Over the past few days I have been driving thorough Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Along the way I have crossed the Mississippi river and saw the great boom in wind energy that has taken over the Midwest. These new turbines are spectacular, but what is more awesome is riding though the fields of 80-100 windmills all lined up like the Canadian geese that fly south for the winter.
In Indiana there is the Benton County Wind Farm, on the drive from Indianapolis to Chicago along the horizon you see these bright small lines dotting the farms, then before you know it you are surrounded by massive turbines with arm longer than jet propeller.
After traveling through Indiana I moved on to Chicago and into Wisconsin. Where there was not a lot to see other than lush greenery. On the border of Minnesota however flows the might Mississippi river which was beautiful and tranquil.
In Minnesota I also took the time to go and visit the Pipestone National Monument. This land is sacred to the Indian Americans because it is where the pipestone quarry is located. Unlike most traditional European and Asian pipes Indian American pipes are not made from a wood or metal casing, instead they are crafted from the red stone which is still sourced from the pipestone quarry in western Minnesota. Pipestone was used because of the rocks ability to help the prayers of the smoker reach the Great Sprit.
In addition to quarrying rock for pipestone the quarry was also a location of great religious significance. Indian American tribes that visited saw faces in the rock. The great medicine man and the oracle were prayed too by the Ogalala Souix. In addition to the faces in the quarry as you leave the monument there were the Three Maidens. Gigantic granite boulders sit at the enhance to the quarry and the native population believes that these boulders were the spirit guides of the quarry. Today offerings may still be found at their feet. As boulders viewed from the sky they look like the snapping turtles that can be found in the pipestone creek that flows around and through the quarry.