Day 10: Delta (Millard County)

The night was an active with strong thunderstorms and downpours, and we were fortunate to have a roof over our head at a local inn in Milford. In the early hours of the morning, Pete and Noah provided parking-lot prepared fresh pour-over coffee and a hearty breakfast. I was off by 7a, heading for Delta, so that we could attend a scheduled meeting at 12:30p.

We visited with a Millard County commissioner, and learned plenty in our discussion. The elephant in the room is what will happen to the massive 1940 MW Intermountain Power Plant and the (fairly) recently discovered (developed?) salt caverns in the vicinity, which can act as vast energy reserves (e.g., hydrogen). The end of coal-burning for this plant may be in sight, as it is currently scheduled to be repurposed to natural gas.

Eventually, the Intermountain Power Plant could be a “green” hydrogen burning plant. The way I understand that this would work is that it excess renewable generation could be converted and stored as hydrogen in the aforementioned salt caverns, and used by the power plant when wind or solar isn’t producing as much energy that is needed for short-term demand. This is one of the “holy-grail” battery solutions that we’ve all been wondering about, and it is exciting news. The project recently has been conditionally approved a $500m investment by the federal government.

We continued our day by chatting with locals in Delta over pie and coffee at a bustling cafe.

In the evening, we met up with my dear friends Rob and Cindi, volunteers for Citizens Climate Lobby, who drove in from Nevada. We had dinner, red lentil chicken-vegetable soup and peaches I brought from my tree, at the park in Delta on a perfect evening.

The evening wasn’t the end, however. I needed to get a few more hours of riding in before finding a place to camp. It was a spectacular combination of empty roads, dark skies, the milky way with a light show of thunderstorms in the vicinity. The desert kangaroo rats kept me company, as they skittered away from my bike light.

We set up camp at 11p, and we had overnight rain along with a brief but intense thunderstorm. It is starting to sink in that there are only two days left of the tour.

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