Two weeks ago I signed up for a small 3 hour tour and had a good time but the lack of walking for almost 3 months was apparent as my legs were wobbly when I was done and I ended up taking a nap when I got home.
This past Wednesday I was docent for a special 5 hour "Off the Beaten Path" tour. A petroleum company located in Dallas that paid for a custom tour as part of their "let's use up our budget road-trip"; they were going to various location around the state to look at the geological structures that have an impact and influence on their work of mapping, modeling, and drilling. There were engineers, geologists, modelers, and surveyors and the tour was led by two of our guides who are retired from the petrochemical industry and could point out and discuss faults, fractures, fossils, geology/limestone formations and water flows that would be of interest to them.
We started at the top of the spillway to explain the flooding, and how the gorge was formed in just a few days. Then we walked to the far side of the spill way to look at the first exposure of the Hidden Valley Fault. We stayed on the far side to look at a 3 meter vertical shift of the fault as the tour group measured and counted fractures and lengths. This side of the gorge has no formal trails so we roughed it over very uneven terrain - up and down over rocks to see scrapings from the fault shifting and the fractures and tilting of the limestone. We stopped at the various pools and waterfalls and saw fossils in the limestone as well as calcite crystals and "flow stone" where the calcite as dissolved and flows down before recrystallizing on the limestone similar to how stalagmites and stalactites form.
Yes, I was very tired at the end but I learned quite a bit and met some really interesting people along the way which made it worth it. After I got home it was shower, eat and nap time of course!!