I was born and raised off the grid in a small coastal hills town called Willamina. From the time I could swim my Dad took my brothers and I rafting all across Oregon. Once I turned 18 I started guiding on the lower Deschutes and the Santiam. From there I was able to explore more rivers across the northwest. I guide for the experience I am able to share with my clients. Currently, my hobbies range from any sort of water sport into mountaineering and climbing.
Love the rogue. From the valley started working on the rogue when I was 18. I feel lucky to be able to share the rogue with others
Having been raised by parents who were raft guides for significant portions of their lives, I have always known I would be a raft guide at some point. Since grade 3, we have been running private trips every summer on a handful of different rivers. I love to be outdoors, socialize with people, and do anything active.
Stephen Dennis, known more as, BAMA, is surprisingly from Birmingham, Alabama. He is a young strapping 27 years old and has been a raft guide for 4 years now. In the Winter time, he switches between traveling, ski bum, and he also is a Scuba Dive Master Instructor. He is a raft guide because having fun outside for a job is pretty awesome! He is a Scorpio whose spirit animal and river animal is a Bald Eagle. He loves working the oars on a raft and enjoys spending time on the wild and wonderful Rogue River. Bama is terrible at crochet, but he makes up for it in the shower with his lovely voice singing to “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd! Bama is very practical and if he were stranded on an island he would bring a water filter!
Mel, originally from New York, moved to the Caribbean to teach environmental sciences. But after six years, she decided to trade in her warm, turquoise, ocean water for cold, green, river water and hasn’t looked back! For the last five years, she has shared her love of the outdoors by splashing grown-up kids and skipping stones with little munchkins on rivers all over the nation. When she’s not on the water you’ll find her practicing yoga, telling “Dad jokes” and blowing bubbles.
I am 22 years old and a student at Boise State University. I’ve been guiding for 3 seasons for my University Outdoor Program and 1 season in Stanley, Idaho. This is my first season at Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures. I’ve rafted on the Payette River, Main Salmon, and Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Favorite foods include pizza and vanilla ice cream. People tell me that my spirit animal is a baby giraffe. You might hear me humming along to my favorite song ‘Long Hot Summer Day’ or shout “A-O River!” My claim to fame is being featured on the Zion National Park Instagram and receiving over 7,500 likes. When not on the river, I enjoy mountain biking, skiing, and backpacking through the Idaho Wilderness. I guide because I love sharing my passion for the outdoors and the many things it has to offer with others.
Originally from Chicago, IL, Chris has been living out West for the past 11 years. Chris has been guiding for 10 years now and has guided in many places in the world; Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru. He loves everything that the Rogue River has to offer and enjoys sharing it with our guests. When Chris is not on the river you can most likely find him soaring above the Applegate and Rogue Valleys. An avid Paraglider, Chris spends his winter following the flyable weather around the globe.
My name is Joseph Gurzi, I am 20 years old and I am from Merlin Oregon. This will be my 3rd year guiding and 4th year at this company. I guide because to me there is not much better than being out on the water and meeting and talking to new people. I enjoy snowboarding, cars and of course rafting!
My name is Drea Hanks. I am from a small town in the middle of the Rockies in Colorado. 4 hours away from any sort of mall or outdoor store, but in a world of outdoors. My early days consisted of summers rafting, backpacking mountain biking etc. This has allowed me to be apart of the river from a very early age. The river is my home and I love sharing it with people. This will be my first season commercially guiding, however, I have lead trips on many of the rivers close to home. I enjoy doing anything outdoors. Recently I have been focusing on the wild realm of white water kayaking and hope to continue to live my life on the river.
Having spent most of his life around the water and after 8 years in the US Coast Guard, Russell moved to the Rogue Valley in ’95 and eventually started kayaking and rafting the local rivers in 2001.
Russell started guiding in 2006 starting with ½ day trips and working up to his ultimate goal of guiding multi-day trips on the Wild and Scenic section of the Lower Rogue. You can often find Russell taking in the river, cooking up some good eats, or playing his guitar. Go ahead and ask him some questions about the local history, he may even remember some of it.
Come meet Russell on the Rogue River!
Grants Pass local and socialite, Haley Hoback, 21, has been guiding for 6 seasons now. She currently goes to school at Western Oregon University and is a busy body. She was very active in her high school, involved in many clubs, and knew everyone. She enjoys spending her days on the river where she meets new people along the way. The river calls to Haley and seems that she is grasped to her sounds, beauty, and fun. She has dedicated her heart and soul to the Rogue River and doesn’t see herself going anywhere else. Haley associates herself a sun- drenched mermaid libra, though her spirit animal is a river otter that enjoys laying out in the sun. She thrives for adventure and would get on a plane just to go anywhere. Her favorite river game is capture the flag, or dangerously jousting with oars and paddles. Her claim to fame is not only swallowing a goldfish hole, but she also is a hula hoop maniac. She enjoys the challenge of class V boating and likes an oar rig with a paddle assist. She spends most of her time with kids and family adventures with everyone. Come find Haley on the Rogue River.
Born and raised in Southern California, sunshine and water have always been a part of my life. I love outdoor activities and meeting new people. I am not shy and love to talk. I live currently in Merlin, Oregon and will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona come August. I look forward to my first year guiding and am ready to make my impression out on the Rogue.
Aharon Hook, another Grants Pass local in our guide family, is 20 years old and has been rafting with Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures for 3 years now. He is currently in college working hard, but in high school he was a pretty big deal. He is famous for his jokes exploiting the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings… No pun intended! In the shower he sings Michael Jackson’s Pretty Young Thing or P.Y.T. and has dance moves to go along with it! Aharon is a goofy and outgoing guy who believes that nothing is better than being on the mighty Rogue River all day. His river animal he relates to is a Black Bear, but his astrological animal is a Sea-Goat. Aharon is a funny and outgoing guide, who enjoys showing everyone the river.
Hey, I’m Zoë! I am originally from Muskegon, Michigan and grew up exploring The Great Lakes but moved to Oregon to experience all of the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest and attend school. I have spent most of my time on the Wilson, Clackamas, and Rouge rivers. I am studying Business and Outdoor Leadership at Pacific University. I love embarking on adventures that lead me to spend as much time as possible rafting down rivers and skiing in the mountains. I am an avid smoothie connoisseur and love whipping up new recipes!
Hey, my name is Tristen. I’m originally from Southern California and I’ve been back and forth between Oregon and California for the past 5 years now. This will be my second official season guiding. Last season I was on the Kern down in the southern sierras where I guided class III and class IV. I’ve also guided in Oregon on the Clackamas. Santiam, and Rogue all class II and III. I love getting people into places they would not have experienced otherwise whether that’s rafting, kayaking. Climbing, backpacking, etc. I like all the things that get me outside and am stoked on the soon endeavor to fly!
I am originally from Salt Lake City, Utah and moved to Oregon in 2001. I have guided for 1 season so far and that was the year before last. Guiding was a blast and I did it because I enjoy the outdoors and water very much. I love hunting, fishing and camping when I get the chance to do it. I am going to enjoy coming back this coming season
Bob Rafalovich was born in Cleveland, Tennessee. Though he is old enough to know better, he has still been a raft guide for 43 seasons! Bob is the guy who started Rogue Wilderness Adventures in the early 1970’s and operated it for 32 years. He is a voracious Virgo, who enjoys rafting on the Rogue River. Be it oars or paddles, low water or high water, history or biology, Bob is the knowledgable guide for you. He enjoys the very imaginative game of Cosmic Volleyball on the river, and you will always see him up early for his coffee in the morning. If Bob were stranded on a desert island he would bring a hammock to relax in
Bob, being a seasoned boatmen, is at the top of the food chain. You will find him on numerous lodge trips, camping trips, and fishing trips, and you can guarantee that he will be the first one up. If you cannot find Bob on the water rafting, you might find him in his drift boat guiding fishing trips on the Rogue River. Bob’s life has been about the Rogue River for many decades, the river is dear to his heart, and he is a legend on the Rogue River. If you get Bob in your boat, consider yourself a very lucky person. Come join Captain Bob on the Rogue River.
Yo! I’m Tay, an eclectic leo with smile wrinkles from laughing so frequently (I also have zero poker face game). I come from St. Louis, Missouri, but have called Colorado home for the past six years. This is my fourth season guiding, my first on the Rogue! I grew up in canoes and kayaks on the rivers, ponds, and lakes of Missouri, and since moving to Colorado have guided various stretches on the Colorado, Roaring Fork, Arkansas, Ocoee (Tennessee), and the Green. My river spirit animal is a goose–you gotta watch them play in the rapids, man!–and my everyday spirit animal is an alpine ibex: a goat adrenaline-junkie crazy for them greens (mostly lichen…and salad). I am fascinated with river ecology and nothing gets me going like a good ol’ set of rapids. I am a Biology (Ecology) major also studying watershed and environmental sciences; I nerd out for nature and am soothed by the sound of raging water. I am the president and founder of my college’s Slackline and Hammock Club–come hang out and slack off! I spend my winters ski instructing on the mountains and snowboarding in my downtime. I like to have fun and relax, which for me includes: dancing, floating, basking in the sun, reading, climbing, bouldering, kayaking, SUPing, hiking, backpacking, gardening, cooking, rappelling, painting, traveling! My dog is a golden sausage, affectionately called Simba. Live fast, pet dogs.
Ben, or as we know him: the “Water Buffalo,” was raised in the SF Bay Area. This will be his 3rd season guiding multi-day trips on the Wild and Scenic Rogue. Before joining us, he also worked the Deschutes, Clackamas, and American Rivers in Oregon and California—guiding commercially since the age of 18. He is a recent UPenn grad, where he studied Molecular Biology and Chemistry—having attended the Ivy League university on a full scholarship! He hopes to go to med school one day. He teaches CPR to family and friends of hospitalized cardiac patients and helps the AHA research more effective CPR teaching methods. Every summer, Ben returns to the river. If you’ve ever been in Ben’s boat, you’ll know he captains a rather spicy craft: barreling big whitewater with oh-so-relaxed paddle commands and a big, confident smile! Ben encourages spicy behavior among his guests as well. Word on the river is that he once took 14 federal circuit court judges down the Wild and Scenic section, and the judges called themselves “Ben’s spice girls” by the end. Ben is unsure if this (true) rumor violates any legal contracts or nondisclosure agreements. So come along for a Benventure, where the “look good feel good!” dream comes alive for both paddlers and guide!
Hello! My name is Serita. I am from a small sea town in NW Washington called Poulsbo. However, I have spent most of my time guiding in Northern Oregon on the Wilson and Clackamas rivers. I am a Spanish/Biology student at Pacific University where I also work for a program called Outdoor Pursuits. I have only been guiding for a year but have completely fallen in love with the rivers, the sport and the friendships it brings. Along with rafting I love surfing, downhill skiing and flying a Cessna 172 as I am currently in the process of getting my Pilots license! This summer, I am beyond excited to meet so many new faces and share my passion for the outdoors with so many great people.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Ocean City, NJ. NJ is where I developed my passion for water sports. As an avid surfer, when I moved to Colorado I was unsure of how I was gonna get my water fix. Boom the discovery of Whitewater. I have been a Guide for 7 years and have guided in Colorado, Arizona, West Virginia, Washington, and Oregon. I love adventure and the outdoors and rafting provides both of these. I love to fish, surf and bike.
I grew up in Overland Park, Kansas and then moved to Iowa for school where I played college soccer and studied International Business and Marketing Management. After working in Iowa for a little while I moved out to Vail, Colorado to become a raft guide. My first time white water rafting was my first day of guide training. So far I have guided on the Eagle, Colorado, and Arkansas rivers in Colorado, and the Shotover River in New Zealand. I guide because I get to work in the world’s best office, and I love my river families and the wonderful people who go rafting. When I am not on the river I like to hike, trail run, climb, camp, read, do yoga, and eat.
Born and raised in Redding, CA but didn’t find my passion for rivers until traveling far and wide. I learned to raft, and began guiding in 2009 on the Kern River in Southern California and have been exploring rivers all over the West coast since then! I have also guided on the Merced, Kings, Tuolumne, Salt, Klamath, and now the Rogue rivers! Of course, the Rogue is one of my all-time favorites, with some of the most diverse wildlife I have ever seen on a river! My favorite animal on the Rogue is a tough choice between river otters (my spirit animal!) and black bears. The beauty and diversity of rivers are only half the reason I am still guiding 10 years later, being able to share my passion and knowledge of how and why rivers are such important pieces to our ecosystem is the biggest gift of all! When I’m not rafting you can find me traveling abroad, living the ski bum lifestyle snowboarding, hiking, gardening or enjoying a nice IPA hanging with friends around the campfire!
I’m from Page, Arizona. Native Arizonan I’m starting my 6th season as a river guide. I have guided on the: Colorado River, Glen Canyon, Arizona; San Juan River, Upper & Lower Canyon, Utah; the Rio Grande, Big Bend National Park & Ranch State Park, Texas. I enjoy being on the water and I love spending time on a river. I like to explore the outdoors: hiking, backpacking, camping, swimming, canoeing, kayaking.