Sunday, June 3, 2012
Free fuel changes everything
Just as soon as I get the van running on waste vegetable oil we started traveling further. We went to the more distant grocery store, the one with the great produce section. Going to dinner to a nice place 50 miles away is suddenly feasible.
Once I get the trailer hitch installed, hauling the sailboat to bigger bodies of water will no longer be a big deal. With diesel still around $4/gallon here, it is a huge savings.
There’s a meeting coming up with some friends of mine. Most live in southern NH and northern MA. I’m in northern NH. It would cost a lot for all of them to come up here, so I’m heading south. There’s a number of little trips coming up and taking the veggie van is the vehicle of choice.
Of course, the fuel isn’t quite free. Anyone who’s hauled fuel around in jerrycans knows how much of a workout that can be. Still, hauling free fuel around pays better than any other part time job I’ve had. There are filters that occasionally have to be changed. Those cost money but I get thousands of miles out of a $13 filter.
My lovely wife used to work at a job 50 miles away. That was a 100 mile round trip. Sometimes I’d drive her into work, come home, then pick her up at the end of her shift. Is it any wonder we used to put 50,000 miles a year on our car? It was a well paying job, but cheap transportation made it pay even better.
Many of my friends and family are traveling a lot less. Some have even moved closer to work and activities. A few work from home. The price of gas has come down a bit lately, but if your income goes down, it may be too dear to buy at any price. Eventually, the vehicle is used only for essential trips. Actually, one of my friends had his car repossessed and now walks everywhere. Good thing he doesn’t live out in the woods.
I know my situation is unusual. Waste veggie is harder to get and often not free. I’m lucky that mine still is. My guess is that some time in the future, the free fuel situation will go away. When that happens, I’d love to be spending at least half my year on a sailboat. The wind is still free.