Fossil Fuel Free Weekend

Leavenworth, USA

March 6 -8, 2010

Dave and Jill


Beware fellow yuppie hypersuburbanites!  The Long Emergency, a term coined by the author, is upon us.

Have you ever stopped to consider what our lives will look like if we don't find an alternative for oil?  Most people assume that it's just a matter of time before we find some other way to fuel our cars.  Plus, all those scandalous oil companies are just hording the patents for fuel efficient cars.  Some believe the technology is out there.  Just fill up your gas tank with a half liter of urine and watch it run for 800 miles.  Sorry.  Oil production has peaked at a time when everyone and their dog (China and India) want it.  The fact is that we are running out of oil and there may be no alternative.

My grandpa fascinated me with stories about being a cowboy on the range in Colorado at the age of 12.  My dad, although less fascinating, talks about a time when he was the only jogger on Green Lake on a sunny afternoon.  How will I fascinate my grandchildren?  Believe it or not, probably by showing them AlpineFever.  They will be in awe of how I was able to get in my car and drive three hours to a trailhead and be back in time for work (or whatever else I had going on).  Trips to Africa and Asia?  Their jaws would be gaping as I explained that because we didn't like our first trip to New Zealand we just flew back again the next year.  "You mean you actually got to fly on airplanes?", they might say.  It's likely that my grandchildren's world will be a shrunken version of the one I grew up in.  Gas, or whichever other inconvenient fuel exists, will cost so much that traveling to other continents will only be something that is feasible by sailboat.

In recognition of this fact, and because we were already becoming too poor to drive our cars, Jill and I dedicated ourselves to a fossil fuel-free weekend.  The idea was to find adventure close to home without using a car.  Luckily we have positioned ourselves for the Long Emergency by living in Leavenworth.  Granted, during the Long Emergency the cheesy Bavarian-theme of our town will probably fail, but landscape around us isn't going anywhere.  We chose to ski/snowshoe on Icicle Ridge on Saturday and go rock climbing/biking on Sunday.  Besides getting verbally abused by an old woman (her dogs were wearing sweaters) our weekend was quite enjoyable. 

Just as we were patting ourselves on the back for not using our vehicles we realized that our little experiment will look nothing like the Long Emergency.  Where did the apples we packed for lunch come from?  We lived in the apple capital, but it was March and there were no apples on the trees.  Every piece of gear and clothing was made in someplace like China.  Oops.  When the Long Emergency has fully sunk its claws into our unsustainable lifestyles there will be no AlpineFever.  Adventure will be wherever you are.  These little contrived trips that you see on this website are just a form of amusement that will no longer be necessary when it takes all our faculties just to survive.

Having said that, let's hurry up and get in our car and drive to the next adventure before the oil is gone.  I'm as drunk as everyone else on the stuff and plan to enjoy every last drop.

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If you're interested in reading a more about this then check out the book above.  The author comes across as gloomy and fatalistic, but will at least have you thinking about how your life will change when oil prices become unaffordable.

The Redhead shows - in his new blog "Front Door Adventures" - how he still finds adventure even though he has succumbed to life in the city:

Dave learns to appreciate his truck's ability to carry skis.


Jill created those tracks using her own power.  For the purpose of this post, we will forget that her fuel is derived from food that has been shipped from every corner of the earth using... fossil fuels.


Jill looks down on the highway and Leavenworth watching her fellow Americans getting drunk on fossil fuels. 


Jill walking down the road with a rope on her back looking for... rocks.


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