From the moment they come into view as you climb the rolling hills just east of Ellensburg, what strikes you first about the turbines of the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility is their scale. Structures that looked like tiny black pinwheels on toothpicks stuck into the dry earth from just a few short miles away quickly grow into towering white giants that make you feel like a shrunken Alice after a sip from the bottle. You don’t realize how awesome it is to stand underneath one until you’re there.

And then comes the sound. Step out of your car and you’ll hear the soft, repetitive swoosh…swoosh…, the low, hollow rhythm of a 7-ton blade slicing through the air. Many in the area speak of these sleek and slender energy collectors almost reverentially; for the rural and small-town populations of Kittitas County living in their vicinity, the turbines have a way of taking on a life of their own, much like the orange steel cranes dotting the Port of Seattle seem like giant industrial dinosaurs lording over their container minions below. A detour from a small-town road trip along the Interstate 90 corridor or from nearby Ellensburg is like a trip to another world indeed.

To read more from Seattle Magazine about this idyllic day trip, click here for the full story.

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