1-Day Mystery Trip




1-Day Mystery Trip
July 10, 2013

7.12.13  I took this mystery trip, which was quite interesting. I had seen the wind farms but knew very little about them so was glad to go there.  Sondra B.

Our theme for the day leaned toward "Going Green" in White County, Indiana. 

We first stopped at the Wind Farm Operations & Maintenance Facility to pick up Gary, our step-on guide.  With him were 2 retired school teachers who were training to be step-on guides.

In travels, the wind farms always fascinated me and I have to admit that I didn't totally understand the workings of them.  It sounded as though many of our passengers also wondered about them with as many questions as they asked.  And Gary had all of the answers.  One of the questions was "How are the farmers compensated for using their land?".  They are paid $7,000 per year per wind turbine.  Wouldn't it be nice to have enough land to hold 10 turbines?  That would be a nice additional income.  This particular wind farm situates the turbines in a line, making it easier for the farmers to maintain their farms without disruption.  The first picture is of the power station for this particular wind farm.

The subject was brought up about the level of noise they produce.  As one of our passengers said, it reminded him of the sounds of an ocean.

It was then lunch time, so we headed to Sublette's Ribs in Monticello.  This restaurant had burned down and just re-opened in the spring.  The meal was fantastic!  If you are ever passing through Monticello, be sure to stop here for a meal....or make a special trip there.  It was outstanding!

Pork loin, chicken breast in gravy, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, cole slaw, biscuits, and bread pudding with a marvelous sauce for desert.

After lunch, we headed to NIPSCO's Norway Dam.  Sorry to say, but we could not take cameras inside.  An employee at the dam explained the workings of the dam and the amount of electricity it produced and were able to go through the facility.  There is a stairway leading up to the top of Lake Shafer, which supplies the water for the dam which we could have gone to see, but there was such a torrential downpour going on at the time that we were not able to do that.  We were in the best building possible with the storm that was going on outside at that time.  You can see the dam in the background behind the truck.

Next we moved on to Historic Prophetstown, a self-sustaining farm that uses actual horse-power to maintain the farm.  There are only 2 motorized pieces of equipment on the farm.

This is an old Sears catalog home, now a welcome center and gift shop.

The group was split into 2 groups.  One group toured an old home with a guide first (I believe her name was Grace), while the other group took a carriage ride through the farm.  The groups then switched tours.

Lauren and Jasmine hitched up the horses for our carriage ride.  Lauren drove the carriage with the help of a little girl, who was there with her parents, in the front seat with Lauren.  Lauren was a Purdue graduate with a degree in Animal something-or-other, and Jasmine was attending Purdue working on an agriculture degree.  Lauren was also hoping to study to be a veterinarian. 

"Farm residents" were horses, cows, pigs, cats, and even a peacock.

This gentleman ran the farm and filled our heads with loads of humorous information and stressed that he only hires girls to work on the farm because they listen and they do what they are asked.  There are only the 3 employees running the entire farm - the rest are volunteers.

It was milking time, so we headed to the milking barn.  Jasmine said we were welcome to "give her a hand" a milking if we'd like.  The young lady who was with our group was a little apprehensive, but decided to give it a try, as well as one of our other passengers.

This little kitten did not choose a good spot to lay down.  Luckily, the cow never kicked.