February 13, 2018, outside Page, AZ. This week, I have the privilege of providing training to employees at the Salt River Project’s Navajo Generation Plant (SRP NGS). I feel blessed to be able to spend time now and then with our Native American populations in Arizona–they are a proud people with centuries of proud and interesting heritage…and I have the opportunity to learn more about these wonderful people with every trip.
Today, I spent eight hours at the power generation plant today teaching with a full classroom of employees, each eager to learn new skills and each with their own stories, their own past, their own plans for the future. But afterwards, I was greeted by an amazing afternoon of scenery as I left the power generation plant grounds.
You know, I am not typically the kind of person who stops along the side of a road to take photos; normally, I am the kind of driver who goes from point A to point B without taking a lot of side trips on the spur of the moment. Today was certainly an exception to that norm. I walked out of the power plant to be greeted with a light, clean breeze, sunshine, and felt reinvigorated. So, when I looked out my truck window and saw the beautiful landscape today, it called out to me to stop and take notice.
Sadly, the SRP Navajo Generation Station is slated to begin decommissioning in January 2019. While some employees are taking positions at other locations around that state, many would have to leave their ancestral lands in order to take one of those positions. Moreover, closing the plant will result in a near death knell for this beautiful town of just over 4,300 people. Although the town benefits somewhat from tourism–including people passing through on their way to the Grand Canyon–the future of this nice town is most certainly in jeopardy…along with the livelihood of people who have built their lives, hopes, and dreams here while they served the people of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California.
If you get to northern Arizona, check out Page–a friendly gateway to the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, the Painted Desert, and beautiful natural attractions in southern Utah.
A tip for at least one meal: The local BBQ place called Big John’s Texas BBQ!