Tuesday, January 04, 2011


I did a quick interview with a local radio station yesterday. A friend texted me saying a reporter he knows was looking for someone who commutes into Tulsa from a rural area. He wondered if I'd be willing to talk to her. I agreed to do it.

It was a short interview, only about two minutes, maybe three. She wanted to know how far I commute, why I do it, whether or not I have any special vehicle, and how I pass the time. What more is there to say about commuting? Not much, but I'm blogging about it anyway.

I commute 100 miles round trip four days per week. I don't really think about it much anymore. I do it because we have this amazing opportunity to lease the farm we're on, a place that's a great match for what Lisa does. Anytime I get bummed about how far I have to commute and how much time I spend in the car, I think about the cabin where we hold the dinners and the ohs and ahs of guests when they see it for the first time. I think about walking in the woods when there is time for a hike. In my mind I see sheep grazing on rotation and goats running up from their pasture when I call them. It's really hard for me to stay bummed when I think about all that I have here. A long commute is a small price to pay.

The thing the interview didn't touch on (it was a FOX news radio station, after all) is how I feel about the environmental impact of my driving. I really regret that part of it. It runs counter to what we're about on the farm. I have a truck. I've toyed with the idea of trading for a more fuel efficient vehicle, but then I think about all the times that it helps to have both trucks here. I start doing the math and realize, while I could save some money, a more fuel efficient vehicle will not be so significantly less that it's worth giving up the value of having the other truck on the farm. I don't know of anyone in this area who commutes into Tulsa, so at this time, carpooling is not an option, though it's something that I remain open to if I make the right connections. If I had the extra cash, I'd consider a compressed natural gas conversion for my truck, but I don't so that is not an option right now either. For the time being, I'm stuck being a gas-guzzling, long commuter.

Any thoughts on other ways I could cut back on the environmental impact?

1 comment:

Alan and Leslie Moyer said...


Alan's commute is long, too. He should be responding, not me, I guess, as I only know from second-hand tellings what his commute is like. I think his trip is 134 miles round trip and he makes it 5 days a week. His "perks" are much the same as yours, of course--but you knew that. He's closer to retirement than you are, but still has far too long to make that seem like an incentive. He SAYS he doesn't mind it much, though. He uses the time to listen to podcasts that he downloads for the week every Sunday. He also uses the time to de-stress from work so that when he's home, he's no longer thinking about work at all, which is good. The drive is far enough that *I* almost never make the drive into Tulsa anymore. Tahlequah has almost everything I need and if I can't get it there, I usually order it online. It does, of course, make us miss our Tulsa-area friends!!! Alan does have a Honda Insight hybrid to drive that, if it is tuned up well and running right, gets 62 mpg, but it needs a tuneup right now and is "only" getting something in the 50s. We wouldn't have bought a car like this *just* for the commute for some of the same reasons you gave, but this was our son's car and he needed something bigger so we bought it from him--partly as a favor to him and we knew it was a good car for us, too, knew its history, etc. Anyway--worked out well for all of us. I *wish* this place wasn't so far out, but if it weren't, then we probably wouldn't have been able to afford it! Maybe Alan's company will have several good years in a row and he'll be able to retire early. We can hope....