Dirk was born and raised in South Africa where he spent the majority of his childhood outdoors, at age 14, he immigrated to Texas with his family. He worked on farms and ranches throughout high school and college and then began his entrepreneurial journey with buying his first business at age 21. Dirk has always loved the outdoors and spending time offroading, camping, hiking, fishing, and mountain biking. It was a long time dream of his to open a park like MERUS and in 2020 he felt God called him to make the dream become a reality. Dirk's favorite thing about MERUS is seeing the smiles and hearing the stories of families and friends coming together to make lifelong memories and experience great adventures together. Dirk has been married for 16 years to his beautiful wife Kristin and has a 14 year old son Jax, and a 9 year old daughter Kate.
Kristin is orinally from Stinnett, TX which is located just over an hour straight North from MERUS Adventure™. Together, Dirk and Kristin set out on an amazing journey to open the premier adventure park in the United States! Kristin's first experience with MERUS was on a family drive home from Dos Rios, TX when Dirk brought the vision up to open the park. Did it seem a little crazy? Absolutely! But Kristin was all in and the rest is history! The vision of what MERUS Adventure™ is and stands for is one Kristin's favorite things about the park. Bringing friends, families, and more together to nourish their adventurous spirit and provide a family friendly place to grow and connect with others and nature is what sets MERUS apart. For Kristin, the park brings so much joy and peace. There are so many key memories to enjoy from the park. Some of Kristin's favorites include leading tours on the weekends and seeing how people grow and progress in one day. She also loves to stand back a little during events and just soak in all of the stories, laughter, friendships being formed, and experiences being shared from the day. She has had some very special one on one chats with people on the trail, while waiting for a rig to be fixed or for the group to catch up. A strong and courageous woman, Kristin is a key part in the growth, development, and success of MERUS Adventure™.
Casey joined the team in December 2021. Raised in far East Texas (Longview), Casey came to the Panhandle by way of attending college at Texas Tech. A mechanical engineer by trade, Casey spent several years at Pantex followed by a short time in Pampa as a project manager. Casey is happily married to his beautiful wife Peyton who worked as a nurse for several years and is now working as a nurse practitioner in the Amarillo area. Casey's first experience at MERUS involved driving down Drop Zone as his first trail at the park while on an interview with Dirk. Casey has a big passion for all things outdoors and is a long time Jeep enthusiast. He decided to apply to work at MERUS to find a way to combine his love of people, the outdoors, and off-roading all into one amazing job! One of Casey's favorite memories at MERUS was seeing the positive impact MERUS events have on people's lives at the inaugural TrailRecon Summit!
Molly was born in El Paso, Texas but was raised in California. She joined the MERUS team in May 2021. Molly graduated with a BS in Biochemistry from WTAMU. Her first experience with MERUS was watching TrailRecon's video where Dirk almost flipped Brad's new bronco! After seeing how awesome a place MERUS was, she applied online to join the team. Molly loves the outdoors and is a wanderer by nature. She immediately fell in love with the park and one of her favorite things about MERUS is the fact that everyone is so happy to be here and seeing the joy MERUS brings to people. To her, there is no better job in the world!
Joe was born and raised on the family farm/ranch operation in far West Texas.
The first time he came to MERUS after Dirk bought the property was on a work trip to help build some of our first off-road trails. A retired Fire Chief, Joe is truly a jack of all trades and has been a tremendous help in getting the park where it is now and where it will be as we continue to develop and grow.
Janis was born and raised in Amarillo, TX. She first visited the park with Joe to help build trails. Janis has a huge heart and helps out wherever there is work to be done and is always finding things to do to make things better and more enjoyable for the guests. She has helped with everything from construction of buildings to hospitality and serving guests. Together, Joe and Janis are truly the dream team. Long time trail guides for the Palo Duro Jeep Challenge and Jeep Jamboree, these two are experts in the off-road community and treat everyone they meet like family. Joe and his wife Janis and are retired and live close to the park. For Joe, his favorite thing at the park is witnessing the beauty and glory of God's creation. One of Janis' favorite memories at MERUS was helping guide for the TrailRecon event and encouraging more women to drive and push their comfort zones off-road.
Neill is originally fom Simi Valley, California and moved to Texas during the Summer of 2022 when he started at MERUS Adventure™. He has an extensive and impressive background in off-road/vehicle fabrication and is also a United States Coast Guard Veteran. After spending 7 years with the GenRight Off Road and 5 years with DCD Customs in California, Neill was introduced to us by Chris Payne from LiteBrite Nation. Neill has been a fantastic addition to the team and brings a wide skill set of experience and knowledge to the park. Some of Neill's favorite things at the park include the incredible scenery, the ability to disconnect from the digital world, the positivity of those involved at the park, and the chance to spend quality family time in the outdoors with his wife and kids.
Amy has been part of the MERUS team since June 2021. As the "behind the scenes" part of the team, Amy enjoys working at MERUS because it merges her love for business with her passion for outdoors. On a personal level, Amy adventures hard and believes that "Nourishing your Adventurous Spirit" is an imperative part of a balanced and healthy life. To her, finding a place like MERUS where you can "unplug" and at the same time connect with people is a special combination that feeds the soul.
Jonathan started helping at MERUS in September 2021 as part of our trail building crew. Originally from Arlington, TX, Jonathan currently lives in Amarillo with his wife Micah. Jonathan truly loves the outdoors and beauty of the Palo Duro Canyon along with the atmosphere of the off-roading community.
"I have met some truly amazing people and had some of the best times of my life at Merus. One of my favorite memories happened after a steady drizzle of rain made the drop-in incredibly slick and almost impassible. There was a group at the top of the hill and another across the canyon that you could hear cheering every time we got a vehicle to the top. Teamwork and all hands on deck getting vehicles up the hill made for an incredible day. I have never had that much fun while wet and cold. MERUS makes for the best stories."
Dan was born and raised Marietta, Ohio and moved to Odessa, Texas in 1982 and ended up in Amarillo in 1994. Dan was first introduced to MERUS Adventure™ in 2021 through a good friend and off-roading partner in the area, Clint Landry. An expert in all things radio (GMRS, Ham, CB, etc.), he was asked to join the volunteer crew in May 2021 as our radio guide and expert. He has been a tremendous asset to the team by helping us install our very own repeater tower and instructing the staff, members, and guests on proper radio use while off-roading. As Dan describes it, this is a dream position for him as it combines his two favorite hobbies...off-roading and radio! Beyond radio help, Dan is an excellent trail guide and loves introducing people to the hobby of off-roading and helping people nourish their adventurous spirit. One of Dan's favorite memories at the park is the first time he dropped into the canyon through Drop Zone in a four door JK on 33 inch tires! What a rush!
Jeremy is an Amarillo, TX native with a passion for off-roading and the Toyota community. He started helping MERUS Adventure™ as a trail guide during our inaugural Texas Toyota Takeover in June 2022. Jeremy is often joined by his wife DeLisa out on the trails who loves off-roading and tour guiding just as much. Jeremy loves teaching and helping people become familiar and comfortable with their vehicles capabilities while off-roading. He enjoys helping people discover the excitement of coming to MERUS and pushing themselves to conquer new things. One of Jeremy's favorite memories at the park is the very first time he made his way down the drop in and into the canyon!