Promoting Plug-Ins for the Planet
(Click to enlarge)
Earth Day 2017
at Zion National Park

Mark D Larsen

I would have liked to participate in a “March for Science” last Saturday, but had already committed to again advocate for electric vehicles at the annual Springdale/Zion Earth Day Celebration. Tamara, ‘Tisa, and I decided to make a mini-vacation out of the event, and reserved a motel room for the nights before and after the festival. Below are a few of the photos of our weekend getaway:

NOTE: You can click on any of the following photos to enlarge them.

I was pleased to see that Zion continues to install solar panels for the Park’s buildings, like this small array at an entrance station.
This larger array helps to power the main Visitor Center, its Gift Shop, and its two charging stations.
Speaking of solar, the Earth Day committee again assigned me a spot at one end of the Bit and Spur’s parking lot, right next to the array that powered the bands’ sound equipment.
This year my display was a bit more sophisticated, since I used what I had purchased for NDEW last year. Here Tamara and ‘Tisa are staying cooler under the canopy.
The following day, we decided to drive through the tunnel to the east side of the Park, where there are very different, but equally impressive, vistas, like Checkerboard Mesa.
After again descending back down to the main canyon, we stopped at this viewpoint. If you look closely at the sheer rock wall in this photo, you can see one of the tunnel’s windows.
Regenerative braking had actually added a charge bar to the gauge during the descent, but we again plugged in at the Visitor Center to fully charge the battery before heading home.
A multi-colored Volt from Valley View Dental in Mesquite had been charging in the adjacent spot earlier. I was frankly irked to find that the driver... had left the cable lying on the ground!
If readers are wondering about the capacity in my new “lizard” battery replaced under warranty, you can see in this LEAFStat screenshot that, so far, it is holding fairly steady when fully charged. I’ll take it!
I reset the odometer when we left, and here you can see the readout when we arrived home: 51.7 miles at 4.7 miles-per-kWh. Not bad, given the highway speeds and the use of climate control!

I always enjoy spending Earth Day in such an awe-inspiring setting, especially knowing that I am bringing one less tailpipe to the National Park. We chatted with several people at the festival about the advantages and joys of driving an EV, and hopefully some of them will now seriously consider making their next car a plug-in. We experienced only one rather weird moment during the celebration: a pe’troll decided to confront us about how fossil fuels are the best solution for our energy needs, how global warming is a hoax, and how more fracking is what we really need. I have to deal with such fossil fools practically every day online, so such an attitude didn’t really surprise me, but Tamara could hardly believe her ears. Why in the world would such a person even attend a gathering to celebrate Earth Day!?! It’s beyond me.