Whether it’s this year or next, we hope you can join the Idaho River Journeys Crew on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River again. For the upcoming season, we have limited openings on a few launch dates. For 2023, we have a number of openings from June through September. To start planning your next trip, contact our office or call us at 1-208-756-8116.
Drew’s calm personality and demeanor, paired with years of guiding experience, makes every day on the Middle Fork with him enjoyable and memorable. This winter he’s living in Bend, Oregon, and preparing to apply to medical schools. In his free time, he’s recording new music, backcountry skiing, and challenging his brother to feats of strength. We are very pleased that he can work one more Middle Fork season with IRJ before being embarking on his medical education.
Galen joined our Idaho crew this past year and had a fantastic season on the Middle Fork. She worked 9 trips in a row and brought an easy-going and upbeat attitude to every launch. After the season she headed to Sandpoint to continue her classes at North Idaho College, studying business management. Even with a full school schedule, she’s still works full-time as a ski patroller at Schwitzer Mountain.
Ask any guest about Ry and you are met with a big grin and words like patient, professional, and fun. Even in the “offseason” Ry continues to guide, working in Big Bend National Park leading multi-day canoe trips. His home in Terlingua is a 100-year-old mining cabin with no electricity or running water and the closest cell service being 80 miles away, exactly how he likes it. Last we heard, he’s taking a much-deserved break and heading to Mexico for some surf.
Esa worked 5 trips in a row this past summer. Always friendly and with an ever-optimistic personality, her penchant for having a good time on the Middle Fork is evident on every trip with Esa. She is spending the winter in Quincy, CA, where she’s working as a teacher. She’s thoroughly enjoying the winter in the Sierras and backcountry skiing as much as possible with her friends and powder dog, Dipper.
Esa had a fantastic eighth season guiding on the Middle Fork. She is living in Quincy, CA, and working as a 6th and 7th-grade science teacher. Her job gives her the flexibility to guide during the summer. When not teaching, she is often backcountry skiing with her dog, Dipper, in the Plumas National Forest.
Fer finished massage therapy school then worked the last 3 trips of the season. While he certainly misses a full season, he really enjoys the ability to have an open schedule that allows him to work and play at his pace. He’s currently assisting his dad and working on the family ranch in College Station, Texas.
After 5 full seasons of guiding, Montana Dave made the transition from guiding to a helicopter pilot training program. He’s currently living in Bend, Oregon, and working on getting as many hours as possible flying helicopters. While he doesn’t plan on working 14 trips in one season, Dave will continue to work a trip or two for the foreseeable future.
Eli had a circuitous route to the Middle Fork this past year. Before the season started, Eli was hired to manage a fishing lodge on a remote island, called the Turneffe Flats just off of Belize. Once back in Idaho, he guided on the Middle Fork through September. He’s now living in Bend, working as a commercial real estate agent with potential plans to go to MBA school. Outside of work, Eli is either fly fishing with his brother and Dad, skiing, or cooking.
Sunny made the transition from guiding full-time to a career as a physician assistant at the Pocatello hospital. Establishing her roots in Pocatello, Sunny bought a house and got a dog named Regina or “Reggie.” Regardless of her crazy schedule at the hospital, Sunny is still able to pursue her passion for outdoor activities. Whether it’s climbing, Mtn biking, running, or skiing, chances are if she’s not at work, she’s outside.
A crew and guest favorite, Patrick showed up to Idaho with his banjo, bolo tie, and infectious personality. After the season he went back to the midwest to work the beet harvest season, driving a semi-truck transporting the vegetable (we’re not joking). He’s now living in Bozeman and skiing as much as possible. Chances are you can find him at Bridger Bowl Ski Area, exploring the ridge. He’s probably the best Iowa skier in Montana.
Always with a big smile, Libby worked nearly every trip this past season. After the summer, she dove straight into her research in resource conservation, with an emphasis on international conservation and development. She attended the United Nations Climate Change conference in Ireland, representing the University of Montana. Currently, she is planning her thesis on salmon migration, culminating with an epic adventure, kayaking the headwaters of all the salmon river drainages to the ocean.
Brian considers guiding to be as much about teaching as it is anything else, and his knowledge of water policy and geography was immensely appreciated this season by guests and guides alike. Brian continues to teach at the University of Montana and leads a multi-year research team on the environmental impacts of water use patterns with a focus on agriculture in Nebraska. When not engaged in research and teaching, he’s been enjoying the Missoula winter with his wife Jenni, and two cats.
Joe was able to escape from construction and guide a few trips this past season. Busier than ever, Joe continues to work as a contractor in the Bitterroot Valley doing custom finishes and remodels. We were lucky to have Joe and his Dad install a new metal roof on one of the IRJ buildings during the peak heat of last summer! After a summer of projects, Joe was able to fill his freezer and get an Elk tag this fall.
After the season ended, Skip worked on a number of projects that he put off during the summer. Slowly remodeling a garage and train car that is a block off the main street, in Salmon, Idaho. The project is part of the non-profit, called the Salmon Confluence, which supports a community Tool Library. When not working, there’s a good chance Skip is skiing with Julia at Lost Trail Powder Mountain.
Always striving for a balance of work and play, Keri has been keeping busy while enjoying life to the fullest. She’s the lead nurse at the Pocatello hospital in the field of vascular access and manages her rental properties. Outside of work, Keri, her partner Jake, and dog Murphy have been on a variety of adventures, visiting family, going on road trips, and venturing to warmer climates.
Jo is a true representation of the best qualities in guiding. Her local knowledge, positive attitude, and hard work make every trip with Jo a delight. Jo had a full summer between work at Gem Air, guiding trips all season on the Middle Fork, and collaborating on a number of community projects for the town of Salmon. After the season, she was able to escape to the southwest for some desert mountain biking. She’s enjoying the pace of winter in Salmon while looking forward to brighter and longer days.
It is hard to find a more genuine or pleasant guide than Ryan. After a full season of guiding, he went right back to school and work. Between his work as an EMT, going to nursing school, and teaching wilderness medicine, it’s evident Ryan is immersed in medical training. While his free time is limited, he’s maximized each day. Whether it’s skiing the backcountry, playing with his dog, or enjoying the Missoula lifestyle, he’s able to have fun even with a full schedule.
Between her booming art business, raising twins, decorating houses for the holidays, and living off the grid, Hannah’s is very busy. Even with her hectic schedule, she managed to work a Sept. fly fishing trip. Of course, her favorite time of the year is winter. A time when Hannah and her husband Geoff get to ski with their kids at Lost Trail Powder Mountain. On days when the kids are in school, Geoff and Hannah provide critical data to avalanche forecasters on the Bitterroot National Forest.
Nate is the program leader for the University of Idaho outdoor school. During the winter months, he teaches a number of rock climbing, avalanche, and swift water safety classes. Outside of school, Nate and his wife Nhi live in the heart of Moscow, Idaho. They’re in constant motion, working on their house, exploring the Wallowa mountains, or walking their dog Cecil.
Julia somehow managed two full-time jobs this summer, a nurse at Bozeman hospital and managing IRJ food preparation and packing. After the summer, Skip and Julia traveled to the east coast, then the west coast, mountain biked until it started snowing, then switched to skis. Julia has been working with Mary and will be helping with IRJ reservation and logistic chores next season in addition to guiding.
Julia enjoys staying busy during the off-season. As the IRJ office manager, you’ve likely chatted with her over the phone or email when planning a river trip. She also works with the local community in Salmon as a home health and hospice nurse, and volunteers with ski patrol at Lost Trail Ski Area. When not working, she’s usually getting lost in a book under a blanket by the wood stove.
Bob is no longer actively outfitting, but his passion and contributions to Idaho River Journeys are seen on every trip. He continues to collect river-related stories for his Halfway to Halfway series, contribute to a variety of non-profits, and attempt to keep his 100-year-old house in Point Reyes from sliding into the bay.
Mary was able to join our early June Middle Fork trip this season and had a blast. Ask any of our guests what makes IRJ special, and they are likely to mention how much they enjoy working with Mary. When not in the office, she loves spending time with her grandkids up in Oregon, going to see her favorite baseball team the SF Giants, and planning her own adventure travel trips.
Shannon spent the winter at her home in the Wood River Valley. She is a professional massage therapist with a dedicated following of clients. Michael is splitting his time between being a ski and hiking guide at Deer Valley Resort and a concierge at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah. Scooter had a terrific year working as the manager of Sturtevants of Sun Valley. Garret spent the fall shooting video for the Netflix show called Meat Eater, and a National Geography show called Trafficked. Matt S. and his family have been enjoying the winter in Boise, Idaho. Outside of work, he’s very busy wrangling his two young boys.