Thursday, January 31, 2008

Eleven Years Car Free...

Click on image to enlarge - © 2008 jim otterstrom
Today is the 11th anniversary of our decision to live without owning an automobile!
Another year in which we did not contribute approximately 6.5 tons or 13,000 pounds of CO2 to our communally shared atmosphere.
What more can I say?
The 76 gas pump is one of the altars in a little outdoor shrine we call our
Temple To A Lost Civilization.

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Blogger Madcap said...

Just drove over to say hi!



5:13 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

So nice to have you over Mum.

Drive by anytime, this arrogant old bastard misses you!

5:41 PM  
Blogger Vickie LeBlanc said...

Congrats. The world needs more people like yourself. Keep up the wood work.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Vickie LeBlanc said...

opps, not wood work but GOOD work.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Jim said...


one of those Freudian slips, but there was a time when I was known for my wood work

but now I'm being bad

very bad

not good!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Congratulations you guys, you're an inspiration!
I've been trying to convince my husband that we should sell our car while there's still a market for it, but it's a big shift in mind set. He already rides his bike to work (13 km each way!), so that's not a problem, but it's about 3 times more expensive for the four of us to get somewhere using our inefficient transit system instead of the car, so it's a bit of a dilemma. Excuses, excuses.
Anyway, you give me hope that we can do it!

7:24 PM  
Blogger Jim said...


It sounds like your doing what you can, and certainly more than most people. Riding 13km to work is a strong commitment (probably keeps your husband pretty fit too).

We couldn't find our way to giving up the car until just a few years before I retired.

With us it had a lot to do with the kids too. There were so many things we wanted them to experience, camping trips to the desert, the beach, and the mountains, family get togethers and all that stuff which requires travel.

And public transit here is pretty dismal too. You couldn't even get off the mountain by bus most of the time the kids were growing up.

There is an off-the-mountain bus now though, which makes connections with Metrolink commuter trains in San Bernardino.

The public transportation situation is Southern California is greatly improved from 15 years ago. We can go anywhere the trains run now and it's cheaper (with just two of us) than using a car.

We do still rent a car now & then for family reunions, or maybe to attend a camping music festival in the Sierra's.

As gasoline gets more expensive public transit will become more viable.

I'd love to do some long-distance bicycle touring/camping but Peggy is very apprehensive about riding along the sides of highways.

She is more sensible than I am. I would just pack up the panniers & the Bob trailer and cast our fates to the wind...

6:43 AM  
Blogger roger said...

happy trails to you......imagine me singing.

8:18 AM  
Blogger susan said...

Noticed your haiku at Zee's Sunburst blog and thought I'd stop by. We live in the midst of Portland close to the university hospitals that provide our employment so we walk to work and use the little car for necessary shopping these past 10 years. Every little thing that harms less helps.

You have a lovely site and are a very pretty couple too. All the best to you from another pair of ageing boomers.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Jim said...


is that dale evans or robin i hear singing harmony with you?

there you go revealing our ages again...


10:48 AM  
Blogger Jim said...


Thanks for dropping by and leaving such a nice comment.

I followed you back to your blogs and discovered your very beautiful drawings for Baby Days.

You should publish that yourself at It's really quite easy and I'd buy one just for the lovely drawings.

10:53 AM  
Blogger susan said...

Thanks for coming by and for the tip about which I'll check out. I'm delighted you enjoyed 'baby days'. I xeroxed copies years ago for friends and family then it was never seen again til now.

I'm going to add you to my links so I can drop by more often.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Thanks for your reassuring words, Jim. I guess it will get easier when we're not transporting four people. Where we're moving should be a little easier to get around using transit, so we'll see.
Chuck would also love to do some long road trips, but I'd have to seriously work on my peddling legs in order to keep up!

8:53 AM  
Blogger Lené Gary said...

Rock on! Congrats on another awesome emission-free anniversary. :)

8:08 PM  
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10:24 PM  

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