Brent Schaap, back for more with B-E!

Was Brent your guide this summer? He’s our #1 mentioned Barker-Ewing employee in TripAdvisor reviews this year, so if you haven’t taken your trip yet…

“My trips down the Snake River began 28 years ago with a family rafting trip.  I’ve been hooked ever since!  Born and raised in South Dakota, I have always had a love for the outdoors.  This is my third year with Barker Ewing. When I’m not guiding rafts down the Snake, I’m guiding hunting and snowmobiling trips in Jackson Hole and Yellowstone!”

Perhaps you’ll come back to visit Brent this winter!

Liza McLellan’s favorite trip down the Snake

The first staff story of the season comes from Liza, Check-in & Reservations Rock Star!

“My favorite trip of the season so far was the breakfast combo that a group of us ladies went on in early June!  We left early to do the scenic float trip, and I was pleasantly surprised at all the facts I soaked in (no pun intended) that our guides shared about the wildlife and the river!  Then, we had a great breakfast and floated across the river to get ready for the whitewater rafting!  We hit some good rapids and had a blast with all our co-workers turn friends… even got a little sunburn!  It was a great day on the river, and I cannot wait to do it again soon! Here’s a link to the pic… and to our Facebook page!”

Whitewater rafting is big & fun right now… but just how big is BIG?

Long time Barker-Ewing reservationist and Ewing family friend Kathy Needham writes a limerick about early season whitewater rafting on the Snake River in Jackson Hole and how we sometimes gauge just how big BIG is gonna be! In honor of Heather Ewing… very clever Kathy! For those unfamiliar with the area, Glory is a run at the top of the Teton mountain pass, and people are still skiing it!

To know when the flow hits its peak
There’s no need to gauge the creek
Look high to the cliff bands of Glory
Where snow in the bowl tells the story
Judge high to find low
And that which you seek

Last week one sunny morning, the flow in the Snake River at the Alpine, Wyoming gauging station was 17,300 cubic feet per second (cfs), but HOW MUCH WATER IS THAT? Here’s a quick calculation to give you an idea: At a flow rate of 17,300 cfs, the river is moving 129,404 gallons of water each second at a weight of 540 tons (1 cubic foot = 7.48 gallons; 1 gallon of h20 = 8.34 pounds; 540 tons = 1,079,229 pounds of water). That’s 11,180,505,600 gallons of water per day!!!

With tons of snow left in the mountains, there is a ton of water flowing through the Snake River Canyon right now… so big is BIG, and fun is FUN!

Grandma “Ewing” turns 103!

Leta Deveraux, Patty Ewing’s mother and Heather Ewing’s grandmother, turned 103 last Tuesday, March 29, and she is as spunky as ever! For such momentous occassions such as 100+ birthdays and big anniversaries, Willard Scott from the TODAY Show congratulates and often times sings Happy Birthday or the appropriate celebratory song to that special someone! So… Leta Deveraux, Happy Birthday (belated)!!! If you’d like to ask TODAY Show’s Willard Scott to wish someone 100+, check out

The Clintons and Barker-Ewing Whitewater… a float down memory lane!

The last official Barker-Ewing River Trips sighting of the First Family was in August 1996 when I had the honor of taking the Clinton family down the Snake River on a float. In total, there were 11 boats in the floatilla. For a while, I was pretty sure they had the wrong guide in mind when I was pulled aside and counseled on what to do if we were shot at… yikes, I thought! Isn’t that what the two “counter assault” rafts are for?

All in all, it turned into a beautiful afternoon with wonderful conversation in my boat and a huge education for me looking at the bigger picture. Mostly, it was a great honor that I was chosen to share what I consider to be one of the most special places on earth with Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton!

I hope there will be another summer visit by the Clintons to Jackson Hole – and that they might consider joining me on another float trip along the now “Wild & Scenic” Snake River.

– Heather Ewing

Floating with a 7 year old…

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Mac (Barker-Ewing’s guide in training) has floated with Barker-Ewing River Trips since he was 4! He usually prefers being the “hood ornament” on whitewater trips, but this day, his mom talked him into a scenic float. He enjoyed the eagles, osprey, mergansers and beaver before a 10-minute shower overtook the raft. As part of his recovery from the rain, Jeremy handed him the oars… Mac has now had his first toughening experience to being an all-weather guide for Barker-Ewing!

Congratulations, Natalie & Neill!

Owner Heather, Managers Janet and Christa plus one excited George the bus driver attended the beautiful ceremony along the Snake River. Natalie was an all star reservationist for us all season, and Neill was a driver for Sands. Cheers to a happy life together!

Dornan’s with the BERT ladies

Christa, Heather and Janet enjoying time in the Tetons! Where is Al? The one missing key ingredient to managing our fabulous company! The season’s still in full swing, but August will soon turn to September and before we know it, the season will come to a close. It’s been an awesome summer so far.

My Wild Water Experience… Part II

I was feeling very confident as I walked away from our Scenic Float trip. My next point of interest would be to conquer the white water… dun dun dun. For stability and reassurance purposes, I decided it would be best to bring along my friend Brant. I was not going to go alone. As I stood there waiting for the life-vest distribution, with the water running several feet away, I cannot deny that I had a very high level of stress running through me. I took in all seriousness the way our guide instructed us to hold the paddle… I only almost dropped it twice. Like I had said previously, being in a raft in the middle of a river has never appealed to me before. Going through the first set of rapids, I was thinking of every way possible of myself getting back in the raft if I had in fact fallen out. I made it through. I then noticed the gaping smile that I had plastered on my face. I was definitely having fun! I was then ready for some real action. Coming up to Big Kahuna, I felt ready. As we hit it straight on, my paddling stopped as I was engulfed with water. I was soaked, but totally proud of myself for defeating yet another fear of mine.

My piece of advice: GO RAFTING!!!  -Emily Ming

My feelings about the 13-mile scenic dinner float… Part I


I’ve never been a fan of the water. Ironically, I’m now working for a river rafting company! I had been working for Barker-Ewing for a month, but I had not yet mustered up the courage to actually go on one of the trips. I often blamed it on my sensitivity to the cold water since I am originally from Sunny California. As the days went on, I knew it was time for me to go. Believe me, I was definately a skeptic about placing myself in a raft on moving water, but I did it anyway. The first five minutes were stressful since I had no idea what to expect. But as the trip went on, I found myself really enjoyng it. Going through all of the beautiful scenery, I was able to see several bald eagles, which was definately a highlight since I had never seen one before. The 13 miles were gorgeous, but one of the most exciting things for me was the food that came after. I firmly believe in a good meal after a long trip! Overall, the trip was wonderful and I overcame my river-water fears. I believe now that I am ready to move up to a Whitewater Adventure!!

– Emily Ming, Happy Reservationist