Friday, April 6, 2007

Blowin' in the Wind

Over spring break, we took a quick road trip from Colorado to Utah to visit family. Anyone who has travelled I-80 across the western United States, knows the meaning of wide open spaces.
For miles and miles, through Wyoming and Utah, there is nothing but wide open spaces. Few houses, few buildings, no industry, no factories, no malls, no stores. Even the gas stations and rest areas are few and far between.
What occupies this stretch of highway? Tumbleweeds, antelope, coyote, sage brush, and wild grasses all populate the open prairie.
And wind.
The wind through this area is relentless. We have travelled this stretch of highway in all seasons, and all types of weather. The one common denominator is the wind. The wind can lengthen or hasten your trek, whether you have to drive with or against it. This trip we cautiously watched several semi trucks as the cross wind tilted and tipped their trailers as they sped down the highway. It was frightening.
What, you may ask, do they do with this land? In this particular part of the country, we saw very little farming. I imagine the wind would blow any seed a farmer tried to plant. Perhaps the very topsoil needed for growing also blows away. There is one type of farm that does quite well: the wind farm. seriously!
There are rows and rows of wind generators that use the energy of the wind to generate power. (see the photo). These turbines are huge! They stand in rows and rows across the prairie, like sentries standing guard, their arms rotating, fast or slow with the wind. With no buildings or cities nearby, the wind farms appear other worldly. They almost look out of place sprouting from the dry grassland below. They are impressive, to say the least.
It was interesting to see several of these farms on our trip this year. Some of the energy that we use in our home and at the art studio comes from these farms. It is good to know that some of the energy we use comes from a completely renewable, non-poluting source.

I am still not sure of the question, but I like Bob Dylan's response:

"The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,The answer is blowin’ in the wind."