HOW LONG AND WHY/HOW DID YOU START WORKING AT OCOEE INN RAFTING?
I started rafting with OIR in 2004 and I’ve been paddling since my teens, so most of my life.
WHAT ARE SOME CRAZY/ADVENTUROUS THINGS YOU’VE DONE?
My husband and I, when we travel, tend to be “fly by the seat of our pants” type. We have our own rafting rig and gear and love to experience new waters. I’ve been rafting in Patagonia, Chile and out west. Besides foreign waters, we also enjoy learning about other cultures and experiencing different climates. Some of our best travel experiences don’t involve hotels.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT OCOEE INN RAFTING?
These guys trained me and I have been working with them since the start of my professional career. Having as many long-term guides as OI does is pretty unusual. But the reason for it is, we have always worked really well together and the work environment feels like family. Many of us have a 10+ year coworker relationship. The nature of our jobs mean that we have to look out for each other and occasionally work together to get out of challenging situations. The OI crew has always done this well and I really trust the guys I work with to make good choices and I believe they do the same for me.
WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE AS A GUIDE AND WHY WOULD I REQUEST YOU?
I’m a female raft guide, water sport enthusiast, who is a mom first. I am particularly good at being patient and helping first time rafters overcome their fears of the water. I’ve been told I have a calm way of leading groups out of chaotic situations. Plus I have an educational background in environmental science and a deeply rooted passion for the outdoors.
DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO TELL FIRST-TIME RAFTERS?
No two trips are the same. Rafting is an improv sport so be prepared to figure it out as you go, and enjoy the water and scenery.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? IF NOT NOT LOCALLY, WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE?
I was born and raised in Chattanooga. During the off season, I’m always looking to expose my daughter to new things in this world. Family is first for us, so we go on a lot of “adventures” together. Wylie started hiking with me when she was 3 months old. I carry her in a backpack. Our two dogs, Turtle and Rabbit always join in on these experiences and we try to spend as much time outdoors as possible. I also love learning about the origin, preparation and preservation of food.