Guide Testimonial Britt Runyon

Guide Testimonial Britt Runyon, 7/29/17

“On Wednesday Susan and I took the most wonderful raft trip down the Rio Grande south of Taos. Our guide, for the second time, was our friend Britt Runyon, with New Wave Rafting. Britt has such a great love for this area, along with deep knowledge of the plants, animals and the river itself (and is such a great guy), that the trip was a total joy! We highly recommend him and the river itself.”

Britt Runyon

Britt is our Operations Manager. Every once in a while we try to figure out how long he has been with us – it’s been SO long! He started in 1985 or earlier!!

And he is our video and  photography producer. You’ll see his work on the website.

Past the drop, with a big smile on her face!

Here, he photographed Kathy Miller, NWRCo. Pres., running Powerline Falls in the Taos Box this season.

Bighorn sheep and channel fill

and Bighorn sheep in the Taos Box, also this season.

Come rafting with us, and request Britt. He represents our vision of providing the most valuable river experience possible. And … help us save the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (which includes the Taos Box) from the clutches of the current administration, which wants to downsize or eliminate National Monuments completely. Drop a line to:  @SecretaryZinke.

Thanks!

 

 

(Guide Testimonial Britt Runyon)

(Guide Testimonial Britt Runyon)

Steve Miller Publishes “The Salt River”, an iBook

“The Salt River, a Photo Journey and Visual Guide” , by Steve Miller, joins “The Grand, the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, a Photo Journey and Visual Guide, together showcasing Arizona’s two most sought-after river trips. Like the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, the Salt River is unique. The 52-mile trip down the Salt River combines exciting whitewater and spectacular scenery in a Sonoran desert setting, which most notably includes Arizona’s spectacular saguaro cactus. At the heart of the trip is the 32,000 acre Salt River Canyon Wilderness, where, in the Jump Off Canyon section, one finds the most challenging whitewater and most awe-inspiring scenery. With almost 500 photos, annotated maps and 17 movies of rapids, everything of interest is shown: Class 2-4 rapids, spring wildflowers, cacti of all sorts, side canyons and swimming holes, sculpted and polished rocks, potholes, ripple-marked slabs, gorges of white granite and dark metamorphic rock, wildlife, campsites, waterfalls, indian ruins, every rock layer that the river has carved through, spectacular vistas, mileages, historical information, environmental concerns and more.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1244922282

Steve Miller earlier published “The Grand, the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, a Photo Journey and Visual Guide”, also an iBook. With 364 pages, this book covers the 297 miles of the trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and below, to a take-out on Lake Mead. Both books share the same format, showing and describing, through photos, movies, and text, everything of interest on and along the two rivers. A 3rd edition of this book is now (June 2017) close to release. Don’t miss it!

Steve Miller is the VP of New Wave Rafting Co, located on the Rio Grande, near Taos, NM. New Wave Rafting Company provides half-day and full-day trips on the Rio Grande, ranging in difficulty from Class 2 – 4, and full-day and 3-day trips on the nearby Rio Chama. The Rio Chama is a tributary of the Rio Grande, but is located in an area of scenic beauty quite unlike that of the Rio Grande. This colorful sandstone area has been made famous in the paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, and many Westerns are shot on and along this river.

the Rio Chama

Chama Rock, on the Rio Chama

The re-make of the Magnificent 7, alongside the Rio Chama

http://www.newwaverafting.com

 

 

Powerline Falls on the Rio Grande, with Kathy

Powerline Falls with Kathy, June 5, 2017. Powerline Falls is the most unforgettable and photogenic rapid on the Taos Box section of the Rio Grande, located in the heart of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Kathy is the President of New Wave Rafting Company, and she likes to keep her hand in! After all, she’s only 66 years of age … Here, she is seen rowing the “chase boat” – an additional boat sent along as a back-up boat, on what would otherwise be a single boat Taos Box trip. In these photos, the river is running at about 2700 cubic feet a second, which is a very bouncy level. At this moment (June 7, 2017), the river continues to rise, as the newly-arrived warmth accelerates the snowmelt in the headwaters (the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, uphill of the former mining town of Creede). Who knows how high it will get this season? We’re all guessing.

This series of photos is by Britt Runyon, the Operations Manager at New Wave Rafting Company. He manages to both guide his raft and take top notch photos!

All I see is an oar!

There she is.

Past the drop, with a big smile on her face!

What else does Kathy do? Well, besides her duties with New Wave, she is the Chief of our local (Dixon, NM) volunteer fire department, which keeps her pretty busy. She just recently earned her badge as an Emergency Medical Responder, since so many of the calls that the Fire Dep’t receives are for medical emergencies (more than for fires). And in the winter she is a ski instructor at Taos Ski Valley. And what is she doing at this very minute? She’s picking cherries!

Kathy, on the river

Kathy, at the Fire Dep’t.

Kathy, at Taos Ski Valley

2016 Season Ends

Thanks to ALL of our wonderful guests who make this vocation of ours so fulfilling. Our 2016 season in now over. And guess what some of us are doing next? Yes, we’re going rafting – and this time for 21 days in the Grand Canyon! We launch on Sept. 17. This will be my 17th trip, with Kathy Miller and Britt Runyon close behind.

Cover of my iBook, on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

Cover of my iBook, on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

Here’s the link. It only costs $5.99:

 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1

Come rafting with us in 2017 and ask about our adventures in the Grand Canyon!

On Being A River Guide

On Being A River Guide – by John Bryant Baker

“To someone who has not run a rapid before & questions the need to do so at all, the lure of this charging volume of water pouring toward your very own vulnerable, fragile body is difficult to explain . . . it gives an edge to living, a baptism that blesses with a reminder of mortality . . . once is enough for many, & forever not enough for some.”

-Ann Zwinger

I drift along the eddy lines, the places where current and calm meet. Here the two touch and dance, whirlpools swirling down and boils rising up from the depths. Here, as everywhere, water seeks equilibrium, balance. Maybe this is why I find myself so drawn to rivers. They are all about seeking balance. Just as in life, along the course towards equilibrium I often find myself in the midst of seeming chaos. The rapids and cataracts, the waterfalls and explosions of whitewater, the eddy lines and their tango of whirlpools and boils. Here, among the waves and whitewater, is where I remember that magic exists. Engulfed by the currents and the colliding of water and rocks, my soul sings and I know what it means to be alive. In the heart of water’s struggle for balance exists this special place I long to be, to know, and to take people to. This is why I am a river guide.

It never ceases to amaze me how life can just reach out a grab me sometimes, pulling me into something I know absolutely nothing about and yet simultaneously I feel more at home in than ever before. This was the case with whitewater. For 41% of my life now, I have been guiding people down the magical ribbons of rivers that lay themselves out across the varying landscapes of this country. From the steep mountain streams amidst the lushness of Appalachia to the rivers that carve away at time and sandstone walls in the desert Southwest, from a few hours in length to 16 days and everything in between. Each river its own personality and lessons to teach, yet everywhere water doing the same thing . . . seeking balance.

I do not wish to romanticize things here or paint you some unrealistic picture of what being a river guide entails. The days are long and the work is hard, both physically and mentally demanding. I’ve been on trips where the temperature is well over 100 degrees and on others when it has barely gotten in the 30s. I’ve paddled through every kind of weather from snow flurries to wind storms to rain so hard I could not see past the front of my raft. All the while, no matter what the conditions, no matter how long of a day it’s been or what the circumstances are, it’s my job to get my guests safely down the river and have that trip be a positive experience for them. There are a lot of factors to juggle, and then when you throw in people, you just never know what you’re going to get.

Anybody can learn to take a raft down a river, even the hardest of rivers. It would take some time, but learning the mechanics of steering and the intricacies of reading water are not some elite, unattainable skills. Like most things, they take time. What separates those who thrive at being river guides form those who can simply get a raft down the river is the ability to guide people. People are the wildcard. The river lives by a few set, unchanging principles, the first and foremost being to seek equilibrium. The same has never and will never be said about people. Every trip, I get to meet a completely new group of people. And it’s not that I simply get to meet them, but I get to interact with them. I get to facilitate one of life’s great adventures for them, and in doing so I have the opportunity to connect with people. Now, just as in regular, everyday life, there are some people who simply suck. Every now and again, those people go rafting. But the vast majority of people show up excited and enthused and ready for an experience, and I consider it one of life’s greatest privileges to be able to share in as well as greatly influence that experience.

Being a river guide does not build up my bank account. It has not gotten me ahead in life financially, nor has it ever offered any kind of health benefits or a retirement plan. But for all that it lacks compared to so many other professions, it easily makes up for and surpasses them in stories and experiences. Life is nothing without relationship, without connection, and there are four relationships we all need to foster: with ourselves, with others, with creation, and with our creator. How lucky am I that a trip down the river allows for all of these.

I remember early on, it was my second season guiding on the New River in West Virginia, I received a letter in the mail. I had taken a family of four down the river one day and out on a climbing trip another. The letter was from the mom, and she was so appreciative. She told me how the trip had impacted their family and how much of an impression I had made on her teenage son and daughter. “Thanks for showing her that a climber/rafter/outdoorsman can hold an intelligent conversation. I wanted to share these thanks especially in regards to one the comments you made when I was expressing a little frustration with the lack of cell phone connection. ‘That’s the beauty of it’ has made me think over & over again about what the important things are. Thank you for bringing me back to the precious moments of living.” What a great memory to be a part of.

On one of my most memorable trips, I took six blind people down the Lower Gauley in the fall. I don’t know if I had ever before or since been so gripped, so focused. The group was amazing, by far the best listeners I have ever interacted with. They asked me to describe everything in as much details as possible as we moved downstream. Before too long, they had attuned their ears so that they could hear specific waves and features that I was describing. At one point, as we were approaching a rapid called Canyon Doors, one of the guys reached out his right hand and finished my sentence for me,     “ . . . because all down the right side of the river there are huge cliffs rising up from the water.” Those six blind folks taught me how to “see” the river in a way like I had never before.

Other memories come rushing in. Some being caught out on the river during a flash flood and navigating rapids at water levels not see before, and others a flood waters rising so fast that the safest way out was to hike. I’ve been lucky enough to have certain groups come back for trips time and again, and every time we pick up right were we left off, enjoying some time on the river together. I’ve hugged and held grown men and women in tears on the last day of a one or two week trip through Grand Canyon. Time on a river gets to people. Stepping into adventure with people and sharing experiences and meals and weather and stories and stars, it’s like nothing else I’ve ever known, and that is why I’ll do it until my body won’t let me anymore.

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” The quote by Loren Eiseley is one that I think of often. I feel as though I could go on and on about the many things I’ve learned from my time spent on rivers, but then, lessons are best learned through experiences, not words. So my hope for you is that you go and have your experiences. Go run the rivers and see where they take you and who they bring across your path. Spend time with the water, so that you’ll always remember that magic exists. Find whatever it is that makes your soul sing, and live it out. Just like the water, in your search for balance, onlookers will be captivated by the beauty you make.

The author

The author

Orlando is “THE MAN” – Testimonials from Google My Business

Orlando Torres

Orlando Torres

Orlando is “THE MAN” – Testimonials from Google My Business, 6/20/16

“We did the Taos Box. This trip was one of the best outdoors trips I’ve done in my life. If you picture white water rafting this is what you are thinking about. Easily the best thing to do in New Mexico. Make sure your as for Orlando as your guide. He knows a lot about the landscape and hits the rapids the hardest.”

Austin Scigliano, 6/20/16

“By far the best thing I have done in New Mexico! I went on the Taos Box trip with some friends and let me say not only was it adventurous but taking in the landscape was breathtaking. Orlando is the best guide and also THE MAN. He knew a ton of interesting facts about the river involving the geogrpahy and history and Orlando truly showed that he cared about the river and knew how to have the most fun. An experience to remember and well worth the price.”

Julian Martinez, 6/20/16

Just who is Orlando? Orlando Torres is a native of Taos. Besides being a raft guide, he and his wife Nicole create extravagant jewelry built around semi-precious stones. In the winter, Orlando teaches snowboarding at Taos Ski Valley.

New Wave Guides, May 2016

New Wave Guides, May 2016. We’re proud of our guys, and here are five of them, after returning from a Racecourse trip a few days ago.

Guides

Guides

From left to right: Jarrod is from Texas, and works at the Taos Ski and Snowboard School in the winter; Joey is a graduate student at UNM in mathematics; Orlando is a jeweler, and works at the Taos Ski and Snowboard School in the winter; Joe works at the Taos Ski and Snowboard School in the winter and Mike is a former Army ranger and was once celebrated as Santa Fe’s Man of the Year, for disrupting an armed robbery.

With the exception of Joe, all of those seen here initially went through our Guide Training Program. Joe switched over to New Wave from another company. Mike has been with us for over 20 yrs.