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John E.

Keystone, South Dakota, United States

I was born and raised in central New Jersey, and when I was 5 years old, I decided that when I grew up I was "going to go out west".

Well, I am now grown up and I have lived in the Black Hills of South Dakota for 30 years. So I guess you can say I did it! Along the way I went to college in Idaho; taught school in Alaska; sailed to Hawaii; met a girl from the Black Hills while going to grad school in Hawaii, and I am guessing that you can figure out what happened next.

I am a lifelong-learner, but more importantly - I love to share what I have learned and hold dear. Trust me, the Black Hills & Badlands has plenty to teach and share. This is a land of well-know legends and stories (some of which are actually true) as well as mystical and spiritual qualities that are waiting to be discovered. This is where I come in handy: anyone can drive you around this land; it takes a special set of skills to reveal and illuminate that which is not readily seen. Allow me to be the one to guide you to these special places and help you experience this land to the fullest. I use a rich mixture of geology, history, folklore, paleontology and poetry to expand your understanding of this unique land and those who call it home.

I will work with you to deliver the finest in traditional itineraries such as Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Mountain and Custer State Park - to unique and novel experiences - such as Sunset and Stargazing Tours of the Badlands, Dinosaur and Fossil Tours, Mining History Tours, Winery and Art Gallery tours, Walking Tours and other specialty tours. My mission is to design and deliver tours that are unique, intimate and emotionally fulfilling. Using a blend art & science to light the path, you will acquire a unique understanding of the region's history and natural resources. This enables you, the guest, to experience a strong emotional attachment to the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota while having fun.

Read my ToursByLocals blog entry!

A Recent Review of this guide

John was first class. He was a gentleman as well as a geologist and historian and he made the day of South Dakota touring quite a treat. He was willing to take our tour in any direction, depending on our likes and dislikes. It is a shame there are only 5 stars as he deserves 10. Thank you John !
Michael Neam

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John's Experience and Qualifications:
• B. S. Degree in Education followed by 4 years of practical classroom teaching experience.
• 25 years as Operations Manager at Beautiful Rushmore Cave, creating and delivering cave tours and natural resource educational programs in local schools.
• Four seasons experience as a National Park Service Volunteer conducting tours at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
• Three years work experience in Paleontology at the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research.
• Three seasons instructing "Black Hills Geology" for Road Scholars (formerly Elder Hostel).
• An experienced guide who is entertaining and comfortable with any group.
• A life-long learner who has pursued graduate-level classes in Natural Resource Interpretation at Black Hills State University and a variety of local classes that relate directly to the historic, cultural and natural resources of the area.

Guide Requirements for United States

Private tour guide John

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