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West Texas Road Trip With Pics  
User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 1 month 1 day ago) and read 3131 times:

Following in Tom in NO's great thread, we took a west Texas and eastern New Mexico road trip this past weekend. It started with breakfast and a visit to the Alamo in San Antonio.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2724.jpg


Then it was on to west Texas via I10 and after San Antonio it get pretty barren pretty fast.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2755.jpg

But not too far out of San Antonio, you get some relief.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2756.jpg

In between Ozona and Fort Stockton we came across one of 4 huge windmill farms we saw along our trip. The others were near the Guadalupe Mountains, another in eastern New Mexico, and another in the panhandle of Texas.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2767.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2771.jpg

We stayed the night in Van Horn, Texas and visited Chuy's, evidently a favorite haunt of John Madden when his bus makes it way down I10.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2785.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2787.jpg

The next day it was on to the Guadalupe Mountains, we stopped at the look out point, El Captain is in the background.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2796.jpg

We stopped at Carlsbad Caverns and learned a valuable lesson, book your tickets online before you leave since just showing up does not get you in the door anymore. After we left I had the notion that I should have just waited for the next tour and found out if there were any no shows. My airline experience failed me.  frown 

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2803.jpg

But by not getting in the tour at Carlsbad it allowed me, when I drove up on it, to explore the Roswell Airport. I'm going to post the pics of some of the airplanes in storage there in the Civ Av forum but here are a couple of pics of the Roswell terminal and a couple of the jets in storage there. The front of the terminal is pretty unremarkable.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2816.jpg

Inside a large model of a B29, Dave's Dream is hanging with the bomb bay open and an atomic bomb, which it dropped in one of the pacific tests in 1946, visible in the forward bomb bay. The inside of the terminal was actually pretty neatly decorated.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2817.jpg

Two Delta MD-11's with two different paint schemes slowly being eaten alive.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2820.jpg

Then it was on to downtown Roswell and the UFO museum.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2848.jpg

Where I gave a short symposium on the piece of UFO material I found laying on the podium.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2846.jpg

And of course no visit is complete without getting an understanding on the Air Forces UFO identification chart.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2847.jpg

Outside of the museum I saw the most effective car alarm ever devised. The motor is running to keep the air conditioning running, the window are up but the door is unlocked. Care to try and take it?

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2849.jpg

The next day it was off to the panhandle, welcome to the great plains.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2863.jpg

The night was spent at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park which is near Amarillo.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2865.jpg

Where we set up Camp RJdxer.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2882.jpg

The next day headed back Houston we drove through Wichita Falls where flooding, which has affected so much of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, was still visible.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2897.jpg

1700 miles total in four days and everyone, including the dog, had a great time. Thanks for viewing!

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day ago) and read 3122 times:

Great pics. Thanks for sharing!

User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4343 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 23 hours ago) and read 3113 times:

You know, for the scenery pics, you could have just reused the same one over and over, since everyone knows all of West Texas (and Eastern New Mexico) looks the same.  Wink  duck 

Seriously, sounds like a fun trip, and despite my jab, beautiful country.



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 33
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 21 hours ago) and read 3082 times:

Quoting RJdxer (Thread starter):
In between Ozona and Fort Stockton we came across one of 4 huge windmill farms we saw along our trip.

It seems like those farms are springing up all over the place.....on our trip we passed not only the big one outside Sweetwater, TX, but another one in the mountains just off I-8 east of San Diego.

Quoting RJdxer (Thread starter):
The next day it was on to the Guadalupe Mountains, we stopped at the look out point, El Captain is in the background.

I'll have to dig up a couple of print pictures I took flying over those mountains and compare them to yours.....looks like a neat place to visit and hike.

Great report and pictures! Looks like you guys had a great time!

Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineAndrewUber From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2528 posts, RR: 41
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 21 hours ago) and read 3074 times:

Great pics! Looks like you had a really good time, I'm considering taking my own family on a road trip and your photos make that more likely!

I recently drove from Dallas to San Francisco on business, and took some pics at a classic Texas landmark - the Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo on I-40:

Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 681 File size: 233kb


Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 682 File size: 160kb



I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 19 hours ago) and read 3048 times:

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 4):
Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo on I-40:

We wanted to go there but got a late start from Camp RJdxer and so had to skip it. Maybe next time.


User currently offlineIlikeyyc From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1373 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 3013 times:

Looks like you had a good time! I like the USAF identification chart!

I've driven from Dallas to Midland and back and it was very boring. I remember seeing a sign in Midland that read, "Midland- in the middle of somewhere"



Fighting Absurdity with Absurdity!
User currently offlineNWA742 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 14 hours ago) and read 3001 times:

Great pics, RJdxer. I'm ready to head out west here in a few weeks.



-NWA742


User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8664 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 11 hours ago) and read 2964 times:

Never been out that way. Nice pics, and good post.

Hunter



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 9 hours ago) and read 2941 times:

Thanks for sharing !
I now have a slight impression what will await me during my vacation in end-September/early-October doing daytrips out of El Paso, TX and Odessa, TX apart from attending the CAF AirSho at MAF ...

I almost feel off my chair when I studied that pic:
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2847.jpg
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineLH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2912 times:

Photobucket strikes again. The photos are no longer showing. Too bad, I like Texas landscapes.

LH423



« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2865 times:

Photo's are back up. I suppose at some point I was going to have to cough up a fee and the day finally arrived on Independence day of all days!

User currently offlineQueso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

Hey, thanks for posting some good pictures of my part of the country! I have travelled this road MANY times as my mother used to live in Ozona, Texas and I'd go to see her often. I might even go down to Ozona this weekend to shoot at their range.

This picture is just past the exit for "Live Oak Road", and the lighter area in this picture and the next in the right lane is the bridge over Live Oak Creek, a small spring-fed creek out in the middle of what is otherwise normally a very dry nowhere. By the way, the lighter pavement in the left lane is the original pavement laid in 1984, and it's still smooth as glass. This was the last section completed of the originally planned national interstate system. The right lane has been resurfaced.

Quoting RJdxer (Thread starter):

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f294/DrHansZarkov/vacation%202007/CIMG2755.jpg

You can take the exit and drive a few miles down a fairly-well maintained caliche road to get to a really pretty part of the creek.My brother and I went there a couple of months ago.....

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h56/kmaf/Ozona%20Trip%20052707/100_0202.jpg

A car had just driven through the crossing so the water is still a little murky....



Quoting RJdxer (Thread starter):
In between Ozona and Fort Stockton we came across one of 4 huge windmill farms we saw along our trip. The others were near the Guadalupe Mountains, another in eastern New Mexico, and another in the panhandle of Texas.

This is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the local economy, especially for the small town of McCamey, about 20 miles north of where you took the pictures of the wind farm. They've had to put in a lot of electrical infrastructure to support the power being produced.

Interesting note about the windmills.... The life expectancy of the windmills is 20 years. Projected time of electrical generation needed to pay for them? 25 years.

Here are a couple of pictures of an information board just south of the town of McCamey, erected by the company that owns most of the windmills in that area. If you click on the pictures they should be big enough to read the text on them.

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h56/kmaf/Ozona%20Trip%20052707/100_0199.jpg

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h56/kmaf/Ozona%20Trip%20052707/100_0198.jpg

And finally, here are some pictures of the view from the top of one of those plateaus, 4 miles north of I-10 at exit 300:

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h56/kmaf/Ozona%20Trip%20052707/100_0229.jpg

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h56/kmaf/Ozona%20Trip%20052707/100_0230.jpg

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h56/kmaf/Ozona%20Trip%20052707/100_0226.jpg


User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2859 times:

Quoting Queso (Reply 12):
Interesting note about the windmills.... The life expectancy of the windmills is 20 years. Projected time of electrical generation needed to pay for them? 25 years.

I see several truck loads a day headed north on I45 out of the port of Houston. Guess those ones are headed for the wind farms up in the panhandle. It's always a two truck convoy. The first truck carries the blades and the second truck carries the pedestal parts. I can't read the writing but any idea of how much electricity one of these things produces when it is spinning. Some of them seemed to be spinning pretty fast as well. I wondered what kind of torque load they produce.


User currently offlineQueso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2857 times:

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 13):
I can't read the writing but any idea of how much electricity one of these things produces when it is spinning.

I'm not sure about each one, but there are two major operators of the wind farms south of McCamey and I remember hearing somewhere that one of them generates 20 megawatts. I'll try to find out a little more information if I go to Ozona this weekend. I think there's a visitor's center between McCamey and Rankin on US 67 and if there is I'll see what I can find out.


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2855 times:

What a great trip down memory lane! I spent almost every summer from 1959 (earlier, but I don't remember those trips) through 1970 making the trek from Southern California to visit the relatives just outside Houston.

User currently offlineQueso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2852 times:

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 15):
I spent almost every summer from 1959 (earlier, but I don't remember those trips) through 1970 making the trek from Southern California to visit the relatives just outside Houston.

Then you drove on the old US 290. It's a really interesting road around the area where RJDxer took those pictures. Lancaster Hill, above the old Fort Lancaster, has a very steep 2-lane road that climbs from the Pecos River Valley up and over the plateau. It was VERY dangerous and I remember before I-10 was completed there were a lot of bad accidents on it. Sweeping, decreasing radius curves make it a challenge to negotiate, especially when descending in a truck. I rode a motorcycle down it a few years ago and it is very deceiving, and will make you pay much more attention to the speed signs!


User currently offlineShannoninAMA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2849 times:

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 4):
Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo on I-40:

We go out there (only a short drive  silly  Wink 3 times a year or so. Its pretty neat that the community gets so involved with those. They were painted pink recently for breast cancer awareness IIRC.  Smile



Shannon  half 


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2849 times:

Quoting Queso (Reply 16):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 15):
I spent almost every summer from 1959 (earlier, but I don't remember those trips) through 1970 making the trek from Southern California to visit the relatives just outside Houston.

Then you drove on the old US 290. It's a really interesting road around the area where RJDxer took those pictures. Lancaster Hill, above the old Fort Lancaster, has a very steep 2-lane road that climbs from the Pecos River Valley up and over the plateau. It was VERY dangerous and I remember before I-10 was completed there were a lot of bad accidents on it. Sweeping, decreasing radius curves make it a challenge to negotiate, especially when descending in a truck. I rode a motorcycle down it a few years ago and it is very deceiving, and will make you pay much more attention to the speed signs!

Remember it well. Fort Stockton, Ozona, Junction, then 290 to Fredericksburg, Austin and eventually Houston. Once we got near Houston, we'd take FM 1960 to avoid 'the big city' on our way to Liberty County and Raywood. I was in Houston a few years ago, and was quite amused at how Houston has grown so much that FM 1960 is no longer a little country road.


User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2832 times:

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 18):
I was in Houston a few years ago, and was quite amused at how Houston has grown so much that FM 1960 is no longer a little country road.

Yes, we moved here just before they started construction removing the last little bit of "country road" which was between Aldine-Westfield Rd. and Lee Rd around the back of the airport. It is now 6 lanes wide with a center turning land and full width emergency breakdown lanes.


User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7197 posts, RR: 85
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2825 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great TR, thanks for sharing!


 yes 


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 21, posted (7 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2805 times:

Quoting Queso (Reply 14):
I'm not sure about each one, but there are two major operators of the wind farms south of McCamey and I remember hearing somewhere that one of them generates 20 megawatts.

Would that be 20 megawatts (MW) for the whole farm ?

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 13):
I see several truck loads a day headed north on I45 out of the port of Houston.

How long are the rotor blades ? This would give a rough estimate for the power generated.

about 40 meters diameter: 500 - 600 KW
about 70 to 90 meters diameter: 1.5 - 3 MW
about 114 meters diameter: 4.5 - 6 MW

The latter two categories are what is primarily being installed in Germany now; max diameter is 114 meters.
The Enercon E-112 has a weight of 550 metric tons (rotor etc) and the pylon weighs another 2,500 metric tons.
Total installed wind power in Germany is 20 Gigawatts (GW).
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineLHStarAlliance From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2804 times:

Very nice pics !

I have to visit the US ! A very beautiful country !

Konstantin


User currently offlineQueso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2793 times:

Quoting HT (Reply 21):
Would that be 20 megawatts (MW) for the whole farm ?

Yes, that is what I meant. Sorry, I probably didn't do a very good job of making that clear.

Quoting HT (Reply 21):
about 40 meters diameter: 500 - 600 KW

Here is more information I found about each of the two wind farms, one of which RJDxer included pictures of:

Source: http://www.poweronline.com/content/n...ucket=&Featured=True&VNETCOOKIE=NO

Fair-use excerpt:

Data on the two recently announced Texas “Wind Farms”
July 19, TXU Electric and FPL Energy announced plans for a major “wind farm” to be built in West Texas, south of Odessa, that would:


Consist of 242 wind turbines, standing 166 feet and with fiberglass blades 76-feet long—a total height of 232 feet.
Have total rated capacity of 160 MW.
Provide about 500,000,000 kWh of electricity per year to “power about 29,000 homes for Texas customers.”
Based on these numbers, the companies apparently assume that:

Each turbine will have a rated capacity of about 660 kW.
The average annual capacity factor for windmills in the project ranges about 35.7%. However, few windmills operating in the United States achieve such high capacity factors in normal operation.

Aug. 24, Reliant Energy announced its plans for a wind power project—King Mountain Wind Ranch—on the 3,141-foot King Mountain, near McCamey in West Texas, about 70 miles south of Odessa. Cielo Wind Power and Renewable Energy Systems (USA) plan to develop, build and operate the project on a turnkey basis.

According to Reliant Energy’s press release:


The project design calls for about 160 windmills.
Each turbine will have a rated capacity of 1.3 MW.
Based on this information, the total project capacity would be about 208 MW. Reliant hasn’t released details on the physical size of the windmills, the expected annual electricity output (kWh) from the “wind farm,” or the expected capacity factors. However, simple arithmetic permits calculating potential annual kWh output for the project based on a range of potential capacity factors in the following way:



Neither company has announced the size of the land area to be occupied by the windmills and associated facilities. However, each undoubtedly will require several square miles of land to accommodate, respectively, 242 and 160 very large windmills.

Output of Texas wind projects more of a breeze than a gale
The estimated annual kWh electricity output for the two projects—500,000,000 kWh for the FPL Energy-TXU Electric project and 455,520,000 to 637,728,000 kWh for the Reliant project—sounds large when the numbers are presented without context. However, these electricity output numbers are tiny when considered in light of total Texas electricity production and/or annual production from other generating stations in Texas.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), total electricity production in Texas during 1999 was about 352,230,000,000 kWh. Electric utilities provided net generation of 290,478,000,000 kWh and non-utility generators provided 61,752,000,000 kWh.

Therefore:


The annual electricity output expected from the 242-windmill, 160 MW TXU-FPL Energy “wind farm” would equal .14% (i.e., 14/100 of 1%) of total Texas 1999 electricity production.8 The annual electricity output estimated above for the Reliant project (455,520,000 to 637,728,000 kWh) would be equal to .13% to .18% (i.e., 13/100 to 18/100 of 1% of total Texas 1999 electricity production.
If the entire 2,000 MW of renewable capacity required by the Texas law consisted of wind and it operated at an unusually high 35% capacity factor, the 2,000 MW of wind capacity would produce 6,132,000,000 kWh of electricity. This amount would be equal to 1.7% of Texas’ 1999 electricity production.
As shown in the table below, the estimated output from the planned “wind farms” is relatively small when compared to the output of other newer generating plants in Texas.



The small contribution of electricity that would be provided is particularly important when recognizing that:


The electricity will be available only intermittently—when the wind is blowing at the right speed. When the wind conditions aren’t right, other generating facilities using “conventional” energy sources will be called on to satisfy electricity demand.
A large number of 660 kV wind turbines operating at the ambitious capacity factor of 35% will be required to provide an equivalent number of kWh of electricity (ignoring the intermittent availability of wind energy); specifically:





And here's a PDF from the company explaining the project: http://www.fplenergy.com/renewable/pdf/NatLeaderWind.pdf


So, in all it looks like we have about 402 windmills out there on the plateau. I'm glad they've built them because that land is not good for much else. Some people think they're an eyesore, but I like to see them when I'm down that way.


User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2773 times:

Quoting Queso (Reply 23):
So, in all it looks like we have about 402 windmills out there on the plateau.

What determines the spacing on those? I take it that the top of the shaft can rotate to face into the wind from any direction but they seem a lot farther apart than just the two blades diameters. Do you know if the blades are fixed or can they be adjusted to take advantage of a lighter breeze? I guess I need to take a trip out to that center you talked about.


25 Queso : I don't know how they determine the spacing, but since the prevailing wind is from the southwest, it appears that they are aligned so they won't inte
26 LH423 : Very nice photos. I love the western landscapes! The east is nice, but nothing compares to that! LH423
27 HT : Thanks for the massive information in that reply ! 35% of capacity factor over the course of a year appears quite ambitious, but this needs to be jud
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