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A road trip unlike any other
Published Sunday, May 2, 2010 7:38PM MDT
Tyson Jerry and Cloe Whittaker are on a North American road trip. But it's what they're driving that has people very interested and even broke a world record.
The couple is driving across every province, territory and state in North America in a rare 1993 Mitsubishi van.
"The most common reaction is I haven't seen a vehicle around like this," said Jerry. "Where can I get one?"
But it's not the van that people are interested in; it's what it's running on.
The van runs on vegetable oil. Jerry and Whittaker have been using used vegetable oil to power themselves across the continent. The couple found themselves outside a local New York Fries restaurant Sunday afternoon where they picked up some fuel.
The van uses a specialized system to clean and heat the oil and then run it through the diesel engine.
They have done this process so many times they have broken the Guinness World Record. In March, they arrived at a New York school, breaking the record for longest journey by a car using alternative fuel.
As for why this couple is choosing to travel this way, they say they want to educate the masses.
"Our message is there are alternatives out there," said Whittaker. "We should be making use of them in all aspects of our life."
"We saw that there is a huge problem with over consumption in North America," said Jerry. "We had the capability of doing something about it and we just wanted to do something good for our planet."
It's that message that they have brought to an estimated 10 thousand students during the 49 thousand kilometre journey.
But after months of sleeping in the van, the journey is nearing its final destination. The couple admits it will be a bittersweet goodbye to the trip.
"It's been a really interesting experience getting rid of all your possessions and living with less," said Whittaker. "It's been such a life changing experience to live with the bare minimum. But now I'm ready to go to having a kitchen and some house plants."
With files from Kevin Armstrong