Saturday, October 15, 2011


Wind Turbine I-90 (Husband photo)
When traveling home across lower Minnesota and upper Iowa, I was reminded of Don Quixote, man of La Mancha, who among other feats battled windmills in the two volume classic written by Miguel de Cervantes. Cervante's two volume The Ingenius Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is considered a founding work of Western literature and often appears on many list of best literary works and basis for musicals and other works of art, including Picasso.

So what triggered my memory of Quixote?

Windmills of course, except they were wind turbines, allegedly to be the modern salvation of energy for electricity, or at least subsidize present sources of electrical power. Texan T Boone Pickens, an oil millionaire, but surprisingly an environmentalist, is a proponent of wind turbines, natural gas as major substitute for many crude oil uses, a grid of electric recharging stations for electric cars and preserving/distributing clean water.
Wind Turbine Field I-90

Wind turbines were on hills and open land along wide spans of I-90 and into upper Iowa along I-35. Husband [H] and I had never seen so many wind turbines located along a single span of highway. Texas has wind turbine farms, especially in West Texas, I have heard. [See another wind turbine at end of this post with a question.]
Iowa Roadside Park (Husband Photo)

Along I-90 in lower Minnesota, at a very nice rest stop, H discovered this plaque about the connection of I-90. A large plaque marks the area and gives a history of completion of this important east-west interstate highway. [See
photo at end of this post.] 
Iowa Roadside Park (Husband Photo)
If you thought you had heard the last of the porta-pot, husband (H) needed rest stop in Iowa somewhere south of Des Moines, I think. The condition of the ROADSIDE PARK  sign at the designated area should have said "keep on truckin" but we stopped.

There was an ancient red house, with every entryway boarded and, yes, an ancient porta-pot in the back yard. I learned my lesson to avoid porta-pots earlier in the trip. H did not use the porta-pot, and obviously the house was not accessible.
Iowa Roadside Park (Husband Photo)

Truthfully, I think Roadside Park and (Roadside) Rest Stop are different genre along highways and byways. Roadside parks usually have picnic tables but not necessarily other facilities. Oklahoma has lots of roadside parks and their signs add 'no facilities.' Rest Stops have facilities, usually outdoor tables, and sometimes places to walk dogs for doggie relief.
Iowa Roadside Park Porta-Pot -Wonder How
Many Snakes Abide Inside/ Outside Here?
We discovered a new food restaurant chain on the return route called Perkins Restaurant and Bakery. The food is reasonably priced; generally two can eat for about $20. The tip may run it over a bit.

It seemed to originate in Iowa and prevalent in the Midwest. There are several in Missouri and one in  Blytheville, AR. See their site for locations. 

Their specialty is an all-in-one dish served in a huge biscuit shell. I did not try that-too many calories. I consider it a personal triumph to have only gained 2 pounds on this near 3-week tour. 

Our arrival in Springfield and then home went as planned. We arrived home prayerfully thankful for a trip filled with memories for the rest of our lives and gratefully to be all in one piece.

H drove every mile and his back suffered some discomfort. My heart-asthma-COPD acted up, but I was prepared with medications to subdue them, nor did either of us miss but one scheduled event.
Luckie Dozing  On Our Covered Deck

Luckie, for once did not pout after her long stay, but she is still a bit apprehensive when we both leave, either together or separately. This is somewhat normal for her as she has anxiety syndrome when left alone. The syndrome is much better than her rather destructive behavior when she was younger.

Posts still to come: Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Mammoth Site, Custer Park, Spearfish Canyon, Badlands.

How many forms of energy being generated, consumed or possibly becoming a source of energy or recycled energy,can you find in the above photo. My list below next photo. You may find more!

Plaque At Rest Stop And Junction Where East-Bound
and West-Bound I-90 Were Joined. Very Interesting!

My answers.
1. Wind turbine garners wind energy.
2. Power lines carry energy to designation end user.
3. Trucks [left lane] using diesel or other form of petroleum, and various petroleum lubricants, which can be recycled.
4. White line on horizon may be jet contrails; hence aeronautic petroleum use.
5. Car [right lane] very edge of photo, petroleum or hybrid today; hydrogen, electric or natural gas in the future.
6. There is a crop which appears to be corn in the field which possibly is used to make alcohol to be mixed with petroleum products for vehicle consumption, or, depending on purity, might be used in other commercial products.
7. In the very far distance I believe there is a clump of trees. Regardless, trees, weeds, grasses all could be used to provide heat by burning.
8. The sun was shining this day and photo was early morning. Solar energy can be converted to several kinds of energy.
9. I wonder if atmospheric carbon dioxide, which is supposedly causing the 'green' effect, can be converted to something positive? [Maybe we should be looking at that instead of scaring bejebees out of  us!


Anonymous said...

I have not seen the first wind turbine yet. None around my/our area of Ohio. I have heard that they are great bird killers especially among migrating flocks. And I saw the tip of one on a YouTube video strike an eagle or hawk and kill it and the blade seemed to be barely moving. I don't think it is the answer to oil but do give higher marks to sun related energy which we tried back in the day when the sun's rays were collected by black painted cardboard boxes with plexiglass on top. We got a set of two and cut holes through a brick wall to run the 6 inch diameter tubes in. The fan inside sucks the heated air into the room and pushes indoor air out to be heated in the cycle. The problem was the very loud noise the fan made. So we gave up and took it all out and fixed the holes.

Arkansas Patti said...

I would love to see some turbines and fields of solar panels too. Abe does bring up a sad point but I think the polution from the coal powered power plants probably hurts the birds more.
It was so nice seeing Luckie back with a contented face. I know you were missed.

NitWit1 said...

OOPs! I see another alternative to save petroleum. Asphalt in all its forms for paving can be recycled again into asphalt. However, it requires some energy to recycle it. It must be ground and mixed with new asphalt. But less new asphalt has to be made and laid.

Amber Star said...

We saw some wind turbines on the Escarpment, I think it was, when we went to New Mexico. I'm all in favor of recycling and alternative energy, but not that place. I'd have rather seen them on the farm in West Texas. They would be most welcome there and the wind blows a lot there, too.

We've been dealing with gas well drillers here in Ft. Worth and it has been a challenge. Gas is cleaner than coal, but what they are doing to the water they use is awful.

Liz said...

Glad Luckie didn't bear you too much of a grudge!

I am soooo fussy about the toilets I use. I think you were wise to avoid that red house one!

Lorna said...

I admire your aility to link wind turbines and Don Quixote; their connection missed me entirely; we've many wind turbines in Ontario, and besides their stark and efficient look, I've rather liked seeing them---they look like they could have been on the set of my favourite sci-fi program, "Firefly".

Congratulations on your weight control---actually I'm sure it's your self-control at work.

Anonymous said...

I can not believe this port-a-pot thing. I hope I never have to use one of those while traveling. Luckie is beautiful, lovely hair. You did real good on the forms of energy being generated. Hugs

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Hello honey
Interesting post. Glad you made it back home safe and sound.
I have seen these wind turbines here in Tx and they are something to see.
I like how you posted your pictures and labeled them that the hubby took it. lol
Hope your having a wonderful week