Saturday, May 7, 2011


Friday. May 6 – With windy weather predicted for Sunday and Monday, we plan on visiting some outdoor sights today. It's a perfect day weather wise...high 90...low 57....low humidity....NO WIND!

Speaking of WIND......our AMAZING stop for today was the American Wind Power Center. This museum features the American-style water-pumping windmills. It is located on 28 acres of rolling city park land in the Yellow House Canyon of Lubbock. More than 120 rare and fully restored windmills are on display on the grounds.


This is the only working post mill in North America. It weighs 50,000 lbs, the wheel is 60 feet in diameter. It is constructed out of Oak timbers.  The whole building actually turns with the wind on the cement curb at the outer edge of the circle.


The highlight of the outdoor Windmill Park, in Paul's opinion, is the working Vestas Model V47 and the GE 1.5 megawatt electric generating wind turbines. The GE turbine will be assembled in a new building in the near future.


The operating Vestas V47 is a new technology wind machine capable of generating vast quantities of electricity. The electricity produced by the V47 is used to power the museum. Even more electricity than is required is generated and this excess energy is fed into the local utility's power lines. No battery storage is needed, since 60 cycle, 3 phase AC power is produced. The V47 generates about one million kilowatt hours of electricity each year. The museum only uses 10% of this amount.

The parts of the GE Turbine are laying on the grounds and allow for close inspection!



The steel tower of the Vestas V47  is 164 feet tall and weighs over 97,000 pounds. The blades are 155 feet in diameter. Each fiberglass blade is 77 feet long and together weigh 15,876 pounds. The rotor turns 28.5 rpm and starts producing electricity in a 10 mph wind. The rotor is stopped when winds exceed 55 mph. It is these turbines you see by the hundreds scattered all over Texas and the SW United States.....and get this.....they cost a million dollars EACH. Holy Cow!!!

Shows you can make a windmill out of anything. These are 55 gallon drums.


Also on display are many hand pumps, models, photographs and other windmill artifacts.


There is also a meeting hall that is available for rent. Many local brides rent the hall for their neat!


Maud S Wind Mill is unusual in that it has an offset wheel, a governor weight and a coiled spring. Marsha doesn't know what this means but you men will.


Note the bullet hole. This was common on windmills in the West.


Two Stone Corn Grinder Wind Mill. On Saturday farmers would bring their corn to the General Store to be ground.


The Iron Turbine was the first successful all-metal American windmill. It proved that an all-metal mill could do the work of a wooden mill, and that a metal mill could withstand severe winds.


Vertical Axis Wind Turbine doesn't have enough blade area for a self-start. A small electric starter motor drives the two blades up to speed then the wind catches the rotor and it begins to spin on its own.


The Southern Cross is one of the largest windmills made in the world. With a 25 foot wheel diameter, this is a direct stroke windmill with no gear heads. It is 55 feet high.


This is truly a “not-to-be-missed” museum. Paul thinks this is the best museum he's ever seen.....including the Smithsonian. Now that's saying something!

Surrounding the Windmill Museum is Mackenzie Park – home to Prairie Dog Town. The 248 acre, Mackenzie Park is Lubbock's largest recreation area. A golf course, world-class disc golf course, Joyland Amusement Park, horse trails, sculpture garden, beautiful walking trails, fishing lakes and several streams, and the Prairie Dog Town can all be enjoyed in the Park.

We had a blast watching the prairie dogs.


The pint-sized critters put on quite a show.


These ground squirrels number in the thousands. The entire colony was started nearly 75 years ago after they were nearly eradicated from the park.

This one spent most of the time we were there balling up this piece of paper. She then took it down its hole. What a hoot!



There were TONS of babies, but they must have been told to stay by the house. Another, not-to-miss scene, if in the area. Oh, and don't forget to bring carrots or cookies to feed the guys. We took a box of stale crackers....they loved them!

For those who think all we do is RUN, RUN, RUN, let it be known we did all this, PLUS Marsha got her hair trimmed, and we were home relaxing in the beautiful weather by noon. Our visit to Lubbock is spread over ten days, so we have plenty of time to relax and enjoy doing nothing.

Oh, I think I forgot to mention that Marsha ALSO finished another basket today. Well this isn't a basket, she calls it a trivet. She did some experimenting with what she calls a wrap stitch and used a walnut slice for the middle. It really looks nice.


Yesterday, they began draining the swimming pool here at the Elks. They will be adding new water next week. With that said, we haven't posted a picture of Bella for a very long time. We had to share this one. She just wanted to cross over the draining water, but got stuck and wasn't sure which way to turn.  Poor kitty!


Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!