Creepiness in Kansas

DSC02471Here we are, driving down Highway 70 on our way to Colorado. You can take Highway 70 from St. Louis, straight to the Dillon exit where we get off in Colorado. It’s hard to get lost on this trip. Mostly I nap and knit. It’s a tough day. Today I drove first thing to get it over with. I was hoping to be sleeping when we passed these Wind Monsters, but here they are. I can never get a good picture of the whole lot of them, but suffice it to say, there are bunches of them, standing all over the fields and hills in this particular spot. Like a big army. And they are HUGE. We saw one of the arms on a semi one time. They give me the creeps. Wind Energy – I know it’s a good thing. But these remind me of something out of War of the Worlds. They just stand there silently, twirling around, waiting ……..

Sheri itmighthelpifIthoughtofthemasgiantyarnswifts


  1. Hi Sheri, Glad you are having a good ride to your destination in Colorado. Have a safe and happy vacation. Those wind things are creepy I agree. I hate to pass by them. Hugs and happy knitting.

  2. when we drove to the Mayo Clinic in Minnasota from Oklahoma the last time, all the way thru Kansas and Iowa we kept seeing a hawk, almost every mile, a hawk in a tree, a hawk on the power lines, a hawk on the fence post, a hawk flying across the prairie….. by the time we got there we were both sure that hawk had followed us all the way from back home!
    Your photo of the wind machines made me remember the hawk.
    My husband and I both got a laugh out of that memory.
    Thanks for reminding us.

  3. I don’t know – there are a bunch of them south of Rockford on whatever Interstate that is that runs north/south through Illinois. I’m fascinated by them. And the idea of power from wind is neat (although having been witness to a tornado once, I actually really hate high winds.)

  4. I rather like the wind farms, personally. The way the arms move laconically around, unceasing is kind of comforting to me (agreed, though…they can be a little creepy when they aren’t in motion). Words like graceful or regal or stately always come to mind when I see those streamlined monoliths. I get such a thrill driving through the wind farm regions like Palm Springs, CA.

    But then…I work in the energy industry and most of the large power production structures leave me in awe most of the time 😉

  5. Oh, we have lots of those in our area of Texas, too. I don’t like them, either. I really don’t think wind energy is going to be the energy savior so many people think. The wind doesn’t blow all the time and occassionally it blows too hard and the generators have to shut down.

  6. I’ve made that trip through Kansas on I-70, and I thought it would never end. (At least the part after we almost got blown off the road by a storm that included a tornado in Wichita.) It was the state that never ends. It just goes on and on my friends. We started driving through it, not knowing what it was, and now we’ll drive forever…

  7. We have miles of those huge wind mills in the western part of Oklahoma. It is incredible to see how huge one arm of the windmill is when you are beside it on the highway. I saw them all over western Texas also. Incredible to see but the landscape is now marred.

  8. When I lived in Texas my roommate had a motorcycle. He and I would take random day trips to nearby towns because ours was small and boring. Abilene, Texas was only an hour or so away and we’d ride over there all the time. On the highway (and very close to it as well) were the same type of wind power generators that you have pictured in your post. In the car they were fascinating to watch, but on one rainy afternoon on the back of a motorcycle they were terrifying! They generated MORE wind as we were going down the highway hoping to make it to safety and it was easy to imagine that one of those white monsters could topple over but thankfully we made it safely to our destination and all was well. I’ll never forget those windmills though…

  9. Oh, I love the windmills. We see them when we vacation in Southern California. I know we have some here in Oregon, but I haven’t seen them yet. They do a lot for the energy of California.

  10. We have acres and acres of those out here in So. Calif. Especially in the desert. I never thought of them as creepy. They’re just windmills.

  11. Gee, those are huge. I’ve seen lots of photos of the windmills at Altamont Pass, CA, but those windmills have much smaller arms–probably because of the wind force. The smaller arms are deadly to birds, particularly large birds like eagles. Do you know whether the Kansas windmills do damage to wildlife? There weren’t any of them there, when I was last in Kansas, but that was in the sixties.

  12. I have to admit that I really love the windmills in the Altamont Pass — we always look forward to them on our drive and the girls are disappointed if they sleep through that part. They seem so improbable to me, suddenly popping up all over the hillsides like mushrooms after a rain, that I find myself feeling more affectionately towards them than not. 🙂

  13. If we didn’t know you, some of us in Kansas might take offense. Unless that was code and you were really referring to me 🙂


  14. Drive to Palm Springs, California some time. There are miles upon miles of them. All spinning. It FREAKS me OUT.

    Glad I’m not the only one!

    If I can find it on my school computer, there’s a cute cartoon about windmills that come to life. I’ll email it to you this week if I can find it.

  15. There are lots of these wind farms in eastern Washington–they really can be quite beautiful, almost serene. But of course now that you mention their eerie resemblance to the War of the Worlds machines, well, I may not look at them quite the same way again!!! Safe journeys.

  16. Every time I see them, I am hoping that all the nuts and bolts stay tight! With our winds in OK, I can just imagine one(or more) coming loose and doing cartwheels across the plains!
    Have fun in CO.

  17. We have them in upstate New York and I think they are majestic, not to mention a renewable source of energy. I’ll give them another look and see if I can see the creepiness some of you see!

  18. I love the windmills! We have them in MT. The best is at Judith Gap. The highway goes right through the middle of the Wind Farm. Yes, they are BIG!

  19. Have a lovely trip! Wind is Better Than Oil, creepy or no. The wind blows, regardless of state/national boundaries–I learned to love the windmills’ look after thinking they would ruin the local landscape. If “tuned” right, they represent real independence!!

  20. I hope you have a great trip and can’t wait to see a post on it. We have the windmills here in West Virginia. They are a spectacular scene to see. My fiance, his father and I got to stand fairly close to them and it’s scary to look at from the side because or their enormous size, the sound and the appearance of them looking like they’re going to fly off toward your face. It’s funny how they also look very peaceful from afar. You can see my picture and video of it on my flickr page. My name is JustZen on there.

  21. Heh, I thought your creepiest place in Kansas would be the place that advertises for miles and miles. You know, “largest living groundhog,” “three headed cow.” That place scares me!

  22. We have loads of giant windmills around here. It’s a windy place! You get used to them after a while and don’t really notice.

  23. Anyone thinking SkyNet????

    We don’t have any around me – but it’s only a matter of time. We must be open to new energy sources. Times are a’changing!

  24. Whenever I drive from south Texas to Colorado, I pass thousands of wind turbines. I think they’re really cool, and there is something majestic about them, spread across the plains of west-central Texas. Now, seeing the blades on the back of a semi freaks me out, but more because of the vivid images I get of what would happen if the truck had a wreck 🙂

  25. I love the wind turbine thingies (I feel like it is wrong to call them windmills unless they look like they were imported from either Holland or Don Quixote), and we have a few in our area.

    If they were yarn swifts, can you imagine how big a skein you could wind up? How many miles of lace weight! Or even blankets worth of bulky!

  26. Those vanes are HUGE!! We have a couple of wind farms about 30 miles north of me. Because of the air movement caused the vanes, the farms show up as “thunderstorms” on the local weather radar. At first, it threw me but now it’s like “whatever”.

  27. I see a whole bunch of these in Wyoming when I drive out to visit my parents. One wind turbine farm in particular has some 330 windmills which line the ridges and are pretty far in the distance – look like an army or a bunch of sentinels.

    Sadly, a new farm went up not far from Little America along I-80 over the past year and now they are REALLY close to the road (maybe 50-100 yards off the highway). I love the barren, stark beauty of the landscape out there because it’s quite similar to where I grew up in southern Idaho and don’t like having the windmills so close to the road and destroying the profiles of the buttes.

    Do I think they’re creepy? No, but I am impressed by their size. I’d like to know how much they actually contribute. I prefer the idea of simply not needing so much power, natural resources, etc. to perform daily activities. However, if they really do help us become more energy-independent and if we can find a way to keep the birds away, I’m willing to like them more.

    I love to drive I-80 (instead of I-70) to go west…in Nebraska, I can watch water birds fishing in the waterways along the road at dawn. I love Nebraska sunrises, too!

  28. The Dillon exit….? Now this sounds like a place I need to visit. I mean, it is named after me. 🙂 Have a GREAT vacation!

  29. Sheri,

    Don’t come out to California if these things give you the creeps. Near the Bay Area, there is a mountain pass that must have hundreds of these things. There is also an area near where I live in Southern CA that has a bunch of these.

    I grew up around them and always thought they were cool (maybe it is a kid thing) and looked forward to seeing them on road trips. 🙂

    I like your idea of them being a giant swift though, I wonder how much yarn you would have to have to make it around those things just once??

    Enjoy your trip!

  30. Last time we drove to Colorado we were very surprised when we came upon those miles of windmills. (See, usually we fly…)

    Have a fun, relaxing, knit-ful vacation. I think when I go to Colorado this year (in about 6 weeks), I and my knitting and my Little Loopy may just “BE”!

  31. What an excellent trip! My family got lost on a road trip through Europe once, and ended up in the Netherlands (long story). There were windmills literally EVERYWHERE… it was similarly very creepy.

  32. Oh those things are kind of strange. Like they grew there or something. And there are So Many Of Them!!! As far as the eye can see. We were in awe on the way home from the Estes Park Wool Market at how many there were. When we were on the way out there it was raining and foggy so we couldn’t see them and it was like, HUH? Where did these come from?… when we were on the way home. ha It didn’t really seem exactly creepy, but the size of each one is just unbelieveable! I’ve seen the blades on trucks before – amazing.

    Yes – I-70 goes on forever, doesn’t it? We get on at Salina and it seems to go on forever. And it feel like you’re only half way there when you hit the Colorado border because there’s a LOT of flat Colorado before you get close to Denver! Have a restful and rejuvenating time in the refreshingly cool mountains. 🙂

  33. Question – does anyone living near these wind mills actually see a huge savings on your utility bills? I know we had an insert in our utility bill last year asking if we wanted to be a part of some program or other but instead of this offering us a savings – we were being asked to pay into it! I am just curious as to what savings anyone has been “enjoying” with the use of these things. Do they work? I think they’re creepy looking too but if they really work – I’d be willing to deal with “creepy”.

    Can you imagine the yarn ball you’d wind on a yarn swift that size 🙂

  34. We have wind farms around Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin. I drive through them when I drive to my sisters on the other side of the lake. I get so fascinated watching all of the blades turning, that I find myself slowing down—good thing it is a country road, otherwise I’d be a menace to traffic! It all started when I was little and was fascinated with pinwheels. I still love anything that the wind blows and makes move, flags, windchimes, whirligigs….the wind is amazing to me.

  35. Sheri,

    We go to Palm Springs twice a year, and just outside the city there are hundreds of them. I think you can actually go on a tour!

    Have a nice vacation. I won’t get one until early October.

  36. Odd, Sheri, I had the same reaction when I saw a line of those things on a ridge in Somerset, PA. Like an alien invasion. I was astonished at the size of the things, when we got close enough to get some perspective.

  37. I can see how you would be spooked by the giant wind mills rising from the plains. We saw giant windmill parts being transported via truck on 95 near Baltimore one afternoon. They are massive. One “propeller” was tied to the bed of each truck and looked like big submarines… very surreal. But I look forward to seeing them in Summerset, PA when we are driving on the PA turnpike to Pittsburgh… means the trip is almost over :o)

  38. I don’t mind the turbines. I do agree they look kinda like aliens. What really freaks me out are the big old metal electric towers or what ever they are called. The ones that are in lines and hold the electric lines. They seem to march across the country, and they seem like they are from The War of the Worlds to me. I keep expecting them to let go of the wires and come for us.
    Have a great vacation! Colorado is one of my most favorite places in the world. N

  39. maine’s biggest wind farm is on mars hill. with your analogy, i think it’s appropriate.

    i like the turbines. cleaner energy is always nice. they make mini-turbines you can buy for your house/neighborhood for around $10,000. if we ever get to electric cars, i’ve told my husband we’re getting a mini-turbine. also, fewer power outages due to snow/ice storms. that happens a lot around here.

  40. I love the drive west on I-70 from Kansas City. The Fling Hills and all are so beautiful and at least up till you reach Salina, it is most definitely _not_ flat. People can’t believe that’s really Kansas if you just show them a photo. I don’t mind the wind turbines, but then I don’t live near them so I know them only as an observer. It’s amazing how huge they can be. We passed a semi hauling a single blade for one recently. It was immense!

  41. Yay!! It’s time for the Colorado trip. Hope you get in some good down time and knitting. We here in Western CO are just excited to see the return of the robins and the bluebirds. Tulips and crocusii (crocuses?) are just starting to break ground. Best wished for having loads of fun.

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