#Ocean2Ocean: Bluegrass State Edition

Progress to date.

Progress to date.

Location: West of Lexington, KY

Distance traveled: 645 miles

Distance remaining: 2355 miles

MPG: 12.2

Last night we checked in to the delightful Sunday Stables, where Luna and Hermione shared a barn (but not a stall) with horses, cats, chickens, and a llama. Susan Sunday was a fabulous host and the goats were glad of solid ground and some room to roam.

We crossed the border into Kentucky earlier this morning, and we greeted with the sight of massive oil refineries as well as an Amazon.com warehouse, very different from the mountains and coal plants of West Virginia.

Since we’re in the Bluegrass State, here are a few of our favorite Bluegrass Bands:

Balsam Range, Bearfoot, Cadillac Sky, Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, Red Molly, Steel Wheels, Darrel Scott.

More questions answered.

What are you driving?

I have a 2000 Dodge Durango that’s been with me for 12 years.

The rig.

Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to talk about stewardship, environmental sustainability, and climate change while driving a massive SUV?

I don’t believe driving a large vehicle is an inherently anti-environmental decision. There are numerous variables that go into vehicle choice, including actual need, frequency of use, and longevity. 11 years ago, there were no environmentally friendly vehicles available that suited my needs — needs which include rural road driving, towing, livestock transport, snow and icy road driving, and, back in the day, the ability to haul surveying equipment across construction sites with sufficient, lockable storage. In town, I stick to walking and riding my bike and use public transport when available. I still believe that I have the most appropriate vehicle for my needs.

Beyond that, I feel that the trend towards conspicuous consumption of new vehicles is a profoundly anti-environmental statement. Whatever vehicle is most appropriate for you, it should be built to last. I have a friend who buys the newest hybrid every couple of years. This is not environmentally responsible. Choosing a vehicle that best meets all of your needs will ensure that you keep it around for as long as possible. This is not to say that you shouldn’t choose a new, environmentally responsible vehicle when the time comes to replace you old vehicle, just that you should do so with the intent to drive it for many years to come. So yes, I’ll be driving this truck long after it’s trendy to do so.

So how long do you think it’s reasonable to keep a vehicle?

The moon is approximately 250,000 mile away, depending on its current position. A good vehicle should get you to the lunar surface, a great  vehicle should get you home again.

How are the goats?



  1. Jim Kendal · August 18, 2013

    For what it’s worth; while it might just be the angle of the photograph, it looks as if the tongue weight of the trailer is too high. It really shouldn’t lift the front of the vehicle so much, as it seems to be doing. It really shouldn’t be more than 10-15 % of the total trailer weight, & shouldn’t lower the rear of the vehicle much more than an inch or so.

    • Andrew David Thaler · August 18, 2013

      Thanks Jim. That’s actually how the truck usually sits when any load is on the back – the rear shocks are getting pretty soft. Also of note, there’s about 500 lbs of cargo in the truck itself. We did do some tests around the block before we took off, and with two passengers in the front and some forward momentum, everything falls nicely into line.

  2. Jim Kendall · August 20, 2013

    One last comment re: the attitude of your Dodge. No, I don’t mean that it’s a wiseguy, I just mean how it sits with a lowered position in the rear. If, as you state, it generally sits like that, then it probably has more to do with the rear springs, & not the shocks. Although they are probably near their life expectancy too.
    Have a good trip;

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