Eddie Dowd

Professional River Guide
Where did you grow up?

Denver, CO

Where do you call home now?

Buena Vista, CO

Year started at OARS?


What’s the best part of your job?

Seeing our guests smiling from ear to ear.

Tell us about your favorite rapid, hike, or camp and what makes it special.

I don’t know if I could ever choose a favorite rapid but it’s hard to beat Hermit in Grand Canyon. Hey diddle diddle, right down the middle. A huge wave train where each wave is bigger than the last, accumulating in a monster crashing wave that will usually let you through right side up. In a fun-to-scary ratio, Hermit pegs the needle to the fun side!

Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?

Early morning before launching on any trip I like to have a private moment down by the river. I dip my fingers in and ask the spirits for their blessing. I don’t have any specific sayings or thoughts, I just ask to be accepted into the flow.

What can you not live without while at work or on a trip?

A healthy sense of wonder and awe!

Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding/trip memory.

So there was one time I had a little extra excitement while rowing down a mellow stretch of the Omo River in Ethiopia. I was a little zoned out as I sometimes get – rowing puts me into a bit of a meditative trance at times. The water was super silty and unbeknownst to any of us on the raft, a very large crocodile was swimming up to check us out. Well, in the act of rowing I must have dropped the oar blade right on its head! This led to an explosion of water as the croc violently arced out of the river. I would guess that my heart rate about doubled in that split second. Thankfully being bonked in the head seemed to discourage its curiosity and we never saw that croc again. I think I finally relaxed a bit by dinner that night.

About me…

In the off season I work as an EMT on an ambulance.