50 Ways to Cut an Onion: 6 decades of River-Rats Celebrate Dee Holladay and Holiday River Expeditions

By: Lauren Wood Ray’s Tavern was bustling with travelers, bikers and river-folk alike on the eve of the Holiday River 50th Anniversary weekend celebration. Like any other day at Ray’s, delicious smells wafted out of the brick building into the remote streets of Green River; acting like a homing beacon for river-guides far and wide. Read More

Honey Bee

The University of Dee, Salt Lake City Campus

By Susan Munroe I am surrounded by books: eddied out among wobbly stacks of geology texts, river history, Edward Abbey, naturalist guides, bird books, water politics, meditative writings, John Wesley Powell, and the collected writings of the incomparable Dee Holladay. Most river guides spend their off-season skiing or traveling. I’m hanging out in the Holiday Read More


Of Tasmanian Devils and Women

Happy International Women’s Day! I celebrated by having a conversation with a Holiday River Expeditions river running legend (and a warm and beautiful human), who’s known for helping to create a culture of respect — and wild-romping fun — in the rafting community. Tammy Besmehn’s her name, but on the river she’s known as Taz Read More


Rules to Raft By: Superstitions of the Great Unknowable

Cross your oars and knock on driftwood, folks: Holiday’s best guides are sharing their go-to magic charms for the perfect river trip.  The river rolls on with or without us, an impersonal force of beauty and danger. But humans have this habit when faced with vast, impersonal forces of beauty and danger: we make them Read More


Profiles Company Founder, Dee Holladay

  By Susan Munroe If someday a historian were to sum up the collected wisdom of Dee Holladay and bind it into a tome, the title embossed on the front would be: “Well, if ya was ta…” Holiday River Expeditions founder, constant tinkerer, environmental trailblazer, consummate river rat, friend, father, teacher, Dee Holladay has been Read More


Have you ever wanted to ask your River Guide, what’s In Your Ammo Can?

By Joe Ballent Part One: When I first began working for Holiday River Expeditions, I had several goals to strive for- not the least of which was obtaining my guide license and some serious river time.  I was in my late teens, unloading grocery trucks in the warehouse and dreaming of the day when I’d Read More


The Photo Diary of a Whitewater River Rat: Part 1

By Joe Ballent Photo Diary Of A Whitewater River Rat They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and after combing through my folders of rafting photos (dating back to the ancient 2008) I’m forced to agree.  I compiled the highlight shots from a number of different trips with Holiday River Expeditions, with guests Read More

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No Slouches Allowed! Holiday’s Guides Required to Master Rigorous Medical Training

    by Peta Owens-Liston   Despite the fun-loving and spirited nature of Holiday’s guides, they are a serious-minded, vigilant bunch when it comes to the safety of their guests. They have to be, otherwise, they wouldn’t work for Holiday; a company that requires them to jump through some rigorous hoops in dealing with emergency Read More


Profiles Vernal Manager, Kerry Jones “KJ”

    By Susan Munroe On any given weekday in Holiday’s warehouse in Vernal, Utah, just after dawn, you can find Kerry Jones stirring bacon in a cast iron skillet. Chopped onions for hash browns sit ready on the counter. The Vernal manager is probably still in his pajamas, and he’s definitely the only one Read More



  By Peta Owens-Liston   When Dee Holladay first started running rivers for guests in  the 1970s — Harold Stewart, known indelibly as Frogg for the last 55 years—was one of his early guides assisting Dee along with Kim Crumbo, Dee’s right-hand river man. An avid surfer, who came to Utah for love but ended Read More