Friday, December 5, 2008

Things You See On The Road

Texas is to states what "double-wide" is to trailers. Just plain big. And everyone, not just me, thinks of Texas as an oil state. Oil wells. Oil derricks. Oil pumps. Oil tanker trucks. Oil refineries. All of that is true and self evident as you drive across the panhandle plains of the state. But what really grabbed our attention and rendered us quite "amazed" was the lead that Texas has already taken in the field of alternative energy- specifically wind energy. I have photographed and written about wind turbine power in the past. It intrigues me to be sure. But, to use the analogy to describe the status here in the state of Texas - well, this could "just blow you away." Heading out of Abilene, we started counting. It wasn't the typical one or even a dozen windmills. This was a lot of windmills. A whole lot of them. At one hundred we stopped counting and started estimating "by the mile." This process continued on and on and eventually we just kept track of the mileage. From Abilene through Sweetwater and beyond, some 58 miles in all, we drove non-stop past more windmills than you could shake a stick at. Thousands doesn't cover it. Even 10,000 is probably a short report. We venture to say the windmills numbered 10's of thousands. Certainly 25,000. Maybe even a hundred thousand. I am going to try to get that info, but for now I just don't know. But imagine wind mills on one side of the road, or both, for 58 miles of driving- so many in any one spot you could not count them all. As far in depth as the eye could see...and then some. It was perhaps one of the most amazing man-made sights we have ever seen. And it was very beautiful. I have long said we do not need government to move us in the direction of sustainable energy generation. Game. Set. Match. To Texas. Well, howdy, buckaroo!

So the rancher who has cattle grazing on his land is doing well, yes? And if he also has oil derricks pumping dollar bills into a barrel- all that much better. Erect some wind turbines to harvest that aspect of the revenue stream. And then plant some cotton so that you can make your own wranglers. Beginning to see the pattern? Texans know about making money and living with the land- on, above, and below. Cotton bales like those below sit everywhere waiting to be picked up by a truck that they fit into just perfectly for hauling to the auction, where they are purchased and sent on their way to the highest bidder. I didn't measure them but they are much taller than I am at 6'3", about 8 feet wide and maybe 30 -40 feet long. If you think cotton, compressed like this, is light - think again.

I don't know if there are any productive or lucrative uses for tumble weed other than for use in cowboy songs, but that works too. And in this extremely cold wind we are having day after day, they can roll across the plain or the highway or even the dog walk at will....and do! Note: Abby sees the next one headed right for her below:

The Texas equivalent of the Hawaiian grass skirt????

I've been telling friends about the RV I saw where the owner had figured out a unique way to haul more toys than anyone I had ever seen before. Saw him for the first time in Thousand Trails in Orlando, Florida....but caught up with him at a rest stop in Texas near the New Mexico border.

So for the last three states (Oklahoma, Texas, and now New Mexico) we have had a devil of a time walking the dog because what looks like grass may well not be. Just some camouflaged foliage that masks millions of sharp little burrs that make walking for the dog very painful and rolling around or sitting down just plain unbearable. So our very first project in NM was to head on over to the Petsense - a chain of pet supply stores in this region of the country. Ah, yes, doggie cowboy boots for Abby to protect from those nasty little pickers. Look good too. Now if we can only find a cowboy hat that fits her as well!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great Going Greg n Marilyn n Abby, miss you guys, look forward to your next post, be safe, stay well...hugs Margie n Dutch