Heading East Again

Not much to report today (although maybe that’s a good thing, since there’s nothing bad to report either) because all we did was make tracks east.  Francis must be homesick, because he rode steadily all day.  This is all the more remarkable because we started sort of late — we left Massena around 10AM, but we spent about an hour visiting Aunt Alice’s camp, as Francis had never seen it.  Fortunately, this was on the way east, and Alice also managed to route us around Malone, NY, which probably saved us a half an hour. With all of that, we are in St. Johnsbury VT tonight, a 200-mile day.

Not much for photos, since we not only rode steadily, but also took the same route home, so the interesting stuff appears in previous posts.

windmill farm east of Massena
windmill farm east of Massena
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windmills and wildflowers along NY-11

The windmills were interesting to me, however, because there is a lot of debate about them, and while there a handful of installations in Maine, none near us — so this was the first time I had seen them up close.  I have to say that I would think twice about having them in my neighborhood; while there’s no denying the benefits of renewable energy, they really dominate the view while profoundly changing the landscape.  And in Maine, it seems that the best sites are on the mountains where the wind is steadiest — and the views are the best.  There is a plan to site them offshore in the ocean, where nobody can see them do their good work — and after seeing them up close, I think that may be the best idea.

US 2 through Lake Champlain and across Vermont remains one of my favorite rides, for all the reasons mentioned earlier — good pavement, lovely views of rivers and mountains, and enough curves to keep the ride interesting.

So, this little adventure ends tomorrow; we expect to arrive back home in the early afternoon.  I’ll try to get some good photos along the way!

2 thoughts on “Heading East Again

  1. We have lots of windmills in Oregon. However, I have yet to have this questions answered. What does it cost to purchase, install and connect one unit? Without subsidies and if it produced power 24/7, how long would it take to break even.

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    1. Great questions, Ron, and I do not have the answers. Windmills are a relatively new thing in Maine except for a couple solitary installations, so there has been little public discourse here beyond the issues of visual and environmental impact in the towns proposed for sites. The University of Maine is reportedly at the forefront of manufacturing ceramic and other new materials to be used in their construction, and they are experimenting with their designs in deep water in hopes of creating an offshore wind power facility. But that’s all I can tell you! Maybe another reader will have the answers….!

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