Four years ago, kayakers Seth Warren and Tyler Bradt loaded their gear and some bacon grease into a 1987 Toyota truck (a former Japanese firetruck) that they'd converted to run on biodiesel and started an epic journey from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Cape Horn, Chile. Their mission was to paddle a multitude of rivers, teach school kids they'd meet along the way about the future of renewable energy, and avoid using petroleum-based fuel for as much of the drive as possible. They scored on all three counts, completing what they believe is the longest non-petroleum-fuel road trip, ever. "We put some extremely questionable stuff in that engine," says Warren, referring to pig oil, fish oil and who-knows-what-oil."But it all worked."
The trip produced an award-winning documentary, Oil + Water. Warren then took to the life of the nomadic energy educator, going on to complete another roadtrip in the eco-rig, named Baby, in 2008 and 2009. That time he focused on the changing seasons in the mountain West of the US. And another film, Nature Propelled, emerged.
Now, Warren is launching Baby on another tour, Playgrounds Reimagined, during which they're visiting the best natural playgrounds--epic mountain bike trails and surf breaks, for example--around the West, while visiting outdoor arts and food festivals to publicize the tour and gather interviews for his next film project.
Their next stop is Boise's Rec Fest, June 26 and 27. The full summer tour schedule is below:
June 26-27 at Boise Rec Fest in Boise, ID (Youth Stage)
July 16-18 at Grand Targhee Music Fest in Driggs, ID
July 23-25 at Rocky Grass Bluegrass Festival in Lyons, CO
August 1 at Michael Franti concert in Durango, CO
August 19-21 at Pier 33 in San Francisco, fundraiser on the Hornblower Hybrid for the Sierra Nevada Alliance
August 26 at street party, 13th street in Portland
September 2 at street party in Seattle, in Ballard near the KAVU retail store
--Mary Catherine O'Connor is a freelance writer, covering the environment, sustainability and outdoor recreation. The Good Route, her blog for Outside Online, is focused on the places where the active life and sustainability merge.