Fossil Fuel Free Road Trip #5: Yosemite in Winter

19 07 2008

For Valentine’s Day Laura and I took the Vegfalia to one of the most beautiful spots in the world: Yosemite Valley. We stayed at the yosemite lodge rather than camp out in the westy. It was 15 degrees or so and I haven’t figured out my plan for heating yet. Unfortunately we missed the good snow and our x-country ski excursion was suboptimal, we experienced one of the legendary Awahnee Prix Fixe menus for Valentine’s Day dinner. The hostess presented me with a rose while Laura was in the restroom so that I could look good by giving it to her – nice touch, unfortunately I didn’t think of it first.

If you haven’t been there, the grand dining room in the Awahnee is incredible – huge wooden beams the size of whole tree trunks frame stone walls and soaring windows, it is truly an architectural masterpiece.  The 5 course meal with wine pairings was fantastic, from the single giant smoked scallop, with a wisp of smoke trapped underneath the glass cover, dramatically pulled off by the waiter, to the grassfed veal cheek that melted in your mouth.  The whole meal was made as sustainably as possible in the highest country gourmet fashion.

We didn’t have any problems at all with the VO system in the cold, but we had an interesting revelation as we went to empty the food out of the Vegfalia to prevent bear attacks on the car.  Most of you have probably seen the classic Yosemite video of the bear ripping the top of the door off of a car with a nonchalant tug of it’s claw, like nothing more than a tuna can.  Well, I suddenly had a vision of this happening to our beloved Vanagon, with a whole familly of bears frantically digging through the doors and under the back seat to get at the vegetable oil tank.  Hmmm, it seems that it is now impossible to remove all of the “food” from our car, the VO is running through it’s veins!  We didn’t have any issues at the Lodge, but we’ll see how it goes in the summer time in the less populated camp sites.

Overall, a very successful and another fantastic Vegfalia roadtrip!

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5 responses

18 08 2008
lori b

love your site and i’m really enjoying reading about the vegfalia – but please for God’s sake get rid of snap!! it’s a plague on the internet!

19 01 2009
megan

Yay for Yosemite, it’s beautiful! Though I can’t say that there’s anything sustainable about veal. 😦 Raising animals for food (and especially for something as unnecessary and cruel as veal) contributes more to global warming than all transportation combined, according to a UN report. Check it out, meat’s just not green. Kudos for your efforts in greening your transportation, it’s one important piece of a green living puzzle. 🙂

19 01 2009
theseep

Thanks Megan,
You guys have been doing some great things as well. We know that meat is not ideal environmentally, and we don’t eat a great deal of it. When we do, we do our best to eat responsibly raised products. I know what assuming does, but we assumed that the Awahnee’s veal was cruelty-free, although I’m also assuming that you’re against any human consumption of meat. Although we can exist on an entirely vegetarian diet, we are evolutionarily and physiologically omnivores and I’m of the opinion that it is a small but important part of well-rounded human diet. I am, however, firmly against factory raised animals and irresponsible practices.
Good luck with your garden!

6 08 2009
Colin

Did you ever get to Yosemite during the summer, i.e. during bear season? I’m doing a road trip there in my WVO and am quite worried about parking in the Camp 4 lot. My brother’s car got the door ripped off just because of a single foil-wrapped granola bar he accidentally left in there. I imagine fryer grease will attract every bear within 100 miles. You heard of any other WVO experiences in Yosemite either good or bad?

Colin
50,000+ miles on WVO:
http://my.opera.com/semicolin1/blog/index.dml/tag/VeggieOilTruck

6 08 2009
theseep

Hey Colin, nice work on your Greasy Beast! We haven’t tried Yosemite in the summer yet and I just heard about a gal with a WVO Mercedes that had the hood ripped off by a bear. I’m looking for other experiences and solutions as well, let me know if you come up with anything.

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