As the windiest state in the continental U.S., North Dakota could very well become the country’s snow kiting capital one day. What’s more, according the American Wind Energy Association, the state has the potential to produce more than 25 percent of the country’s electricity needs. These two ideas came together last month in the To Cross the Moon (aka 2XTM) expedition, the first successful traverse of North Dakota by kite.
Over 18 days, a trio of athletes covered 300 miles from Canada to the South Dakota border by kite. "North Dakota has more wind-power potential than any state, but people don’t seem to know it and there isn’t any leadership for its development, like there is for oil and coal," says team member Sam Salwei, 26, a North Dakota native who lives in Grand Forks. "We wanted to get the message out there in a cool way with this cool, unknown sport."
The crew, which included Paul Cassedy, 19, and Jason Magness, 32, first attempted this feat last year, but a lack of snow made it impossible. This time, however, with good snow cover and temperatures dropping to 54 below, it seemed frostbite would be their greatest worry.
- Nat Geo Expeditions