As the first snow of 2021 gently floats to the ground, everyone here at The Adventure Company is reflecting on what an amazing season we had. From the rains that kept us at great water levels, to the human connections being restored as COVID restrictions were lifted, we miss summer already! This was one of our best and safest seasons. With thousands of our guests enjoying the skill of experienced guides only, we did not have any safety concerns but appreciated the gratitude of so many smiling faces.
This assessment actually plays a major role for the Headboatman Adam Dickson and GM Mark Hammer. A successful season doesn’t happen by luck, it happens by carefully planning all year round, and establishing what went well and what we can improve upon. “It’s a carefully crafted strategy, and we usually nail it” Says Mark Hammer. “We start planning for next summer just as we are wrapping up equipment and vehicle maintenance in September.” As a company, the goal is to control and prepare for our growth, meaning we don’t want to increase business if it means compromising the quality of our guests’ experience. Naturally, all of this planning and reflecting leads to storytelling any many laughs as we recall some of our favorite moments and trips.
Everyone agrees, one of the best parts of this year was watching our guests connect again and even make new friends after a long spout of social distancing. Hammer’s favorite trip this year was a multi-day bachelor party. The 17 members of the party flew in from several states, and even other countries! “For them to have the confidence to let us handle that special moment is a great compliment. It is gratifying to see people enjoying each other’s company and their surroundings in beautiful Browns Canyon. The amount of work that goes into our overnight trips is so worthwhile when we see how blown away they were with everything from camp, to scenery, food, and guides.” Said Hammer.
One of Adam’s favorite trips was an 8-year-old girl and her family. They had been rafting with us several times last summer, and as Adam was guiding them down Browns Canyon, she would yell out all the different rocks and rapids before he even had a chance! Her enthusiasm and excitement are what inspires people to become raft guides. Adam also noticed that after many different trips, previously complete strangers were sharing contact information to send each other photos of the trip, and made meaningful connections while sharing the thrill of the river.
At TAC we are like a family, we care about one another and love to watch each other grow and succeed. Another main point of reflection for our managers, is to reminisce on each guide’s ability to communicate with and inform our guests, what jokes they tell on their bus talks, and how they interact. Our guides want to have fun every step of the way and it’s easy to see how their individual personalities and passions shine through. One guide that really showed up as a leader this year was Corey ‘Weird Beard’. “Corey does repeatedly amazing things.” Said Adam remembering how Corey impacted this year, “Corey had seconds ago just gotten back from a Numbers trip, when another one of our guides was feeling under the weather. He filled in for their spot with no question and only asked what he could do to help.”
The natural elements that played into this season were also very unique. We didn’t have a single COVID case traced back to our operation, which we accredit it to our guides and business model. We are nimble enough to change and adapt our practices while still maintaining a top-quality operation. With all of our guides having years of experience, it helps us take COVID precautions very seriously. The water levels and weather this year were also very unique. After a dry winter in the Arkansas R. valley, we needed help from Mother Nature, and got it! We had record setting rain that kept us at great water levels. But that rain regularly hit in the late afternoon with warm and sunny mornings, so it rarely impacted our trips. Because of this, Hammer went as far to say that this season had the most remarkable weather, allowing us to maintain fun water levels all summer. While other rivers in Colorado struggled with low flows, we felt lucky to be able to maintain such exceptional quality.
Thank you to everyone who joined us and contributed to this special year. We will continue to work and improve this winter in anticipation for next season. The countdown is on until we can welcome everyone back for a fun and splashy summer in 2022. Follow our Instagram, Facebook, and website during our off-season as we update you on all of the upcoming exciting news and improvements.