lisa in MN

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