In the hustle and bustle of a summer in Jackson Hole, our blog fell off the face of the cyber planet. When fall came knocking on the door, we were busy trying to catch our breath. Then, in a flash, snow arrived and Thanksgiving came and went. Taking pause to reflect on a monumental 50th year at Barker-Ewing Whitewater, we owe an infinite number of thanks. Thank you for being invaluable team players and working with us. Thank you for sharing a part of your summer vacation memories with us. Thank you to the Ewings and Barkers who paved the way before us. We would not be here with you.
Two men who loved the great outdoors and, even more so, running rivers began floating Jackson Hole’s infamous Snake in the late 1950s. Their names were Dick Barker and Frank Ewing.
Once each man came to the realization that he could make a career out of guiding eager guests doing what he loved best, Dick and Frank began guiding guests down the Snake River in 1963. After some time, Barker-Ewing quickly established a strong name not only in the Jackson Hole valley but internationally as well. Recognized for ingenuity: Frank and Dick envisioned and designed a raft, the Snake River model, that would become the craft of choice still used today. Recognized for trailblazing: Frank was “on the oars” on that fateful day the rapid Three Oar Deal was named and remains just one of Frank’s many adventures in the Snake River Canyon. Recognized for setting a standard of excellence: “We’re more than ever dedicated to our core principles: close attention to detail, insistence on quality and safety, belief in the wonder of what we offer, and a firm grounding in the reality of the rafting trips we are privileged to share with our clients. These principles have served our clients, our staff and our family well. They won’t change.”
Here’s a shot from June of 1985 to get you in the mood for some whitewater rapid action. Can anyone name that Barker-Ewing river guide?
If you have any old photos or stories to share, please do!
Barker-Ewing Whitewater | Celebrating 50 Years | 1963-2013
Leta Grace Deveraux celebrates a remarkable 105 years this Friday, March 29th. This is Leta’s story, written by her daughter Patty.
Mother’s good health combined with sound mental acuity and an active sense of humor (which my husband Frank engages with his teasing every day) has allowed her to live another comfortable year in our home. While she requires much more physical aid, she still walks short distances with a walker and our support. Frank is earning the world’s best son-in-law award: his physical help certainly, but most importantly, his empathy, his good-natured teasing, silly comments and engaging stories keep Mother smiling and laughing, even though she may not hear or understand all his words. Without Frank and our daughter Heather’s support, we could not keep Mother at home. We are also grateful for the loving, caring ladies who to come to provide much needed aid and respite time. Our daughter Shannon, my brother and Mother’s son Jay Deveraux & his wife Cynthia plus other family members make special efforts to come see her as often as possible, which we appreciate.
Watch the TODAY Show this Friday the 29th. We hope Willard Scott will, once again, send Birthday Wishes to Mother. I have also enrolled her in a Centenarian Project. Mother loves cards, telephone calls (difficult for her to hear or be heard, so I always have to be on an extension to repeat and prod). She never fails to remember family and old friends. Her face lights up when our dogs and visiting ones stop at her chair for a pat or sit in her lap. She enjoys short drives in the car for wildlife watching and visiting friends. A very gentle person, Leta has arrived at this time of her life with a great deal of grace and dignity, a lifetime of memories and friends. Each night she wants her bed raised so my Daddy’s photo, her late husband’s, is the last thing she sees and thinks about before going to sleep.
-Patty Deveraux Ewing
This is a huge honor, and we are so grateful for the recognition! From horseback to fishing to biking outfitters, we were voted by locals and beyond for 2013′s Best Outfitter Silver Medal. Thank you to everyone who participated! We are Celebrating 50 Years this summer, so this just adds icing to the cake. We appreciate your loyalty and your confidence in us as a river outfitter and hope you’ll jump on board a raft and celebrate with us this summer! Ready. Set. Go… Rafting! 1963 – 2013
Jason Crockett, our extraordinary operations manager, is putting some new skills to the test. Congratulations are in order for him and his wife Danica who have added another family member to the mix! A healthy baby girl, future marathon and river runner, Amada Grace Crockett was born last Wednesday, January 16. Good luck, and enjoy this new adventure in life!
Aside from the managers, those working at Barker-Ewing are all seasonal workers. Guests often ask staff what they do during the other eight months of the year, so listed below are just a few brief bios of Barker-Ewing employees:
Jason Crockett | Age 32 | Hometown: Pineville, Kentucky
Whitewater rafter by summer, backcountry skier by winter: Operations Manager Jason Crockett still works for Barker-Ewing during the off-season and winter months, but he is most dedicated to skiing fresh pow. However, this winter Jason is expecting more than just some big dumps–he and his wife are expecting a baby girl to arrive around Christmas or New Years! Good luck Jason!
Brayden Wynn | Age 25 | Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
Brayden is still recovering from his loss in the competition for best mustache last March. He refuses to shave it off and has made it his number one occupation to grow it out as long as possible. When Brayden isn’t guiding on the Snake, he likes to spend most of his free time combing his mustache and greasing the tips. Come winter, he hopes his mustache will freeze well and collect some good snow so that he can prove to his friends that he really did get some sick face shots.
Andrew “Scooter” Williams | Age 27 | Hometown: New York
Scooter recently left his office job selling printers in Salt Lake City to follow his dream and become a Barker-Ewing river guide. And is he glad he did! Scooter has been living the life here in Jackson, and he has no plans of leaving anytime soon. He has a great dog and a great bike–the only thing missing in his life is a girl (wink, wink).
Jon Wiedie | Age 38 | Hometown: Bolton, Connecticut
Wiedie moved to Jackson in his younger years and has been guiding down the river every summer and sniffing cold smoke every winter. He might go kayaking on the Hood River over Thanksgiving, and he is planning on spending the winter in Tena, Equador, where he will guide rafting and kayaking trips. If you need some professional guidance doing anything extreme, Wiedie’s your guy.
Tyler “T-Bone” Babcock | Age 27 | Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Some might consider Tyler Barker-Ewing’s most eligible bachelor. He works as both a whitewater guide and as the Assistant Manager of Operations during the summer, and he works as a lifty for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort during the winter. Before he gets out his skis for the winter, Tyler is going on a twenty-one day rafting trip with some friends through the Grand Canyon. Not only does he know how to travel via rafts and skis, but he rides horses too! This fall, Tyler will be playing cowboy for a month in Idaho herding cattle for some extra cash. He also plans on hunting elk in October so that he can stock up on meat for the winter. Boy’s gotta eat!
Chuck Castlewood | Age 38 | Hometown: Driggs, Idaho
Chuck is our driver for scenic float trips. He is an excellent driver. In fact, before arriving to Jackson in late June, Chuck spent eight months motorcycling to the bottom of South America and back. Plans for the winter are still in the works, but he is thinking of either touring Africa or sailing throughout the Caribbean. Look out for his upcoming book, The Trials and Tribulations of an American Nomad. It is sure to be a top seller.
Hilary Burt | Age 23 | Hometown: Killingworth, Connecticut
Hilary cooks for our breakfast and overnight trips at the Pine Creek campsite. Spending many a night at Pine Creek, Hilary probably spent about half of her summer outside. And it looks like she isn’t ready to head inside for the winter either. Hilary has two outdoor education jobs lined up for the upcoming fall and winter. From September through November, she will be working with school groups for High Trails, an outdoor education company located in Florissant, CO. For the rest of the winter, she will be working as a teaching apprentice leading backpacking expeditions for the High Mountain Institute in Leadville, CO. We hope Hilary will continue to work as an overnight cook for Barker-Ewing next summer and maybe even as a whitewater guide!
Roan Eastman | Age 39 | Hometown: San Diego, CA
Whitewater guide Roan Eastman works as an Elementary School Librarian at Alta Elementary during the academic year. In his free time, he likes to ski, fish, and take pictures of wildlife landscapes. He also has a five year old daughter, so spending time with her is his first priority. Maybe he can give Jason some tips!
Jodie & Brent Schaap (Married on August 20, 2011) | Ages 28 and 38 | Hometowns: Montgomery, Alabama & Hartford, South Dakota
Jodie and Brent are Barker-Ewing’s most beloved couple. Safely maneuvering customers down windy roads and through treacherous rapids is their specialty. Whether you’re travelling via bus or raft, you’ll be safe with these two! The lovebirds were planning on guiding hunting trips for pheasant and waterfowl in South Dakota during the off-season. Unfortunately, it looks like they will have to take it easy this fall, as Jodie will be nursing her hubby back to full strength who had to end his guiding season early due to an unfortunate shoulder injury. During the winter months, Jodie and Brent both work for Togwotee Snowmobile Adventures. Jodie does sales and marketing, and Brent guides snowmobile tours. You won’t find them at Barker-Ewing next summer though–they will be living in their camper in Alaska!
Jessica Moore | Age18 | Hometown: Jackson, Wyoming
Wondering who that nice girl on the phone was that booked your reservation? Well, it was probably Jessica. Born and raised in Jackson, Wyoming, Jessica is able to give tourists excellent suggestions of fun activities to do all throughout the Valley. Ready for new adventures outside of Jackson, Jessica has deferred admission to the University of Montana for a year so that she can travel throughout South America where she will spend the majority of her time volunteering as a trail guide.
Richard Baugh & Sprat Nabors | Ages 22 and 23 | Hometowns: Birmingham & Alex City, Alabama
Roommates, fraternity brothers, fishing buddies, best friends–some might even describe them as the next Cheech and Chong. When Richard and Sprat aren’t guiding whitewater trips through the canyon, they are most likely fishing. You won’t find them here during the off-season though. They will be in Alabama sporting their red and white as they cheer on the Crimson Tide. The duo is unsure of their plans for the winter–Sprat is entertaining the idea of working in a fly shop in Key West, but Richard wants to see what being a ski bum is all about. It will be a tough decision for the two, but, I’m sure they will work it out just like they always do.
Alex Bray | Age 31 | Hometown: San Diego, CA
Alex is entering his third year of law school at the University of Idaho this winter. Upon graduation, he is planning on continuing school for an additional year to earn an LLM (a legal masters) in Business Tax law, which is the area of law he would like to practice. When not in school, he spends as much time possible in San Diego with his five year old daughter, preferably surfing or enjoying the beach. However, since he is landlocked for most of the year, he feeds his thirst for adventure by mountain biking, camping, climbing, and hiking. He is excited to return to Jackson next summer to guide whitewater trips for Barker-Ewing and hang out with the rest of the Barker-Ewing gang.
Catherine Morahan | Age 22 | Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
With an angelic spirit and a gentle soul, Catherine seeks peace through nature. In preparation for dinner on our scenic float trips, she can be found wandering alongside the river bank as she collects flowers for table arrangements. Catherine provides guests with a breath of fresh air, as she exudes an innocence that cannot be dismissed.
Annalise Manley | Age 18 | Hometown: Jackson, Wyoming
The picture to the right is proof enough that office girl Annalise can rip. Annalise attended a ski academy her last two years of high school and received an athletic ski scholarship from the University of Denver last year. However, after breaking her pelvis in a skiing accident, she lost her scholarship and has transferred to the University of Wyoming where she will be majoring in finance.
Ben Moody | Age 22 | Hometown: Falmouth, Maine
Handsome, smart, athletic, and polite–what more could you ask for? Golden boy Ben Moody is our other overnight cook at the Pine Creek camp site, providing guests with gooey s’mores before bed and awaking them to the smells of wild rice pancakes and maple sausage. He is currently finishing up his senior year at the University of Vermont where he is majoring in neuroscience and serves as head of the adaptive ski program. Hopefully we will see him back in Jackson next summer before he enters medical school.
As for everyone else…
The rest of our Barker-Ewing employees are no less spectacular. They simply do not have quite as large of a photo library. Office staff members Sayde, Teonna, and Addie will be returning to school this fall while Tyler and Maria will be skiing in Jackson for the winter. Veronika’s visa expires this year, so she will be returning to Sweden at the end of December.
Guides Andrew, Luke, Dean, Andrea, Blake, Mark, and Tristan are never leaving Jackson. They have committed themselves to skiing in the winters and rafting in the summers. Hopefully they will spend some time outside the hole during the off-season.
Stacker driver Cole is still looking for a home, so who knows where he will end up this winter. Bus driver Wan will continue to perfect his bus driving skills as he transports kids to and from school and athletic events. George is planning on spending October in Utah before returning to his home in Monterey, California. As for the rest of our drivers, Matt is a retired cowboy living in Alpine, WY, Doug is travelling to South America, and Schipper is enjoying the simple joys of retired life.
Beloved owners Patty, Frank and Heather Ewing plus managers Christa and Janet will be getting some R&R then starting all over again for summer 2013!
Written by Maria Wyllie, who was diligent in reaching out to our not always so responsive crew to craft such a wonderful and witty piece for Barker-Ewing. She can be found working the floor at Lee’s Tees, the cash register at Teton Liquor Store or the radio waves at Jackson’s community radio station KHOL this winter.
We’d like to believe Tyler moved to Jackson to work for us at Barker-Ewing Whitewater… but, as it turns out, what drew Tyler here was a summer of rocks and a winter of riding. A link to Tyler’s world opens up the kind of adventures that the Tetons bring for many. Here’s one of his entries, also found at http://wanderslog.blogspot.com/.
Yesterday, I completed the Guide’s Wall route on Storm Point in Cascade Canyon with my friend Kevin. If you have been following along, I had been eyeballing this route earlier in the season in hopes of bagging it. Yesterday, we got an early start and took the first boat across Jenny Lake to begin our hike into Cascade Canyon. The weather was very foggy in the morning from the last day’s rains, but the day promised to be warm and sunny. Conditions were perfect for a long day’s climb.
Remember, Guide’s Wall is a mega classic, six pitch, alpine grade II rock climb rated at 5.8 difficulty. The climb was a spectacular success! We were first party on the wall, and encountered only one party below us. Weather was perfect and the climbing was excellent, especially the hand crack variation on pitch five, and pitch six at the top. Upon repelling back to the bottom, we looked forward to the boat ride back across Jenny Lake to follow our hike out. My kind of mechanized climbing!