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Our Guests Love our Guides

We get a lot of feedback from our guests via our customer comment forms and customer posted blog entries, but every once in a while I also get a nice, hand-written letter from a guest.  I decided to share this one here:

July 20, 2010
Dear Mr. Merrill,

We had the great pleasure to be passengers on one of your 6-day raft trips down the Grand Canyon, July 6-11.  We wanted to personally tell you how wonderful your guide team performed during our trip!  Marty Raming was the team leader.  His "swamper was Kristina Nielsen.  Our raft was "Captained" by Grace Rich, with Wren Raming as our swamper.  The "Elzada" was a fabulous boat.  We could not believe that Grace was experiencing her first time as captain of a boat on the Colorado River!  She told us at the end of the trip.  She is an amazing person!  She knows how to drive the boat and make it go where she wants it to.  Her finesse in Deubendorf Rapid made us all cheer!  We would need to write a book to tell you about every rapid.  Wren proved himself to be a very capable pilot of the boat too.  Every member of your guide team treated us with respect and were very attentive to our needs.  They worked hard every moment to keep us safe, make sure we were having fun, enjoying everything tht water and the Grand Canyon have to offer, and feeding us the most delicious food!  They even baked cakes in the Dutch oven!  Your guide team made this trip so much more than we ever expected.  You should be very proud of them.  You are fortunate to have them on your team.

Best Regards, Teri and Brian

Grand Canyon River GuideTeri and Brian, you are right.  We are very fortunate and we are very proud.  Grand Canyon White Water Rafting is always an amazing experience but it can definitely be made better if you get the right guides.  That is why we spend so much time and effort hiring and training our guides and then giving them the resources to do their job.  What we can’t teach is work ethic, integrity, and personality.  We are blessed with an assortment of people and personalities that are second to none in our industry.

By the way, Grace Rich is far from a novice.  She has led trips for us for years on other river stretches such as Cataract Canyon, Westwater Canyon and Desolation Canyon.  She transfered to Grand Canyon a couple of years ago and, because we don’t have much turnover in our guide ranks, is just now getting her own boat in Grand Canyon, but she already knows how to drive a boat with the best of them.

Here’s a picture of Grace.

Brian Merrill

Brian started his river career in 1984 and thought it would be a good summer job while in college. Along the way, he met his wife Dena, who also worked as a guide, tried a different career for a while, but came back to the river. His two older children have worked as river guides and his youngest is waiting his turn. Brian now serves as President and CEO of Western and is grateful, every day, for the wonderful people with whom he gets to work.

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