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Palmer Louis
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When the whole worlds is talking about Global Warming, it's time to show the solutions!

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From Boulder to Nebraska through wide, flat lands14.08.2008

Tags: United States       Comments: 4

Picture of the day


The Solartaxi has a kink: The trailer hitch comes undone. Luckily the slyest welder in Omaha is not far away - and neither is the race-car body shop for penny pinchers. Louis Palmer gawks at a Lamborghini for a few thousands bucks.

On our drive through the Midwest we are escorted by cornfields that stretch as far as the eye can see. When I drive, Frank is asleep within minutes. When Frank drives, I do the same. The cars off in the distance are reflected in the road, the landscape glimmers. We are reminded of Saudi Arabia.

Something odd happens in Omaha. At first I feel a jerking every time I stop at a red light. As if something were loose in the back. When I pull over to the side of the road to see what the problem is, we discover that the trailer hitch is busted. In fact, it's almost torn completely from the chassis. The problem was nothing more than the trailer acting up. Once again, luck is on our side - the trailer didn't go freelance!
But we're even more amazed when, just then, a red car stops behind us and a gentleman in a roomy, green t-shirt gets out. Without knowing what's going on, he yells over to us:
"Hey, you guys need a welder?"
With the charm of an American Truck
Jimmy not only fixes our trailer-hitch attachment, but also tinkers with the rear mud guard so that dirt won't spray onto the solar panels. The only material Jimmy could find was from his collection of spare truck parts. After the repair job, our sleigh, decked out in chromed checker plate, exudes the charm of an American truck. In each state, the Solartaxi picks up a new part. And we're better for it.
After the repairs, Mike takes us to his welding shop. He makes auto bodies for the Ferrari Daytona, the Lamborghini Countach and the Ford Cobra. Come again? But it quickly becomes clear: his copies look like the real thing but cost only a fraction of the price. The shell for his MG-Oldtimer cost him less than $1,500.
And under the shell, it's not exactly a six-cylinder sport engine, but rather a VW bug. These so-called "Kitcars" are quite popular in the US. He builds the parts so that anyone can make their own dream car. These look-alikes may not go all that fast, but that's why they cost only a few thousand dollars.
We're on the road again and one king-size truck after the next forces us to the side of the road. What's going on here? Nebraska, Idaho and Illinois are all building windmills. Many people here are dreaming about solar energy, but wind power is what's really taking off. And so, huge rotors, generators, white towers and new power lines galore are being transported across the country.
"We gave him 18 years for it!"
In Iowa City we follow our GPS into a small forest colony. Jane and Mike have invited us here for the night. As we stand at the gate, the house is empty, only a dog is barking and no one answers the phone. We wait for almost three hours, it's already dark, and Frank and I go ahead and pitch the tent.
When the two of them suddenly come home just after dusk, they are shocked by our peculiar behavior: "Whaddya guys doin' outside? The house is open, the refrigerator's full! Why didn't ya just go in?"
In Clinton on the Mississippi, just before Chicago, we attend an auto show. Car-crazy America has on display here everything in the area that has wheels and is in some way exceptional. Next to a Corvette with the words "Keep your kids away from drugs!" written on it, I meet Deputy Larry Smith.
"This is a police car!" he says. "I present it everywhere I can, especially at the schools!" Larry begins to laugh: "It belonged to a drug dealer. Now it belongs to us." - "Did you pay him something for it?" - "Of course! We gave him 18 years for it!"



by: Jimmy Judd

15.08.2008 03:08

Have a safe trip my friends!

It was truly an honor to meet the both of you...

Hope the repairs we made let you continue far into your journey..

The welder.

by: Wolfgang Steber

15.08.2008 04:08

Salü Louis,
wir schicken dem Solartaxi einen Sack voll Energieriegel und Dir / Euch einen Packen gute Stimmung! Grüße aus dem verregneten Deutschland!
Die Welt ist kugelrund - und Du der Solarvagabund!

Gute und fröhliche Fahrt!


by: fernando reust -

15.08.2008 06:08

Super Louis wie du das durchziehst, wann trifft Du Obama? Und Martin Vosseler hatten uns ja auch in Luzern getroffen ist ja auch zu Fuss durch die USA seid Ihr in Kontakt? Und wenn Dir ein grosser Investor in die Arme kommt offeriere im meinen Umwelt-ThemenPark als Keypartner...
Sonnige Grüsse

by: Davide Andrea

19.08.2008 12:08

Actually, the battery you're showing goes in the Escape PHEV, not the Prius.
/ I designed it.

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