For the last few weekends, I’ve taken “day trips” here in Maine, exploring new and old places within an hour’s drive from my house. On Friday, my Jeep started making a clickety chugging noise and I knew there would be no Lady Alone Traveler trip this weekend. I bummed a ride to the Winter Market with my friend and stayed close to home. The Jeep was running, but not well enough to risk driving too far. My thoughts occupied by the inability to “get up and go,” I contemplated my addiction to oil.
Have you ever considered what you would do if you didn’t have a car? How close is the nearest grocery store? Could you walk there? What about the “town” or “city” you live in? Can you walk to a bank, a post office, or a library? If you can, do you ever “just do it” instead of going by automobile?
Even though I am a regular reader of various Peak Oil writers, I know I’m still as addicted to my automobile as everyone else. It would be hypocrisy for me to say I am “more green” than another because I telecommute to my job and even though I have made changes in my life that require me to travel less, the Jeep’s clickety chugging noise still filled me with dread.
I was trapped.
Considering short distances safe, I drove to The Farm yesterday. The snowmobile tracks went all the way from the end of the town road to Baumer’s Field and then the easy-walking tracks stopped. It was difficult walking in the fresh, loose snow; I put on my snowshoes and trudged along, blazing a trail. I contemplated life without oil and I remembered a time in my life when I thought it might be interesting to be a professional “trailblazer.” The idea of getting paid to be outdoors on cross-county skies or snowshoes intrigued me until I learned there were no such jobs available. Being a postal carrier was the closest career to trailblazing, but my high school personality indicator tests pointed me towards a different career.
Blazing a new trail is difficult work.
Is it really? Driving my Jeep a few miles, trudging around in the snow, driving home to a warm house, eating scrambled eggs, these are all the luxuries of a prosperity I take for granted.
So begins another Monday, perplexedly at war with the modern world but having nowhere else to go.