Okay, now I hafta keep this short, because I spent almost an hour writing (typing) last night only to find it all gone this morning.
My husband (who is WAY more civilized than I’ll ever be) and I took a long-awaited/much anticipated drive yesterday to visit the wind farm near Rio Vista. I always wanted to see the project in Altamont, but that was further than we wanted to drive yesterday (we’ll catch them on our next trip to Half Moon Bay), and besides, hey, there’s a perfectly good one less than an hour away!
I got a map of the general area, but couldn’t find any specific addresses to plan the trip–"near Birds Landing" was the best I could do. But, we found them and THEY WERE EVERYTHING I WANTED THEM TO BE!! I wasn’t paying all that much attention in the car, but when I finally saw them in the distance, it reminded me of the time we came over the hill in England down to the Salisbury Plain and saw Stonehenge in the distance. Sort of. Okay, promise, keep, short.
Take the whole family. VERY romantic/educational/andjustplainolbeautiful drive. Pack a pique-nique. Make sure you make your final "necessary" stops in Dixon. (Trust me on this!) Make sure you have fresh batteries for your camera. Make sure you took your memory card out of your ‘puter and put it back in your camera! (could have been ugly if I didn’t have a spare in my camera bag!!)
The plan: From Sacramento, we took 80 west to 113 south to Dixon. Drove 20 miles to Hwy. 12 (there’s a little jog in the road, but follow the 113 signs and you’ll be fine). Turned right onto Hwy. 12. Two miles later, turned left onto Olsen Road (even the Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce didn’t mention Olsen Road). Olsen Road–don’t be in a hurry, it’s well-maintained, but still, just gravel, and yesterday it was dry. And there they were–magnificent! We stopped, took photos, communed with nature, made an addendum to our previously etched Lotto plans, then continued on our route to see more. The hills were spring green and carpeted in wool. As in sheep. Lots ‘o. We got to Birds Landing. The sign didn’t indicate, but I surmised, Population: 12. Not even a General Store. No Starbuck’s. If there was a post office, it was in somebody’s kitchen. We continued on what we later determined was Collinsville Road. We ignored the "Road Ends" sign and continued until…the road ended. Turned around and since we weren’t ready for the adventure to be over, we turned right onto Talbert Road. More mills, lots, including ancestors (older versions) and at the end of that road–more wool carpeting (I speak excellent sheep, baa-ah-ah-aahh the way!).
We headed back to Birds Landing and decided to return to civilization (Rio Vista) via Birds Landing Road. That would be a right turn from Collinsville Road, clearly marked "Rio Vista Thataway!" More windmills, more sheep, and still, hardly ANY traffic until we got to Hwy. 12. Note to Self: Bring an extra flash card next time.
The wind mills are just cool. Not only are they majestic and beautiful, but the land is still being used for grazing. And they’re making electricity with the wind!! And the wind is FREE and will always be there! (Insert diatribe about our dependence on fossil fuels and don’t even get me started on why our mothersfathersbrothersistersfriendssonsdaughters are in the Middle East). It’s so clean and quiet out there that I kept expecting security to demand we vacate the premises. Never even saw security. Read more about the Shiloh Wind Power Plant and see pretty pix (we didn’t see any horses…just cows and sheep, red-winged blackbirds, and an occasional pigeon). The whole trip took under five hours and that was at a very leisurely pace AND included a walking tour of Rio Vista (a future pique-nique will be at river’s edge), and lunch.
Next stop: Altamont Pass–one of the first wind farms in the U.S!(see somebody else’s six-year old photos here–dude spelled it wrong, but I think he’s not from around here since he referenced wind speed in meters per second).
The Dove Lady wants to know what time of year is harvest on the wind farm. She wants to see how they pick it and bale it and haul it out of there. Anybody?