Illinois Wind Farm

Last weekend, I went on a fun little adventure! See, I have plans to move to Kansas City in the near future–and prior to last weekend, I wasn’t entirely certain whether KC was the city for me. So last weekend, I left Friday morning, made the drive across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, then spent Saturday and Sunday in KC. Left again on Monday.

Along the way, I did some exploring. From now through whenever I get around to it, I’ll be putting together small galleries of my various adventures. Not that I came home with tons of pictures. I did spend a huge proportion of my time in KC scoping stores, eating alligator and Kansas City barbecue (ugh, so good), drinking KC beer (can’t live in a town with bad beer), and touring every possible suburb on my list of potentially nice places to live.

So yeah, not all of my adventures are caught on camera. But some are quite well documented. And this is the first one!

See, as I was driving through Illinois, I spotted wind turbines in the distance. A couple of miles off the freeway.

Or so I thought…

We don’t have anything like this in my area of Ohio, so it turns out, I vastly underestimated the scale of these things. I got off the freeway at a likely seeming exit and just started driving toward them, turning left or right whenever the road would veer away from them. A couple of miles, and then five miles, and then ten miles…

Eventually, I spotted a police officer parked at a tiny elementary school parking lot, so I pulled in and asked if there was a way I could get close to the turbines. I was still a few miles away, she said, but she gave me directions to head down a couple of country roads, and fifteen or so minutes later, I found myself parked in a soybean field, staring up at one of these behemoths with awe.

I don’t know why the wind turbines impressed me so much. A friend of mine from another country was laughing at me as I excitedly spammed our group chat with hasty phone images because he sees these all the time where he’s from. But, hey. 😝 I’ve seen plenty of skyscrapers and mountains and whatever else. Never saw gargantuan wind turbines before, so I was impressed.

I mean, look at it. Zoom way in and note the teeny tiny steps that lead into the interior of this thing. Inside is large enough to be a (quite cramped) bedroom. Or I could’ve parked my car in there. The turbines you see in the background? Especially that furthest one? That’s a good mile or two miles away. And it still dwarfs full grown trees.

I admit to a mild bit of terror as I stood beneath it. Kept thinking, yeah…with my luck? Today will be the day this thing falls apart and I get crushed by a giant propeller.

The sound of these things is absolutely amazing. Maybe that’s what impressed me so much about them. Photographs don’t really capture the perfection of the moment. Golden sun on my shoulders, not too hot. Sapphire skies. The soybeans were absolutely emerald. And then the sound. Not quiet by any means, but not loud, either. Just this gentle “woosh, woosh, woosh” as they made their revolutions.

I felt so at peace. Not sure what else to say about it other than that it felt like the absolute pinnacle of nature and technology. The point where the natural world and the constructed world meet and form perfection.

Seriously, the scale of them. Look how it just towers above those trees despite the fact that it was much, much farther from me than the trees were.

Anyway, below, I’ve put together a slideshow so you can click through this group of four a little more easily. And below that, you’ll find the black and white versions of these four (along with a matching slideshow at the bottom). I still haven’t decided what I think of the black and white versions. I like them for the contrast–big fan of extreme contrast in black and white–but the richness of the color versions draws me in more, I think.

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