Dennis Garnett has been guiding for Austin Adventures since 1999. He has an engineering degree from the University of Missouri and more than four decades of experience in environmental sciences and outdoor recreation. From scuba diving in the Indian Ocean to heli-boarding in British Columbia and trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Dennis is never at a loss for stories to share. He’s traveled all over, but as you can read in his bio below, his favorite place in the world is Yellowstone National Park. He enjoys volunteering and has been active in a number of organizations including Youth Dynamics Inc., Eagle Mount Ski Program, Magic City Soccer Club and various mentoring and tutoring programs.
My favorite destination?
My happy place in life is definitely Yellowstone National Park. Close to home, inexpensive, and spectacular…especially the Beckler Area.
What destination would you like to visit?
What’s your favorite bike ride?
Any bike ride! Johnson Pass/Hope, Alaska is a favorite. So is the White Rim Trail in Moab!
What is your favorite hike?
Angel’s Landing or the Virgin Narrows in Zion National Park
What’s your favorite historical site, castle, museum, etc.?
Louvre Museum, Paris, and the Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany
What’s your favorite trip to guide? Why?
Two actually. I spent two summers guiding Alaska. Unbelievable. I also spent two summers working in Yosemite National Park. Equally inspiring and breathtaking!
What do you do that you think makes a guest’s vacation special?
Bond. I think a significant percentage of guests want to relate with their guides. They believe we have cool jobs and are a special breed. I think they want to find a common ground while in an incredibly beautiful corner of the world, where life is slow and easy. So, I try to be open, approachable, accepting. I hope this makes a guest’s vacation special, because it is the best I have to offer.
Describe the most amazing experience you’ve had while traveling.
Fleeing from a charging bull elephant in Zambia, …..and later paddling frantically out of the path of a rampaging hippo on the Zambezi River. What made both experiences so amazing was sharing the experiences with my 26-year-old son (Tyler). I had just guided with him in Yosemite the summer before our trip to Africa. It was a very special time in life.
Secondhand Lions. So many great lessons about having a special purpose later in life. “Gray hair does not take away desire or purpose.”
The Bible. So much wisdom available to all. I have read many good books, but I never re-read any other book. No other book has so profoundly impacted my life that I want to read it again.
Favorite outdoor activity?
Bicycling, of course.
What are your hobbies?
Bicycling, backpacking, hiking, Nordic skiing…..that covers nearly all of the gear I own.
When did you first catch the travel bug?
When I was six years old. My parents headed out from our Midwestern town, and took my brother and me on a month-long trip through the Northwest. We spent several days in Yellowstone where I ran straight into a black bear cub at the Yellowstone Lake Cabins. Today, I stay in the same cabins, and eat in the same dining room at Yellowstone Lake Lodge. Must be why Yellowstone is my happy place, eh? I have really been blessed to live so close to the Park!