After doing the ritual computer work, we walked out to the rim for a morning look and farewell. It was a crystal clear morning and since it was still pretty early, there were almost no people out. There was a school group that we passed on the trail who were all walking with their eyes closed holding on to each others shoulders until they reached the rim and were allowed to open their eyes. A moment most of them will always remember.
We unloaded our bikes about 20 miles outside of Flagstaff and rode into town to make our 2 o'clock meeting with the folks at Southwest WindPower. On the way, we stopped by The Grand Canyon Trust where we met some of the kind staff people I have been talking with over the last several months. They invited us to stay in their beautiful office which is a converted homestead farmhouse with solar panels and all sorts of energy efficiency features incorporated into the remodel.
We learned that our contact Derrick Terry in Window Rock has been very busy putting together a big event for next Saturday where a lot of Navajo sustainability people will show up as well as some of the staff from here. We are completely flabbergasted by how motivated people are to help spread the sustainability message. As The Green Riders, I feel like we are unleashing an opportunity for local communities to stand up and shout about the good they are doing and how much more needs to be done.
We rode down to SouthWest WindPower and met with Miriam Robbins, the marketing director. She gave us a great tour and spoke passionately about the need for alternatives when it comes to energy production. It was refreshing to hear her talk about the renewables as a family and consumers get to pick the renewable sibling that best suits their resource. If sun is in your air, go with solar. If it's wind, choose a turbine.
Even though Paul Gipe doesn't think small scale solar and wind contribute enough, quickly enough, he also said we need it all. So small scale distributed energy has its place. The value it gives to the user as a doorway into becoming engaged in building a sustainable future can be way more significant than the actual watts being produced by their home renewable energy system.
Tonight we are settled into the very nice offices with lots of computer access, wonderful maps and posters and even a firehouse next door!
Tomorrow is a big day. Our first real event where we will set up our roadshow and see what happens!!