Today we woke up to a 43-degree Teton morning. The sun had just risen (according to Meegan) and we were all up at 7 thanks to someone’s (not sure who’s) musical alarm. It was time to go get some fuel. Phil Cameron, the Executive Director of the Yellowstone and Teton Clean Energy Coalition and Alicia Cox, the Programming Director had made some calls to help us find veg. They had shown us the documentary Fuel (Which is AMAZING) and were psyched to help us out. And we were psyched to keep using waste oil! We met up with Phil and Alicia at 8 am and started our hunt. I went with Phil to check out the first place. Mind you, it was still colder than August has any right to be, so the veg was still quite solid. And the first 55 that we crackle tested had too much water in it. But when we came to the next place, it was a gold-mine of cubees. They were very clean, and we’d changed all our filters the day before (not a fun process, but much easier because of our sliding racks) so it pumped very fast. And then things got even better. Winslow Bent, the owner of Legacy Classic Trucks brought a freshly restored Dodge Power Wagon over. It was immaculately rebuilt with a 4-cylinder Cummins engine and that runs biodiesel. It was quite a machine. He showed us his shop, where he had an old GMC tow truck that they were restoring and putting a diesel engine in. All of the trucks in their shop (except for their Corvette-powered racing/rock-crawling Power Wagon) get 25 to 30 miles per gallon because of their diesel engines. Winslow was particularly excited about a new restoration he was about to begin: He is turning a 1950s GMC truck into an electric vehicle. He said it will get 150 miles to a charge and have lots of torque. Great for cruising around town, and much better than the gas guzzling engine it used to have.
After picking up about 40 gallons in cubees, we went to another place in Jackson that Phil arranged for us. It was a warehouse for ski equipment run by a man named Evan Roy. Evan runs his Ford 7.3L F-350 on waste oil, so he had a lot stocked up. Phil called Evan and he said we could take almost an entire pallet of cubees. It was quite an operation: we had at least 20 cubees covering the ground around the bus. While we were pumping, a few of us took a quick swim in a nearby creek. It was small but strong! Meegan’s bellyflop ended up carrying her a hundred feet downstream in the freezing cold water. It felt great to swim off the camping (and veg. pumping) grime. It was about one hundred gallons, which filled our running tank, but our V-bottom still could take a hundred gallons. Good thing Phil had one more site on the list.
He took me to check it out…and sure enough, it was the jackpot. Eight 275-gallon totes full of settled oil. Perfect! They belonged to a small biodiesel company, and the owner said we could have as much as we wanted! We topped off our tank, then pumped the four 15-gallon drums of biodiesel into our diesel tank so that we could take 60 more gallons of veg. All told, we had 570 gallons of fuel on the bus! Multiply that by ~7, you’ll get the miles we can go, as well as the approximate weight of the fuel we’re carrying. It weighs more than my entire VW Golf! After graciously thanking Phil and Alicia, we set off for Mount Rushmore. Five hundred miles is nothing for our newfound fuel. We drove for several Bravehearts (according to Devo’s driving log), and then some. The ‘14s discussed some big ideas for future plans (Top Secret!) We got to Mount Rushmore after midnight, which was a bummer because the lights shut off at eleven. After assuring a Park Ranger that we were not affiliated with Greenpeace, he said it would be fine for us to park in a National Forest turnout. We were all able to find floor/couch/bed space and we settled down for the night. Sunrise at Mount Rushmore in the morning!