Meet Our Expert Guides

Our team of guides is led by a top notch management team. Our operations staff is seasoned and steadfast, a rarity among seasonal outfitting businesses. Our Director of operations manager Tim Gaylord has been with us for 38 years. His second in command in Green River, Kelly Dunham has been with us 32 years. Our Vernal operations manager Ben Levine has been on the oars since 2003, and several of our trip leaders, like Tilts and Jessica or TJ, have been around for decades! The cumulative expertise that comes from inter-generational experience is critical to how Holiday maintains our uniquely capable operations; balancing both innovation and wisdom every step of the way.

Tim Gaylord

Director of Operations for Holiday River Expeditions since 1978

Tim is Holiday River Expeditions’ Director of Operations and COE (Chief of Everything). He makes sure our trips run smooth, so your vacation is trouble-free. Obviously, with 38 years of guiding and running our operations Tim knows what he’s doing and does it well.
When he’s not training guides, inspecting gear or chopping wood, Tim enjoys Utah’s great places on his mountain bike or skis with his wife, Vicky, and young adult children, Travis and Courtney. It’s hard to get Tim to sit in any one place for very long, so if you see him say “Hi” before he disappears into the warehouse and beyond!

Frogg Stewart

Owner, Holiday River of Idaho since 1972

I was born at the end of the war to end all wars, 1945, in Hermosa Beach,
California. I spent my youth surfing, sailing, diving, and just playing around
the beaches of California and Mexico. After graduating college with a
degree in Zoology, I moved to Utah and found I could make the same
money skiing as inspecting crops for insects and poisoning so the choice
was basic — I became a professional ski patrolman and began river running
in 1973. In 1979 I became a partner in Holiday and moved to Idaho and
began running the Salmon river. I continue to manage Holiday’s Idaho
operation. Winters I am back to my roots surfing and kayaking in Mexico.

Sherpa San

Working for Holiday River Expeditions since 1976

I started with Holiday River Expeditions in 1976, the year we proved to Dee H that you don’t need to use motors to cover river miles – oar power was the way back then and is today. Over these many years the river, and river canyons have not physically changed much, to me it is our guests new and old that change how I view the river experience each trip.

After spending 13 years as a boatman and manager for the Vernal operations, I did take about 20 years hiatus to pursue a career in finance and to save for retirement; as I said I could always return. So in 2011, I did…. so far the body is holding up and the experiences are awesome. Maybe the change is in me, several trips have involved returning guests who came as kids on vacation with their parents and are now doing trips with their families. These are the rich rewards I cherish. (The pictures show Brett Telford at age 10 and now at 41.)

The Rivers still run in my veins.

Kelly Dunham

Working for Holiday River Expeditions since 1984

Kelly Dunham Growing up in Green River was the ideal place to spend time
outdoors. I had experienced much of the vast desert country from the
ground and air so the water was an obvious choice for me. In 1984 I started
guiding for Holiday. My plans were to work for one summer… (So much for
that plan) Most recently you will find me at the Green River headquarters
where I organize food, guides, and gear for trips. We are one big happy
family at Holiday with a very diverse group of guides and guests. That,
along with the challenges of organization, are what keep me returning for
season after season.

Steve Wassmuth

Guiding for Holiday River of Idaho since 1983

When I hear someone mention that “Their life is going downhill” I think to
myself “How lucky they must be! I wonder if they are talking about skiing or
rafting?” Hi, I’m Steve Wassmuth from Grangeville, Idaho and I consider
myself one of the luckiest people in the world because I get to do what I
enjoy pretty much 365 days out of the year. From September to June I
spend the weekdays with twenty some nine and ten year old students in
my classroom where I get to teach all subjects including Idaho State
History. ON the weekends when there is snow I ski patrol at the local ski hill
just out of town. When the snow begins to melt in the spring I get out of my
kayak and play on the local rivers. I have really enjoyed having the
opportunity of showing people the different rivers and all that goes with
spending time in the outdoors. What could be better than spending my
summers with people on vacation, who want to have a fun time, sleeping
under the stars, swimming in the river, laying on the beach, eating
wonderful meals, sitting around the camp fire, enjoying the wildlife, making
new friends and reacquainting with old friends. Yes, I am a lucky man. Oh,
did I mention dress up night and sand golf? I hope that I’ll see you on the
river someday and I’m sure that you will enjoy your life “as it goes downhill.”

Mike Wassmuth

Guiding for Holiday River of Idaho since 1983

Mike has been a licensed river guide since 1983. Spending as much time on
the rivers as possible is a goal for each summer. Working full time for
Agilent Technologies as a Thermographer and Failure Analysis Technician
puts some restrictions on his river time, but he still gets out around forty
days a year. Making new friends and sharing time on the water is what
brings Mike back each year. When not guiding on the rivers, Mike spends
much of his time fishing . His favorite trip is an October steelhead-fishing
trip down the lower stretch of the Salmon River. In July you can find Mike
fishing for small mouth bass on the Grande Ronde River in Washington.
Growing up in Grangeville, Idaho exposed Mike to the wonderful outdoors,
which he still enjoys very much. Some of Mike other hobbies include black
powder hunting, basketball and GeoCaching and spending time with his
family.

Tom Beckett

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 1974

During the winter of 1966 I was watching “Wide World of Sports” with my dad. We saw a video of a rubber raft getting the snot kicked out of it in a big rapid in the Grand Canyon. My dad said, “Oh boy, that’s for me!” I was horrified. But he took me there the next summer. I was hooked, and I’ve been on the river ever since.

Aside from being able to “work” on the most awesome rivers and in the most beautiful canyons on Earth, I love being on the river for two reasons. One is Utah’s pristine dark night sky. Most Americans can no longer see the Milky Way at night. But on our rivers and bike trails, we see it almost every night. My specialty on the river now is explaining the night sky to our guests.

The other reason I love being on the river is the Holiday gang. They are my best lifelong friends. They are the most inquisitive, fun, trustworthy bunch I’ve ever had the privilege to ride with.

In the off-season, when I can’t be on the river, I enjoy practicing law at Parsons Behle & Latimer in Salt Lake City and serving as board chair of Clark Planetarium.

 

Peter Tilton, aka Tilts

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 1987

Cataract Canyon is my favorite section of river. I love the power and
complexity of the river, the beauty and grandeur of the canyon present a
different experience each time through. I also love riding the White Rim and
getting the “other perspective” of Canyonlands from high up.
Holiday’s “senior” guide my favorite part of the job is still providing and
sharing a positive trip experience with new people. I’m originally from New
Hampshire, but have been a rolling stone guiding rafting trips in West
Virginia, Alaska and Zimbabwe on Holiday’s off-season.
In the winters I’m on the road with the US Ski Team coordinating race
set-ups…the rest of my free time is spent on my recreational lifestyle —
golfing, mountain biking, skiing, traveling and playing with good friends.

Tim Sattelmeier, aka TJ

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 1994

My favorite part of each trip is sleeping by the side of the river in the
canyons. This is the lure that draws me back to the river every spring. I grew
up in a sleepy little resort town in Northern Michigan called Petoskey, went
to university in Ann Arbor then wandered around before settling down in
Utah. In the winters, I’m a writer and ski instructor at Park City Mountain
Resort.

Pete Rowley

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions of Idaho since 1995

Pete Rowley has been guiding multi and single day white water raft trips for 22 years.  Pete has guided trips on Hells Canyon, the Lochsa River, the upper and lower Gauley, Desolation Canyon, West Water Canyon, the Gates of Lodore, the Yampa, Cataract Canyon, Riggins day stretch, the lower Salmon and the main Salmon.

Pete grew up in Boston, but has spent time in Key West, Florida where he guided kayak trips, and of course, in Idaho on the River of No Return, the Salmon River where he has lead river trips for the past 17 years.  Pete resides in Colorado in the off season where he owns an exhibit and tradeshow business.  When Pete is not working, you can find him outdoors camping, boating, hiking, snowboarding and riding motorcycles and snowmobiles.  Pete is trained in First Aid and CPR and is a Wilderness First Responder.

Pete’s only motto on the river is 1) Be Safe; and 2) Have Fun!

Dave Vernon, aka Vern

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 1996

Coming from scenic Utah, it was easy to follow my family’s love of the
wilderness. After spending six summers on the Snake River in Wyoming, I
joined the Holiday crew in 1996. Every year I come back for the adventurous
rapids, the quiet solitude of a desert sunrise, floating through the majestic
cliff walls and the great people. When I am not on the river or trail, I teach at
an alternative education school. If you ride on my raft, you might hear a joke
or a story or two (maybe even a true one!).

Ben Levine, aka LB

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2003

Hailing from the wild west, I grew up in Wyoming and have always had a passion for the outdoors. In 2003 during my junior summer of high school I began my Holiday legacy and spent a spectacular summer in the warehouse where I became know as LB “Little Ben”. Now several years later I am known as BB “Big Ben” and have moved from my native Wyoming to Park City, Utah. I attended Dixie State College in St. George, Utah, and while I was there I was able to mountain bike, explore Zion National Park and wake board for the majority of the year. Every summer though I return to my second home, Holiday, were I am able to work with the finest most exciting group of individuals that I have ever had the privilege of meeting. I especially enjoy going on trips with my big brother Jason. Who as his picture very accurately portrays is the best looking and most serious trip leader in the history of river rafting, it must run in the family. My favorite river trip is the Yampa River, which is referred to as the last wild river because it is the last undammed river on the Colorado Plateau. The scenery that it provides is absolutely breathtaking, every camp sight is perfect for camping and a great game of river horseshoes, the hiking is amazing and the rapids are as the nickname suggests, wild. I have found my one true love in the canyons and rivers of the west and feel honored to share their exotic beauty with everyone who I have the privilege of journeying through them with.

Brian Finnigan, aka Brin

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2005

Born and raised in Vermont, I spent a good deal of my young life staring at maps. I was particularly drawn to the vast blank areas of the American West. In one of these wide-open spaces two great blue streaks converge in the heart of the Colorado Plateau’s canyonlands region. Guiding for Holiday Expeditions since 2005 I’ve found that the maps and dreams of my childhood are grossly inaccurate. The Colorado and Green Rivers are anything but blue and the land anything but blank. I’ve discovered that by sharing knowledge with my guests and simply bringing them to these spectacular canyons they gain an ownership of the place and the desire to protect it. Along with my life on the river I have also earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Gettysburg College and a BCU 3-Star kayak certification and become a Seminar Coordinator for the Headwaters Institute. Prior to Holiday I worked for my campus outdoor education program, guided sea kayaking trips up and down the East Coast and in the Great Lakes, and washed dishes professionally.

David Snee

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2006

Spending time out of doors reinvigorates the soul. It makes us feel more connected with the world we live in, which helps us recognize that all of the beauty we see is also inside each and every one of us. Special things happen when we reconnect with nature.
I was drawn west by endless expanses of undeveloped land after finishing college and 25 years of life in the sometimes hectic northeast United States. After one year of exploring the Upper Green River Basin in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, I was washed downstream to Holiday River Expeditions, where I have been floating, pedaling and walking ever since. The Colorado Plateau, it’s rivers and canyons, and all the incredibly diverse surrounding landscapes offer endless opportunity for exploration. With a little luck, I will see you all out there for many years to come.

Zack Colman

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2007

Coming from a family of boatmen, I knew I had my work cut out for me to differentiate myself from the rest of my family. I grew up outside of Denver in a whirlwind of outdoor activity mixed with city life, struggling to fit in. Constantly criticized by my peers I became very quickly the person I had to be to make everyone around me feel comfortable. With the mastery of that skill I combine my passion for sustainability and the environment to further Holiday Expeditions as a company. I have, through my years at Holiday, brought back style to the canyons, focusing on innovative methods for expressing myself while on the river. If it be a pop-culture anecdote, friendly banter with guests and boatmen, or simply cynicism that comes out of my mouth it is easy to tell that I am a fun loving person that doesn’t take himself too seriously. My laid back style of guiding quickly makes guests comfortable and any anxiety or nervousness vanishes when I take reign of the oars. Let’s be frank, we’re on vacation!!

Brian Donlon

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2008

Having grown up in New England, Connecticut, it was not easy for me to find Dee’s boathouse. I was lucky enough to meet a former Holiday guide (Kelly V.) in 2008, on the Salt River, and thus began my obsession with Holiday Expeditions and boating the hidden Rivers of the West. I believe I told Tim that I was destined to work for Holiday, back in that fateful, first, phone interview.
There’s a much longer story of how I got hooked on Rivers, and it takes at least 4 days in a boat to tell, but I have been in love with rafting since I was 17. I haven’t found anything since that makes me feel more alive, and in tune to my surroundings than pushing a piece of rubber down the river with good people. The guides at Holiday have become my family, and the camaraderie that exists when you are forced to share the same Bano for a summer is unlike no other.
Currently, I spend my off season in Rhode Island, educating today’s youth, in a 19th century Maritime History Museum. I consider myself blessed to be able to still get to row Dee’s boats, and try to do it as often as time and Tim will allow it.
Someone once told me that there is more to life than Rivers…….. that person made absolutely no sense.

Leland Thompson

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2008

I am originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I grew up hiking and skiing every chance I got. I went on a few but not many day river trips. It was not until I was a senior in high school and did a 4-day Desolation Canyon trip with Holiday that I fell in love with the river. Ever since then I have loved this area and wanted to learn as much as I can. I worked in the warehouse for my first year and got out on the river whenever I could. I love to share my knowledge with people about the places that I love. The rivers have changed my life forever and I want to share that love with as many people as I can.

Lauren Wood

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2009

I have been a river runner my entire life and ever since my first river trip at age two muddy water has run a current through my veins and into my heart. Growing up I marveled at the stark contrast between a busy urban environment like Salt Lake City and the untamed tranquility I would find between two canyon walls. My adolescent summers were spent learning life lessons while lounging upon Holiday rafts: the greatest sense of pride comes with a good work ethic, one person can go far but one can go much farther working within a team, the river like life only flows in one direction… and don’t touch the poison ivy! It was learning from the boat-women and men of the 1990′s that led me to find my own oars. When I’m not on a boat, I spend my time in Salt Lake City. I now help run the Holiday River office and spend my free time as a community organizer on the Colorado Plateau. Working on a number of national, and regional campaigns I am the Director of the Green River Action Network, an affiliate program with Waterkeeper Alliance and Utah based Living Rivers. I find that the lessons from the river inform my organizing work and truly all aspects of my life. I love investigating the way natural cycles could work with our cities and influencing the currents that direct and shape our communities.

Tim Burdick, aka TBurd

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2009

I probably wouldn’t be on this planet if it weren’t for Dee and Sue Holladay along with my family’s long history with Holiday River Expeditions. Guess you could say I was destined to be a river guide like many fellow guides; following in the footsteps of my family, friends and inspirational founders.
I was born in Salt Lake City, but grew up mainly along the gulf coast of South Texas, Southern California, Riyadh-Saudi Arabia, and Salzburg-Austria. I am currently spending my winters in Little Cottonwood Canyon (Snowbird) doing photography/video and exploring great outdoors.
The endless motion of the river and beauty of its canyons and river family, always bring me back to Holiday. My favorite part about river trips has to be the company and new friends we share the crazy moments with; creating bonds and memories that are truly unforgettable. Not to mention taking photos of the landscapes, rapids and stars. All my photography work here: www.timburdickphotography.com
KAKAAAWWW

Alex Jahp

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2010

Guiding represents something unique to me; it is definitely not just sculpted and bronzed guides, hilarious banter, and brazen executions of maneuvers that you cannot learn at school. It represents an opportunity for me to share the way that I view the world and a captive audience that is forced to listen unless they swim to another boat. I have spent years exploring the Southwest, Mexico, Guatemala, India, and Nepal. All of my best experiences in life and friends seem to have come about through travel and exploration. I hope to continue sharing amazing experiences with people in the backcountry and through this help to preserve the natural world that is so important to me.

Sandy Turay

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2010

I’m Sandy and I am proud to be Holiday’s first charity case! Homeless in Green River–not really, but I was looking for a place to live during my service for Americorps–I decided to kill two birds with one stone by getting my foot in the door to become a river guide as well as finding a place to sleep. After showing up at the warehouse numerous times and tracking Tim down at Ray’s, tim finally took pitty on me. He let me move into the bunk house and eat company food in exchange for warehouse work and shuttle driving! (How’s that for bartering?!?!)
So here I am! Living the dream, going with the flow! Other tidbits about me… I’m from Michigan (say Yah do da UP, Eh?), I laughed out loud the first time I saw a tumbleweed blow across the road, and my first river trip was Westwater Canyon. I enjoy leaning about the ancient peoples of Utah and sharing it with my guests. My favorite part about being a guide is reflecting on the day’s adventures while listening to the river and looking up at the canyon-framed, star-scattered night sky before falling asleep on my raft!

Julian Springer

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2011

“… obviously. With his diverse and varied background, extensive outdoors experience, quick-wit, and natural aptitude for river reading, it was only a matter of time before Julian Springer ended up working for Holiday. They’ve got quite the assortment of the best and baddest boatmen the West has to offer…” – Anonymous, unknown

I grew up in the mountainous regions of the world, from the Rockies, to Kathmandu and the massive and majestic Himalaya. Inevitably, I became enamored with the beauty and grandeur of the great outdoors. I studied geology in college, mostly as an excuse to be outside, and ended up in Japan guiding whitewater. A summer yelling paddle commands in terrible Japanese, and I was instantly hooked. As soon as I was finished at Colorado College, I packed all of my belongings into a storage locker (except my flip-flops and my sunglasses of course) and moved out to Utah. I was lucky enough to have been connected, through fellow guide Noel, to Tim and the Holiday crew. Being able to spend my days on cool, swift flowing water, or biking and hiking under a hot sky through sun-bleached, water worn rock is a privilege. As is working for Holiday Expeditions. Dee and Sue Holladay have created an amazing organization, filled with funny, energetic, whacky, loving characters, all devoted to giving people the best possible river trip they can. Because lets be honest, what’s better than floating down the river with your friends?

Susan Munroe

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2011

In addition to being a river guide, Susan Munroe is a writer, photographer, reader, and traveler with a passion for experiential education and the natural world.

For more than a decade, Susan has traveled the world, working and lived in Antarctica, New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and around the United States, and she’s documented it all here: www.susanmunroe.com.

Susan loves showing clients the wonders of the rivers and canyons, bringing them to amazing places and watching their minds expand and perspectives shift. She believes in the power of travel to change lives…come and see!

Jesse Kasten

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2011

Just a small-town boy, born and raised in South Det….. Originally from Mt. Shasta, California, I have been living in and exploring the arid landscapes of the Southwest since 2004. When not on the river (and often-times there, too), I am a landscape and portrait photographer, trying to capture the rugged beauty of this region through the lens. I enjoy the challenge of chasing the light, attempting to catch Mother Nature in her most raw, powerful and dramatic moments. www.jessekasten.com My love for the outdoors and the Southwest have led me to Holiday, where I have maintained my presence “in the flow” since 2011. I can’t think of a better way to experience the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Colorado Plateau than by floating down one of it’s wild and scenic rivers; and maybe riding a tasty wave or two along the way! May you forever remain in the flow…. Jesse

Tim Porten, aka TP

Driving Holiday’s Guests since 2012

Tim Porten, known to all of us as “TP” came to Holiday River Expeditions first as a guest.  He holds the honor of being the reigning “customer who’s done the most trips” with us. 46 and counting.  Over the years TP became less like a customer and more like a part of the family so it’s only fitting that after retirement he came to work for us.  TP has been greeting and driving our customers to and from the river since 2012 but his love affair with the desert and river canyons started long ago.  He did his first trip with us in 1987.  TP has since introduced the river to his children and grandchildren.  In the winters he heads further south to Arizona.

Justin Malloy

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2012

How I ended up at Holiday was due to a crazy chain of events over the course of a year, but once I arrived and met the amazing people that make up this company, I knew that everything happened for a reason and I couldn’t be happier now that I’m here. Holiday truly is made up of a “family of friends”. My co-workers and the people I meet on the river are my favorite part of the job. I wouldn’t give up the absurdity, the love, the hilarity, or the peace that I experience everyday here at Holiday for all the money and wealth in the world. The off-season is my opportunity to travel and see the world, but I’ll be back guiding in Green River every summer until I’m too old to row the boat (or Tim fires me, whichever comes first).

Sarah Potts

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2012

You could say I am a Midwest girl exploring the beauty that the West has to offer. And boy, does it have a lot to offer… so many places I have loved to experience, whether hiking, mountain biking, or most importantly rafting! I have loved every minute of it. The river canyons teach you to slow down, enjoy your life, and breath easy… My favorite memories so far on the river consist of making an utter fool of myself while wearing costumes, dancing, having yoga classes, and constantly LAUGHING with guests and our amazing crew. The guides here at Holiday make the trips what they are, and of course I suggest you come on a trip and experience what I speak of. I have never worked with a “cuter bunch” as they say. During the colder seasons, you can find me manipulating the anxious minds of children, adolescents, and adults while I work on my graduate degree in Clinical Psychology. You’ll also find me skipping class on powder days to shred that gnar! Come float with me and we can enjoy the beauty of the canyon together as we have a fabulous time laughing and carrying on!

Colin Gaylord

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2012

Hello, my name is Colin K. Gaylord.

“It sounded like a Gypsy prayer. The boy had already had experience on the road with Gypsies; they also traveled, but they had no flocks of sheep.”-The Alchemist.

When I am not on the sections of river that Holiday runs I live in Holladay, UT.

My passions include: Music, Skiing/Snowboarding, water, reading, golf, climbing and adventure.

It is amazing that we are given the opportunity to explore and show so many people each year how wonderful and wild each section of river Holiday runs.

Go with the flow.

Doug Geraghty

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2012

Hello, my name is Doug. I grew up in New Jersey and it wasn’t until the spring of 2011 I quit my job, packed my car, and moved to Utah. I moved out here because of the outdoors and access to various outdoor activities it offers in such a quick drive from SLC. Some of the things I like to do in my free time are go skiing when there is snow out, backpacking, climbing, and mountain biking. And, when I like a more relaxing activity I dabble in the world of photography. I am always looking for the new adventure to explore that helps keep me out of the city and in the mountains, dessert, or river. Hope to cross paths with you.

Sam Watson

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2013

Hello, my name is Samuel Clemens Watson, the first and maybe last, who knows what’s going to happen down the proverbial road. As of 2012, I am 21 years young, and I am not afraid to turn 22. I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. In this amazing state I discovered that I am a much happier person when the walls surrounding me are made of sandstone or granite instead of concrete. I love being in areas where I can see no sign of other human beings, aside from my companions. I strive to approach my life with the simplicity and unconditional love that I have learned from my dog, Jack. Some of my favorite things include the moon, snow, burritos, black liquorice, receiving new socks, and the moments when I realize that what I want and what I need are the exact same thing. Mountains, working for Holiday River Expeditions, and dropping knowledge on fellow guide and colleague Leland Thompson are right up there as well. Shout out to Tim Gaylord, chainsaw enthusiast.

Tanner Stirrat

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2013

In a sentence, I’m an aspiring polymath with a love of the outdoors. I’m originally from Tucson, AZ, where I grew up right under a mountain. I now call Mount Vernon, IA my home, which is where I’m attending school at Cornell College. I’ll have a math major in a year, and the rest of my life is wide open.

I came to Holiday by way of being a guest. My family took a trip and I loved being out in the canyons, effectively cut off from the outside world. I loved the rhythm and the flow of it. One of my guides planted the idea of working for Holiday in my head, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. It’s one of those things where I sometimes can’t believe that I’m getting paid to do it.

There are a lot of perks that come with being a river guide, but I think the biggest perk for me is the stories. I love talking to you, hearing where you came from, where you got to, and the journey that led you from there to here. That’s what guiding is about for me.

Erika Bash

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2013

Becoming a guide is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I find that it brings the most amazing groups of people together. From eclectic groups of guides to folks all over the world, every person that I have encountered on the river is there to appreciate and celebrate the beautiful natural world around us.

The river presents opportunities to disconnect from our busy lives, which creates the most incredible friendships. I hope to continue helping people connect to these unforgettable places where civilization has yet to elbow its way into. My name is Erika, I am from the great, rainy Pacific Northwest, and I look forward to getting to know you on the river!

Dustin McHenry

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2013

I grew up back East, in the Appalachian mountains and streams. I started exploring the Colorado Plateau almost 10 years ago, but only recently ended up in Utah. It took a lot to pull me away from my home in the Blue Ridge, although now that I’m here, I’m not sure why it took so long. The desert out here is a seriously epic playground and a great place to call home in the summers. As inhospitable as it looks, the canyons are full of fun spots for us to hang out. Let’s not take them for granted! I hope you’ll take from your trip a sense of ownership for these awesome places, and an awareness of their need for protection.

When I’m not out on mountain bike or river trips with you, I get my kicks skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, seeing live music, eating vegetables, and generally being a student of my surroundings. Ramble on.

Herm Hoops

Driving Holiday’s Guests since 2013

Herm Hoops’ life has always been associated with water: from bucolic farm ponds and awe-inspiring rivers to the endless ocean, and he’s always had an interest in history.

Herm, the son of farmers, grew up on a large dairy cattle and Morgan horse farm. After attending the University of Vermont he taught Vocational Agriculture and Forestry in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

He began running Western rivers in 1966. In 1972 Herm left Vermont and headed West for the better part of a year to run any rivers he ran across. In 1975 he began a career with the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Herm retired from the Dinosaur National Monument in 1996, but he has continued following his love of rivers as a guide, naturalist, historian, and he is proactive in protecting the river canyons of the Colorado Plateau. Over the years he has been acknowledged for his contributions to a large number of river guides and books. Herm has written articles for historical journals and magazines. He is a lifetime member of the Colorado Plateau River Guides, the Grand Canyon River Guides and recently was made an honorary life member of the Utah Guides and Outfitters Association. Herm has served on the boards of several organizations, including Plateau Restoration and Conservation Adventures (Moab) and Colorado Plateau River Guides.

The rivers have been good to him, and perhaps, he has been good to them.

Herm and his wife Valerie live in Jensen, Utah.

Rocky Schuler

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2013

“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit” Edward Abbey

My name is Rocky Schuler, I hail from the great wide open state of Wyoming. I was lucky enough to find the river in 2013, and haven’t looked back since. I spend my winters working at the US Ski and Snowboarding association in Park City, UT. Big water is what I love! Hope to see you out there. Go Pokes!!

Larkin Jameson

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2014

I’ve enjoyed everything about being at the bottom of a Canyon for as long as I can remember. A few of my favorite things have always been: dutch oven brownies (or bacon), running whitewater, and falling asleep on a raft underneath the stars. When i’m not on the river you can find me with my favorite four legged pal Greg in my hometown of Durango, CO. Second generation Holiday guide, and I couldn’t love my job more. Hope to see you all on the Riv, you have to go to know!

Jessica Hahl

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2014

I was raised by wolves in the mountains and deserts of Colorado. The daughter of an artist and a philosopher cowboy I pursued degrees in history and anthropology. The dreary climate of the pacific northwest sent me scuttling back to the desert southwest where I started guiding for Wild Rivers Expeditions in 2012. After the company sold to new ownership I was encouraged to seek out Tim and the amazing crew at Holiday Expeditions as a mindful group of outdoor leaders and caretakers of both their passengers and the Places we love. I am in love with the southwest landscape and enjoy introducing it to others, old friend to new, and encouraging them to really engage with the environment and themselves with a sense of wonder and play. Please join us on the river, and I’ll introduce you to some old friends of mine, over some nice dutch oven brownies.

Misty Johnson

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions of Idaho since 2014

I came to Idaho from central Oregon in 1996 to work as a horseback guide. The company also owned a rafting company in Riggins, Idaho. I was lucky enough to train on the oars on the Salmon River that year and fell in love with it. I knew I was hooked & haven’t lived more than an hour from the Salmon River since.
I met my husband of 15 years in Cottonwood, Idaho & have 2 teen children now, who share my love of the outdoors & our beautiful river. The Salmon River country is some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. If you want to lose yourself in the great outdoors, go with the flow, connect with nature- Come float with us on the River of No Return.

Clair Jewkes

Driving Holiday’s guests since 2015

Clair Jewkes grew up as a child in Vernal, Utah during the 70’s. While there he spent much time on the Green River with his family. They would take friends and family down the river from Flaming George Dam to Little Hole for what seemed like weekly events. From there he spent his teenage years in the Salt Lake City area and continued his love for the out doors by camping in the High Uinta Mountains during the summer. He spent 20 years in southwest Utah attending Dixie College, Southern Utah University, and raising his family. When he was able to, he spent much time exploring the National parks and canyon systems down there; Zion Nation Park, Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks, Snow Canyon, and the North Rim system of the Grand Canyon.

A few years ago he and his Wife Ruby moved back to Vernal. He works for the Uintah School District transporting students to and from school and was introduced to Holiday River Expeditions at that time. He enjoys transporting the tours for the Yampa and Green river trips offered in Vernal Utah.

Josh Levine

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2015

Wyoming original, Go Pokes!
Started as the warehouse kid in vernal.
Love the rivers, people, and living the river/bike life.
Brother to LB unfortunately… ha! Favorite trip: Cat

See ya on the Riv!

Victoria Gifford

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2015

Up until my teens, I spent my winters skiing and my summers wishing that it was winter. Then during my sophomore year of high school, I went on my first rafting trip down Desolation Canyon on the Green River and I found a reason to look forward to summer. I loved camping on beaches, the beauty of the river, and most of all the connections and friendships I made with people over the course of the trip. I got a job as a river guide as soon as I could, and I’ve absolutely loved it.
 
I currently study Biochemistry at the University of Montana and when I’m not studying, I spend as much time as I can outside. As much as I love studying science and living in Montana, I’m always excited to get back to Utah and the river. I grew up in New Jersey and Southern California, but my family spent all the time we could skiing in Utah, so the mountains became my home-away-from-home. I feel so grateful that I now have another home on the river, and that I have the opportunity to share this wonderful place with others.

Mac Kirkpatrick

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2015

Growing up in the mountain west, I have learned to cherish escaping into the wilderness. As a Salt Lake City native I have always enjoyed the ability to be away from it all at a moments notice. Enjoying the sensation of solitude amongst the mountains of my backyard has been a necessity throughout my life. I find that same solitude just a few hours south of my home in the Colorado Plateau and, as the snow melts out of the mountains and trickles south I have a tendency to follow.

What I love the most about being a Holiday river guide is seeing others experience that same serenity in the backcountry, gain a healthier perspective of our significance in relation to nature and in doing so, discover the sanctity of the natural world.

Colter Tucker

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2015

“I have always wanted to be a river guide and follow in the footsteps of my Uncle Randy. At the age of 20 I was able to take my first real river trip. It was an eight day motor trip down The Grand Canyon, and I fell in love. Sleeping under the stars, being lulled to sleep by the sound of the river, experiencing solitude like I never knew existed. From that point on I knew there was something in my life that was missing.  That very next year I applied at Holiday.”

Callie Decker

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

Talking about myself is strange so, let me tell you about the river! How amazing she is and how she is always exactly what you need.

For me, the river is a place that reflects things you already know, but sometimes don’t like to admit. Our busy and chaotic lives are flipped upside and slowed down. River trips allow you to take time and sort out issues that may be causing you stress or worry. You enter a natural, meditative state from being outside and enjoying the simplicities that living in the desert has to offer.

This is truly a magical experience that I wish for everyone to have. May I meet you on the water someday.

Oh, the names Callie Decker. Born in Oregon and raised by my strong, beautiful single mother in Arizona. West coast and all the desert glory forever!

 

Tyler Jameson

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

Hi. It’s me, Tyler. I hail from the land of southwest Colorado. It was there in Durango that I was molded into a strapping young woman. Then one day I spread my wings and flew away to the land of Boulder, Colorado where I was gifted with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, along with a minor in Women and Gender studies. Who doesn’t like a bit of Darwinism and gender role deconstruction, am I right folks?!

Things I like:
DOGS
Bluegrass music
Ping pong
The moon
A good joke
The wizarding world
Oh yes, and the river. Because I am my happiest, most content, and giddy self when I am propelling my craft down a liquid solution.

Trevor Fredrickson

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

I was born and raised in the deep south, well… southern Canada, in the Province of Minnesota. Dontcha know?!? After graduating from university, it didn’t take me long to find my way to Colorado. I work on the Ski Patrol in Aspen/Snowmass in the winter and I also guided on the rivers and trails there for a handful of years. I started running into Holiday trips when I was rafting some of Utah’s rivers with friends. Finally, when I was on a solo raft trip through Labyrinth, Stillwater, and Cataract Canyons, I was recruited by a couple of guides and started working for Holiday the next season.

I enjoy sharing these special wild places with all of ya! Pedals or paddles, you choose, I’m in!

Ellie Swanson

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

Oh hey there, it’s me, Ellie. Ellie Swanson. Here’s a little bit about me! Born in Salt Lake City to parents who weren’t going to let a child slow them down, I spent many a weekend backpacking the canyons of southern Utah. Utah’s desert, mountains and proximity between all its wonders has kept me here in the state. I studied Biology and Geography at the University of Utah, because who wouldn’t want to study some ecology and maps while spending time outside?! My favorite places to be tend to involve rims of canyons – which brings me here to Holiday, where I can stare up at canyon walls all day long. Being outside is my safe place, contributing the most to my personal felicity. Because what is life except just a search for adventure and happiness, am I right folks? I hope I propel y’all down the river soon.

Tess Holbrook

Working for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

Born and raised in Park City, Utah, I’ve spent most of my life in the outdoors. I’ve been white water rafting with my family for as long as I can remember, making it a huge part of my life. My dad always told me of his trips with Holiday and the amazing experiences he had, so at a young age I decided to take my love of rafting to the next level and wanted to one day become a guide. I started as a warehouse kid in Green River at the age of 18. In the winter, I’m a full time pre-med student at the University of Utah and ski on the weekends. I love the feeling of peace and serenity that the river creates, and I always feel at home when battling the white water and sleeping under the stars. My favorite things about working for Holiday are all the amazing people I meet and the memories I get to walk away with. Can’t wait for another year out there falling in love with the water!

Eve Ramos

Working for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

My name is Eve (pronounced Ehvay, It’s easy I promise) I’m an avid gamer, and outdoor adventurer! Weird combo with complete opposites, I know. During the winter, I hibernate and do not rise until I sense spring is coming. It sounds like a joke, but it’s not. I’m a full grown brown bear. Totally kidding. Bears can’t type, or row boats.

Now you probably want to know how I got involved with Holiday, and I’ll tell you. A coworker from my winter job worked for Holiday in his younger years, and put me on the right path to getting a job with the best company I have ever worked for. I love all of the people here, and I especially love meeting all of YOU, the guests! We can talk about dinosaurs, technology, and all of the rich wonderful history the river’s have to offer. Also, I am in complete support of changing the name of Fire Ant’s, to Spicy Boys. Make it happen Gretchen.