Rude raft guides on the Poudre. - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-05-2010   #1
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 61
Rude raft guides on the Poudre.

Well,it happened again. I am taking out at dead deer and a Wanderlust bus pulls up. My buddies car is in the no parking loading Zone area. He just put it there, as we are loading. We were just about to head up river to grab my car/trailer when we see them come, so we make a special trip back to the river to pull my boat out and as far out of the way as possible. (His trailer is too small for my boat.) We get back to the car and are about to take off when the guide comes up and asks us if we can't move my boat. I point out that we have already moved it as far as possible and that he is welcome to move it up to the space we are about to vacate as soon as we pull out. Then he starts in with, well I hope you don't mind our clients sitting on your boat, and how we aren't even supposed to be there as this is a loading zone for the five commercial rafters only. Really? When did that happen? I don't recall the public hearings? Nor do I see signs to that effect. And I strongly suspect this guy was full of crap. (The female guide repeated this, that we had no right to be there, to my girlfriend while we were gone.) Note, that we are not leaving a car in the loading zone, just a boat down by the river. I am going to check into this. If it is true, its time to write our congressmen. if, as I suspect, it is not, then maybe its time private boaters start taking a lot of time to load and unload. I usually try to hurry and vacate space as quickly as possible for incoming boaters, be they private or commercial. But I am pissed. The Outfitters DO NOT OWN THE RIVER! Or the loading zones, or the eddies. Don't they realize how much business private boaters can cost them if we start ensuring thier customers do not have a good time? A little bit of respect and everyone gets along. If a commercial outfit comes along when private boaters are loading, unloading, they could offer to help expidite the process, or they can wait thier turn LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!.

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Old 07-05-2010   #2
Steamboat, Colorado!
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 149
I work at Wanderlust and I would just say that I am sorry that you felt like the guides were rude. (I wasn't on this trip). We are trying to work on a time schedule, deal with lots of customers, and dropping water levels - sometimes that might lead to less than cool heads. If you feel like you were treated unfairly please call our office and let the management know, they will take care of this. You have every right to be on the water and enjoy it... we all do after work!
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Old 07-05-2010   #3
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 61
Jen, thanks for the feed back. I felt I had to vent. This is not the first time I have experienced this sort of behavior on the poudre. And it is not limited to any one company. But there does seem to be a pervasive attitude on the part of the commercial outfits, that the poudre is "their" river, and the rest of us are second class citizens. I do not want to start a war between the commercial and private boater communities, but it really is time that the commercial outfits start instructing their guides to treat private boaters with respect.
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Old 07-05-2010   #4
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 14
I, too, work at Wanderlust and was disappointed to read about your experience this morning. You moving your boat out of the way and hurrying out of the loading zone is more than I expect and all I could hope for from other folks on the river. Not all are as conscientious as you are. Last week we pulled up to Dead Deer and some people were fishing there while parked smack dab in the middle of the loading zone. A guide asked them to move their vehicle and after a while they did - they pulled it up and completely blocked the path down to the river. Sadly, that is the kind of response many guides have come to expect from privates on the river. The exchange you had with our guides sounds odd - I can't imagine anyone telling you that you had no right to be at Dead Deer, but stranger things have happened. You have every right to be there! As outfitters we are limited to specific put-ins and take-outs and perhaps because we are up there twice a day, every day sometimes guides have a misplaced sense of entitlement to those sites. Even so, at 3.2 or so there is plenty of beach there for 8 boats so I'm not sure what the issue was. Maybe just a bad day. As for reclaiming the river by loading and unloading in painfully slow fashion...take the high road, my friend. Continue to treat people as you expect to be treated and let karma and the river gods do the rest. If you are still stewing about your experience take Jen's advice and call our office.
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Old 07-05-2010   #5
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 175
I have had these same folks in the past few years try to kick me out of pullouts that had no signs, also stating that the commercials have some special status among the masses as far as right of parking. I basically just have just told them to feed their bs to someone who cares.

Jen, you are obviously a person who's parents taught you to respect other peoples rights and space. I know this from your posts and from talking to you up on the river. Unfortunately, some of your co-workers seem to have missed out on those charms.
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Old 07-05-2010   #6
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Fresno, California
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 184
It's not limited to a single outfitter, or river. I've been told the same "for outfitters only" story in CA and OR too. I've also been TOLD to move from campsites on the Rogue and Tuolumne by guides who claimed the site was for them only (there are no private basecamps on either river). I wasn't hogging up a large camp either. Our small group always takes smaller sites, or leave room at the larger ones. And we always welcome other groups
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Old 07-05-2010   #7
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 106
Hey Jen and Kate, do let us know how the staff meeting goes. Post a copy of the memo, if you can. I agree with Kip above; I've seen guides on other rivers try to boss private parties around, buffalo them out of using facilities, and act as if they and their paying clients are entitled to be at the front of the line.
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Old 07-05-2010   #8
Steamboat, Colorado!
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 149
I am sure this issue will be addressed on our whiteboard. Wanderlust is an unbelievably well-run and thoughtful outfitter. I think this was merely a one-time thing and not the overall tone of our company... Any day of the week will help out a private boater having trouble on the river or in need of some help moving their boats out of the put-in, please feel free to ask.

festivus - my parents will be proud of such a comment, they mostly think I am a freeloading bum!
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Old 07-06-2010   #9
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Silt, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 193
This type of thing happens all the time over here. Ever been to Two Rivers boat ramp on a Sat. afternoon??? The guides all act like they own the ramp.
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Old 07-06-2010   #10
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,199
I've been boating the Poudre for 20 years and have never had any issues with the commercial boaters. But I do have a question: Where the Hell is Dead Deer???
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