So Happy With His Job, He's Been Talking About It For Decades - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

So Happy With His Job, He's Been Talking About It For Decades

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Daryl Hill Antelope Valley Station Tour (circa 1980s) Daryl Hill Antelope Valley Station Tour (circa 1980s)
Tour Logs Tour Logs


He's talked about the same thing for decades -- but he's still not tired of it.  "I have a boyhood fascination with power plants," says Daryl Hill, Manager, Media & Communications Relations at Basin Electric Power Cooperative -- which explains why Daryl Hill recently passed a milestone -- giving 1,500 tours of Antelope Valley Station.  

When a recent tour group participant was asked, is this something you'd want to do 1,500 times?  "No!," replied Thomas Mock, Terry High School Teacher, in Terry, Montana.  But Daryl Hill has been telling the story behind the light switch for hours -- literally, about 3,000 hours.  

It all started rather unintentionally.  A former newsman, he was hired by Basin Electric to coordinate the communications effort for Antelope Valley Station.  "People would call about questions, things I either had answers, or could direct them to people who knew the answers.  So it kind of took the pressure off the engineers and people constructing it," says Hill.

Ultimately, that evolved into a tour program.  "Then, a tour group called one day and said, 'hey, can we drive over and look at Antelope Valley,' and I said, 'I guess we can.'  So I did the first tour out here in April of 1979."

Daryl Hill's entire time at the helm of the now well-developed tour program has gone off without a hitch, with perhaps one exception that turned out to produce a bit of Antelope Valley trivia.  "The elevator went out of service.  We couldn't get it restarted in time to ride down with the group.  So we said, 'okay, we're going to walk down,' and that's why I learned one of these amazing facts that there's 585 steps from top to bottom."

Hill has even taken the Antelope Valley Station a little Hollywood, when he hosted a tour for the "Modern Marvels" TV show.  However, he says, "every tour is special.  Whenever they walk in the door, it's a special group to me -- whether it's the first one, or the 1,500 hundredth one."  Hill's enthusiasm doesn't go unnoticed.  "He's very energetic and enthusiastic, and you can tell he really enjoys what he's doing.  He does a good job," says tour participant Barbara Ernster, an Edison Middle School Teacher in Sioux Falls.

At fifteen hundred tours and going strong, even as the Antelope Valley Station is going to continue generating electricity, Daryl Hill is going to continue to talk about it.  

"Again, welcome, Antelope Valley Station," says Hill, as he gears up for yet another tour.


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