Alaska, Oregon, and California
River Guides and Facilitators
for James Henry River Journeys

Rogue River

Klamath River

Special Trips

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Crew and Facilitators

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The veteran guides on our Alaska, Oregon, and California river rafting trips are the backbone of our company. Having plied the waters of the Tatshenshini-Alsek, Noatak, Rogue, Klamath for many a season, they are a mature group of individuals dedicated to sharing their passion for rivers and their knowledge of the natural world. The effort that they make to assure that your journey is a safe and memorable one is the main reason why JHRJ has been so successful in bringing our clients back year after year. In addition to their finely-honed boating skills, they are gracious hosts, masterful chefs, and delightful traveling companions.

Our facilitators are a remarkable group of people: naturalists, anthropologists, linguists, poets, musicians, winemakers. Most importantly, they are outstanding travel companions. James Henry River Journeys has, more than any other river company, emphasizes the quality and dedication of these people. It is their passion and exuberance for sharing their environment and/or art form that will immeasureably enrich your travel experience.

After you read the biographies of these guides and facilitators you might want to connect back to the Special Trips and Departures that they will be on.


Jimmy Katz

jimmy_katz_alaska_oregon_california_outfitter_guideJimmy ("Jaime” on the rivers) director and owner of JHRJ migrated West to Berkeley, CA in 1970 after graduating from college in Michigan and doing an extended foreign adventure.

Choosing to become a river outfitter was a natural outgrowth of the enriching experiences that he had received as a young camper and canoeist on the sylvan lakes and streams of Maine and Michigan. Jimmy had spent his college years as the canoe "tripper" at a co-ed camp in Northern Michigan teaching campers from the ages of 8-15 how to paddle. He then would lead these novices and their counselors down a number of these deeply forested, sometimes very technical streams on 1-3 day trips. Ordering the food, packing the trip, and figuring out all the logistics certainly laid the groundwork for his future guiding profession.

After working for four different river companies in 1972, he launched James Henry River Journeys in the summer of 1973.

Initially JHRJ operated on Hells Canyon of the Snake in Idaho and the Rogue River in Oregon, but in 1974 quickly expanded to the Motherlode Rivers in California and the Owyhee and Umpqua in Oregon. With a desire to follow the snowmelt to more pristine rivers, the wilds of British Columbia and Alaska beckoned and in 1976, Jimmy took the company on exploratories of the Stikine, the Arrigtech Peaks and Alatna in 1977 and in 1978, Tatshenshini and Noatak Rivers of Alaska. During the 1980's James Henry River Journeys created a sister international company that offered natural history trips to New Zealand and cultural odysseys to Japan, Nepal, and the Swiss-Italian Alps.

The rest is history. 43 years later, his family-run business of outfitting and guiding remains "a way of life" and a forum for sharing his love of rivers and wilderness. Jimmy began seriouisly taking nature photographs as soon as he moved West and in the early 1980's began a wonderful liason with the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Cruz Extensions teaching expressive landscape and close-up photography.

You'll find Jaime on the
Rogue, Klamath, (June, July, and September) and on the Tatshenshini (July and August trips). In the spring and fall you can join him on one of his Photo Workshops along the California coast or on an Alaska trip.

Danielle Katz
danielle_katz_alaska_oregon_river_guideBorn into a family that loves wilderness and exotic travel, Danielle comes to river running rather naturally. Her initiation to river touring began at six months of age when she took one of the last runs down the Stanislaus before it was dammed. In quick order she moved onto the Rogue, Main Eel, and Salmon Rivers. At 14, "she had it together" and her Dad gave her a boat to take down the Rogue. She's been a regular ever since.

After graduating from UCLA in theater and taking a year of massage therapy classes in Santa Cruz, Danielle moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, to massage, act, dance and ski. After starring in a Company of Fools' production of “Frozen”, she returned to Los Angeles to further advance her acting career and ply her metier as a massage therapist. She is currently living in Soda Springs, CA and recently played Kate Keller in "The Miracle Worker," a play based on the life of Helen Keller.

After being a member of The Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble and working on several productions with them, Danielle to get involved with river conservation in a big way. In 2009 she embarked on a monumental paddle of the entire Mississippi River from source to sea. She and a fellow river traveler and sea kayaker joined an organization called "What about Blue" with the intention of raising awareness, uniting communities, and inspiring action on issues related to the Global Water Crisis. The entire adventure from Lake Itasca Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico took 78 paddling days and 2,271 miles. What a feat!

In 2010 Danielle paddled the California"s Tuolomne River from source to sea with the Tuolomne River Preservation Trust. Desiring to inform individuals and communities about the watersheds that they live and rely upon, Danielle started her own non-profit in 2011 called Rivers for Change. In 2013 the Rivers for Change Team paddled 9 critical California rivers and over 2,000 miles from Source to Sea. In 2013 and 2014, RFC conducted a very successful 100 mile race on the Sacramento from Redding to Red Bluff and are planning another California 100 in 2015 on Memorial Day Weekend. In addition community conservation paddle days, clean up the river efforts and training clinics for the big event are also scheduled.

Rivers for Change mission is to inspire and engage individuals and communities in stewardship to promote the protection, health, and revitalization of our rivers and watersheds. Their founding principles are based on a Source to Sea holistic view of the river and marrying adventure and conservation.

Having floated rivers since she was 6 months old, you'll feel at home in a boat with her as she effortlessly rows you through Mule Creek Canyo or Blossom Bar on the Rogue and sometimes on the Tatshenshini. Danielle is an avid Tango and Salsa dancer, so you can also count on her for evening dancing lessons along with a few Shakesperean monologues tossed in for good measure.

If you are in need of therapeutic bodywork in the Truckee or Los Angeles area, check out Danielle's website: Danielle Katz Massage Therapy

Peter Leh
peter_leh_alaska_oregon_river_guideOmnicompetent Peter is a true wonder kid. Raised in Mill Valley, CA, he quickly learned that the back country was "where it was happening." By the time he had graduated from high school, he was an accomplished practicioner of aikido, a river rafting guide and a Class IV kayaker. He joined the ranks of James Henry River Journeys in 1983 and quickly ascended through the ranks to become a lead guide on Oregon, Idaho, and Alaskan Rivers. You'll find him on our
Rogue and occasionally on our Tatshenshini
departures, and Alaskan exploratories in the Brooks Range.

In the winters and early spring, he works as a wilderness backcountry skiing instructor and guide, and as a carpenter. He lives with his wife, Rene in Port Townsend, WA and winters in Truckee, CA. His two sons Carson and Nolan were raised on Oregon, Idaho, and Washington rivers and often guide on the Rogue and Klamath rivers.

John Kipping, M.S.
john_kipping_naturalist_river_guide_alaska_oregon_california_whitewater_river_tripsJohn ("The Kipper") is a native Californian and an individual who has been a naturalist for more than 43 years. After receiving his Master’s Degree from S.F. State, John began his professional career as the Director of Education at the Strybing Arboretum Society in Golden Gate Park (S.F.) and later became the resident naturalist at the Audubon Canyon Ranch in Stinson Beach, CA. He has taught field biology courses in the Sierra Nevada, on California, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaskan Rivers, in Baja California, and New Zealand for the UC Extensions and for James Henry River Journeys since 1974.

Besides being one of the finest all-around naturalists we know, John is an outstanding whitewater guide, an ardent conservationist, an expert in native American basketry, a remarkable gardener, and tree shaper. He currently lives in Pollock Pines, CA in the foothills of the Sierras with his wife E.J. and daughter Zoe. John has a playful, spontaneous way of relating his knowledge of the natural world and will never cease to amaze you at the breadth of his knowledge.
When John's busy schedule permits, he joins us on the Tatshenshini in July and August.

Carson Leh
rogue river guide_carson_lehWhen you are the son of superguide, Peter Leh, (ski mountaineering and river guiding) becoming a river guide is a given. Carson started rafting when he was 4 year old on the Rogue and was rowing the family raft down Western Rivers by the age of 13.  It was very hard for him to break into the JHRJ line-up and Carson became a permanent AB (assistant boatman), rowing the family boat with his Mom, Rene, and his younger brother, Nolan. Carson went on to row most of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado when he was 14. In 2008, Carson finally broke into the Rogue line-up and has been rowing one of our 18 foot Spirits ever since.

Four years ago, Carson got his degree in Industrial Design and Sustainable Development at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington and supported himself doing product photography for restaurants. His other passion is doing stunt riding on his BMX bikes and photographing events. Carson is currently living in Austin, Texas and making custom bicycle seats. This summer, he plans on joining us on the
and Tatshenshini River.

Nolan Leh
nolan_leh_rogue_river_whitewater_guideBrought up by a family of artists, craft people and adventueres, Nolan absorbed a combination of skills from woodworking to whitewater rafting. Nolan— Carson's younger brother— also began rafting at the age of four. When Carson moved into the line-up, Nolan quickly assumed the role of AB (assistant boatman) rowing gear, his Mom, and some clients down the Rogue. He has been down the Rogue countless times and logged over 500 miles of NW, SW and Alaskan Rivers. He certainly has a lot of finesse at the "sticks" as well as in the kitchen. This season he will be operating a boat on the
Rogue and the and Tatshenshini River and it will be a joy to have him back again.

Two years ago Nolan got his BS degree in Industrial and Sustainable Design at
Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington and has worked for Leatherman and Gerber knives since graduating. As a designer from the Northwest, he is drawn to creating and improving products that are used in challenging outdoor environments, with the goal of synthesizing elegance with function and durability. He also has a few unique inventions that he is developing and we hope they will find their way into the marketplace. Nolan also builds, customizes and restores classic bicycles built between 1935-1960 as well as modernizing vintage road bikes. Check out his website:Nolan Leh and his portfolo.

When he is not on a river or doing design, Nolan skis and regularly surfs Pacific Northwest coastal waves. A recent Facebook quote sums it all up: "Road time pays off sometimes, head high peaks for two days with not another person in the water." He currently resides in Bellingham, Washington.

Daniel Monteith, Ph.D
Dan lives in Juneau, Alaska with his wife Cameron and teaches at the University of Alaska. He has specialized in ethnohistory, economic anthropology, cultural ecology pertaining to subsistence, Tlingit art and oral narratives and the archeology of SE Alaska. His geographical areas of interest include Alaska, the Russian Far East and Siberia.

Daniel is an avid outdoorman, former commercial salmon fisherman, and selunker. He loves sharing his insights into the indigenous cultures of Alaska. We were delighted to have him and his wife Cameron share their expertise on our 2015 departure and are very pleased that he will be joining us again for our July 28-August 9 Tatshenshini depature.

Tom Thornton, Ph.D
tom_thornton_anthropologist_tlingit_athabascan_folklore_tatshenshini_alsek_educatorTom is currently the director for the MSC Environmental Change and Management at Oxford University. It is a very engaging program that lies within the School of Geography and the Environment. Tom has lived in Southeast Alaska and worked with Tlingit, Haida, Athapaskan, and Inuit peoples for the past 18 years. He is the editor of Haa Aani, Our Land: Tlingit and Haida Land Rights and Use and Will the Time Ever Come: A Tlingit Sourcebook and has just completed a book entitled Being and Place among the Tlingit. He has also been an associate professor of anthropology at Trinity College and the University of Alaska Southeast and has been a Fulbright Lecturer in China. Tom is an avid outdoorsman and former canoeing guide and loves sharing his insights into the indigenous cultures of Alaska and the Yukon. Tom joined us on our 2007 and 2010
Tatshenshini River departures and we certainly hope he can join us again.

Julie Cruikshank

julie_cruikshank_anthropologistJulie lived and worked in the Yukon and Alaska for more than a decade before moving from her home in Ottawa to British Columbia to do her doctoral work and later to become a professor of anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In 1969, she had her first opportunity to do field work in the Yukon Territory and in Alaska.  Trying to figure out how an anthropology student could contribute to the area that she was living in, she took advice from several women who suggested that she might make a substantive contribution by working with Athabascan mothers or grandmothers recording life histories in a form that could be distributed to family members. This led ultimately to Life Lived Like a Story; Life Stories of Three Yukon Native Elders, a book which has become a cornerstone in Native American studies and a fascinating account of three women who lived a life from the Klondike gold rush to the building of the Alaska Highway. Julie has recently published another book entitled Do Glaciers Listen? Local Knowledge, Colonial Encounters, and Social Imagination (one of the themes of this year’s trip) on the Tatshenshini.  

Julie is a delight to travel with and her enthusiasm for sharing her knowledge of the indigenous people, their folklore and imagination will provide dramatic insights into this rugged landscape and the peoples who lived and traveled through it. Julie accompanied us in the summer of 2013 for her fifth trip down the river with us and it was great to have her and her glaciologist husband Garry on the trip.

Nora Dauenhauer
nora_dauenhauer_tlingit elder_tatshenshini_alsek_riverNora, a native speaker of Tlingit was born in Juneau, Alaska, and in her earliest years spoke only Tlingit. Nora earned a BA in anthopology and is now internationally recognized for her field work, transcription, translation and explication of Tlingit oral literature. Nora's creative writing has been widely published and her Tlingit Raven plays performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Recipient of the 1989 Alaska Governor's Award, Nora served as principle researcher in languge and cultural studies at Sealaska Heritage foundation in Juneau until 1997. Together with her husband Richard Dauenhauer, Nora has co-authored and co-edited several editions of Tlingit language and folklore material. She currently lives in Juneau with Richard (see below) and is currently teaching, writing and developing Tlingit curriculum for the local college. Nora and Richard last joined us on our 2005 Tatshenshini River trip that featured participants that were from Alaska.

Richard Dauenhauer, Ph.d.Dick Dauenhauer Cultural Anthropologist, Tatshenshini-Alsek River, Alaska     River
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the loss of Richard Dauenhauer. Our esteemed colleague, friend, and fellow river runner passed away peacefully on August 19, 2014 after a brief illness.

An article written for KTOO Juneau entitled "A Partnership of Language and Love: Reflecting on The Life of Dick Dauenhauer" encapsulates Dick and Nora's unique partnership.

An article in the Juneau Empire on August 20, 2013, touches on his vibrant intellectual life and contributions to Tlingit culture, history, and the arts. Poet, Translator Richard Dauenhauer.

Dick had lived in Alaska since 1969, and from 1981 to 1988 served as Alaska's seventh Poet Laureate. Recipient of the 1989 Alaska Governor's Award for the Arts and 1991 Columbus Foundation's American Book Award, he is widely recognized as a translator of poetry. Much of Richard's professional work as a teacher and administrator has focused on applied folklore and linguistics. Aside from his work in Tlingit culture, he has traveled under the auspices of the Smithsonian to some of the most remote areas of Siberia to study native folklore and culture. Dick has published several poetry books and written a great many haikus and poems of his, Nora's, the crews’ and participants’ exploits on the Tatshenshini since 1989. Dick and Nora joined us for their 10th journey down the Tatshenshini with the "furry float brothers" (Dicks's name for the crew) in 2005. Since 1989 Nora and Dick have been our logistical support team in Juneau and naturally, our Tlingit Oral Narrative and literary advisors, turning us onto anthropologists Julie Cruikshank and Tom Thornton when they were no longer able to travel the rivers with us.

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Roger Luckenbach, Ph.D.

Roger has been a high school and university educator for 40 years and is known for his enthusiasm, resourcefulness, and inexhaustible knowledge of the natural world. Beside being a university professor, wildlife biologist, curator, ecological consultant and video producer, Roger has been an expedition leader for field workshops in Antarctica, Greenland, Hawaii, the Galapagos, and in the Sierras. He has also been river guide with JHRJ since 1983 on Idaho, Oregon, and California rivers. His soft-spoken style, humor, contagious spirit, and remarkable anecdotes make him the ideal companion for the inquisitive traveler. When Roger is not leading groups around Baja, Patagonia or in Greenland he likes to join us on our June
Rogue trips.

Morgan Twain-Peterson
morgan_peterson_winemaker_rogue_river_winetasting_tripsRaised at his father Joel's Ravenswood Winery, Morgan Twain-Peterson was exposed to wine and wine tasting at an early age. In David Darlington’s “Angel’s Visits,” it is noted that “Morgan, at the age of five, could distinguish between Merlot and Zinfandel.” Morgan has been accompanying James Henry River Journeys trips since he was 10 years old and have been delighted to have him on our Klamath and Rogue journeys. We are very pleased that he will be joining us on one of our Rogue departures this coming summer so that we can taste his scrumptious wines.

After doing undergraduate work at Vassar and graduate work at Columbia University, Morgan returned home to Sonoma in 2005 to work harvest at Ravenswood and as a visiting winemaker at Chateau Lynch-Bages in Pauillac. When not working for Bedrock Wine Company, Morgan is a manager of his family’s Bedrock Vineyards in Sonoma Valley. He has also passed the prestigious Master of Wine exam and upon successful completion of the dissertation will become one of few American M.W.’s. When not doing wine-related things Morgan enjoys his garden of heirloom vegetables, playing piano, hiking, and cooking up good grub.

We are delighted that Morgan will be joining us as our guest winemaker on our June 12 Wine Tasting and Celtic Music River Trip and bringing along his heirloom wines from Bedrock Winery on the Rogue.

To read more about Morgan's winery go to: Bedrock Wine Company
And to read about his philosophy of winemaking, bio and the vineyards that he harvests from, go to his blog: Bedrock Wine Co. Blog

For additional information, see Other Resources.

Mike and Anne Dashe
rogue river wine tasting_mike_anne_dashe_dashe_cellars We are very pleased to have Michael and Anne Dashe join us again for our June 10-14 Wine Tasting trip on the Rogue this summer.

In 1996, the husband and wife winemaking team of Michael and Anne Dashe founded Dashe Cellars. Focused on crafting exceptional single-vineyard wines, Dashe Cellars blends the two winemaker’s combined 40-plus years of experience at such noted wineries as Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château La Dominique, Ridge Vineyards, Cloudy Bay, Far Niente, Chappellet, and Schramsberg Wine Cellars. Drawing on this wealth of experience, the Dashes create vineyard-focused wines that capture the complexity and character of top vineyards throughout Sonoma County and beyond.

Anne and Michael met in 1994. Sharing a wealth of personal and professional interests, the couple spoke early in their relationship about the prospect of founding a winery. With complementary advanced degrees in enology from the University of Bordeaux and the University of California at Davis, they knew their combined backgrounds could form the foundation for something special. In 1996, Michael and Anne were married. That same year they founded Dashe Cellars, and produced their inaugural 1996 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. For the wine’s label, they chose a playful image featuring a monkey riding on the back of a fish, a metaphor for two unique creatures traveling together on a journey.

To read more about Mike and Anne's winery go to:
For additional information about their winery: see Other Resources

Peter Wellington

wellington vineyards_peter wellingtonPeter Wellington of Wellington Vineyards and his wife Jane joined us on our Klamath winetasting trip in 2001 and 2010 and we are delighted to have them back again to share their delightful wines for our June 17-21 Wine Tasting trip on the Rogue

Peter has enjoyed the outdoors and nature his entire life and always knew that had to be part of his career.  He also has had a life-long curiosity about science and how things work. It took him until his late 20's to discover a field that would satisfy his passions— growing and making wine.

According to Peter: “Winemaking stimulates both frontal lobes. The near infinite variations of grapes and wines constantly lead to both creative and analytical challenges.  In winemaking, as in baseball, you see something you've never seen before almost every time you make wine— go to a game.

If that wasn't enough, I get to make something that contributes to the enjoyment of life, and I get to share it with lots of people."

To read more about Peter's winery go to: Wellington Vineyards
And to read Peter's Ramblings go to: Peter's Blog
For additional information about his winery: see Other Resources

Joel Peterson

Joel Peterson, Winemaker, Ravenswood WineryJoel unwittingly embarked on his winemaking apprenticeship at the age of ten when he began tasting with the San Francisco Sampling Club, organized and operated by his father. After graduating from Oregon State University, he became a wine writer and consultant, and in the mid-1970's and learned the art of traditional winemaking (as practiced in Bordeaux and Burgundy). Along with being a professional research immunologist, Joel is renowned for his extraordinary palate. This combination of skills— in addition to his uncompromising nature and enthusiasm for all things flavorful— enables him to produce wines that consistently bear the distinctive Ravenswood stamp. Joel was chosen as one of the world's fifteen outstanding vintners by The Wine Advocate. Each fall on the Rogue, we provide some of Ravenswood’s fine varietals
to match our robust cuisine. We’re hoping that Joel’s globe-trotting schedule will slow down a bit so that he can join us on his favorite coastal river.  

Founded in 1976, Ravenswood has grown tremendously but not altered the style of its wine throughout the years. The Zinfandels remain big and stylish. Almost three quarters of the production is Zinfandel, and the balance evenly split between Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a thousand cases of barrel-fermented Chardonnay.

Bay Area writer, David Darlington, has profiled Joel Peterson and Paul Draper in a memorable book, Angel's Visits: An Inquiry into the Mystery of Zinfandel. Old-friend, wilderness compatriot, and guest writer on JHRJ trips, David introduced Jimmy Katz to Joel and the first wine-tasting gourmet river trips were inaugurated in the early 1990’s on Idaho’s Salmon River. A long alliance with Joel and Ravenswood continues to this day.

The Ravenswood website is: For additional information: see Other Resources.

Shira Kammen
shira_kammen_violins_baroque_celtic_classical_music_rogue_river_whitewater rafting_classical_music_concerts
Shira is one of those rare gems whose whimsical, playful nature and quick wit make her the ideal traveling companion. On top of that, she's a virtuoso violinist whose versatility is unparalleled. From Early Music to Renaissance and from Baroque to Classical, or in the folk world from Irish to Klezmer to Gypsy, Shira can be traditional or improvisatory in style and play the appropriate stringed instrument of the hour (violin, viola, or vielle) with aplomb. Shira is responsible for putting our musical trips together on the
and we are fortunate to share her mirthfulness and talents with us again. She will be joining us again for our Rogue September 17 Celtic Music and Wine Tasting. She is also becoming quite a big-water and each year spends some time rowing the Colorado through the Grand Canyon.

Over the years, Shira has been a member of Ensembles Alcatraz, and Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, and has performed with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, The King’s Noyse, the Benefit Street Chamber Players and Tafelmusik (baroque), Khadra International Folk Ballet, and George Coates Performance Works (contemporary and improvised music). Recently she founded Class V Music, an ensemble that performs on river rafting trips. You can find all about her at her website: Shira Kammen.
On the website you can find her performance schedule, view her classes and workshops, order CD's, and read interviews.

Jim Oakden
jim oakden_baroque_celtic_musician_rogue_river_trips_oregon_whitewater_rafting_tripsAfter starting college on a music scholarship, Jim rapidly realized that he wasn’t cut out for 6 hours a day in a practice room, so switched to science as a career while doing music for love. He launched on a musical odyssey that lead first to Early Music and Baroque, then into the captivating world of traditional and ethnic music and dance (Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Galicia, Klezmer, Greece, Bulgaria, Middle East, etc). Jim currently plays with a half-dozen or so bands on an absurd variety of instruments from accordion to zurna. Specializing in dance music, he has performed and taught music and dance in England and Spain and at a myriad of dance camps throughout the US. He is the founding artistic director of the Bay Area
Country Dance Society’s American Dance Camp, and is currently the program director of the BACDS English Dance and Music Week.

In his other life Jim is a marine biologist and has inexhaustible stories about research diving adventures at both Poles and numerous places in between. He revels in whitewater both on rivers and the ocean, and loves leading flocks of kayaks safely through rapids. He has been playing and inflatable kayaking on JHRJ trips for the past 12 years and we welcome him back for our June 17-21 Celtic Music and Wine Tasting Trip on the Rogue.

Michelle Levy
Michelle Levy studied classical viola with Consuelo Sherba and David Rubenstein as well as Old Timey fiddle/banjo with Professor Jeff Titon at Brown University. After receiving the McKasson scholarship to Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School, she fell in love with the spontaneity of folk music and began a career focused on accompanying vocalists, improvising, and performing ancient music. For two years she toured nationwide with improvisational world music ensemble Cantiga.

Michelle continues her musical studies in Medieval performance practice on vielle with Shira Kammen while performing throughout the country with an eclectic variety of ensembles and vocalists, including Celtic singer Abby Green, and Maia Archote (2007 Ozark Mountain Songwriter of the Year). She teaches private lessons at Music Sources Center for Historically Informed Performances in Berkeley and is on the faculty of Bay Area Academy of Music and Art & Soul Music Studios. Most recently she was awarded the Jude Biggs scholarship to study English country dancing & music at BACDS English Week in the Mendocino Woodlands. She especially loves to play for dancers and to teach!  Michelle joined us for our 2010 and 2013 Rogue trips and it will be great to have her along on our
June 17-21 Celtic Music and Wine Tasting Trip on the Rogue.

Cynthia Albers
Cynthia was an active musician in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years, specializing in historical instruments and performing with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and American Bach Soloists. She has also performed for cultural tours along the Rhône River in France, and on the Danube and Rhine Rivers, traveling from Budapest to Amsterdam. In 2000, she led a quartet on a tour across mainland China. They played concerts on the YangtzeRiver and at national historic sites, including the Great Wall.

At home in Sonoma County she runs a thriving music education program. She also gardens and keeps bees. Cindy has accompanied our Rogue and Klamath trips since 1998. We hope she will be able to join us as a featured violinist on one of our Rogue departures.

Andrew Cushman
alaska_tatshenshini_alsek_river_guide_andrew_cushman Andrew grew up in Northern California and whitewater rafting was the family sport. He caught his first fish from a raft on the Truckee at age two, successfully defended himself from a crazed bat trying to nest in his armpit on the Rogue when he was eight, and bravely battled rodeo holes from an inflatable kayak on the Middle Fork Salmon in high school. He guided the Tatshenshini/Alsek in 2011 and 2013 with JHRJ and always entertains guests with his unique ability to turn mundane tasks such as dish washing into musical interludes. He taught a sustainability course at Bridges Academy, a small independent school in Los Angeles, joined us for a Rogue adventure and then in September became the proud father of a baby girl named Isla. Andrew, Stefani and Isla are now living in Berkeley. So it looks like the next generation of JHRJ crew members will be floating the rivers with us at some point in the near future.
Sylvan Cambier
Sylvan Cambier_River_Guide_Rogue, Klamath, and Tatshenshini-Alsek Rivers

Sylvan, like Danielle, comes from an outdoor-oriented family (ie. Sea Trek). Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and Eugene, Oregon, Sylvan is an outstanding river guide who works our Oregon, California, and Alaskan trips. He graduated from UCSC in physics and is currently back in Eugene, Oregon. Sylvan graduated from the University of Oregon's graduate program in architecture. He is deeply inspired by their emphasis on "green building." Sylvan and his wife Jocelyn have moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area, are currently working as architects in San Francisco, and celebrating the birth of their son, Arlo (the next generation of JHRJ crew members).

Kelley Kalafatich
kelley kalafatich_tatshenshini_alsek river guide_alaskan explorerKelley was born and raised in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and became a river guide in 1979. Her keen sense of adventure and desire to live a year-round outdoor guiding life got her involved with river expeditions to Africa, Costa Rica, Brazil, Siberia, Fiji, Borneo, Equador, Chile, and of course Alaska where she rowed a boat on our Tatshenshini trips for three successive years. Her boating and expedition planning skills invariably got her hooked up with Hollywood where she had a role as Meryl Steep’s stunt double in "The River Wild.”  As an aspiring filmmaker in her own right, she produced and filmed “Three Women, Three Hundred Miles”— an award-winning feature documentary which has been honored in both the Durango and Nevada City Film Festivals. This documentary features Kelley and two other women running the entire length of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado on riverboards in the dead of winter. It is a spell-binding piece and a triumph of the spirit. Beautifully filmed, it is gives a perspective of the canyon that is seldomly seen, let alone experienced at that time of year— the quietude and the grandeur. Now that Kelley has been adopted into our river family, we hope you’ll get to float with her on our
Rogue trips as well.

Those of you who have had the good fortune to travel with Kelley Kalafatich on our Rogue and Tatshenshini-Alsek journeys are aware that this treasured member of the boating community has had some very, very difficult times over the past 5 years. More difficult than any of the Class V rapids she has tackled in her life, Kelley is paralyzed from the waist down from a parasite that she contracted on an exploratory of the Blue Nile several years ago. For more information, go to her blog:

Alex Vul
River Guide

Alex is the rare client that is immediately adopted into the river family. Soon after meeting him, You sense that he wil be the perfect travelling companion: intelligent, convivial, and someone who can roll with the punches. Having attended the California Culinary Academy for a semester, he was already a gourmet chef. Teaching him to row a boat was a breeze. Alex first showed up on the Tatshenshini in 1991, accompanied us on a couple of Noatak trips, and then began guiding on the Rogue and Klamath after that. He has been a steadfast friend and helpful soul ever since. Alex knows his wines, his food, and has a lots of humorous travel exploits to share around the campfire.

A super computer whiz, he worked for Sun Microsystems and Intuit for years and is now onto other projects.

Tom Meckfessel
tatshenshini_alsek_whitewater_rafting_tom_meckfessel_river_guideTom Meckfessel is another one of those great California kids who grew up with a tremendous appreciation for the wilderness. We discovered him when he was in high school, immediately saw his potential as a river guide, and made sure that he was given every opportunity to demonstrate his athletic abilities, people skills, and budding culinary talents. He began running rivers with us in 1982 during his summer vacations from UCSB where he was an Environmental Studies major. It was only a few years later that he began running Alaskan trips. Tom has been instrumental in sharing some of his most exotic dishes with us and they highlight our Alaskan dinner entrees (halibut stew, Brazilian black bean chile, and Teriyaki chicken and flank steak). He now prides himself on whipping up exotic paellas but only likes to make them for groups of 50 or more. Sorry Tom, we don't take that many on our trips. For unique catered events contact him at Paella del Reyes.

You'll find Tom on one of our Alaskan exploratories

You can find out about Tom's river and boating equipment business, Clavey River Equipment by going directly to their website: or reading in more detail about it on our Other Resources page.

Bill Easton
Bill and his son Ridge joined us for a Klamath trip
several seasons back and we were so enamored of his wines, that we had him join us on the Rogue in 2007 and 2012. We are looking forward to Bill and Jane (a culinary wizard) share his artistry with us in coming summers on our Rogue departures and look forward to tasting his intriquing wines.

Bill and his wife Jane lived in Berkeley for quite awhile and
owned and operated
rogue river wine tasting_bill_easton_winemaker_terre_rougeLe Bistro at Solano Cellars a restaurant/
wine shop on the North side of town.  Concurrently Bill was making as selling his own wine. At a certain point in time, it was time to make the great leap into the wild and wooly world of winemaking as a full-time endeavor and to plant their roots in the Sierra foothills. Their winery became bonded in 1994 and has since produced some of the finest wines produced from that region.
Bill modestly credits “the well-drained, de-vigorated mountainous Sierrra Foothill soils for creating a unique terroir,” but his wines also greatly benefit from the skill he demonstrates in the winemaking department.

Bill currently produces twenty different wines, many of which are very small production (under 600 cases). Each is unique and site-specific with a sense of place (terroir) all of their own. Bill strives to craft wines of nuance and complexity. His Terre Rouge and Easton wines are often compared to the most sylish European bottlings. I'm sure you’ll agree with Robert Parker after tasting his Rhône wines, that you have experienced the “Finest Syrah Produced in the Sierra Foothills.” For more detailed information about Terre Rouge
(red earth) go to his website: For
additional information: See Other Resources.

Steve Doerner
steve_doerner_winemaker_cristom_vineyardsSteve comes to us through Oregon winemaker and ex-river guide Lynn Penner-Ash. We are very pleased that Steve and his wife Irene just had a baby boy so they are not planning on joining us this summer. We certainly hope they can join us in the new future as soon as we can find the appropriate sized life jacket for Luke.

Tasting his handcrafted varietals has given trip participants a complete understanding of why Cristom Vineyards has been placed prominently featured in Paul Lukacs’ new book entitled, "The Great Wines of America, The Top Forty Vintners, Vineyards and Vintages.”

Steve believes the winemaker's job is to "optimize what nature — the vineyard — provides." With that philosophy in mind, he utilizes Old World winemaking techniques - whole clusters, native yeast fermentation, and gentle and minimal handling. 

Working in tandem with owner Paul Gerrie, they are currently cultivating 65 acres of grapes planted in eight distinct vineyards. Nestled on the slopes of the Eola Hills with a view of Mt. Jefferson, the
Willamette Valley provides a number of microclimates ideal for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Syrah.

This is Steve’s 32nd harvest of Pinot Noir and he’s learned to be patient and to trust his process. He is very much a non-interventionist winemaker but with the scientific knowledge that would allow him to do what’s necessary to produce sound wines.

Steve recently got married and is the proud father of Lucas. We're hoping that we will be able to take Steve and his wife Irene down the river again when their son can fit into a lifejacket.

The Cristom Wines website may be found at
For additional information, see Other Resources.

Danny Carnahan
danny carnahan_Celtic fiddler_Rogue_River_Oregon
Danny Carnahan, originally trained as a classical cellist, has been performing playing octave mandolin, guitar, fiddle, singing and recording Celtic music for over 25 years. He's toured, played festivals and clubs in five countries and 30 states, recorded 11 CDs and won an occasional award. When not teaching music, writing about music in books and magazines, or flogging his novels, he can currently be found on stage with Wake the Dead, the world's only all-star Celtic Grateful Dead jam band. Danny and his wife Sandra are now proud parents of a delightful young chap named Teddy so we might have to wait a little while before Danny can join us on one of our Rogue departures. Always great company to travel with, it will be great when he can join us again.

rachel_streeter_Baroque  flautist_Rogue_Klamath_RiversRachel Streeter
Flutificating Rachel is a hoot to have on the river. Humorous and playful, she adds a great deal of balance to our musical duets and trios. Rachel has been accompanying our Rogue and Klamath trips for many seasons and has been enjoying playing Early music with a baroque flute and harpsichord for the past 16 years. In addition to performing she teaches music and movement to elementary students. Rachel has performed extensively for granite walls, whispering pines and mountain lakes and will join us on the Rogue
this summer. Three summer agos, Rachel migrated north to Oregon and is now living closer to the rivers, we run, playing music, and banging a few nails on the side. She is also a stellar and intrepid inflatable kayaker and an aide to any novices who care to challenge the Rogue on its path to the sea.

Maureen Brennan
maureen_brennan_irish_harp_rogue_classical_music_tripMaureen Brennan is an accomplished performer, playing both early classical and Celtic music on the Irish harp. She has toured throughout the U.S. and Canada in a variety of ensembles and performed with nouveau-traditional bands Paradise Lost and Kingfisher, released three solo CDs, and participated in the acclaimed "Harpistry" collection. She teaches at workshops and harp conferences throughout North America and continues as a soloist in Irish and Scottish events, and as the harper with Wake the Dead, a Celtic/Grateful Dead crossover band with felow Rogue musician Danny Carnahan. She has also entertained on cruise ships in Alaska and Tahiti for the past 14 years. We are so pleased she will be able to join us on our first classical music and wine tasting trip of the 2011
Rogue season. You can sample a bit of her work by clicking on the Preview for "Paradise Lost" from Festival of Harps Live!

Sean Thackrey

Sean Thackrey, Winemaker, Sean Thackrey, Ltd.Upon first meeting Sean, you have this strange feeling that you have been transported back into the Middle Ages and that you are speaking to a Celtic wizard who has just returned from stirring up his bubbling cauldrons.

Sean Thackrey has been profiled by many wine and literary magazines ever since this self-taught virtuoso came onto the wine scene in the 60's. Sean owned an operated an art gallery in San Francisco collecting 19th Century French photographers for twenty-five years. Thackrey moved to Bolinas, California in 1963 and after closing down his gallery has focused his artistic talents on crafting his elegant wines and his scholarly pursuits on the history of winemaking as revealed in rare 16th Century French books.

Thackrey makes about 500 cases of Orion, a single vineyard Syrah made from turn-of the century vines and 2,000 cases of a complex, Syrah-based, nonvintage blend called Pleiades. One of his most extraordinary efforts, a 1992 Sirius, (turn-of-the century Petite Syrah) was named by The Wine Enthusiast as the best red wine in the world for 1996. Sean is also crafting a stunning Pinot Noir and a robust Sangeovese. Sean is going to take some time off from river travel to work on other artistic projects and we certainly hope that he will join us on future
Rogue departures. Sean Thackrey's website is   For additional information: see Other Resources.

Michael Havens
michael_havens_havens_cellars_winemaker_rogue_klamath riverWe met Michael and his wife, Kathryn, in 1994 and since then have had the pleasure of their easy-going company on many jaunts down the Rogue, Klamath, and Salmon Rivers. Michael's insightful raps (he was once an English professor) about his unique style of hand-crafted winemaking have always been illuminating to our guests. Michael recently sold Havens Cellars and is currently working as a consulting winemaker in California and Argentina. For some of our wine-tasting trips on the Rogue and Klamath Michael assists us on the selection of our artisanal wines of France from producers he knows there. We look forward to having he and Kathryn join us once again. For additional information, see Other Resources.

Lynn Penner-Ash, Winemaker Rexhill Winery, OregonLynn Penner-Ash

Lynn has in past years, joined us on the River in Oregon and the Klamath in California and her wines and vivacious spirit were greatly appreciated by our guests. Her busy schedule has intervened this year so we’ll have to wait until 2008 for her and her family to join us again on the Klamath where we will be able to taste the wines of her current project, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. Penner Ash Wine Cellars has been producing wines since 1998 and is currently producing premium Pinot Noirs and Syrahs. Lynn's website is


Lynn has had a fascination with science since childhood, thought that she would become a botanist, but in her senior year at UC Davis changed her major to viticulture and enology. Prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest, she worked as a river guide and in the California wine industry for Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Domaine Chandon, Chateau St. Jean, Domaine de Napa, and Haven's Wine Cellars. Fascinated by the ever-changing demands of a winemaking season: crush, fermentation, aging, bottling, winemaking has provided a unique outlook for her love of science and her creative, intuitive and emotional sides.

Lynn is one of Oregon’s pioneering women winemakers and one of a handful of women winemakers nationwide. Her award-winning blends of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Syrah are a testimony to her skills as a winemaker. During her 14-year career at Rex Hill Vineyards she won many awards, including the Humphrey Edward Jones award for the “World’s Best Pinot Noir”, Wine and Spirits Magazine’s “Winery of the Year” (twice in 10 years, “The Top Ten Pinot Noir on Restaurant Wine Lists” four times in ten years.

Ned Wheeler Alaska Tatshenshini river guide
Ned came to us by way of his wilderness-trooping Mom who had accompanied one of our Snake River trips in the mid-70's. Ned started guiding with us in 1980 on California, Oregon, Idaho, and in the late 80's, Alaskan rivers. Before settling down to raise a family in Hailey, Idaho and manage Sun Valley Resort's Nordic Center in Sun Valley, "Uncle Nedley" was quite the world traveler, river guiding in New Zealand, scuba diving throughtout French Polynesia, trekking extensively around the Himalayas, and doing some camel trading in Radjastan. Known for his quick wit, humorous accents, and gentle manner, it is always a great pleasure to have him join us on one of our

For additional information, see Other Resources.

©2002. All Rights Reserved.  Revised Jan. 2016.
James Henry River Journeys/Wilderness Journeys.