Well, it was kayaking that brought me to the Pacific Northwest and it's that same passion that has inspired me to try something new once again...
(Me rowing through the Grand Canyon! Photo: Ryan Saevitz)
After spending 23 days on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon back in November, I fell in love with multi-day river trips. This winter I decided it was time to get out from behind the desk and become more hands on with the rafting and kayaking industry. I applied for a raft guide position at NW Rafting Company & Sundance Kayak School and got the job! So this upcoming summer I'll be spending on the Rogue River by Grants Pass in southern Oregon. (The gigantic Redwoods are only 2 hours away!) NW Rafting Company provide incredible 4-day rafting trips and Sundance Kayak School offers 6-8 day kayak trips. Yes, many of my summer nights will be spent sleeping riverside under the stars! I can't wait. Until the summer arrives I'm spending my time sharing something I love... kayaking! In addition to being a raft guide I get to spread the word about the new face of Sundance Kayak School: Heart Kayaking!
Another opportunity came my way this winter which means I'm not 100% out from behind the desk. But, working from wherever Wi-Fi is available, it's a sweet desk! I now work part-time as an office assistant for Sierra Rescue! They are an amazing company that provides Swiftwater Rescue Training, Technical Ropes Training and Wilderness First Responders throughout California, parts of Arizona and more. In the future I can work towards gaining more certifications and maybe someday step into the teaching realm. I will have my Wilderness First Responder certification in May of this year!
But, it's not all happy news. Just like leaving Minnesota, a place I love, I now have to leave the place I've called home for 2 years. I was lucky enough to have an awesome job at a great company, Wet Planet Rafting & Kayak School. A highlight from my last season was getting to grow their kid's kayak program including teaching 2 kid's kayak camps! Not to mention the sweet guide camp I've lived in for the last 2 summers. I will miss hearing the White Salmon River when I fall asleep at night and waking up early to paddle it everyday before work. Some people - not to mention any names (Cat, Nicki, Aleson) - may be glad I'm leaving because they think they can get out of dawn patrols. They're wrong! I will make sure dawn patrols on the White Salmon continue one way or another...
(Norman - the guy I'm going to miss the most!)
THANK YOU to all of my friends in the Gorge for the many amazing adventures. Mt. Hood & Mt. Adams, please don't change - you're impressive and will be missed!