Windmills in Iowa
I think a good number of these behemoths are part of Midwest Energy's numerous wind farms, one of Warren Buffett's utilities. You'd run into a good deal more if you stayed on I-80 rather than splitting off and heading to Denver, especially in Wyoming.
As for the fairly consistent prairie side-wind, get used to it. In 30 years of making the annual pilgrimage to Sturgis, you could count the times we didn't almost get blown off the road on one hand. But to really experience 70 plus mph wind sheer go a little east of Fallon, Nevada on highway 50! Come to think of it, maybe that's why it's America's "Loneliest Highway".
I too love Hampton Inn's; they took first place on Consumer Reports hotel shoot-out a few years back. Unfortunately, my wife is on Holiday Inn Express's repeat offender plan, but they're not all bad either.
We are currently traveling your part of the World Ross. I'm writing this from the hotel in Danbury, Connecticut. If I had more time I'd head up north and check out what's left of the old Indian plant in Mass., maybe even stopping by.
But alas, we're obligated to hitting the road and making it back to Iowa via our Honda Ridgeline (you can call me by my new ADVrider handle: Hondadriver) by tomorrow night in order to jump on the bikes and trek on out to Sturgis once again!
Anyway, glad to see your thread is up and running; the NUTS are looking forward to more of your neurosis,