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I first met Andrew about 10 years ago when I was a social worker for Child Protective Services, and he was a freewheeling college football player with virtually no responsibilities. Despite an almost total role reversal, wherein I’m now the freewheeling adventurer with virtually no responsibilities and he is well into an established career in social services and a doting father to an adorable little girl, we’ve remained in touch and friends ever since. It was a pleasure to walk the Sand Creek Trail through old-growth oaks at Bethel College in Newton, Kansas, which is open to the public, and try out some of the features of an adventure ropes course as a bonus!

Name / Trail Name: Andrew Baeza

What’s your primary activity on public lands? I don’t know…lol

What do you do when you’re not out on public lands? I play with my beautiful 6 year-old daughter and spend my time with her outdoors or art projects! I like to work out at the gym and I follow my favorite football team, the University of Southern California Trojans.

Why is the Sand Creek Trail special to you? The Sand Creek Trail at Bethel College is special to me cause I like to be able to enjoy a nature walk with shade. Not many places in Kansas to enjoy this kind of environment.

How did you first learn about the trail? I attended Bethel College and was introduced to the trail during the night when I couldn’t see much and was pretty scared. I later walked the trail during the day and was taken aback by its beauty. Being able to walk a trail and think to myself while enjoying nature was a great way to de-stress.

Any other favorite spots you recommend? I would like to recommend the Prairie View Inc. Adventure course in Newton Kansas. We have several team-building exercises and activities that bring people together.