Grand Canyon Whitewater guide Jason M began his career white water rafting the Colorado River with the National Park Service more than 20 years ago. He made the transition to commercial rafting because he loves to be a part of the personal transformations many people experience when they visit the grandest Canyon. Here’s his story, in his own words:
“I have been guiding trips down rivers in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, and working in and around Grand Canyon, since 1991. I started out in Grand Canyon doing science trips for the National Park Service, but I had fallen in love with it when I was just a kid. We started backpacking, my brother and I, when I was a freshman in high school. Hearing all the river boatman stories all the time, it was just very tantalizing. I got to participate in my first river trip when I was 19 and fell hard. I like to get away and, when you’re in Grand Canyon, you’re there — nobody can interrupt that with a phone call or anything. You’re in the moment, totally. I love spending time there because I feel like you could spend your whole life there and barely get to know it. I really enjoy sharing the Grand Canyon with people, and I like how it enlightens every one of us. Whether you like it or not, it teaches you a lot about yourself. I watch how people come on a trip and, by the end of it, they let their guard down and remember how to live a little bit. I think learning to live in that environment for a week is healthy for the soul, for all of us.
I’m also an avid skateboarder and, when I’m not on a rafting trip, I’m down in Phoenix riding skateboards with my two sons.”