On Monday, Ron and I left the WINs in Ely and zipped all the way across Minnesota in two days! But before we leave this lovely state, I do have a few more pictures.
Dodie took this one of Ron and me during our hike around Dry Lake (which wasn't dry.) We had the best weather the last two weeks. Every day was in the 70's and lows in the 50's at night. Perfect!
While everybody was out and about during the day, Marvin's dog Charlie vigilantly guarded our rigs.
After leaving Ely, we happened to pass the only gas station designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This is a drive-by shot so it's not the best, but it really didn't look that unusual except they kept the original gas pumps. This is in Cloquet just west of Duluth. Strange, but true.
You know how you can tell the north side of a tree by the way the moss grows? Well in Minnesota you can tell the north side of a house by where all the trees are planted. This is another drive-by that I took to illustrate this fact, but then I noticed the tractor on top of the silo - what's up with that?
After our mad dash across the state, we ended up in the tiny town of Lake Benton where we found the Minnesota Ten Commandments!
The town of Lake Benton lies along the drainage divide between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers - a mini continental divide. Called the Buffalo Ridge, this area was chosen in 1993 as the site for a renewable energy program and became the 'original windpower capitol of the midwest.' In 1994, the first towers were erected. At the time they were the largest in the world at 125 feet tall with 40 foot blades. Each one produces 330 KW of electricity and cost $330,000. By the time the fourth set of towers went into operation in 2006, each one was 250 feet tall with 120 foot blades, cost $1.5 million, and produces 1500 KW of electricity. Currently there are about 600 wind towers along the Buffalo Ridge from the South Dakota border near Hendricks to Slayton, Minnesota.
But what I found the most interesting is that some of the blades are black. It was believed that the black blades would absorb the sun's heat and prevent ice build up. The black color seemed to make no difference, so they returned to the white blades which blend better with the sky. (Hey! How about blue blades?)
Not only is the gas really cheap in Lake Benton, but you get a free car wash with it!
And every so often, I have to throw in a pretty flower.