What is the best part of the job?
The continuous change of the water levels, brings a change in the way you navigate the rapids making every single trip an adventure of its own.
Why do you think people should go on a rafting trip?
The excitement, the challenge and the adrenalin rush!
What is a fun fact about you?
I am an ex-Army Scout/Sniper, now a Clinical Chaplain working with Veterans through their own traumatic experiences. I am a guide in life just like the river.
Why would I want you as a guide?
I am not boring and I am strong (pretty important if you fall out) and I have over 22 years’ experience on the river, with 7 years as a full time guide.
How long and Why/How did you start working at Ocoee Inn Rafting?
I was introduced to the Ocoee River as a teenager growing up in the Atlanta, GA area. When I moved to TN to attend Lee University, I met my lifelong friend Michael Tyndall (2nd best guide on the river) and he took me often, probably 16 years often! Once I came back to the area to finish graduate school, he talked me into training to be a guide and I have not looked back since. I live in Oklahoma now but I always travel back a few times each year to guide trips and enjoy something I dearly love to do!
Otherwise known as/nickname.
How did you get your nickname?
When you encounter me, it is like being cauterized: To cauterize is to seal off a wound or incision by burning it or freezing it, usually with a hot iron, electricity, or chemicals. Metaphorically, cauterize means to make less sensitive to feelings and emotions. Because I help traumatized Veterans, my buddies use this is many fashionable ways. What I really think they mean, is that when you encounter me…you will not forget it!
What are some crazy/adventurous things you’ve done?
You mean raft guide isn’t enough? I have fathered four children, that is insane! I completed long range reconnaissance school in the Army and sniper school. I served in the US Army as a scout-sniper for 3 years. I hunt and fish. Prefer to hunt wild game that can potentially kill me like bears or boars. Oh, and I am married to a Latino…probably the most crazy/adventurous thing I have done!
What do you love about Ocoee Inn Rafting?
Ocoee River rafting is a group of REAL professional people that love the Ocoee River! The Ocoee Inn is a staple for that region, family owed and operated and WE are all family around there. Our goal is to make you feel like family when you are there!
What makes you unique as a guide and why would I request you?
I am unique because I have flipped backwards in Godzilla in a super puma…not many out there can say they have done that! You would request me because you want the challenge of skilled course through dangerous rapids when a guide that knows how to ride the EDGE…all the time!
Do you have anything to tell first-time rafters?
Make sure your gear is on tight and put your paddle into the water when I call stokes!
Where did you grow up? If not not locally, what brought you here?
Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, grew up in metro-Atlanta from 5 until I entered the US Army. Moved to east TN to go to college and then grad school…east TN will always have a place in my heart!
What does your off season look like?
I am a Clinical Chaplain at the Eastern Oklahoma VA Healthcare System where I work alongside the mental health outpatient clinics to provide spiritual care for our Veterans.
What are your hobbies?
My family, travel, dining, weight training, hunting, fishing…anything outdoors!
What/Who inspires you?
The United States Military Veterans I work with each day inspire me to keep pressing forward in life, regardless of the obstacle or hurdle in your way…life brings challenges and it is how we encounter those challenges that show the character of who we are.