The wind in Abilene perpetually blows, literally. All along the highways there are signs or “crosswinds” and “strong wind gusts.” The wind enjoys playing nasty games with large trucks and our small rental car was also buffeted frequently by gusts. After experiencing the wind first hand it is easy to see why they chose to build a wind farm in the area.
The locals believe the wind farm will bring jobs and money to the area. The wind farm is still in it’s infancy so the long-term effects are yet to be seen. Clearly the local speculators are excited: several hotels have been built up near the highway and the road leading to the wind farm. We’ve driven through the rest of town, and we think they’re a little optimistic.
This morning while Heidi was at work, Gavin and I breakfasted and toured the Grace Museum. We walked through the entire thing in about an hour and a half, with Gavin stopping at every sign to learn more about the area.
We saw Picturing Eden, Katrina: The Color of Loss, and Made in America. We walked through the section on Abilene’s (somewhat sterilized) History, and the Children’s Museum.
We met up with Heidi at the house and then headed off to see the rest of Abilene’s happening spots. We drove through the wind farm and had lunch at Presley’s in Albany. Heidi filled us in on all the details.
I enjoyed seeing the oil wells next to/near the wind turbines. The juxtaposition of wind (the “green” alternative) next to oil (the evil Giant Industry) and cows was quite amusing to me.
On the way home we stopped by and saw the walled-in prairie dogs. Why are they walled in? Good question. They’re one of two remaining groups of wild prairie dogs (the other group lives in an area that’s slated for eventual development), most of them are rather mangy looking. They stand around looking at each other and at the people looking at them.
We went to dinner at Szechuan Chinese Restaurant, it got rated in the top 100 Chinese restaurants in the US. I was a little surprised such an amazing restaurant would be in Abilene, and slightly skeptical when the wait-staff was not all Chinese, but the food was fantastic, the prices were quite reasonable, and the t-shirts the staff wore were… special.
Everyone had a red polo shirt with the restaurant logo on the front, on the back it said: [Edit]“You can tell a lot about a man by the hat he wears, I wear my Father’s hat. [crude drawing of crown of thorns].” It was a little different, but the food was good.
Dessert was a no-brainer, we went to the grocery store and picked up 4 pints of BlueBell Icecream (they were on sale 4 for $5): Homemade Vanilla, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Mint Chocolate Chip, and their new flavor Chocolate Covered Strawberry. We also got a green “green” bag that’s twice the size of the “green” bags that Safeway sells, this one is the size of an average paper bag.
We’re not going to eat all the icecream in one sitting. The plan is to liberally sample from each, and then leave what we don’t finish for LW, Abby & Kevin to enjoy (probably most of it). Unfortunately BlueBell does not ship out of state. It’s some of the best icecream in the world.