The road ends, but the journey continues...

Riddle of the Wind Turbines

Note: Now that we’re back from CO and home in SC with 24/7 access to secure internet, I’ve wondered how to re-enter the blogging scene after my precious ‘Summer of Dad’.  Hubby sent this Riddle to his co-workers today, his first day back to work and it seemed the perfect segue…I asked him to pass it on and post it here for your comments/solution…Enjoy! ~LBL

Driving on I-70 in Kansas there is a stretch of highway where there are hundreds of giant wind turbines used to generate electricity.  On Friday, October 21, 2016 Laura and I were driving through the area.

A common sight driving through Kansas along I-70

A common sight driving through Kansas along I-70

The wind was from the west going east.  The wind turbine blades were moving from west to east (at its apex).  All turbines were facing south.
Laura pointed out that some of the turbines were rotating clockwise and some were rotating counter clockwise.  Given the above information, how could this be?  Can you solve the riddle?
And oh, by the way, Yes, we are back.

Answer starts at Chris’ comment below…read replies to her answer-comment for further explanations by both myself and Laura.  


  1. Anna Scott Graham

    So glad you are home; I see similar turbines when I drive to visit my eldest daughter. There is a lovely modern elegance to them amid brown rolling hills.
    And I’m glad to be posting post-riddle answer. I never would have thought of that! 😀

    • laura bruno lilly

      I am glad to be back for now, too!

  2. Andy

    I’m not very technical or mechanical, so will leave the working out to others.
    Although the film Troll Hunter came to mind, where we discover that the Electricity pylons were really a means to keep the Trolls fenced in (although this didn’t work so well in Jurassic Park). I really hope that the answer is along those lines! No pun intended.
    Welcome back.

    • terry w. lilly

      LOL – but wrong line of thinking (pun intended)

    • laura bruno lilly

      It’s good to be back, thanks Andy.

  3. Chris

    Is it based on which way you are viewing them? From the front it’s one direction but when you pass it by and look from behind it’s the opposite?

    • Chris

      Btw- glad you got back ok- was great to see you guys!

      • terry w. lilly

        You got the right answer, but I’m holding off with revealing your comment to give more time for others to ponder a solution!

      • laura bruno lilly

        Even though it was a family reunion based upon a sad event, it really was great seeing you, too…
        Can’t comment on your solution until it is revealed, but I bet you and I figured it out in a similar manner since we’re both hands-on types. Of course I was driving during our speed-through of the Wind Turbines, so I had to keep my hands on the wheel. HA!
        For the record, you’re the first to solve the riddle. Good job…riddles are funner than couponing, right?!

    • terry w. lilly

      Yes, yes, yes…it’s all about Perspective!!!
      Congrats, Chris on figuring this out.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Okay, I was driving through these and the blades on either side of my vision kept catching my eye. All I could see were the ones on the left going clockwise and the ones on the right side of I-70 going counterclockwise. Terry didn’t focus on the blades so much as the direction of the wind and that the turbines themselves were faced in the same direction, so my clockwise/counterclockwise comment didn’t make sense to him at first.
      While driving (oh-oh) I held out my pointer finger facing away from my face and moved it clockwise, then kept moving it that way while I turned it around to face me…and it was of course going counterclockwise…that’s when I understood what was going on!HA!
      We’re both ‘spatial’ so I figured you’d get this, too.
      Congrats, cuzzin.

  4. Janis

    You got me! I even asked hubby who often knows these types of things and he didn’t know either. We have a lot of wind turbines in California too but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this. Although, sometimes an optical illusion can make it difficult to tell which way they are turning, but that’s probably not what you are referring to.

    • terry w. lilly

      No, not an optical illusion, but you are on the thread of the right track…I’ll offer up a hint after a day or two…stay tuned.

  5. Jennie Fitzkee

    A great riddle, yet I won’t attempt to solve it. It’s great to have you back, Laura.

    • terry w. lilly

      Thank you!

    • Laura Bruno Lilly

      Thanks for stopping by and noticing my return!

  6. Linda W.

    My guess is the blades make them go clockwise or counterclockwise. They’re clockwise in Ireland supposedly.
    Welcome back to blogging!

    • terry w. lilly

      While that might be a consideration in other instances, that observation is not relevant to solving this riddle!

    • Laura Bruno Lilly

      Thanks for the greetings!

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