Jim Ritter – Rogue River Journeys
Jim first started guiding for Outdoor Adventures (now known as Rogue River Journeys) in 1977 when he was in high school. After graduating from Humboldt State University, he continued as a manager with Outdoor Adventures for 27 river seasons and oversaw the Rogue River operation. He lives in McKinleyville, California and is the Executive Director of Humboldt Live!, an organization which helps middle and high school kids learn about and prepare for their future career opportunities, including river guiding. During the summer, Jim still finds time to guide a few trips on the Rogue River.
How were you introduced to the Rogue River?
I enjoyed my first private trip on the Rogue in 1983 and managed Rogue River Journeys (Outdoor Adventures) from when we bought our business in 1989 through the 2013 season. I have been fortunate to run at least four trips on the Rogue every year since 1989.
What are your favorite qualities of the Rogue River?
Water is life and I love the multitude of creeks that flow into the wild stretch of the river.
Favorite places on the Rogue?
There are so many wonderful stretches of the river, but I really enjoy the playful stretch of Wildcat Rapid down to Howard Creek and the feeling at the bottom of Blossom after all of your boats are safely through with smooth runs.
Is there a sense of community on the Rogue?
Rafting is fun and when you get to raft and camp and spend time in a beautiful canyon like the Rogue River it can’t help but build community and fellowship between many different people.
Has the Rogue River changed you?
I was blessed to work most of my career as an outfitter on the Rogue. It was a great way to make a living and I feel fortunate that Bob hired me as a high school kid all of those years ago. My own kids got to grow up on the Rogue, and really, what could be better than that?
What is the personality of the Rogue and what are some of your favorite memories?
Friendly, fun, and wise.
I have so many great memories and experiences on the Rogue. Entering Mule Creek Canyon for the first time, hiking the river trail with the amazing canopy of trees, watching bald eagle and osprey battling over fish, partying at the guide shack at Paradise, more wildlife sightings than any other river in the lower 48, and the camaraderie and connection with hundreds of guests, guides, shuttle drivers, BLM folks, and other outfitters. The Rogue River is a treasure and I’m thankful for the experiences it has shared with me.