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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.