Me as a rafter

Rafting is an indescribably important part of my life. I took guide training in June of 1994, and have been at it ever since. For me, it is life. I can't imagine what my life would be without it, but I'm sure that it would not be a whole lot of fun. I am a class IV whitewater raft guide and oarsman. The difference is a raft guide will call commands and works with a crew to navigate the rapids, while an oarsman uses oars to move the boat and may or may not have a crew. I used to boat around 3 weekends a month before my son was born. Now it has decreased to around once a month or so.

I've spent a few days on other craft as well, but I'm just a beginner in most of them. Speaking of which, I have a boat... A 14' blue SOTAR Professional. I christened it on the Smith River over the 1996/7 New Year's holiday (during the floods). I put an oar frame on it and rowed some. No flips, but a couple of close calls.

Since then, I've gathered enough experience to be able to teach others how to guide a raft down a class III or IV river. I really enjoy watching people experience the river community for the first time. So much so that I actually ran the FOR Basic Guide Training Program.

The picture above is from a New Years '99 on the Smith River in Northwest California near Crescent City.