Behind the Scenes Guide Stories
Textbook River Guide Ingenuity on Bear Camp Road
by Hata Hill
This year we ran a couple of 5 day Rogue trips, which we love because they afford the option of a layover day and more time to enjoy the beauty of the Rogue. Our July 3rd launch was one of these, which meant that we took out on the same day as our July 4th 4 day trip. Our former guide and longtime river running friend Peter Fox had organized the July 3rd trip, and brought along three of his own catarafts. This meant that at Foster Bar we had 10 guides, 39 guests, and 25 boats including all the rafts and duckies! Suffice to say this required both of our trucks to bring all the gear back over Bear Camp Road.
Both trips reported good times had by all, but the shuttle drive was when things got interesting. Our trusty older truck, affectionately known as Charlie Brown to the guides, lost the alternator belt and stopped running once the battery wore down. Geoff and Billy identified the problem and 10 improvising minds set to work. The initial solution was a makeshift belt fabricated out of duct tape. They jump-started Charlie with Howie, our newer diesel flatbed, and got going again. It worked great for a few miles but eventually the friction proved to be too much for the duct tape and they broke down again. This time James suggested they use parachute cord, the stout nylon cordage we use for oar leashes and miscellaneous repairs. (This was appropriate as James’ nickname has been P-cord since guide school in ’06.) They jumped Charlie Brown again and made it home with an alternator belt made out of string.
ECHO Guides Set New Record For On-Time Performance!
by Dick Linford
ECHO is adamant that our guides be on time -or early- when they load their boats the first morning of a trip. Our guides for our August 22 Rogue River trip set a record for promptness that we think will stand for years to come. On Tuesday, August 21, the crew of Zach Byars, Billy Miller, Colleen Winters, Colleen McNally-Murphy and Allison Ahlert were up at 6 AM as usual, and on the road to put-in by 7. Retired Rogue manager Adam Farmer was filling in as manager for Hata Hill and Maggie Hodges, who were on a private Grand Canyon trip. He was making sure things ran like clockwork on his watch.
The crew whipped through getting the boats in the water and rigged. Zach, as lead guide, left at 8:30 to meet our guests at the Galice Lodge. He stopped on his way at the US Bureau of Land Management office to register the trip. The BLM officials informed Zach that ECHO didn’t have a trip starting that day. Our trip started on Wednesday. Zach drove back to put-in just in time to catch Colleen, who had set off in her raft to secure the first night's camp.
After a good laugh, the crew decided to keep the boats in the water and camp at put-in. Someone ran back to the house to get kayaks to play in on the upper river.