. . .Or, If BMX racing is now an Olympic sport, why not snowkiting?
To Cross the Moon, also known by the hip acronym 2XtM, is a wind energy awareness project started by Sam Salwei. An avid snowkiter, Sam decided to use his passion for snowkiting (a growing outdoor sport where a person in skis or a snowboard is pulled by a kite) to promote another passion wind power.
Through two expeditions, Sam and friends have used the awesome power of the wind to pull them across the winter landscape of North Dakota, holding educational seminars with community groups along the way. Together, they have informed around 10,000 people about the potential of wind power in the state, demonstrating just how much power there is in the wind, and how foolish it would be of us not to take advantage of it. According to the 2XtM website, North Dakota is ranked as the number one state for wind energy potential.
Ben, Mark, and I were swept away one afternoon when we met with Sam and his girlfriend, Kathryn. Literally, swept away. Because it was the middle of summer, we each got to try kiteturfing, same idea as kitesurfing, but on land. After a quick lesson and getting strapped in, the kite took off, and so did we. Ben probably got the strongest impression of how strong the power of the wind truly is, by getting dragged across the field by a runaway kite. (His clothing bore the holes and grass stains to prove it.) Mark, the runner of the group, wouldnt let the kite get the best of him, and rather than have it pull him down, he would run after it, with Sam laughing and shouting, Where are you going?!
I also had the chance to take on the wind with a smaller handheld kite that was still incredibly powerful. It kept flying away from me; I just couldnt hold on tight enough. Every now and then I would feel in control- even if only for a moment- and experience a balance of tug-and-pull. Feeling the wind pulling the kite, literally harnessing its power with my two hands, was incredible. Right then, I realized, that there is power- energy- embodied in every gust of wind, power that we are wasting by not taking advantage of it. It felt clean, powerful, and abundant.