Tuesday, February 24, 2009

North Dakota Wind, Wealth and Wonderfullness and the Boston Globe...

Everyone keeps telling us to write a book, which sounds like a good idea but that would require us to stop creating content and put it all in one spot...well bottom line is we are slackers and we aren’t doing it anytime soon.  Plus, it is far easier for someone else to write about you, so check out the book "State by State" Tom Haines, Staff writer for The Boston Globe did.

After reading a synopsis of the 2XtM "To Cross the Moon" expedition Tom knew that his story on North Dakota wind would not be complete without at least meeting us.


I arranged for Nells Nelson of Devils Lake, ND to meet Tom at the local diner Down Town, as we were running a bit behind schedule.   Side note without Nells the 2XtM expedition never would have happened.  Not only did he lone us his Ford Explorer for 7 days when our media truck broke down, he also loaned us his kite buggy when the snow melted.

Dan Norgard and I arrived first Jason and Chelsey shortly after.  We ate a quick lunch (being a vegetarian in small town ND is no easy task) and headed out to the lake to put North Dakota’s wind directly in Tom’s hands via a 12m Ozone snowkite. 

After getting an adequate feel for the wind he turned the kite back over and Dan, Jason and I spent the next hour ripping up and down the narrow strips on snow covering the lake.  We ended the day with a YogaSlacker’s Acro Yoga on Ice demonstration.

Enjoy the article.

Reaping the wind

At the top of the plains, the spirit is willing to harvest this bountiful element for energy and income

One of a new breed of plainsmen, a snow kiter relishes the wind sweeping him across Devils Lake in North Dakota.
One of a new breed of
plainsmen, a snowkiter relishes
the wind sweeping him
across Devils Lake in North       Dakota.
By Tom Haines
Globe Staff  February 22, 2009
BELCOURT, N.D. - The wind out here at the northern edge of North Dakota is the stuff of curses and dreams, enough to have driven settlers stir crazy and to have sent modern men snow kiting across the state to promote the potential of wind energy.

The big-sky prairie is an easy place to ponder such turns of time. Consider, for example, one small stretch of highway 150 miles southwest of Langdon, and just north of Bismarck, the capital. There, near the town of Washburn and along the banks of the frozen Missouri River, sits the site of Fort Mandan, the winter home in 1804 of Lewis and Clark. A few miles farther north, a Great River Energy Company coal power plant and its sturdy smokestacks fuel modern life. The smokestacks unleash a steady plume, yet on this winter afternoon the wind quickly sends it sideways across the horizon. Just beyond, on a ridge toward the town of Center, stand dozens of wind turbines. Get up close and a single turbine takes on a kind of cosmic grace, its three giant blades gently purring like a comfortable cat. Coal smoke lingers in the distant sky, and it seems an urgent question: Is wind energy the future?

A group of young snowkiters think so, and the past two winters they surfed wheat-stubble fields and ice-topped rivers from north to south across North Dakota in an expedition called "To Cross the Moon." As Jason Magness, Sam Salwei, and Paul Cassedy rode the wind, an educational team presented wind energy and snow kiting lessons to schools and community groups. One goal was to encourage communities to organize their own wind farm interests.

"This last year was more about ownership," Salwei says. "We don't want big companies to come in and funnel the money out."

Find the full artical here...

Tom Haines can be reached at thaines@globe.com

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