2019 Youth Tour: Day 1
It’s here! At long last, the big day has arrived! The 2019 Youth Tour’s trip to Washington D.C.! It all started several months ago, when I wrote an essay and entered the La Plata Electric Association Youth Tour contest.
My essay was one of five compositions selected by a panel of judges, and I was invited to represent my electric cooperative and Colorado in Washington, D.C. at the National Youth Tour Conference. I still can’t believe that I have been given this opportunity. Thank you, La Plata Electric Association!
“Welcome to the Colorado Youth Tour! You are now officially on your way to Denver, Gettysburg, and Washington, D.C. for the trip of a lifetime”, commented Lonnie Tucker as our group of Heleny Zacamolpa, Irie Sentner and me (Diego Salinas) pulled out of the Bayfield High School and headed to Ignacio High School to pick up Larissa Gallegos. Next stop, Plata Electric Association branch office in Pagosa Springs to pick up Emma Happ. While we were in the lobby Diego pointed out a copy of the Colorado Country Life. We are featured in a Youth Tour article in the April 2019 edition.
We stopped at Wolf Creek Ski Area and Lonnie took several pictures of our group. We also witnessed several marmots just hanging out and enjoying the sun. Back in the Yukon and continued our journey on Highway 160 as Lonnie continued to explain the dynamics of a cooperative. We had no idea our families are members of La Plata Electric Cooperative. Ok, so there are more than 36,000 members but it is nice to know we are so much more than just a customer.
We turned left in Del Norte and headed north on Highway 285 to Buena Vista. We visited Sangre de Christo Electric Association and met Youth Tour delegates Megan Armstrong, Rylie Flavin, Justin and Victoria Robitaille and Isabella Warholoski. We also had the opportunity to meet Paul Erickson, General Manager and CEO, and Chris McGinnis, Communication Specialist and Youth Tour Coordinator. Thank you, Sangre de Christo Electric Association for your hospitality!
Outside the Sangre de Christo office Lonnie pointed out the solar panels and talked about renewable energy and how La Plata Electric Association uses a mixture of green power in their energy portfolio. We continued our conversation about energy production and how electricity is transferred from the generation facilities to our homes, businesses and schools. We are scheduled to visit La Plata Electric’s energy provider, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, in Denver tomorrow morning.
We are so excited we finally made it to Denver! It only took seven hours, but it was a great trip and we learned a lot about the cooperative business model. We met Empire Electric Association’s Youth Tour delegate Cassie Gatlin and Youth Tour chaperones Clint and Alicen Rapier at the hotel. After introductions it was time for us to find a bite to eat…
After dinner, Lonnie took everyone to the Denver Escape Room for a Youth Tour delegate team building exercise. It was awesome! We were assigned the Amnesia Challenge and divided into two groups and led to two different rooms. I (Emma) could tell you more about our challenge but I'm not allowed to divulge any details. Ha! We beat the challenge and escaped with 9:43 left out of the original one hour time frame. Yeah!
We can’t wait to meet the other Colorado and Wyoming Youth Tour delegates tomorrow!
Good night from Denver…
Emma, Heleny, Larissa, Diego and Irie