We pulled out of Denver around 9:00 am on 9/24 and traffic was light until I-70 turned into a parking lot on the east side of town – took 30 minutes to go about a mile – I just love big city driving. After that, traffic was light all the way to Russell, KS, where we spent the night at the Triple J RV Park, which was adequate for a one night stop-over. We were on a mission to get home so drove I-70 all day and found it to be a good road.
I assumed we would have a big elevation drop or two from the Colorado Plateau to lower elevations but other than one 300’ hill, it was a gradual downhill all the way to the Mississippi River – should get better MPG. There was a combination of ranching and farming in this area but mostly farming until southwestern Kansas.
We also saw this thing go by and wondered what it was until we noticed the wind farm under construction and then a turbine blade went by.
So we knew the first piece was part of the tower and later the piece that tops the tower and holds the blades went by – all of these things were huge.
The next day we went east toward Salina on I-70, then south on I-135 and around the north side of Wichita to take US-54 to Nevada, MO.
West of Salina, we passed the Smoky Hills Wind Farm, consisting of 155 turbines, generating 250 mega-watts. “Smoky Hills is the largest and newest wind farm in Kansas and more than 100 landowners are participating in the project. Including the land used for roads, turbine foundations and maintenance buildings, less than two percent of the 20,000 acres covered by the wind farm will be removed from agricultural service.” It was a real surprize that there were only about a half dozen of them operating.
The wind farm went 24 miles along I-70, but the shocker for me – “The project owner is Italian-based utility Enel, Europe's second biggest utility.” Then the news recently had a story about Obama blocking a Chinese owned wind farm because it was too near something of special interest. Why are we giving foreigners control of our most vital utility? WOW.
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Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.
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9/24 & 9/25/12 event dates