Kait Bailey, a friendly born and raised Oregonian, has been rafting for 10 years now. She enjoys time spent on the river, but also enjoys surfing at the Ocean, dog sledding in winter months, and fly fishing whenever she gets a chance. She gets too excited about jokes and often tells the punch-line before the joke is finished. She also likes to keep it simple, she lives out of her camper for months out of the year but hopes to be settled into some property in the near future. She enjoys spreading her stoke for rafting, and showing people the beauty of the outdoors. The river is where Kait feels most at peace and alive, so you will often find her there. She has a degree in Outdoor Environmental Education, so she often geeks out about the local history, flora and fauna, and geology of the area. She has rafted the Grand Canyon, Desolation Canyon, Arkansas River, Rio Grande, Salmon River, and many others. She is humble and appreciative of where she is at in her life. She loves teaching people about the river, and hopes that one day person by person she touches someone to feel the love of nature as well.
Patrick is 21 from Columbus, Ohio. His spirit animal is a golden retriever, and he feels he can relate to one on and off the water! He doesn’t sing in the shower, but he belts out to any song in the car. He is a Sagittarius, and thinks that waffles are the superior of the breakfast cakes! If he was stranded on an island he would bring a bag of volleyballs so he would never run out of “Wilson’s”.
Taylor Buchanan Combs is the General Manager at Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures. She has been a professional river guide for 14 years and has commercially guided on over 15 rivers in 5 different countries.
She has also worked as a professional travel guide across the world with various responsibilities such as leading sea kayaking expeditions into Northern Patagonia and guiding zip line and backpacking trips through the jungles of Costa Rica.
On the Rogue, in between daily boat wrestling matches and extreme river yoga, you can find Taylor on the side of the river sipping a glass of Sierra Vineyards Rosé. Taylor is proud and excited to call MRWA her home.
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!
Born in Chicago, Gabby Emerick, 24, and has been guiding for 6 years. She likes to raft Class II-V with anyone willing to hop in her boat. She enjoys stuffed banana bread french toast and will bake you up anything you like. She is a Libra, forever seeking balance, and is told her spirit animal is a turtle, though she is a true Siren of the river. Her favorite river game is lounging in the side creeks under the shade of an Alder. She has rafted many rivers such as Arkansas, Grape Creek, Colorado (Gore Canyon), Snake, Payette, and Smith. She forgets many others.
She is a raft guide because she feels that our fresh water systems are most important and she is here to support them just as much as they support her. When she is working on the river, whichever one that may be, her heart is full, her mind is clear, and she feels that she is the luckiest girl in the world. She loves to row if she has less inclined paddlers, and loves to paddle when she has a killer crew! On her off season, her work varies year to year. She has worked as a teacher, a pianist, a waitress, a librarian, a baker, a housekeeper, a bartender, a tiler, and a line cook.
Currently, she is traveling south to work on the Mendoza river in Argentina for the winter. Many do not know that Gabby is excellent with a melon baller, and her popularity in high school was never fully realized. While in the shower she sings, “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat,” or “The Guide Hide,” when she is staying at any of the beautiful Rogue River lodges. She is bad at admitting that she is bad at things! If she had only one day left to live, she would spend it in a submarine, cruising around the depths of the ocean, meeting the unique and freaky creatures there. Also, if she were stranded on an island she would bring her friends (and they’ll bring the beverages). Lastly, Gabby always votes for a stacked deli sandwich. Sin carne para mi! Come join Gabby on an adventure of a lifetime!
Jordy Eskigitis, 20 years old, was born in Grants Pass. He has been guiding for 5 seasons and currently goes to school for Forestry Management. On his off time you will find Jordy riding dirt bikes, and making some great coffee at Dutch Bros. He was the Captain for his high school football team, and was a socialite all around Grants Pass. His hidden talent is bowling, watch out when he is in the groove because he often bowls turkeys! Jordy is a raft guide because meeting new people while spending days on the riving and sleeping under the stars is the best job he could ask for. You want Jordy on your team for his favorite river game, capture the flag. He enjoys oar rigs all day long, but also enjoys having paddlers in his boat. When you see Jordy, you often see him with a turkey sandwich in his hand at lunch, or pancakes at breakfast. If Jordy was stranded on an island he would bring (the adventure expert) Bear Grylls so he could conquer every situation.
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.
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.
Katileyn Kaufman, a capricorn, also, DBA “Hammer” was born and raised in South-Central Colorado. Her favorite place to call home is Leadville, Colorado, and though she is a young 27 year old she has a very wise old soul and her heart loves everyone. She trained nine years ago, and has been a commercial raft guide for six years now. She has been enjoying her “private boater” lifestyle for a while now, but is ready to get back into the game. On her off season she plays in the snow, and simultaneously dreams about the day when it will all melt away. Most recently she tried the whole “desk job” thing and came to remember all the reasons she had become a raft guide in the first place. Little known facts about Hammer is that she doesn’t like sudoku– she just doesn’t think it’s worth it. Her body sucks at digesting dairy products. Her favorite shower/morning song: the intro to the lion king (circle of life). On the other hand she is very good at skeleton racing (Gold Medal, Leadville Winter Olympics). Making kindling and shoveling snow! More importantly she always chooses the perfect socks given the occasion/situation. If you’ve EVER been rafting before she doesn’t have to explain why it is amazing…it speaks for itself. She thinks of herself as a bear cub, but her river animal is a duck, she loves them so very much! Her favorite river game is “Boat Knows The Way” and believes that oars or paddles they both have their place. If Hammer were stranded on an island she would go simple and bring a sunhat!
Brad Kreider is a new guide at Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures & Lodge formerly from Western Montana. He is 20 ish give or take 30 years and has been rafting off and on for well over 12 years. In his offseason, he works in the manufacturing of firearms industry. He is bad at being off the river, and would rather live his life alongside the wonderful ecosystem. If Brad had one last day to live he would skip flossing, and although he doesn’t know of singing in the shower he makes up for it with his sarcastic humor! Brad writes poetry in his spare time and considers this his hidden talent. He is a river guide because it makes him who he is, and he truly loves the water and the excitement. Brad is a Cancer, whose spirit color is purple! He has rafted on the Middle and North Fork of the Flathead, and the Swan River as well. He is very excited to raft the Rogue River. His favorite river game is riding the bull, and he could eat pancakes all day long. If Brad were stranded on an island he would bring a pair of lime green speedos and 5 highly trained butler monkeys!
Kevin McCarthy, or Kev Mac, was born in Yonkers, NY, and boy does he have an accent to prove it. He portrays himself as timeless and has been rafting since his twenties. In his off-season, he enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and paragliding. Due to a complete lack of desire, he is not only incapable of throwing a football, but he remains steadfast on his refusal to learn. Elvis Presley is his go-to shower song, and though he has many hidden talents he won’t anymore if he tells us. Kev Mac started guiding for the adventure, he continues for the love of the river, the satisfaction of sharing these special places, and the close kinship of his tribe of fellow guides. Being on any river is a joyous experience, and, for Kev, the Class II soulfulness compliments the adrenaline inducing days of Class V. He is a Virgo and his spirit animal is the Raven, though his river animal is more of an otter. He has commercially guided the Gauley and New river in West Virginia, Ocoee in Tennessee, Yampa, Colorado, Blue, and all raftable sections of the Arkansas in Colorado, Lochsa and Snake in Idaho, Blackfoot and Clark Fork in Montana, and many more simply for fun. He has never had a PBJ in his life and he doesn’t eat mammals. Lastly, if Kev Mac was stranded on an island he would bring a knife if tropical and an AmEx Platinum card if Manhattan!
Florentina Marie Phillips, who goes by Marie, spent most of her life in Fortuna CA and Baton Rouge LA. Marie is 28 years old and she is a new Down River guide at Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures & Lodge. She has been rafting since 2013 and in her off-season she travels, rafts, and kayaks. She is bad at spelling, but lucky for us she is quite good at rafting! She does not sing in the shower for fear of glass breaking, and she cannot tell us about any hidden talents! She is a guide because she loves the outdoors, rivers, and people. Most of all she loves connecting people with the wilderness! She is a Virgo/Leo cusp, her spirit animal is a bear cub, but her river animal is a mink! Her favorite river game is the balancing act, and she enjoys both oars and paddles and has love and respect for all classes of rivers. She has rafted the Rogue, Klamath, North Fork Umpqua, Upper Sac, Cal Salmon, Smith (N fork, M Fork and S Fork) Trinity, South Fork Trinity, North Fork Yuba, SF, MF, NF American, Merced, NF Feather, Colorado, Muddy Creek, Stoney Creek, Youghiogheny, and the Trisuli and Kali Gandaki in Nepal. Plus many more that pop into her head periodically. If she were stranded on an island she would bring Tropical seeds to plant so she could live there for a while!
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.
Kevin Shea better known as MaGee is 23 years old from West Glacier, Montana. This is his first year at Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures & Lodge and he will be guiding both daily and overnight trips. Day to day monotony kills him, which is the reason why he likes raft guiding because every trip is different! He has been guiding on and off since he was eighteen and this winter has been the first that he hasn’t been in college; because he spent it working at Alta Mountain looking for that sweet powder! He is terrible at calculus and talking to any girl that he has a crush on. On the other hand, he is really good at drawing but doesn’t like to show people because he always feels like he is showing off. His favorite shower song is Mr. Redundant by Rainbow Kitten Surprise (this song is quite catchy). He is an Aries, whose spirit animal is a moose and he would turn any food down for a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats. If MaGee were stranded on an island he would bring a solar still to render salt water drinkable, because he will try to get off the island for sure. He doesn’t have a good explanation as to why he loves rafting and guiding, but he knows that he enjoys the outdoors, adrenaline, and being on the water. He has rafted quite a few rivers all across the west and a few in Alaska as well. Kevin is excited to meet the Rogue River and play upon her beautiful water.
Kara Spaulding, 30, from Truckee California has guided many jobs in many states. This awesome and amazing Scorpio has been guiding for 11 years now, and in her off season, she is a well-seasoned veteran at Dog Sledding. She enjoys being a musher in the beautiful snowy mountains of Colorado and Idaho. Her dogs mean the world to her, and you can often catch her reminiscing about her off season. Kara’s spirit animal she is told is the Honey Badger, but she wishes she was something like an otter or a salmon. However, she is probably more like a pike minnow. Kara is bad at really any household chore, be it sewing, or laundry, but you will still find her in the kitchen cooking up a storm!
Kara has rafted on a lot of rivers. Being that it is a long list, the ones that she has worked on are the American, Arkansas, Clear Creek, and the Rogue River. Depending on the river, some deserve the oars and some deserve the paddle, either way, she enjoys them both. She truly loves rafting solid class IV, but she sees the beauty in all rivers. Kara has many hidden talents, and they shine when she sings her own songs in the shower and accompanies her beautiful singing with her guitar. Kara has a drive for adventure, which prompts her to say “yes” to many things. For example, she has eaten dried crickets, and she says they were actually pretty good with salsa! Kara, a clever-minded woman, says if she were stranded on an island she would bring an airplane so she could leave. This is so she can continue doing the activities that keep her going, and living each day like it is her last. She loves rafting, playing music, and spending time with people she loves. Come find Kara on the Rogue River.
In the green corner, from Redding, CA the hottest place on earth, is the young the beautiful 27-year-old Tessa Woods! She has been guiding for 9 years mostly in California, a bit in Arizona, Thailand, and beautiful Oregon. The winter time she always changes it up she travels abroad on volunteer trips, life as a ski bum, all while she is going to school for Social Work. Tessa is a wild and wonderful Taurus, whose river animal is the otter! She enjoys class V and has rafted the Kern, Kings, Tuolumne, Kaweah, Klamath, White Nile, Salt, Colorado, and Snake rivers. If she had one last day to live she would go rafting with her favorite people in the world!