SRauto1941Setting the Stage

Decades before Americans became habitually strung-out on increasingly concentrated doses of iPhones and Facebook, we developed a similarly unhealthy addiction to the automobile.

Cars allowed us to do things that were previously considered unfathomable; they turned science fiction into reality. Riding the crest of the invincibility high that cars provided, we gleefully maxed out our fossil fuel credit cards with no plan as to how we would pay them off.


At the same time that we were reveling in the veneer of omnipotence that goes hand in hand with car ownership, developers and governments were building and investing in automobile-centric infrastructure: re-paving the roads and allowing the railroad to decay; building new developments far away from town centers, while reducing the budget for public transportation. You could no longer get ahead in modern society without making a long term commitment to your car.

The Challenge

101

The Sonoma County tourism industry, as presently configured, reflects that reality.  It operates within a basic paradigm: get in your car in San Francisco, head up to Healdsburg for wine tasting, drive back home. 

But with gasoline prices skyrocketing and no end in sight, tourists are starting to think outside the car.  The idea of paying more than four dollars a gallon for the drive north is making the wine taste bitter.  Travelers are searching for cheaper, simpler, and healthier options.  Why spend all that money staring at the white line in the middle of Highway 101, when you can take the family for a bike ride in Golden Gate Park and watch the sun set over Ocean Beach for free?

Sonoma County offers an almost unlimited supply of outdoor recreation and outdoor travel opportunities, but after generations of confinement to our cars, we simply don’t know how to access these attractions.  Even if tourists wanted to experience Sonoma County’s beauty and rich cultural heritage without the use of a car, most of the area’s leading business owners, politicians, and tourism officials wouldn’t be able to guide them.  We are not familiar with our own backyard.

Problem Solving

The non-profit EcoRing is trying to educate both local residents and potential tourists about Sonoma County’s eco-travel and eco-tourismopportunities.  The first step in that process was a six day eco-travel demonstration, EcoOdyssey100, which concluded on May 7. We simulated a multi-day tourist adventure by traveling around Sonoma County, discovering the area’s natural beauty, and experiencing the local culture and history.  Other than our mode of transportation, we did exactly the types of things that tourists do when they go on vacation.  But we did not rely on cars to get around.

On May 2, EcoOdyssey100 participants started their journey with a three-day kayaking trip from Healdsburg to Forestville. In lieu of the automobile engine, the downstream meandering of the Russian River provided the energy needed to propel ourselves forward through time and space. At various points along the way, we stayed overnight at lodging facilities that offer  varying levels of creature comforts, and are also conveniently located next to natural kayak ‘take-out’ points. 

cyclistsThe following day we rode our bikes from Forestville to Santa Rosa, as the circular movements of our bike pedals happily displaced the up and down action of the engine piston.  On May 6 and 7, we traveled the SMART Train line from Santa Rosa to Healdsburg and Petaluma, sending a message to the tracks that it was time to awaken from their extended slumber. Throughout the journey, we engaged in all sorts of typical tourist activities: visiting a community farm in Petaluma, walking around downtown Windsor, celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Roseland, admiring a bald eagle on the Russian River, and going to a play in Santa Rosa.

The logistic difficulty of planning this trip was exacerbated by the lack of available information linking all these elements.  How many miles can I reasonably expect to travel on a two-day Russian River trip and where are the closest accommodations to the expected ‘take-out’ point?  I want to mix in a half-day of horseback riding at some point, is that possible?  EcoRing organizers, most of whom have lived in Sonoma County for decades, had trouble finding answers to those questions while preparing for the journey.  For the average tourist, it would be nearly impossible to plan such an endeavor.

EcoRing is working to fill that void by developing a one-stop, eco travel and tourism, information hub app for your phone. Download the app and start planning your Sonoma County eco-travel experience.  EcoRing is creating a network of restaurants, farms, cultural and history centers, non-profits, and outdoor adventure companies.  The partnership will work collaboratively to offer potential tourists an easily accessible and understandable blueprint for how to vacation in the county without a car.

Building Support

politiciansOver the course of the six day journey, Susan Gorin, Efren Carillo, Jake Mackenzie, Mike Kyes, Shirlee Zane, Noreen Evans, Mike McGuire, and Gina Belforte all either met with EcoOdyssey100 travelers or joined a section of the trip. These people are not radical activists; they are not tree sitting in remote sections of Humboldt County and dreaming up ways to save the world, while the rest of us go happily about our lives. These individuals are Sonoma County’s leading mainstream politicians, all of whom are in a position to influence resource allocation. 

It will cost money to add signage that will guide skateboarders from the end of the Rodota trail at Petaluma Ave. in Sebastopol to the beginning of the West County Trail across the street from Analy High School.  The addition of a bike trail on Bodega Ave. headed out to the beach from Sebastopol will not be free.  By showing their public support for EcoOdyssey100, the aforementioned public officials have taken the first step toward turning projects like those into a reality.

SMARTThe lynchpin to the success of Sonoma County eco-travel and tourism is the SMART Train. SMART will cheaply and efficiently bring tourists up to Sonoma County from the Bay Area.  It will allow travlers to leave their cars at home.  The adjacent bike path will give visitors the option of exploring all parts of the 101 corridor on bike or by foot.

The Masses

Train_guyWhen EcoOdyssey100 travelers rode the SMART rails on May 6 and May 7 in speeders, we were flanked throughout by curious onlookers, eager to figure out how and why the railroad had suddenly sprung to life. Latino mothers holding their newborns, crusty tradesmen stepping out for a lunch break, typical Northern California longhairs, and groups of macho twenty-something guys all greeted our passing similarly: with an enthusiastic smile and a courtesy wave.

WavingThe common thread that produced the almost uniform reaction was the universal hope for positive change.  The sight of railroad tracks returning to use makes intuitive sense to most people.  Railroad tracks are not a pre-historic artifact to be stared at and admired in a museum: they should be used to transport people and goods.

Arctic_MeltingIt is unlikely that each person who cheered us on can explain the scientific relationship between driving cars and the melting of the arctic, or even why that’s important. Only a small portion probably link the growing obesity problem amongst American children with the fact that most of those children are now riding to school in cars instead of walking or biking.  But they do know that gas prices keep going up, and they have already started to figure out ways to save money by driving less. 

Eco-travel and tourism is the next step in the process that these people have already implemented, on a smaller scale, in their own personal lives. Eco-travel and tourism means that when you’re taking a day trip or going on vacation, you can have a diverse, interesting, educational, and fun experience without the crutch of a car. 

The Next Step

zeppelinBuilding on the eco-travel and tourism momentum that was created this week, EcoRing is planning another EcoOdyssey for October, which will include a zeppelin launching in Sunnyvale.  Buttressed by the publicity that the zeppelin is expected to create, EcoRing envisions a paradigm-shifting ‘tipping point:’ a moment in time in which support for investment in eco-travel and tourism infrastructure morphs into conventional wisdom.

Trail_SignageThat moment has not yet arrived.  But in choosing their travel and tourism options, Americans are  beginning to factor in not only the bloated price of  gas, but also the massive externalized costs that are an inevitable byproduct of  our monogamous relationship with fossil fuels. We are looking for an alternative. By contributing to EcoRing and supporting public officials and business leaders who understand the need for eco-travel and tourism infrastructure, we can create a viable option for a seamless escape from the car-vacation conundrum.

Eric Black is a writer and reporter, currently embedded as a blogger with EcoOdyssey100. His daily updates on the tour can be heard morning and evening on KRCB-FM, while his posts from the Odyssey appear nightly here at NorthBayVoice.org.

Eco-Odyssey photos courtesy George Scott Zastrow

Recently from North Bay Voice

gr-30690-1-1

Report: Childhood Obesity Rates Declining

There's a glimmer of good news in the latest studies of child obesity rates, at least in two large US cities. Lori Abbot has details. http://media.krcb.org/audio/nbr/obesity_decline.mp3
gr-30540-1-1

Orcas' protection is endangered, too

Protection for endangered orcas or "killer whales" off the Pacific Coast may be about to disappear. Lori Abbot reports.http://media.krcb.org/audio/nbr/orcas.mp3
Sharpshooter

Glassy-winged sharpshooter a continuing threat to grape industry

Anaheim boasted a thriving wine industry in the late 1800s, before an unnamed affliction killed 40,000 acres of the grapevines and put 50 wineries out of business. The problem was later found to have been Pierce's disease of grapevines. Would Anaheim be wine country today if it weren't for Pierce's disease? Probably not, but the sad fate of this Southern California wine industry underscores the…
Rabbitt

State of Sonoma County, 2013

The annual State of Sonoma County report was delivered to a hall full of local business and political leaders this morning. You can hear KRCB's live recording of Supervisor David Rabbitt's remarks here.http://media.krcb.org/audio/nbr/StateofCounty2013.mp3
gr-30435-1-2

Opinions remain split over Roe

The most enduringly controversial court decision of the 20th century hits the 40 year milestone today—and the debate it triggered continues.http://media.krcb.org/audio/nbr/roe.mp3 The chart below tracks public opinon regarding abortaion over the past 13 years.
what is metformin for pregnancy accutane pharmaceutical company order mevacor from canada without prescription what types of ditropan are there cheap uk generic actos how to take lasix before competition malegra dxt online coupon code best erection pills for men in india accutane discontinued us prinivil canada sale yasmin over the couter metoclopramide over counter usa propecia boots cost ranbaxy caverta 25 avandamet prices usa kamagra mexico no prescription cheap generic levaquin 500mg no prescription brand cialis buy zantac online us no prescription eldepryl for sale uk lov cost female viagra buy viagra online cheap uk canadian pharmacy kamagra next day delivery uk buy ventolin asthma inhalers order zanaflex pill injectable lasix shortage flonase legal us order zanaflex tablets aspirin shoppers drug mart proventil cost comparison albuterol drug buy ed drugs canada trimix how much does xenical cost in ireland suprax dose for sinusitis cozaar without a prescription crestor pill shortage eritromicina gel dermico generic propranolol cost buy unisom inline paying with paypal pharmacy store software nizagara drug class max menyhart periactin prices cvs discount combivent otc lamisil medication order buy modafinil online pharmacy can we trust cordarone online where do i propranolol in usa como se usa adalat can i order cialis no prescription in the usa discount strattera prescription can buy avandamet online haridra over counter costco version of benadryl online pharmacy no prescription needed wellbutrin monthly cost of zyprexa over counter arimidex alphagan reviews for men z pack pregnancy safe most reliable place to buy artane online betnovate gm side effect feldene from usa pharmacy the online drugstore lisinopril order levitra professional without prescription prazosin discount medications viagra for sale canada eulexin pharmacy hydrocortisone boots uk non generic cardura alesse overnight shipping cheap avodart price india xenical xenical works buy procardia quick can i get pregnant while taking valtrex blood pressure medication side effects dizziness where to buy alligator meat in sc zerit rx adalat without prescription canada best online pharmacy generic hytrin apcalis oral jelly side effects most reliable place to buy levitra professional online health canada zyvox 20 cialis tablets is sustiva legal in uk malegra fxt where to get methylprenisolone next day online amaryl purchase cheap promethazine no prescription wanna buy some drugs pineapple express cheap malegra fxt pills fluoxetine doctors buy cheap clomid online no prescription clomiphene tricor pharmacy viagra generico funciona cost of requip xl albuterol sulfate syrup for babies lowest price nolvadex serophene online store purinethol online cheap astelin lawsuit settlements long time side effects skelaxin 4mg medrol dose pack directions lioresal results forum cost of serevent without insurance side effects of glucophage 500 mg clomid vs femara twins pharmacy direct shirley meloxicam dose human will prednisone cause weight gain in dogs indian generics online sumycin cipro low dose birth control protonix cost walmart pastillas abortivas cytotec efectos secundarios anafranil side effects weight loss cheap levitra professional buy online cholestoplex over counter where to buy prednisolone for cats pharmacy reglan with american express non prescription allopurinol tab 300mg dapoxetine uk brand name minomycin coupons order hytrin 120 mg promethazine where to get cost of brand levitra buy diamox online discount kamagra of canada orlistat over the counter price buy phentermine online cheap no rx cvs caremark mail order pharmacy forms withdrawal from trazodone ordering nexium buy tenormin 100 canadian no prescription pharmacy pharmacie de garde luxembourg ville leukeran pas cher can i get high off lamictal keflex antibiotic and birth control pills buy valtrex avalide medication cost irbesartan donde comprar dutasteride en espan~a cialis tabletten brand advair diskus spain over counter buy trimox online at canada pharmacy bupron sr for sale uk best cheap drugstore makeup revia without insurance etodolac dosage levaquin fast usa nebenwirkungen von saroten can you get high off anacin why has rocaltrol been discontinued craigslist new york city apartment sublet do you need rx atrovent side effects of uroxatral in men cheap cymbalta buy hoodia costco prilosec coupon buy sarafem with e check orlistat patient forum sky pharmacy reviews what is promethazine used for to treat roxithromycin dosage administration buy evecare no prescription www rx drugs support com zovirax side effects liver cialis daily use drugs canadian half price micardis best fertility pills for women decadron side effects in toddlers zithromax canada cost lasix mg price insulin tolerance test results prograf no prescription compare prices mail order betapace list of legal drugs in usa water pills over the counter canada provera refills cost of clomid without insurance drugs similar to trazodone comprar cafergot portugal how to get off effexor xr cold turkey clomid challenge test side effects of strattera 60 mg generic cialis overnight delivery buy abilify 40 mg buy rumalaya forte without rx chloroquine phosphate side effects generic cialis available canada can buy aceon online rumalaya gel tablets side effects generic zyloprim in usa tadacip-20 purchase amoxil no prescription low prices 100mg clomid no period mirapex tablets augmentin medication guide finasteride usp .............5 mg i pill tofranil website onde comprar femproporex e fluoxetina elavil nizagara to buy in the canada without a prescription cheap zyrtec free delivery cost of hyzaar 50/12.5 generic form of tetracycline buy levitra professional pills online raloxifene hydrochloride drug buy diflucan online without prescription wellbutrin withdrawal duration advair hfa shortage current price elimite most reliable place to buy viagra jelly online is it legal to buy cialis online prezzo del viagra in farmacia can you take venlor daily buy cheap trimox pills generic from bentyl buy generic clonidine with bonus purchase lisinopril in uk best price for artane amitriptyline combination citalopram brafix for sale philippines order viagra super active no rx canadian pharmacy pro slim acai cleanse reviews buy lioresal online pharmacy cheap glasses for strong prescriptions costco pharmacy coreg price how to order mobic online benemid refills next best thing to viagra coming off sertraline weight loss zanaflex where can i buy low cost overnight naprosyn price increase levitra professional what is a toxic level of depakote qsymia cost per pill cruelty free drugstore makeup brands over counter periactin order reminyl online allegra versace twitter zofran 8 mg 6 tablet is citalopram legal in uk buy actonel next day purchase lotrel online where purchase hoodia o floxin drops why does levothyroxine have to be taken on an empty stomach ridgeland discount drugs hours different types of aspirin tablets what are the side effects of accutane for men order online alligator meat where to get free plavix strattera drug wiki buy permethrin cream 5 mexican pharmacies that ship to use what is avalide prescribed for low cost overnight grifulvin v what is allopurinol pills used for online sildenafil uk where to buy live chickens in adelaide urispas australia pharmacy cheap erexin-v free delivery can you buy prometrium over the counter anafranil generico italiano rogaine 5 canada head office buy tablets online cheapest nizoral prices cialis e-shops europe buy 5 viagra pills neurontin low dose birth control zyprexa side effects online drug stores in india valtrex pills dosage cheapest place to buy anafranil doxycycline over counter wellbutrin sr prescription coupon buy azithromycin week doxycycline mail order generic femara lariam roche precio argentina prednisone tablets 150 mg best drugstore foundation for prom the online drugstore elavil mail order cialis professional prednisona bula prec,o what does arimidex look like cost of alesse brand viagra online ordering where is paxil manufacturer buying l-tryptophan using paypal safest website viagra generic metoclopramide lawsuit lowest priced amitriptyline fucidin cream medication how to take baclofen order plendil tablets us pharmacies online that sell clozaril generic cialis tadalafil what is promethazine codeine for atacand canada online no prescription unisom 2 viagra side effects vision sildenafil parlodel shopping antabuse look alike pills phenamax buy online ireland duphalac brands india can i buy plavix in canada waistline 2 slimming tablets reviews over night shipping antibiotics cheap pills to lose weight fast estrostep vs ortho tri cyclen acne albendazole precio mexico doxycycline in the uk now sildenafil andros 100mg over the counter buy augmentin online without zyrtec prices walmart what does a promethazine pill look like is caverta a prescription drug compare prices gyne-lotrimin coming off cipralex weight loss prednisone 20mg medication prednisolone weight gain symptoms most reliable place to buy brand advair diskus online is it illegal to order generic artane levitra medication order 100 mg viagra dosage side effects of long term use of cialis advair diskus online no prescription metformin without a script sirve viagra para mujeres allopurinol uk brand name como comprar flonase ordering calan view topic how long does it take for seroquel xr to work half price lamisil aceon no prescription compare prices singulair sales 2009 eldepryl and demerol interaction lasix tablets on line to buy non prescription ed drugs 2012 cheap cordarone 40 mg prednisolone prescription only is baby aspirin available in australia generic cialis jelly india do i need a prescription for cialis professional buy reglan patch cheap aricept periactin recommended dosage lipitor uk buy ventolin accuhaler spc diclofenac maximum dosage apcalis sx mail order furosemide pills online in the usa online aceon india cheapest generic imitrex best prices for flomax buy benzac online no prescription us provera pct buy buy cheap prednisone using pay pal chloramphenicol buy canada ordering prilosec online american express canada travel insurance gold card my pham tenamyd myd canada india actonel price pilex tablets price what are the common side effects of aspirin how to make nitroglycerin at home viagra sales worldwide evista usa pharmacy will letrozole nolvadex reverse gyno liposafe uk online effexor xr anxiety reviews augmentin without prescription miami venlor prescription only ayurslim online pay paypal generic atorlip-20 us alli tablet sale amitriptyline on line in the india carafate slurry used proventil inhaler dose cardura side effects cough non prescription synthroid purchases buy feldene gel 112g cipla ltd mumbai careers effects sildenafil citrate women lipothin mail order how long to use premarin cream cozaar roche precio argentina comprar cialis generico paypal buy moduretic generic walmart levitra cost what is the correct dosage of doxycycline cordarone pills sweat what are azithromycin 500mg tablets buy warfarin without prescription american express furosemide online no prescription buy ephedraxin with a mastercard abilify noprescrition needed canada online pharmacy what is inderal used for headaches furosemide iv stock dose how long does it take levitra to take effect montelukast side effects para que sirve el medicamento xerograx prilosec otc side effects weight gain zoloft online without a prescription mirapex prix en pharmacie en france who makes aricept medication effexor canada low price procardia uk antivert pill shop discount code female cialis online order purchase adalat 6 pharmacy generic doxazosin uk paypal accutane dose for acne culturismo natural limite is fluticasone propionate generic for flonase can hydrochlorothiazide get you high buy asacol without rx over the counter himcocid hyzaar online cheap indian viagra tablets for men buy cialis 5mg canada chloramphenicol overnight pharmacy how to use zoloft for premature ejaculation viagra jelly for sale in uk cost of metformin for horses purchase pure hyaluronic acid generic for propecia order cafergot from usa without prescription what is the medication doxycycline used for lexapro price comparison fertomid wanted online review maximum allowable dosage viagra elocon noprescrition needed uk online pharmacy bactroban drugs for sale order tamoxifen from australia without prescription viagra super active birth control online us tramadol 50mg dosage buy viagra online canada overnight online forum offers prednisolone overnight buy asacol hong kong zyrtec cost canadian buy viagra online forum drugs cephalexin generic cheap costs buy prilosec fast shipping what does prednisolone do for asthma elocon cream dosage and administration renagel discount celebrex online coupon prednisolone pregnancy third trimester actos over the counter generic can i make venlor best site get pletal meilleur site pour acheter cialis ge'ne'rique methotrexate and folic acid ectopic pregnancy elavil online pay paypal kamagra now co uk order submitted prednisone tablets shelf life retino a 0.025 johnson and johnson rogaine 2 lawsuit canada atrovent in italia buy clozaril 200 buy prednisolone 5mg online retin-a ge pill shortage difference between diovan and diovan hct healthy male weight 5 6 eulexin spain canadian pharmacy cialis professional 20 mg arimidex for sale philippines where to get codeine cough syrup in canada actor in cymbalta commercial paroxetine drugs manufacturer ciplox cost kamagra online shop paypal zanaflex medication side effects himalaya mentat tablet stichting canadian allied forces my pham tenamyd canada dung tot khong common side effects of prozac buy himcolin next day cialis ed quiz purchase paroxetine 25mg hydralazine hcl w hydrochlorothiazide 100/50 isotretinoin accutane skin trimox online shipping buy viagra jelly 15mg online trental online price how to get asacol in australia canadian online pharmacy paypal can you order zetia where to avapro does watermelon rind work like viagra lanoxin overseas generic for avalide 150-12.5 mg where to buy motrin in canada safely actos australia zyrtec dla noworodka livro de cilas malafaia how to get acticin in australia avodart online india eurax pregnancy kroger pharmacy automatic refill cost of cozaar 100mg tablets dutasteride 0.5mg avodart safe place order viagra soft dostinex lowest price clindamycin lotion ingredients canada drug service of greenfield website alli weight loss customer reviews cvs pharmacy puerto rico employment where to buy sinemet drugs online tadalis sx generic reviews snovitra super power for sale usa buying proporanolol without prescribtion in canada erythromycin echeck buspar medication where to buy online pharmacy no prescription flagyl xenical order in the us nimotop uk next day delivery maxalt mlt dosage instructions metronidazole cream or gel prilosec coupons printable 2011 can you buy alli in ireland clonidine complaints vpxl generic canada where to buy testosterone cream strattera user reviews adults med cab cordarone cost comparison buy skelaxin lowest where do i prednisone in usa buy zithromax online australia no prescription exelon 10 mg glucotrol xl 5 is there a generic vardenafil non narcotic anxiety medication list does lexapro come in 5mg tablets what is depakote used for where to buy finpecia in india discount pharmacy jamaica manor park elocon lotion usage yasmin generic birth control brands purchase provera 5mg tamoxifen citrate buy snovitra super power without prescription canada best site for erection packs 3 bactrim and cipro not working for uti buy nitrofurantoin tablets what is the side effects of yasmin birth control viagra soft drug oversea ordering overnight delivery albendazole online buy viagra soft 5 yasmin pill order online provera 20 mg for 5 days cost of brand viagra elocon steroid cream side effects valacyclovir dosage for herpes simplex forzest tablets for sale anavar pct men cialis sublingual discontinued trouver cialis quebec luvox without a prescription from canada buy anacin 10 accutane mail order india best price lopressor metronidazole gel buy metformin drug schedule generic allopurinol safe erexin-v prescription only buy xalatan in ireland hyzaar ships from india where can i purchase tulasi buy medrol online no prescription us online synthroid with no prescription generic equivalent for mircette arimidex with paypal payment can you get high off fluoxetine is there a drug comparative to combivent worldwide pharmacy zebeta imuran generic 2013 drugs tenormin birth control online australia viagra without prescriptions paypal official top gun erection pills nolvadex d dosage unisom order canada how to take flovent inhaler order drugs online prescription uk online pharmacy next day delivery american mircette why is lynoral tablets used where albendazole lowest dose of antabuse viagra super active drug in germany pharmacy detrol drug use glycomet uk buy chloramphenicol eye drops price philippines fincar discount medications rhinocort generic brand canadian ciplox tablet side effects of midamor wellbutrin dosage depression erectil disfunction pills to buy innopran xl pills viagra professional sale 100mg pill shop lillian pharmacy 36549 cleocin 100 review how to order cleocin gel online buy apcalis sx without a script minipress medicine tenormin shoppers drug mart provera over counter uk minoxidil results forum can you buy styplon in ireland zestoretic results forum generic myambutol buy canada research grade vermox letrozole gyno reversal protocol robaxin new zealand