Q: Hi Wayne! Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started with Southwest Adventure Tours.
A: I'm from Phoenix Arizona and I've been with Southwest Adventure Tours for...I don't know...10-15 years I guess. I didn't start guiding right out of college. I worked for U-haul company before I started guiding. The reason I started guiding was primarily because I was doing marathons, I was running marathons, and some of the guys that I would take to San Francisco to do the San Francisco Marathon or the Avenue of the Giants up in Northern California, they would say "Hey Wayne, tell us what you're seeing? What are we seeing over here? Over here?" and I would talk about what we were seeing and they kept telling me "Hey, you do that so well you should be a guide". Well, ding ding ding, the light went off in my head and I said "Maybe I should" and that's when I started to look into becoming a tour guide.
I got started with Southwest Adventure Tours because Jason Murray, the gentleman that started Southwest Adventure Tours, is a very good friend of mine. In fact, we'd been friends long before he started his tour company and we basically just hit it off and I was doing tours before he started his tour company so he asked me a bunch of questions about how to become a tour guide and how to become a tour operator, etc. And so as a result when he started his tour company, and after I sold my tour company, I went to work for him on a contract basis. So I work for him on a contract basis now, even though I should be retired but I'm not.
Q: What do you think sets Southwest Adventure Tours apart from other tour companies?
A: The thing that makes Southwest Adventure Tours different from other companies is that they care. They care very deeply about our nature, about our scenery, about our geology, our education, our heritage and so as a result, they also care about you. They want you to have an experience in the areas that you want to travel in. And as a result that's very very important, not only to Southwest Adventure Tours, but to you.
Q: What would you say makes you special as a guide?
A: What sets me apart as a guide is that I absolutely love sharing my love of this beautiful part of the Western United States with the people that have never seen it before. I love seeing their excitement when they see something new. I love seeing their questions about the areas that we're traveling through. And this all makes me come alive. I absolutely love doing this.
Q: So which is your favorite tour destination that you go to?
A: Some of my favorite places that we go are the Grand Canyon because I met my future wife there 35 years ago at the bottom of the Grand Canyon running a marathon from the north rim to the south rim. So the Grand Canyon is very special to me and I love sharing my love of the Grand Canyon with the people that travel. But also Bryce, and Zion, and Capitol Reef, and Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Tetons. All of these areas are so very spectacular and all of them are so very different that I just absolutely love sharing them with people when they come out here in the west.
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking of booking with Southwest Adventure Tours?
A: First of all, I highly recommend it. But second of all, I highly recommend that you get on the phone with our reservation people and have a talk with them. Tell them what your interests are, tell them what your loves are, tell them what your bucket list is and they will help customize a special trip for you. Or, they have trips already set up for you that you might be able to join up with and make it easier for you and for them.
Q: Any last thoughts?
A: One of the things that I think is very important today is, after the pandemic when things have opened up and people are traveling again, you might as well get the most out of your travel by employing a company that really knows how to do what you want to do. They know how to put it together. They know how to make sure that you have an excellent time, and that should be one of the most important things that you should look forward to doing.