Tour guide, Kurt Hill, is easily Sojourn’s favorite hill. He took some time today for a short interview about guiding bike tours in Arizona. Kurt guides bike tours for Sojourn in Oregon, California, and Texas, and Arizona.
When asked what he likes most about Arizona he said “I just love the desert – it’s so different than what most people are used to.” He cited the two biggest reasons guests choose this trip: they want to escape the cold, and they are drawn by the magic of the Sonoran Desert. “I love being there, especially in the early mornings. There is such peace and tranquility.”
Kurt also referenced “the neat little adventures that are part of Sojourn’s Arizona bike tours. We visit Sabino Canyon, the Desert Museum and Saguaro National Park. Guests on these trips want to bike and they want to see and do everything, but when they hit Rancho De La Osa, they just can’t resist kicking back and relaxing.”
His voice gets a little dreamy when he talks about the Rancho: “I love staying at Rancho De La Osa…it’s so remote – even the guides get to relax!” The ride from Rancho to Tubac winds along off-the-beaten-path roads, “People are always amazed that we see almost no cars – and lots of cows.”
Kurt wasn’t always a cyclist. As a kid growing up on 36 acres of farmland in rural Arkansas, he enjoyed camping, hiking, and fishing. “We did anything we could to be outdoors.” As an adult, Kurt got a ‘real job’ and worked as a chemical engineer in the environmental division of Dow Chemical, but this was not the life he envisioned, so he took a generous lay-off package and traveled for a year.
He was introduced to Sojourn by a friend of a friend. “I just fell into and in love with the job,” he says. Sojourn’s bike tour guests are glad he did. He’s a perfect fit: Kurt loves engaging with people, teaching, sharing adventure, the outdoors, food, wine, and fun!
“Cannot say enough positives about Kurt. He is a great asset to your company, really strong communicator, service-oriented, upbeat, professional, and fun!” Kathie & Paul Nutting
“We would follow him anywhere. Highly professional, exudes confidence, and is lots of fun – the combination of which gives the tour group a sense of ease.” Don Haworth
Lunches on Sojourn’s Arizona bike tours (and on any Sojourn tour) are legendary. When asked if he’s a good cook, Kurt replies “I can follow a good recipe…I get lots of requests from repeat guests.” His quinoa salad is probably his most requested picnic lunch dish. It contains quinoa, dried fruit, avocado, almonds, and a coriander, lemon and olive oil dressing. “Everybody loves it” he adds. Kurt likes to keep it good and healthy – but not too healthy. “People are on vacation,” he says. “Even though it’s a bicycling vacation, they still want to enjoy some sweets.”
Kurt also has a great sense of humor as evidenced in this video he shot on a recent Arizona tour (don’t try this at home – or ride like this yourself!):