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Originally from Taos, New Mexico, Connor Young is a Computer Science major who began river guiding in 2021. He has since worked on rivers throughout Idaho, Washington, and Montana, and says that he loves seeing clients fall in love with the “overlooked” recreational landscapes of Idaho’s panhandle. Connor first went down a river with his parents at just 18 months old but it wasn’t until he got involved in rafting in college that he saw how it could bring people together. Case in point: flipping on a race course in New Mexico and seeing how quickly people sprang into action as a team. When he’s not on the river, Connor can usually be found on a bike and says his special skill is putting 15 bikes in a trailer in 15 minutes. His experiences in the outdoors have ranged from flipping on a bucking horse at the age of 6 to sailing across the Atlantic Ocean on a 40-foot yacht and bike-packing the length of New Zealand’s South Island.
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!
Born and raised in Coeur d' Alene Idaho, Jason has always had a great appreciation of getting outdoors. He attended college at the University of Idaho earning a Bachelors's degree in physical education, health, and outdoor program leadership. Jason is passionate about sharing nature with others and enjoys seeing their reactions to new experiences.
Jason enjoys the four seasons that the North-West has to offer and the changing scenery and outdoor opportunities presented with each of the seasons. When not in the office, your likely to find Jason; on the water, wilderness backpacking, hiking, biking, snow skiing, or riding on motorcycles and ATVs.
As our resident comedian, you're likely to find Jason telling jokes to co-workers or fellow guests on a trip. If you're lucky enough to get on the river with him, you're sure to laugh a lot!
Favorite Trip: "That is like asking my favorite beer or ice cream!"
Galapagos Adventure Guide
Alejandra was born and raised in Quito. She believes that there is nothing better than opening her eyes and seeing the beauty of the marvelous Andes, their colors, wildlife, and scenery. Even though she never thought about becoming a guide, she realized this activity would be her future during her first trip in the university. She has been sharing her passion and love for Ecuador since 2006, and obtained her Wilderness Advanced First Aid certificate four years ago. In her free time, she likes to explore Ecuador with her four-year-old daughter, Manuela, who shares the same passion for Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands as her mother. She also enjoys outdoor sports including kayaking and stand-up paddling.
Mahalie describes herself as an “Idaho girl through and through” and believes her home state is a “hidden gem”. With her sister competing as a slalom kayaker, she grew up around the river and spent her school holidays backpacking and exploring waterways in Idaho, Oregon, and Chile. One of her most vivid childhood memories is being afraid to jump off a waterfall before being reminded “You’re never going to have this opportunity again”. She’s held those words close ever since and they inspired her to take her first guiding gig on the Main Payette in 2017. Guiding is something that she plans on continuing next summer, despite heading to Durango to start a new career as a drinking water engineer. When she’s not on the river, Mahalie is mountain biking, skiing, playing ultimate frisbee, and completing her 200-hour yoga teacher training certification.
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.
Guide since 2011 MT, ID, WA, OR, China, joined ROW 2010. Jonah's first rafting trip was on the Salmon River at 9 months of age and it's fair to say he has grown up rafting. Since becoming a guide, he has become an avid kayaker and all around outdoorsman spending his free time climbing, backcountry skiing, mountain biking and hiking. He also loves projects and can be found helping friends upgrade their houses or building out their camper vans. After graduating from Pomona College with a Bachelor's Degree in Physics, Jonah found himself travelling the world, including spending a year in China raft guiding on the Salween and Daqu (upper Mekong) river and kayaking on days off, including a solo kayak first descent on the Kanas river in the far northern region of Xinjiang. Now back in Idaho, Jonah has taken on the role of ROW's Operations Manager with a hand in the logistics of all our trips across four states.
Garrett has been guiding with ROW Adventures since 2019 and loves the feeling of being in the “Wild West” that Montana offers. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Sociology with a minor in Outdoor Studies from St. Lawrence University and first got involved in river life while at college. One of his most treasured childhood memories is throwing snowballs at New York City taxis before quickly running away! When it comes to his most amazing life experiences, Garrett describes seeing the sunrise atop the tallest mountain in New York, Marcy Mountain, followed by sunset from the top of the One World Trade Center as up there with his best days on Earth. Aside from being a skier and a tennis player, Garrett describes his special skill as being able to fit everything he owns into his Subaru Outback.
A river guide since 1990, Bill has worked part-time for ROW since 2004 and joined our full-time team in 2022. Born and raised in the Cleveland, Ohio area – near the headwaters of the Cuyahoga River, which infamously caught fire in 1969 – Bill has been rafting and canoeing rivers for more than four decades. A former journalist, Bill published in 1995 a collection of short stories about river running called River’s End: A Collection of Bedtime Stories for Paddlers. Over the years he’s also worked hard in various capacities to protect the rivers, fish and wild places he has grown to love. From 1996 to 1999, Bill served on the board of the national advocacy group, American Whitewater. He served six years as president of the non-profit Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition (2007-2013). From 1999 to 2015 Bill worked as executive director of Idaho’s only statewide river conservation group, Idaho Rivers United (IRU). During his tenure at IRU, Bill led efforts to protect the Owyhee, Bruneau and Jarbidge Rivers of Southwest Idaho as federally protected Wild & Scenic Rivers, and, guided the organization to several other important river conservation victories. In 2015, he was named a national “River Hero” by the nationwide association of river conservation groups, The River Network. Since his ‘retirement’ from IRU, Bill has worked mainly as a river ranger for the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management on various rivers. He spends his winters bird watching, attempting to learn Spanish and doing a little rafting — in Costa Rica.
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!”
With both of his parents working as guides, it makes sense that Lake Tahoe-born Jake has gone down the same path. In fact, his first river trip was on the Rogue when he was just 18 months old! As a child, he regularly joined his dad on river trips and looked up to the guides as “some kind of superheroes”. He remembered his first flip on the Truckee River as “so much fun”, although his dad wasn’t quite as impressed. While Jake has worked as a guide in California, Colombia, and Guatemala, he believes that Idaho boasts some of the best river trips in the world and he loves being immersed in the state’s natural and cultural history. If you needed proof that Jake is an adventurer at heart, he’s also jumped off Half Dome and El Cap in the Yosemite Valley, several times! Jake holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Nevada and plays drums in a rock band, as well as being good at fixing things (thanks YouTube!).
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.
Originally from Arizona, Rian says that she never set out to be a river guide but was “scouted” while working at a wilderness lodge on Oregon’s Rogue River. A group of guides suggested it was something she would be great at and she has been “happily rowing rivers ever since”. Rian is highly active in queer advocacy and representation in the outdoor community. She adores the rivers in the Pacific Northwest for their “unparalleled natural beauty and human history”, with the joy of successfully rowing the “Greenwall” rapid on the Illinois River among her highlights. When Rian’s not on the river, you’ll find her traveling the country, listening to podcasts about wilderness journeys, and finding creative ways to share her love of gardening, history, and environmentally friendly beauty products with others.
Xander was introduced to rivers by his uncle who used to guide on the Penobscot river in Maine. Originally from Evanston, Illanois, 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.
Guide since 1985: ID. Joined ROW in 2012. Connie is one of the true veterans of Idaho Whitewater. Born and raised in Nebraska, Connie came to Idaho for a river trip in 1976. A few years, a few more Main Salmon trips and one life-changing National Geographic television special later, she and her husband packed up, left Omaha and moved to Idaho to begin life as river guides. She has now guided every season since 1985, and after hundreds of multi-day trips down the Snake and Salmon rivers has accumulated an astounding number of river miles and a legendary knowledge of Hells Canyon. As a long-time resident of the local canyons, Connie has a lifetime of stories to enrich your trip. Connie lives year round in Riggins, Idaho (“Idaho’s Whitewater Capital”) with her horses, cats, and husband Mike.
From the Silver Valley city of Kellogg, Johnny Nelson has been kayaking since he was a teenager and spent his summer vacations on family camping trips exploring the great outdoors. He says that one of his most treasured childhood memories is sitting on the docks in Harrison and watching the sky ignite with fireworks above. Johnny is currently completing his Associate of Arts in Outdoor Recreation while guiding clients through the wilds of Idaho and Washington. He says it was adventuring on Hawaii’s Molokini Island that sealed his fate to work in the outdoors and pursue a guiding career. When he’s not on the river, Johnny is out hiking with his wife and dogs, playing djembe drums, and cooking up a storm alfresco.
While Trevor works as a school counselor for most of the year, he values the summer when he gets to recalibrate and embark on nature adventures with like-minded people. He’s rafted commercial runs since his 20s but it’s only in the last few years that he’s become more active in the rafting community. One of his favorite memories from guide school was running a clean line through “Satan’s Cesspool” on the South Fork American River. Originally from Longview in Washington State where he grew up on a farm, Trevor is particularly looking forward to guiding on the beautiful Deschutes River in Oregon as he’ll be close to home and his beloved dog Max. Among his most amazing life experiences? Diving with sharks in Fiji! When he’s not on the river, you’ll probably find Trevor twirling fire sticks (without setting himself on fire!)
Claire Pickett’s first experience with rafting was in high school when she took a trip down the Colorado River’s “Diamond Down” section with her outdoor club. Since then, she has taken on the responsibility of being a guide for the outdoor program at the University of Arizona in Tucson where she is studying a Bachelor of Natural Resources. Not only has she run a Class IV river with very little kayaking experience (resulting in a runaway boat and paddle) but she has a knack for ending up with random bruises, without any recollection of how they got there. When Claire’s not on the river, you’ll probably find her hiking, reading, or traveling (one of her most amazing travel experiences involved venturing deep into a Belizean cave in search of Mayan ruins).
Hailing from Iowa’s Spirit Lake, Josie is no stranger to being out in the wild. She grew up learning about the natural world with her father, who is passionate about restoring native prairies. Through her geography studies (with certificates in Native American and Indigenous Studies), she’s spent extensive periods researching the outdoors and used to spend her summers sailing, water skiing, and kayaking in Okoboji. Josie says that she feels at home on the water and loves the open-armed and quirky nature of the river community. When she’s not running rivers, Josie is in the dance studio, throwing dinner parties and profiling wine or participating in the Juneau Icefield Research Program. The most amazing thing she’s experienced? The mighty force of the Patagonian wind!
Karoline’s career on the river began in 2014 as a swamper and she’s since completed a degree in Environmental Studies from Lehigh University. But her experience in the rafting world began as a kid when she used to accompany her mom down the Payette River and she says that being on the water has “consumed” her summers ever since. Originally from Boise, Idaho, she believes that her home state is a hidden gem and she’s passionate about sharing its rivers and mountains with people who are experiencing them for the first time. Karoline loves learning about the region’s birdlife and fish (particularly sturgeon and salmon) and describes her special skill as baking pineapple upside-down cake. When reflecting on her most amazing life experiences, she says that spending a night completely alone in the Sawtooth Wilderness as being up there with the best.
Originally from Camden in Arkansas, Austin is an aspiring birder who first got into guiding in 2017 while living in Haines, Alaska. He’s passionate about fostering responsible stewardship of the Chilkat Valley and is involved with the nonprofit Lynn Canal Conservation. One of Austin’s earliest river memories was canoeing Arkansas’ Buffalo River with his mom and getting dumped out and forced to swim a small rapid. Since then, he’s guided on rivers in Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho, with the “Gem State” inspiring him thanks to its pristine wilderness. That being said, it’s the Futaleufu River in Patagonia that stands out in his mind as one of his best adventures of all time. Not only is Austin a trained kinesiologist but he loves playing banjo and mandolin. When he’s not on the river, you’ll probably find him adventuring in the Snowy Mountains.
Dubrovnik City Guide
Ivana was born and raised in Dubrovnik in a "crazy about the sea" family of scuba divers and sea kayakers. She is a graduate of ACMT (American College of Management and Technology) in Dubrovnik. As Miss Universe Croatia 1998 and a fashion model, Ivana traveled all over the world, including Hawaii, California, Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Europe. She now looks forward to sharing her knowledge and love of the Dubrovnik region and the sea with our guests.
Michael (Mike) Mourar
Philadelphia-born Mike Mourar has been hooked on rafting since he first flipped on the Lower Youghiogheny River at the age of 12. He’s since completed a BS in Outdoor Adventure Education and an AA in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and has guided trips throughout Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Costa Rica. He says that it’s the beauty of floating through remote wilderness areas that inspires him to be a guide, with a highlight of his career being NOT flipped on the Grand Canyon’s Crystal Rapid while running the river at 40,000 CFS. One of his most amazing life experiences? Climbing an active volcano in Chile during a full moon. In his free time, Mike likes to play his four-note harmonica or explore scenic backroads on his motorcycle.
Hailing from Toledo, Ohio, Anna has been guiding guests down the rivers of Tennessee, North Carolina, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon since 2016. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and is skilled at plant identification…as well as hula hooping! When reflecting on her childhood, Anna says that days spent bass fishing with her dad are among her most treasured and the feeling of being “so proud” while walking home with a stringer full. When it comes to amazing life experiences, an early morning spent sea kayaking amidst bioluminescence algae off the Georgia coast is up there amongst her best, with a magical sunset and porpoise sighting completing the experience. When not at work, you’ll find Anna hiking trails, reading in the library, or (unsurprisingly) exploring other rivers.
Seattle-native Reya Fore is one of the newest members of the ROW Adventures team and began guiding in 2022. She is currently studying at Whitman College, which is where she got her first taste of rafting and the river lifestyle. But Reya is no stranger to the outdoors, having backpacked with her parents as a kid and spending many summers swimming in alpine lakes. In fact, one of the most amazing experiences she has had was on one of these adventures when she made eye contact with a big mountain goat. When Reya’s not on the river, she’s busy at college, doing what she describes as “mediocre” cartwheels and climbing trees.
Turkey Yacht Guide
Alper was a member of one of the first graduating classes of Turkey's professional guide training program in addition to his degree in Engineering. His open, warm personality, stories, singing and endless energy make Alper a favorite among our guests. When he is not leading tours he spends his time investigating new sites and local establishments, traveling throughout Turkey, as well as training other guides. He winters in Istanbul and visits the US frequently.
A blacksmith by trade, Ryan recently returned to the river to pursue his passion for guiding, which was first ignited in 2008 on the Colorado River. He’s always had a love for the outdoors, with his most vivid childhood memories involving cliff jumping at Westwater Canyon and chasing goats through Lodore Canyon. Ryan loves discovering new landscapes and new rivers, whether it’s in the United States or in one of the 30+ countries he’s visited. Highlights of his global wanderings include standing on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in a snowstorm, walking the legendary Inca Trail, and watching a stampede of wildebeest on the Serengeti plains. He loves good food, good friends, and good stories, and tries to squeeze as much out of life as possible. Ryan's recent endeavors include finishing an Immersive Software Engineering Course and working as a Software Developer, along with Blacksmithing and running his home farm! When he’s not rafting, or working, Ryan’s busy shoeing horses, hiking with his dog “Rooster”, and pursuing his search for the world’s best ramen. (If you see Ryan on the river, please give him a cup of coffee!) :)
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.
Deschutes River Manager
Brody’s first rafting adventure saw him tackle the Deschutes River in his home state of Oregon and he has since gone on to guide in Washington and Idaho. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Business Administration from Oregon State University and says his hidden talents include playing the piano and guitar. One of his most amazing life experiences was embarking on a three-month road trip to explore his backyard and ticking off all of the lower 48 states. But when it comes to river adventures, at the top of Brody’s list is kayaking off Husum Falls, a notoriously challenging rapid on the White Salmon River in the Pacific Northwest.