June 24, 2011

Show Me the Road to Rothbury: A Plea for Greener Transit. ~ David Telfer McConaghay

Calling all elephants!

A sad day for the Saab

Okay sangha, here’s the sitch:

As previously mentioned, I have been blessed with a press pass for the imminent Electric Forest Festival, near Rothbury, Michigan. I have assembled a crew of 3 close friends who will assist with the documentation process and, more importantly, guarantee there will be moments worth documenting.

I will personally introduce the EF/Elephant team in a later post, but the point is: we are in Boulder, Colorado, and we need to be in western Michigan by next Wednesday night, June 29 — and we don’t trust our cars.

My amazing 1999 Saab, as much as I love it, is no longer fit for cross country ventures, as evidenced by the above photo of breaking down on just such a journey in Lincoln, Nebraska last fall.

The cars owned/accessed by our collective are otherwise unreliable for a variety of reasons not worth the bandwidth it would take to explain. Let’s just say it together one time: “planned obsolescence.”

An heroic 2004 Jeep Wrangler named Little Red might get us there — at 13, maybe 18 miles to the gallon, not to mention the significant (though not unbearable) discomfort of squeezing 4 (maybe 5) of us (plus our stuff) into that tiny little well-traveled Jeep.

For some reason (disuse, perhaps), buses and trains are prohibitively expensive and incredibly limiting in terms of scheduling. This is pretty much a non-option, unless there’s a secret train out there waiting to take me away…

Flying is impractical: too expensive and, while I’m not entirely averse to being touched by (sexy) strangers, I don’t trust TSA agents.

Thus, this is a request for suggestions:

What is the most low-cost, eco-friendly way we can make it to Michigan?

We have considered renting a car, but hybrids are hard to find and expensive to rent.

Does anyone out there own a bio-diesel bus? Something that runs on vegetable oil? Is there a crew of Coloradans also going to Electric Forest who want to join forces?

Is anyone interested in lending their late-model, fuel-efficient vehicle to us for the week in exchange for one of our locally-reliable rides, some intense, highly-publicized gratitude, and glory-filled karmic recompense to be named later?

As it stands, we’re poised to rent a stupid sedan and pay for it by distributing black-market burritos and baked goods on Shakedown St. (shh… don’t tell). Because let’s be clear: we’re none of us wealthy; the reason I work so hard to earn press passes is because that’s the best way to go to a show you can’t afford.

Since I started working with elephant, I have become aware of a wider world of possibilities, outside-the-box potentials that can only be realized if one is willing to make one’s needs known. I am constantly amazed at the creativity and effortless generosity of the good people, strangers and friends, that I encounter every day.

I know this is a long shot…

…but it would be silly not to ask.

The only vote that matters in American ‘democracy’ is how you vote with your wallet. If possible, I hope to vote for people-powered creative problem solving, and specifically against Big Oil.

Who's got our Escalade Hybrid?

We plan to leave late Tuesday night. The countdown is on…

I will link the Craiglist rideshare ad when it goes live.

Surrendering all expectation, I place my faith in the community.

Blessed be,


Born on planet Earth, David Telfer McConaghay has since wandered across its surface in search of something which, when found, kindly insists that he continue searching. His immediate family lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, though he also feels at home in Washington D.C.; Grass Valley, California; Bogotá, Colombia; and now, almost Boulder, Colorado. He completed his B.A. in English & Creative Writing at The George Washington University in 2008. Experiences at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm are the primary source of any yogic inspiration David aka Sri Nivasa may express. He plays on Facebook Here and can be followed on Twitter Here

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