Relationships built on the river aren’t always full of chocolates and flowers. While the river journeys are often in some of the most beautiful places on earth, sometimes they’re full of cold adventures, smelly gear, and moments where you really, really have to trust each other. The highs and lows of river life and river love make people stronger, both as individuals and as couples. Meet some of the incredible whitewater couples within the extended Wet Planet family and read about some of their amazing team work and accomplishments, all because ‘a River runs through it’!
Todd Collins & Jaco Klinkenberg – Wet Planet founders
Wet Planet owners Todd and Jaco met on a 12 day whitewater trip with NOLS in Utah. At the time, Todd had worked all over the country, as a raft guide and instructor, and was already working with ideas for creating a new whitewater company. The two shared similar visions of what this company could be, and after spending a few years of working together on the rivers in Costa Rica, they decided to make a go for it in 2002, on the White Salmon River in Washington. After many years of hard work, lots of rafting trips, many happy smiles and a few added wrinkles, the Wet Planet Family is happy and well.
John & Katie Abercrombie – Wet Planet raft guides extraordinaire
Many of you are accustomed to seeing Big John and Katie in the back of your raft, setting support at the bottom of Husum, or cheerfully coaching you into the cliff jump at BZ Falls. Possibly Wet Planet’s most infamous modern day couple, these two are high school sweet hearts from the Southeast, turned raft guides and world adventurers.
John went to guide school on the Chattooga River shortly after high school and Katie followed suit in 2009. After a few seasons in the Southeast, they traveled on to Norway, Nepal, the Grand Canyon, Alaska, and settled down in the Pacific Northwest. They have fine tuned the art of complementing each other both on and off the river, as is evident if you’re lucky enough to be on a White Salmon Rafting trip with both of them at the same time!
Susan Hollingsworth & Adam Elliott – long term Wet Planet kayaking instructors and WP family members.
Susan and Adam, both world travelers on their own, met and fell in love while boating and working on the river in Southwest China. They were both working for different programs on the same trip, and that proved to be a valuable opportunity to learn more about each other around the camp fire and while cooking meals. They both felt a strong pull to the river, and felt that to love paddling and the outdoors is to love experiencing the world, rather than just waiting for life to unfold. Together they started Wild River Life, a two year tour to paddle 50 wild and scenic rivers to show case our treasured rivers and mobilize efforts for future designations. They can still be found around Wet Planet between their travels, using the office as their base camp and hiking through snow banks to go kayaking.
Dawn & Ethan Passant – Wet Planet raft guides and coolest parents.
Dawn and Ethan weren’t just introduced to each other while guiding on the Taylor River in Colorado, but also to a life full of adventures. Whether it is biking through storms, rock climbing, boating, or raising their 5 year old daughter Josie, this family is always up to something! Josie takes after her parent’s active life style, and likes to tell people how her older cousins can’t keep up with her on skis. They spend their Winter season at Crested Butte, where Ethan ski patrols and Josie takes her mom out for dawn patrols. We can’t wait until they make their way back out to White Salmon for their summer
Cason & Tina – voted Wet Planet’s most romantic rafting guests!
Cason and Tina, who together have gone out on the river with Wet Planet for years, decided to make a big splash on their wedding day. They took their friends and family rafting down the White Salmon River to get married at BZ Falls. Rivers have played a big part in their relationship, from their first dates hiking along Eagle Creek and the Wilson River in the depths of winter, to introducing the experience with their families on the Kenai River in Alaska. They hope to continue sharing their love for rivers with family and friends as they’ve found it to be such a grounding factor in their marriage.
Feeling inspired by our whitewater couples and their river love? Let a river run through your life, and join us for a whitewater rafting trip this summer!