This is going to sound a bit ridiculous to most of you, but that’s OK. I know I’m going down that road anyway. Many years ago I was told by a fellow river guide that you aren’t really a career raft guide unless:
- You’ve been boating for at least ten years
- You’ve worked commercially on more than three rivers
- You’ve been down the Grand Canyon on a private trip
At the time #2 was my only accomplishment, and I thought his statement was most certainly, the most absolutely ridiculous thing I had ever heard. I thought he must of designed these guidelines to make me feel low on the seniority totem pole that dominates river companies. But for some reason it stuck with me. My entire identity is nestled into the rhythms of river cultures. I speak the jive, I sport the look, I am good at talking myself into or out of most situations, I like to laugh, I liked to get paid to laugh and at many points in my career- I was darn good at maneuvering a raft through all kinds of rapids.
14 years later, I pass all three requirements. I made the cut years back, but I thought I’d give this concept a try in a blog. Does anyone agree with these strict guidelines? Or if you had to make a list of requirements to really be a professional career river guide- what would you put down?
The photo? Kaituna River, North Island, New Zealand