Sol Food Mobile Farm Days 61-80: Montana, Idaho, and Washington

| September 24, 2012

The Sol Food Mobile Farm crew is half-way in their nationwide journey! Guess where they are now? Take a look at some of the organizations at which they have stopped across the U.S. here.

Traveling Across the West

After leaving Yellowstone National Park, our bus headed to Bozeman, Montana for a much needed restock.  We had an awesome time in Yellowstone, but we were running low on waste vegetable oil, needed groceries, and were in dire need of an oil change. This week has been our first taste of cold weather on this trip, and so we have tried to do everything necessary to keep our vehicle running smoothly.  While we were in town we changed the 8 quarts of oil that is needed to make our bus get down the road.  Ellen led the way getting black and oily as three months worth of travel drained out of the oil pan in a black stream.  It was really exciting to cruise around with beautiful new oil and another 5,000 miles to go.

Ellen changing oil

Before heading out of town we also stopped in (for the second visit) at the Bozeman Food Co-op.  It was by far the coolest co-op we have visited on this trip.  For anyone who finds themselves in the Bozeman area, it is worth a long, thorough visit.  Check it out it!

Bozeman Community Food Co-op

We also met a wonderful family in the co-op who had operated waste vegetable oil vehicles in the past and were thrilled about our bus being in the area.  We were able to get some great tips from them on where to fill up grease nearby.  We took their suggestions to heart and later that day, found ourselves crouched in the parking lots of Taco Bell and Arby’s parking lots sucking up beautiful waste oil for our bus engine.

Bus Hood open

Now we are on the way north to meet Clay Bordley, Eliza’s dad, in Deer Lodge for another week of exploring.  We are so pumped to see Clay and spend some quality time as a group in Glacier National Park.  We are also excited to get another chunk of time to relax and enjoy our bus vacation time before jumping into farm visits in the Seattle area.  Until then, cheers!

The crew


Glacier National Park

Hello from Highway 90 in Washington State.  The Sol Food bus is currently in route from Spokane to Seattle; driving through the arid farmland east of the Cascade Mountain Range.  This, week we are celebrating the halfway point of our cross-country journey! Although we still have many weeks to go, we are excited to have made it as far as we have on waste vegetable oil and to have seen so many incredible urban agriculture projects.  As an added bonus we have spent the last two weeks in the Midwest area of the country visiting the Badlands, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.  We decided that on our two week journey from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Seattle, Washington we should try and squeeze in an informal “vacation” of sorts.  Our past week was spent in Glacier National Park in northern Montana around Lake McDonald.  Our week their was absolutely amazing, with beautiful mountain views, huge river crossings and lots of time hiking, biking and relaxing.  Check out some of our favorite shots!

Glacier National Park

We even got to meet up with Eliza’s dad, Clay Bordley, who flew into Montana to meet up with the crew for a week.  We were lucky enough to spend some quality time with Clay, hiking, catching up on old times, hiking and of course going through the daily chores of bus life.  Clay even got to drive the Sol Food bus from Glacier National Park to Dunn Creek Campground in northern Idaho.  That night as we filled up water and cooked dinner we realized that the county we were in shared a border with Montana, Idaho and Canada!  It is a surreal moment when we realize how far we have traveled in only 3 short months.

Logan Pass

For those who have never been to that area of the country before, it is worth the trip.  We drove past countless fruit farms, saw tons of wildlife (Mountain Goats, Bald Eagles, and Big Horned Sheep) and enjoyed incredible scenery all week.   Glacier is one of the most spectacular areas of the United States that we have ever experienced.

We are now heading into a week of garden work in the greater Seattle, WA area with a handful of different organizations. Some of our upcoming partners will be with Lettuce Links and Seattle Tilth! We are also filming for the third time with the PBS television series “Growing a Greener World.”  The TV show will be featuring our 2012 Sol Food Tour on an episode of theirs this December.  Our crew feels especially honored to be hosted by such a great show and to have gained some wonderful friends in the process.   The crew will be meeting us again this week to film sections of garden builds, expositions and shots of life on the bus.  Our last film day was in June when we first started our bus tour in Asheville, North Carolina.  After this coming week in Seattle, we will be spending five days in Portland, Oregon and then heading south to Eugene, OR and northern California.  We are looking forward to many more adventures to come so stay tuned!

The crew

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