Our Travel Specialists

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smiling couple with trees in the background
Embedded thumbnail for Peter Grubb & Betsy Bowen

Peter Grubb & Betsy Bowen

Founders

Having discovered whitewater raft guiding on the East Coast while attending college, Peter moved to Idaho in 1979 and founded ROW as a company focused on wilderness rafting trips.  His exposure to the earth's communities through travel, coupled with attendance at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland where he studied the "Great Books," mythology, and western civilization, led he and Betsy to Turkey in 1984 where they launched ROW's first international trip.  ROW has since branched out to over 25 countries throughout the world and Peter usually does the initial research and new tour development.  Peter has a passion for nature, travel, reading and learning and believes strongly in the positive power of travel and the ways it can improve the lives of everyone touched.  He speaks French, basic Spanish, plays the guitar and is still very involved in the company, wearing a number of hats and guiding in the field as time allows.  He has served on a number of Boards, including the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association,  Idaho Rivers United, the Spokane Center for Justice, and the America Outdoors Association. 

Co-owner of ROW, Betsy Bowen was a professional ceramicist prior to her immersion in ROW, and has always been an anchor in the sometimes turbulent seas of business.  A favorite among guides, Betsy led many of ROW's early rafting trips as well as yachting tours to Greece, Croatia and Turkey.  Once her daughter Mariah and son Jonah were born in the early 1990's she transitioned to the challenging world of motherhood, imparting to her children her passions of skiing, art, creativity and giving to others. She has been sanctioned as the "Director of Other Stuff" because of her wide variety of talents including project management, plumbing, wiring and logistical expertise. Her artistic eye is evidenced throughout ROW as well.  Nowadays she is less involved in the day-to-day doings of ROW, but remains a vital part of our team.

Juggling the demands of the ROW Family of Companies (ROW Adventures, Adventure Unbound, Sea Kayak Adventures) keeps life vibrant and Betsy and Peter are both a wealth of knowledge, experience, and most importantly, care and support for the entire team.

Michelle

Michelle Darnell

Director of Marketing

Michelle has found her home at ROW Adventures as our Director of Marketing.  Graduating from Whitworth University with a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education and Kinesiology, Michelle forewent her dreams of teaching in lieu of opportunities in the outdoor recreation industry.  For the past 16 years Michelle has focused her time and energy into roles that support outdoor recreation and travel.  As a proud mom of two, Michelle has a renewed passion for this work; hoping to inspire the next generation to love, nurture, enjoy, and beocme stewards of our natural resources and outdoor spaces. 

Michelle and her Family love new adventures, whether it’s exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest or discovering a new International destination, they’re happy when the scenery is new and unexpected. A few favorites are Acadia National Park, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Quebec City.   Michelle is a doting mom, an avid sports fan, loves to cycle, and doesn’t take herself too seriously! If you run into her, she’s likely to have a smile on her face, a coffee in her hand and a few good books ready to go on her kindle app. 

ROW Adventure Consultant
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Candy Bening

USA & Rivers Sales Manager

Born in 1964, raised in Santa Cruz, California. WW Rafting guide since 1989: CA, ID, MT. Moved to Idaho in 1993; and joined ROW in 1994.

After spending 10 yrs in the high-tech industry, Candy made a life-altering change and became both a rafting guide and ski patroller. In her over 25 years with ROW, she has worked in the field guiding, evaluating, managing, and traveling with ROW thus gaining first-hand knowledge of all the ID, MT & OR rivers and many of the Int’l vacation experiences including the Galapagos Islands. 

Her friendly, outgoing personality, as well as her expertise, has made her succeed in the office overseeing sales, and assisting guests by offering suggestions and solutions to ensure each person/family has the best time ever! Candy, along with her husband and two girls, are avid white water rafting enthusiasts. Together they have joined ROW on rivers all over the West.

Destination Specialties: USA Rivers

Favorite Trip: "There is no better place than the river canyon you are in"

Galapagos unbound tour
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Morag Prosser

International Sales Manager

Mogs is highly qualified as one of ROW's Adventure Consultants and International trip specialist because, if you have dreamed it, there is a good chance that Mogs has done it! From the first commercial descent of the White Nile in Uganda to sky diving in New Zealand, to trekking the Golden Triangle in Thailand, to trucking across Iceland, and even wine tasting across Europe. One of her favorite childhood memories is fishing with her dad on Loch Glass in the Scottish Highlands and always catching the bigger fish.

Mogs has a Law degree from Aberdeen but when she moved to Idaho she sought a more adventurous career. She resides in Coeur d'Alene Idaho with her husband and three dogs and doesn't let any moss grow under her feet. Mogs first went to the Galapagos on ROW's land-based sea kayaking trip in 2006 and has since been there regularly since, along with many other places in the world that ROW shares with our guests.

Destination Specialties: You Name It! Galapagos, Peru, Africa, Arctic, Antarctic, Croatia, Patagonia....

Favorite Trip: Taste of Croatia

Rogue River Rafting
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Tom Scarborough

Area Manager

Guide since 2003: WA, OR, ID. Joined ROW in 2007. Tom has a unique skill set. He is able to recite Dr. Seuss’ poem “The Lorax” from memory, brew a mean pint of beer, drive a bus, milk a cow, cook a tasty Dutch oven lasagna, and write a Microsoft Access database. On top of all that, Tom is a great guide and a wealth of information about the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. He currently manages ROW’s Rogue River operation where he sings guests to sleep with the smooth sounds of the 70s and his signature number “Waltzing with Bears”. Originally from New York, Tom has a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Cornell University and an extensive work history ranging from a YMCA summer camp director, to transportation director for a Washington ski area, and finally a river guide. Tom also has a passion for all things bacon, tinkering and pop music.

Guiding Destinations: Rogue River, Owyhee River, Grande Ronde River

Salmon River, Idaho
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Connelly Brown

Area Manager

Guide since 1988: WV, CO, CA, MT, ID. Joined ROW in 2002. A native of the Nutmeg State, Connelly Brown (“CB” to most) now resides year round in the mountains of Northeastern Oregon with his wife and two kids. CB has been a guide since, wait for it, the late 1980s. For years he worked as a “migrant wave farmer,” living out of his truck as he followed the snowmelt and work from one river to the next throughout the year.  

In 2002 he joined the ROW team and has served as both a guide and manager. While guiding a ROW trip, he met the woman who would become the love of his life. They now make their home in northeastern Oregon, where CB runs a backcountry ski business. One of the quirkiest and most pleasant of people, CB is all about keeping it mellow and making memories on the river. Whether fishing for sturgeon, charging the big hits, telling stories or leading a hike, CB has a way to make your experience unique. He is also a Certified Interpretive Guide.

Guiding Destinations: Salmon River, Family Magic (Salmon River Canyons)

white water kayaker

Thomas (Tommy) Hurrell

River Guide

Tommy’s first experience whitewater rafting was as a seven-year-old on Wisconsin’s Brule River and he began working as a sea kayaking and whitewater canoe guide in 2011. Originally from Winfield, Illinois, he’s since guided throughout 10 states, as well as working in Mexico and Canada. In describing the rivers of the northwest United States, he says they are like nowhere else and “immerse us in a deeply intimate relationship with the natural world”. Aside from holding degrees in political science and education, Tommy’s working towards a Master's of Outdoor Adventure and Expedition Leadership at Southern Oregon University. When he’s not on the river, you’ll likely find Tommy backcountry skiing in Siskiyou, exploring the Southern Cascades, or doing home improvement jobs. He’s also a passionate explorer and ventures abroad at every chance to make new connections in little-visited regions of the globe. 

female sitting on top of deep desert canyon

Kristen Petros

River Guide

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Kristen fell in love with the river around five years ago when a friend took her down the Payette. Since that time, she has worked as a river guide in Montana, taking inspiration from the incredible natural scenery she has encountered and the people she has met along the way. Kristen is a qualified physical therapist who is passionate about treating people with neurological injuries and the geriatric population. Ultimately, she wants to creatively assist people in achieving their highest level of independence so they can explore the world around them. When she’s not on the river or at work, you’ll find her snowboarding, mushroom foraging, and backpacking, with one of her most memorable experiences being climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.  

ROW Adventures Corsica Guide

Paul Poli

Corsica Naturalist Guide

Paul was born in Bastia and has lived in Corsica his entire life. He loves the diverse nature of the island and loves sharing the wonders of his home with people from all over the world. He believes that “hiking through Corsica is like traveling through time.” Corsica is the intersection of Mediterranean culture and history hidden in the romantic surrounding environment of the island.

Paul has been a fishing guide, conferral guide, mountain guide, and naturalist guide. No matter the adventure, Paul is destined to say yes. He is also the author and host of a documentary series dedicated to the heritage, culture, and nature of the scented isle called Fora di Strada. Paul Poli feels passionate about conserving the raw natural beauty of his home island and encourages travels near and far to do the same.

girl holding oars on river raft

Hillary Scott

River Guide

Originally from Boston, Hillary says that her parents instilled a sense of wanderlust in her at a young age by taking her to new places each summer. She’s always been on the water, initially sailing and sea kayaking before finding her “special place” while rafting. While guiding in Tennessee, Colorado, and Idaho, she has had the opportunity to explore faraway places that she never thought possible. Hillary holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education from Bridgewater State University and loves cooking and getting crafty with DIY projects in her spare time. When she’s not on the river, you’ll probably find her skiing on mountain slopes, relaxing in a hammock, or finding a sense of completeness while laughing with friends.

girl with lightbulbs around her neck and big smile

Molly Havriliak

Adventure Consultant

Molly was raised, and spent her formative working years, in a small town in the beautiful state of Rhode Island. In 2022, she traded the ocean for the river to come join the ROW Adventure team. Shortly after arriving, Molly dipped her paddle into the St. Joe River and has since fallen in love with the rapids and pines of Idaho! Molly is a self proclaimed "class 11 people person" and is happy to spend her days helping guests find and plan their dream vacations. 

When Molly's not helping others plan their next big adventure, you can find her outside with her beloved dog Sadie! Together they enjoy camping, playing tennis, fetching, biking or stretching out in the grass with a good book. The idea of not going inside until the street lights come on, or the stars come out, is her life motto. Molly is generally just happy to be wherever she is. 

ROW Adventures Sea Kayak Galapagos Guide

Andrés Trujillo

Galapagos Sea Kayak Guide

Andres Trujillo is a world-renowned professional naturalist from Bogota, Colombia. He is currently living in Quito, Ecuador. He is passionate about wildlife, forests, oceans, music, and sharing conservation everywhere he travels. He focuses his efforts on creating memorable experiences for his clients in nature with local people in their natural environment. Andres is well known for his knowledge of wildlife and culture. His photography, people skills, and love for nature and adventure.

When he arrived from Colombia, he was raised in a humid rainforest in the northwest lowlands of Ecuador, where he fell in love with nature. After seeing the issue of deforestation as a child, he started spreading the word about sustainability and conservation, years after he studied ecology and ecotourism working in the Amazon rainforest, with nature and indigenous tribes, who played an important role for him to understand and to approach the issue of human development.

Sharing his love for wildlife photography, he can be a great companion for people who want to cover a country capturing special creatures or moments to take home.  With his camera, binoculars, and all the equipment needed, he is able to share the world the best destinations for nature and adventure that Latin America has to offer.

man rowing a raft down a river

Tyler Hesler

River Guide

Originally from Plainfield, Indiana, Tyler holds an Associate’s Degree in Environmental Studies and has been guiding guests along Colorado’s magnificent rivers since 2018. In the winter months, he’s an avid skier and describes one of his most treasured childhood memories as skiing from 10 am to 2 am with his best friend on Indiana’s perfect slopes. While it was skiing that inspired his move to Colorado when he was 18, Tyler quickly developed a love for being on the water. When he’s not river guiding, you’ll find Tyler climbing in the Maroon Bells, juggling, playing guitar, and traveling around in his van. 

Maia DeGaetano

Content Coordinator

Maia was raised in the Pacific Northwest which has left a lasting imprint on her identity. After graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in Environmental Studies and Communications she quickly knew she wanted to dive deep into the outdoor industry.

Maia found her role at ROW to be the perfect melting pot of her educational background and personal experience. She loves sifting through photos of rivers and sharing blogs about the outdoors as her job. As a remote employee, she doesn’t stay in one place for too long as she loves to travel and explore new places. Maia will always say yes to new expereinces and crazy adventures.

When she’s not working, you can find her in different corners of the world rock climbing, or closer to the ground on her little green raft.

ROW Adventures Turkey Tour Guide

Özlem Şimşek

Turkey Tour Guide

After growing up in Turkey, Özlem has graduated from Law school and completed a master's degree a Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology. She participated in the excavations of the ancient Ionian site Klazomenai at her home town Urla.

Her special interests include classical choirs with over 20 years of participation as an alto in Boonville MO. Methodist Church Choir, Miami Bach Choir, Izmir French Cultural Association Choir, and Izmir Municipality choir. She also enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, and sailing. Her vast experience, educational background, and charming personality make her an exceptional adventure guide.

 

river guide in red raft

Pang Boches

River Guide

Ask Pang (pronounced “Pong”) what the most amazing thing he’s ever experienced is and his answer is simple: nature. After struggling with mental health issues throughout high school in Boston, he attended a wilderness therapy program in Vermont and discovered a love of the outdoors. Today, he’s working towards a BA in Outdoor Recreation and becoming a well-rounded guide who’d eventually like to specialize in wilderness therapy. He loves snowboarding, sailing, mountain biking, and playing soccer, as well as being a passionate activist. When he’s not on the river, Pang is furthering his career and pursuing service work, which has included traveling to Tucson, New Orleans, and Nicaragua. 
 

ROW Adventures River Guide

Garin Vannoy

River Guide

Originally from Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, Garin has been skiing, mountain biking, and rafting for as long as he can remember.

In the summer of 2020 while working for a landscaping business, Garin wanted a change. He saw a job ad for ROW Adventures on Facebook and instantly applied. One day after his interview he dropped everything to be a ‘swamper’ on the Salmon River and has never looked back. Since then he has gone from a swamper to a sweep boat driver on the Middle Fork Salmon River.

When he’s off the river, living seasonally, Garin spends most of his fall season traveling around the world, and winters working as a ski instructor in Colorado.

ROW Adventures river guide, Keith.

Keith Heintzelman

River Guide

Keith grew up in Colorado doing things in the outdoors from a young age. On a scout canoeing trip he fell in love with river. After going to school in Colorado he made his way east and starting  guiding on the New River. After a few years he made his way to ROW in Idaho and Oregon. He spends his winters being creative ice carving and creating winter wonderlands. 

moyie river in Idaho

Marilyn Nielson

River Guide

While Marilyn might be relatively new to the ROW family, she’s been organizing family and friend float trips since 1999. Growing up in Cheney, Washington, one of her favorite childhood memories was floating through the magnificent Alberton Gorge on the Clark Fork River and she loves seeing other families connect while catching crayfish, shooting water cannons at one another, and relaxing beside the water. Marilyn holds a BS in Wildlife Science from Washington State and an MS in Fisheries from the University of Idaho and worked as a field ecologist for 12 years before moving to Spokane. Aside from being skilled in plant identification, natural history, and cartography, she has a knack for being able to dodge boulders when running the Spokane River.

ROW Adventures Guide

Aashna Shah

River Guide

Originally from Salt Lake City, Aashna grew up with granite peaks and desert rivers in her backyard. After attending the University of Utah for mathmatics, she found herself river guiding on the South Fork of the American River in California. This past winter she explored much of Europe through Spain and Italy rock climbing the world class limestone. You can expect to find Aashna on the river wearing a fun party shirt and glitter to share. Oh, and unlike many other river guides, she can probably help you with your math homework too!

woman hiking

Chee Chin

Accountant

Chee Chin was born and raised in Malaysia. She was the Staff Accountant for a Timber Industry Company in Malaysia before she and her Family migrated to the Untied States in 2007, settling in Butte Montana. There Chee Chin joined Town Pump Inc. at their home office as a Property Management Accountant for 8 years. In 2016 Chee Chin moved with her family to Coeur d' Alene so she could stay close to her sister and other family members who live in the area. 

Chee Chin is excited to be part of ROW's Famliy as the Corporate Accountant. When Chee Chin is not working she enjoys cooking, gardening and traveling. 

Specialty: Numbers and smiles

Favorite Trip: Coming soon

 

male river guide in Idaho standing by red raft

Jake Warzon

River Guide

Originally from Spokane in Washington state, Jake has adopted Oregon as his home and says that it holds a special place in his heart. He loves sharing it with guests and believes that the Rogue River is one of the best ways to experience what the state has to offer. After being introduced to rafting during his college years (by his dad), Jake became a guide in 2016 and has since worked throughout Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska. He has also skied since he was a youngster (in fact, he also works as a pro ski tech) and loves biking and surfing when he’s not on the river. Among his most amazing life experiences was witnessing the Milky Way and Northern Lights from  the rainforest. Jake’s talents? Giving new things a shot and dancing!

ROW Adventures Guide

Charlotte Diamant

River Guide

She’s been guiding for 3 years on the Rogue River. She attended undergrad on the East Coast where she studied environmental studies with an emphasis on watershed Conservation. Upon graduation Charlotte quickly moved back to the West Coast as she missed the western wilderness. When Charlotte isn’t on the river she enjoys bird watching, skiing, hiking, and visiting home back in Oakland, California. She always has a bird pocket guide on her and is excited to tell her guests all about the birds and surrounding wildlife on the rivers she runs.

female sea kayak guide

Monica Sanchez

Baja Naturalist and Sea Kayak Guide

Now in her fifth season with ROW Sea Kayak Adventures in Baja, Monica loves the water, and everything surrounding it. She is especially passionate about whales and dolphins. Monica always dreamt of being a wilderness explorer like the journalists in National Geographer magazine. Due to her love for both the ocean and marine mammals, she decided to work at an aquarium in the Caribbean where she worked as a dolphin and sea lion trainer for a couple of years.

While she loved being so close to the animals, she realized she would rather see them in the wild, in their natural habitat. Monica discovered Sea Kayak Adventures was looking to hire a naturalist for their Baja whale watching tours, and applied. The day she was hired was "one of the best days of my life; my dream came true. I will be in the wilderness, observing whales and dolphins in their natural habitat."

Monica loves that every day as a guide is a new adventure, a new experience, and a surprise, where the unexpected is the norm. She loves sharing her excitement and passion for nature with guests, as well as hearing about their stories. She loves knowing that the time she shared with them in nature gave them something special that they will remember for the rest of their life.  When she's not guiding, Monica likes to hike, explore, and travel. She also loves reading about marine life and nature, and discovering new places where she can practice stand-up paddle boarding. In the off-season, Monica works as a reporter.

female river guide with dog on raft

Jen Klingensmith

River Guide

Originally from Ithaca, New York, Jen now calls Oregon “home” and loves how many amazing outdoor spaces the state has to explore. She first got into rafting after being invited onto a Rogue River trip in 2010 and said that she immediately purchased her own raft and started learning how to row. Since that day, she’s spent as many days on the river as possible and believes the trip was a catalyst for so many positive changes in her life. Eight years later, she quit her desk job and became a guide, running the same river where her rafting journey began. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and studied law at the University of Oregon, and describes herself as an “excellent bread baker”. When not on the river, she’s at her small hobby farm where she has chickens and cattle (as well as the occasional sheep, goats, and pigs), as well as 600 dwarfing apple trees for making apple cider. Jen also has two dogs that love being on the river as much as she does!

ROW Adventures Guide

Cole Gustavson

River Guide

After studying accounting at Adams State University Cole knew he wanted to be on the river. Born and raised in Durango, Colorado, Cole spent plenty of time on the river and in the San Juan Mountains as a kid. He was a competitive wrestler for most of his life including through college. He recently moved to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho for a slower pace of life and to continue river guiding in a new environment. In the off-season, you can find Cole on the mountain skiing or snowboarding. If you catch him on the river, you can call him by his nickname, “cole-slaw!”

Adventure travel guide

Sebastian Jurado

Galapagos Adventure Guide

After growing up in a small town in a valley of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador near the city of Quito, Sebastian decided to travel to Santiago de Chile to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Administration. His eagerness for travel took him on a backpacking adventure through Canada and United States for 9 months. Having perfected his English, he started guiding in Ecuador in 1998. 

As a young nature-lover interested in natural history and ecology, nature filming, photography, alternative energy, ecotourism development, and outdoor sports his career took an interesting path on the exciting soft-adventure world. In order guarantee travelers’ safety, Sebastian has been Wilderness Advanced First Aid certified for more than a decade. 

Matthew Phillipy

River Guide

With a Masters of Science Education under his belt, Spokane-born Matthew Phillipy a.k.a. “Professor” is a science teacher by trade but spends his summers river guiding. Growing up canoeing the moving waters of the Spokane and Pend Oreille Rivers he fell in love with water and nature. One of his favorite memories was winning the Poker Paddle canoe race on the Pend Oreille River with his dad when he was 12 years old. After many years of teaching science and spending his summers working as a Ranger at Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks Matthew got hooked on rafting following a bachelor’s party on the Salmon River and considers it an honor and duty to share his love of nature, culture and stewardship with others. When he’s not leading middle schoolers into the wild on another one of his epic field trips or navigating the rivers of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, Matthew can be found skiing, biking, hiking, camping, canoeing and rafting with his son Oliver and his puppy Willow. 

ROW Adventures Operations Manager

Xander Burt

ROW Adventures Operations Manager

Xander was introduced to rivers by his uncle who used to guide on the Penobscot river in Maine. Originally from Evanston, Illinois, growing up he would visit the Northeast frequently. After getting his degree from Red Rocks Community College in Outdoor Leadership he went out to the rockies where he began guiding in Colorado and New Mexico.

Xander loves being able to connect and relate to people with unique and diverse experiences and backgrounds. The rafting community has given him the opportunity to connect many people of all walks of life. Outside of the river world Xander is a huge sports fan, and he doesn’t limit his excitement to just one sport. Although, one of the most amazing things he’s ever experienced was walking to Wrigley Field after the Cubs finals won the World Series. You can almost always find him watching sports, on the golf course, or exploring new trails.

New to Coeur D’Alene, he is looking forward to exploring the rivers and wilderness throughout the Pacific Northwest.

ROW River Guide
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Brian Kohl

River Guide

Guide Since 1999: CA, CO, AZ, ID, MT. Joined ROW in 2014. A boater since high school, Brian has an impressive guiding skill-set and has benefitted from a two-decade whitewater career. While Brian’s impressive river resume makes him a valuable asset to the ROW team, folks most often remark about his steadfast enthusiasm and eclectic passions. An accomplished ceramic artist, Brian holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics from California State University, Fullerton and teaches ceramics at the college and elementary school levels. For personal enjoyment, Brian competes in kickball for the World Adult Kickball Association and plays the American flute (a real highlight on river trips).   

Guiding Destinations: Middle Fork, Lochsa River