Sunday, October 22, 2017

Heading Southwest and finally made it to Oklahoma

Trinidad Colorado, elevation 6010 feet.

October 8, 2017
Trinidad, Colorado

The weather forecast was predicting snow and freezing temperatures so we left Denver to head further south. Our original plans had been to stop in northern New Mexico but the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is approaching and we could not find a place to stay within 150 miles of the city. Plan C or maybe D? is to drive a little east through the Oklahoma Panhandle down the western side of Texas and back into New Mexico south of Roswell.
We stopped one night in Trinidad Colorado on the Sante Fe Trail. The elevation was higher in Trinidad than in Denver but no precipitation was predicted so we felt pretty safe in stopping.

The Painted Lady butterfly's stopped in Trinidad too.
We drove as far as the Oklahoma panhandle on our second day stopping for 3 nights to catch up with housekeeping, basically I needed to do laundry as we were running short on cool weather clothes. It was a great drive, smooth travel on good roads and we enjoyed watching the landscape smooth out in front of us until we were out of the mountains and back to the plains. 

We enjoyed watching the landscape change as the road took us back to the palins.
Guymon is a very rural area. Folks were very nice and welcoming at the local library where we used the computer to print some documents. We found a coffee shop called Urban Bru that had good food and adequate wifi. We hung out there for an afternoon to catch up on email and schedule some blog posts.
It has made our family so happy that we spent some time in Oklahoma so it could be officially added to our travel map. They for feeling very badly that it was an isolated island of unseen territory.
Laundry and other details taken care of we headed further south to Lubbock.

Working Wooden Windmill

October 11, 2017
We stopped in Lubbock to see two museums that caught our interest.
The American Wind and Power Center has curated more that 150 American windmills that represent all phases of wind power in the United States. 
Indoors there is a large model train display with dioramas set up showing windmills at train stops where water was taken on to feed the steam engines. There is also a collection of grist mills from all over the world that document the meal grinding process.

Our favorite part of the exhibit is the outdoor display called Linebery Windmill Park which features every kind of windmill imaginable. Each has been restored to manufacturers specifications and can be seen in the park pumping underground water. These are the historic wind machines. The ones you used to picture on farms and ranches all over rural America. 

Some are made of wood, others of metal but all spinning in the breeze.

The museum displays a modern GE Wind Turbine and a VESTAS wind machine as well as smaller contemporary windmills that are meant for home and small business use. They are exhibited in the Devitt Mini Wind Farm.

Flowerdew Hundred wind powered Gristmill
The Flowerdew Hundred Post Mill is a replica of a wind driven grist mill that was originally built in a Virginia settlement 20 miles upstream from Jamestown. Built in 1621 it was the first wind driven grist mill in North America. The replica was commissioned in the 1970's by the owners of the Flowerdew Hundred Plantation and was acquired by the museum in 2010. It is a working windmill moving 2 pair of grinding stones. Each pair weighs 2400 pounds. One grinds wheat, the other corn.

WACO CG-4A one of 4 in existence.
Silent Wings is located at the old Lubbock Municipal Airport which was renovated to house the collection. It's exhibits tell the stories of the WWII glider program and its effects on the battles of Europe. The museum was founded by a group of former glider pilots who worked together to preserve their history and to make artifacts available for public display. They chose Lubbock because most glider pilots trained in the city prior to deployment.
The crown jewel of the museum is a fully restored WACO CG-4A Glider. 

Currency as diary, WWII glider pilot collection of notes on domestic and foreign bills..
What I found more interesting is actual film of the gliders taking off and landing and stories told by the pilots in their own words of their exploits behind enemy lines.
We learned that there was a air retrieval process for gliders that hadn't been heavily damaged on landing and saw video that demonstrated that labor intensive process. 
Visiting Silent Wings gave us a new respect for these intrepid men who flew into battle knowing that there were no second chances.

We loved seeing the Jeeps drive out of those gliders when they landed.
Our afternoon ended at Caprock Winery where I enjoyed their beautiful tasting room and learning about Caprocks award winning wines from tasting room manager Tim Abascal. Tim was enthusiastic about what Caprock has to offer and we had a nice conversation about Texas wine and the Finger Lakes region of New York. We came away with a fantastic red Zinfandel and a Merlot that will go very nicely with tonight's roast beef dinner.

Caprock Winery

Urban Bru Coffee
418 NW 21st Street
Guymon, Oklahoma

Silent Wings Museum
6202 N Interstate 27
Lubbock, Texas

American Wind Power Center
1701 Canyon Lake Drive
Lubbock, Texas

Caprock Winery
400 E Woodrow Rd
Lubbock, Texas


  1. I love those old windmills, Bonnie. That's a great find!

    1. We always enjoy seeing them on our drives through farm country. It was a treat to see the really old ones in action.