The owners of Blue Heron Whitewater are three friends who have been in the outdoor recreation business for decades. That's decades each, so they bring a wide-ranging skill set and a level of experience that shows in their attention to the guest experience and the details of running a top-notch river trip.
Fritz has been an outdoor professional for over thirty years. She grew up in New Orleans and after a stint guiding trips in the bayous of Louisiana and the Grand Canyon she found her way to the mountains of North Carolina.
Sandy got bit by the rafting bug when she was in college. She would leave her home in Ohio and drive to West Virginia where she would guide on the Gauley and New rivers. Eventually, she too, made her way to the mountains and rivers of Western North Carolina.
Ciro came to the rivers of Western North Carolina by way of the rivers and hills of Northern Alabama where he led canoe and backpacking trips. A rafting trip on the Rio Usumacinta in Mexico led to a photography job on the Nantahala River and he's been running rivers and taking photos ever since.
Kim is an awesome teacher in Asheville and comes to us from the University of Florida. She is also an awesome raft guide, kayaker, mtn biker, and runner. At the moment she's an ok skier.
Carly is a multi-talented person. She keeps the store running, takes reservations, greets our arriving guests, keeps the plants fed and happy, and has an overall calming influence. She is also an awesome guide and photographer.
Wags. "Like a dog wags its tail". Thomas Wagner grew up in Chicagoland and spent many years working for Outward Bound before joining us here at Blue Heron Whitewater.
Caroline is from Virginia and is a long time raft guide, mountain biker and expert kayaker.
Doug has a background in engineering and has his own business called Right on Time that manages the timing of races.
Josh is an Asheville native and was our first guide. When he's not on the river he is teaching off-road driving or getting Astral PFDs and shoes out in the paddling world.
Jackie does it all. He guides, he drives, he's a bus mechanic, welder, master carpenter, musician and farmer. He keeps BHW rolling.
Kaye was a speech therapist with the Asheville school system for years. During the summer we are lucky to have her join us with her years of guiding experience.
Alexis is from Wild & Wonderful West Virginia. She decided to follow her big brother to NC, and like Ian, guide with BHW. She is an intrepid traveler, and always up for river adventures.
Eric can paddle just about any kind of boat and is a construction guru. One of Eric's many artistic contribution's to our building is the river-rock pillars out front.
Laura is from New York City and teaches wilderness first aid when not guiding. She and her husband, Ed, live near Chattanooga, TN in the off-season and can also be found guiding on the Ocoee River.
Ed is school teacher in Tennessee and one of the original Ocoee River guides. He and his wife Laura have been known to retreat to the Florida everglades over school winter breaks.
Drew has an impressive kayaking resume, and is possibly the only human who has ever paddled on the Appalachian Trail. Ask him about it sometime!
Valerye is from California and has traveled extensively including rock climbing in Mexico, silent meditation in Japan, yoga instructor training in Guatemala, etc, etc. She is also a fire hoop dancer and had a pet iguana named Izzy that she would leash and take for walks.
Paul went from leading wilderness canoe camping trips in the Boundary Waters to guiding rafts on whitewater. He seems to really like moving current...
Patrick already had a relationship with the French Broad River when we 'discovered' and recruited him at the Madison High School Career Day. When he's not on the river he's teaching math.
Sam is our resident world traveler. This past winter he was in Guatemala, and the winter before that is was New Zealand. He'll have some great stories.
Jordan comes to from Davidson college where he led wilderness canoe and backpacking trips for incoming freshmen. Davidson has been a great source of guides for us for many years.
Jack grew up along the banks of the French Broad River in the community of Stackhouse. Here he's holding an ancient mumified bowling ball used before the town was destroyed in the 1916 flood.
Malcolm is from Atlanta and has lived in 9 different places over the past 5 years. He has an acting degree and has worked as a dog musher, an Outward Bound instructor in Utah, and a high school teacher in Boston among other pursuits.
Kiana is from Hot Springs, NC and is part of a whitewater river running family. She grew up with the French Broad River running through her veins.