After three years of leading guided hikes and mountain bike rides in Franklin Mountains State Park and the surrounding area, it’s time to go exploring on my own. GeoBetty Tours was created so that I could share my love of and knowledge about the wild places in the El Paso Southwest. It was also my attempt at a transition toward retirement.
That transition has worked pretty well. We’ve taken hundreds of people on all kinds of tours in the area. It was especially gratifying when I had the opportunity to get people out of their comfort zones. Sometimes I saw the moment when a new mountain biker had things “click” and he or she went from being tentative on every turn to whooping and hollering behind me on a fun downhill stretch. Other times it was talking a person with a fear of tight spots into a mine or cave and watching the smile on their face once they actually wiggled through that narrow opening into another world.
My wife, Carol, and I have the flexibility (and good health) now to spend more time seeing new places and meeting new people. So we’re going to go exploring. There’s still work to be done to help people appreciate our mountains and open spaces. The Franklin Mountains are under attack by interests more concerned with making money than conserving the natural world. I’m not really comfortable fighting those special interests, but I need to get out of my comfort zone and push back – hard.
I expect to keep reaching out to the social media audience I’ve built to showcase the beauty of the our desert mountains and the surrounding area. I hope you’ll keep exploring, too.