This current tour had some up sides and some down sides. And a lot of education.
It ended up costing me a lot more money than I anticipated. And the breakdowns are stressful. And eating good food is something that is kinda hit and miss. Then there is that fuel usage thing. Currently, the fuel usage is about the same as one person using a 36mpg vehicle.
We have met some really excellent people
. And when people brought biodynamic veggies and pie
to the event, kinda hard to adequately express how cool that was.
People coming up afterward and telling me how hearing this one talk has changed their lives. Others expressing how my podcasts are the center of their lives and they are so happy to meet me.
I can kinda get work done as we bee bop down the road. Sometimes there is so much jiggle that I cannot read what is on the screen. Sometimes there is no intenet access.
All three beds are full size beds, so, technically, we could currently take six people. And with some tweaking, we might get one more bed in here. If we had three couples, then the mileage per person would be like one person in a vehicle that gets better than 50mpg.
We never used the shower
or toilet. We stopped every few hours so everybody could pee
, and we usually had shower
access for our stops.
Eivand seems to be on top of the world. I get the impression that his expectations were that we might see something cool every few days. But we see something cool pretty much every day. So he seems to feel that this turned out to be super excellent.
Throughout the trip there has been a lot of people with suggestions on stuff to see and do and they say "maybe when you come through next year" or "maybe when you come through next time." My thinking is that there will be no "next time" - until today. All we need to do is amplify the good stuff and mitigate the bad stuff.
My first thought was: what if we get a bigger bus that runs on diesel. We could then run biodiesel. Maybe it could even take veggie oil. It would be great to have racks of bunks instead of three double beds. A larger vehicle would be a smoother ride and, thus, easier to use a laptop when going down the road. Maybe there could be three double bunks and six single bunks? This would then make it so we could charge less per bunk plus have more money so that the project
doesn't run in the negative.
And there's more: with 12 people, we have a much better chance that some of them will be keen on cooking. And we will have more people interested in fleshing out calendar details - or directions. And we have a better chance that when things break that somebody will be a bit more savvy on mending it.
On this trip, Jocelyn was worried that she would be stuck with the lion's share of work/chores. Geoff was wiped out after driving - so it seems he really did his share. Eivand sat in the front seat the whole time we were on the road to navigate and assist geoff. I took us to a lot of restaurants so that the cooking/cleaning load was lower. This was a huge contributor to putting this venture in the red. Plus, very few restaurants are organic - and that bothered me. So if we had a bigger rig and more people, maybe most meals could be prepared on the way using organic food. In fact, maybe along the way we could make a point to purchase permaculture
food and biodynamic food.
I like to think
that with a bigger rig, we might hire a driver. Geoff got us there alive and all, but I think the whole trip is taking a year or two off of Geoff's lifespan. I also like the idea of more night driving: go to sleep in one town and wake up in another town.
With 12 people, a bigger rig and diesel we would be looking at something like each person gets 100mpg. And if we could work in veggie oil as fuel, that would be even more impressive.
As I'm looking at this existing rig: the back is a full size bed and a bathroom. Instead, it could be triple bunks on either side. Six single beds. The rest of the current space is a couch - that can be converted to a full bed, and a table that can also be turned into a full bed. This particular land
whale does not have a full bed over the driver seat like many other land whales do. That has the potential for three full beds plus six singles. This rig won't work for something like that because there is seating only for ten people. So surely there must be a slightly larger rig that can do this.
What do touring bands use? .... a little research and I am finding that 12 bunks is exactly what touring bands use. A bit expensive to rent, but a nice ride.
So here is the question of the moment: Suppose a year into the future, we did something similar. Nicer land whale. There would be an expectation that everybody would be contributing something (cooking, cleaning, land whale mending, routing/navigating, scheduling ...). Three weeks spent visiting dozens of cool permaculture
sites. Would you drop $1500 to come along? The $1500 would include a bunk, food, wifi, access to events and farms. Three weeks of permaculture
nirvana. I suppose something could be done so that some people might go for just a week or two of the trip.
On this trip we had one full sized bed for rent. We had three people that wanted that one bed all to themselves. Maybe there were more that wanted a bed after the bed was no longer available.
So, $1500 for three weeks of permaculture
on the road. Maybe the east coast this time. Would you be willing to pay $1500 to be on a fancy pants band bus that goes to dozens of cool permaculture sites? Maybe the price should
be $2000 and a few bunks are filled with people who get a free bunk for work trade - so those that pay don't need to worry about chores.