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Whistler bound, South Dakota (part 1)


OK, I'll start right off with a caveat-- I'll only do a Part Deux if something really cool happens... I am out of order chronologically, and I have forgotten what day is what-- Day 4, Day 5??-- but yesterday was absolutely the highlight and I mentioned a bit of it on my Twitter timeline (@COLMikeBennett1)...


Yesterday, my good buddy @mallettcncworks met me at a truck stop in Wisconsin. I can reveal that location now since it would be hard to ambush us since we have since dispersed. Anyways, he took at least two hours drive time to meet up with me for a few, and I can't say how appreciated that is! He is the guy that made the excellent Pineland cribbage board in another of the Whistler series posts ( https://tinyurl.com/atyx84jh ).


To your left is the famous 'largest KOA windmill in America'. These are the exciting content items for which you crave, brave reader, I know. I talked to the guy who owns it who told me 1) it cost $50K ten years ago; 2) it has NO battery bank with which to store energy-- it just feeds straight into the grid providing energy for the facility; 3) it requires winds at least 7mph to 20 mph to generate 12kWh (not a whole hell of a lot); the generator apparatus is no longer manufactured, nor are spare parts; 4) the campground is shut down from 30 October to 1 April-- South Dakota's 'prime' wind season where saturated generation feeds into a closed facility.


Fascinating, I know, but it led to us talking about my book Brine of War where I have a few things to say about our energy policies with regard to renewables. As you might be aware if you've read the series, it's espionage stuff rendering China a blow in its quest to economic dominance and a few things get blown up in the process. The moral of the story is: facilities are best engineered taking in ALL operational considerations BEFORE putting out large amounts of capital expense. And supplementary moral: always take an opportunity to plug Brine of War.


Got a little distracted there...let's finish up with my friend Rob's visit. My point was-- it was really kind and gracious of him to meet me, a lowly author of exceptional literature. So I had to mention his cribbage board and his wood works in general one more time-- see it peeking on the top of the pic frame above my stove? Yesterday was also a hallmark in the trip as it was the first time I used my propane stove in the RV. After arduously and fastidiously boiling water, the succulent meal I prepared was Ramen.


Unfortunately, some people are party poopers. To the left are some radical, fast movin' go-carts (like Big Wheels) that the other campground wouldn't let me play on. The guy said I was too big for the machine and might break it. What rubbish.


Not to sound like I'm a little obsessed with this go-cart driving, but look at the damn track I coulda tore up.


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