Where did you grow up?
Flower Mound, Texas & New England
Where do you call home now?
Year started at OARS?
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part about my job is sharing my passion for the outdoors with others. I love spending days on the river chatting about the natural and human history of the area, but also just getting to know the fine people abroad my raft for the day. Living outside, playing music around the campfire, hiking up side canyons, preparing gourmet meals, sleeping under stars are amongst the many things I enjoy about being a guide for OARS.
Tell us about your favorite rapid, hike or camp and what makes it special
A favorite rapid of mine is Hells Half Mile on the Gates of Lodore section of the Green River. I like this rapid because it’s a bit intimidating at the entrance. At most water levels you can get a generous splash over the tubes. Lastly, as a boatman, it is fairly constant and therefore requires you to make moves for a whole “half mile.”
Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?
A medallion given to me after guiding a trip for the Wounded Warrior Project. I placed it in my PFD and there it remains. My toenails need to be painted AT LEAST two different colors otherwise bad things could happen. This tradition or superstition started on the Grand Canyon the night before Lava Falls. All of the boatwomen and men decided to paint our toe nails together while reading aloud from Big Drops. We all made it safely through Lava and ever since I swear to different color painted toenails as the key to a safe trip. Of course river knowledge has something to do with it but toenails definitely help the state of mind.
What can you not live without on a trip?
My Watershed bag full of all the goodies. It’s a large waterproof purse, let’s be honest. Sunscreen, sun hat, warm hat, rain jacket, snacks, toothbrush, camera, journal…everything fits inside. If I left that behind, I’d be pretty crushed. I would be fairly disappointed if I made it onto a trip without my full size pillow.
Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding memory
One of my favorite guiding memories took place this past summer on the Green River. On this particular afternoon I had found my boat full to the brim with 7-9 year old boys. They introduced a game to me called “Sausage.” In this game one person is asked questions and they can only respond with the word “sausage.” This carries on until you crack a smile or laugh. You can imagine the giggles exploding from my raft as we moved down river to Jones Hole.
Fun Fact: I like walking! In 2018, I walked the Camino de Santiago across Northern Spain.