Meet Our New Guides and Instructors
Joining us from far and wide, from White Salmon to New Zealand and everywhere in between, this year’s team of new-to-Wet Planet river guides are quite the addition to our veteran expert team of raft guides, kayaking and rescue instructors.
Josephine (Jojo) was inadvertently brought up to become an outdoor professional. She grew up in Bend, Oregon — a town run by ski bums, was raised by parents who prioritized experiences, and has had the privilege of endless opportunities to be out in the wild. She is a four-season-a-year type of gal, always in pursuit of adventure, regardless of the weather. Passionate about backcountry skiing, climbing, rowing, mountain biking, kayaking, and rafting, she’s a jack of all trades, a master of fun.
While she grew up going on whitewater excursions with her dad, her professional rafting career began a few summers ago. First on the Deschutes River, the Clackamas River, and the Rogue River, and later advancing to the White Salmon River. Jojo is currently completing her degree in Business and Sustainability at Western Washington University in another outdoor recreation paradise—Bellingham, Washington. With the goal to help the outdoor industry become more environmentally savvy, Jojo is combining her education in sustainable marketing with her passion for outdoor recreation as a marketing assistant and raft guide at Wet Planet.
Originally from Northern California, Josh has spent the last eight years living in Baltimore where he discovered his passion for the outdoors. While in college at Johns Hopkins University, he taught whitewater kayaking to other students on rivers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Since graduating, he worked as an Environmental Engineer, restoring streams in Maryland that have been affected by excessive erosion in order to reduce the amount of pollution that can reach Chesapeake Bay. Despite working a 9 to 5 job, he continued kayaking on weekends and has traveled to Costa Rica and Chile to paddle. He is excited to return to the West Coast and to share his love of rivers with as many people as possible this summer! Josh is also a wilderness first responder, an ACA kayak instructor and is river rescue certified.
Nicky started getting into whitewater in the summer of 2014, rafting with friends and taking photos for Wilderness Voyagers on the Youghiogheny River. She attended West Virginia University and earned a Bachelors of Science in landscape architecture. Nicky has worked as a raft guide on the Youghiogheny River and Ocoee River in the United States and on the Mohaka River and Rangitata River in New Zealand. Additionally, she has worked as a kayak instructor on the Mohaka, Tarawera, Aniwhenua and Waikato rivers in New Zealand. She has also worked as a tramping guide on the Tongariro alpine crossing and led multi-day canoe trips on the Whanganui River for Adrift Outdoors. In 2017, she competed in the Toba Caldera Kayaking and Rafting championships on the Asahan River in Northern Sumatra. On her own time, Nicky enjoys mountain biking, hiking, rafting, and kayaking and she would really like to learn how to fish this summer.
Josh, who just so happens to be Nicky’s husband, is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. He started his rafting career on the Ocoee River the summer of 2008 for Ocoee Rafting. After a couple of seasons, he moved to Rotorua, New Zealand in December of 2010 to pursue rafting full time and to learn how to whitewater kayak. Since then he’s spent more than 250 days each year on rivers for work and recreation. Josh summers in the northern hemisphere and was raft guiding on the east coast, bouncing between the Ocoee River and Youghiogheny River until he found Wet Planet and the White Salmon River. During the winter months, he heads to the southern hemisphere (where it is summer) and works for River Rats Raft and Kayak where he is a trip leader, sledge guide, and raft support kayaker on the Kaituna, Wairoa, and Rangitaiki rivers. He has some guiding in Honduras on the beautiful Cangrejal River. When he is not working, he enjoys whitewater kayaking, rafting, camping, and mountain biking. Josh feels fortunate to have traveled around the world to kayak, and has competed in the United States, Quebec, Northern Sumatra, and New Zealand. However, he says that kayaking isn’t so much about the competition as it is the opportunity to travel and experience different rivers. He enjoys rafting professionally because it allows him to share the magic and beauty of the river with those who otherwise might not have the opportunity to experience it themselves.
Alexis was born and raised in wild, wonderful West Virginia. Growing up surrounded by strikingly beautiful, secluded rivers, she fell in love with spending time outside at an early age. She attended Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina where she studied Global Studies and Spanish. From there, she roamed around the US and Canada for a couple of years before finding her place in the whitewater community.
Alexis began her life on the water in 2016 on the French Broad River in North Carolina’s mountains. Since then, she has been fortunate enough to paddle a number of rivers throughout the southern US, east to west. From canoeing the calm, winding Suwannee River in Florida to rowing the mighty, turbulent Colorado River in Arizona, she enjoys paddling freshwater at every speed. In the offseason, Alexis can be found navigating the desert by boat or on foot, hiking up volcanoes in Central America, or being a mediocre skier in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. A firm believer in having one solid belly laugh a day, she is always up for an adventure and takes a smile no matter where she goes. Alexis is a Wilderness First Responder and River Rescue certified.
A White Salmon native, Leslie was lucky enough to grow up hiking, rafting, and exploring the beautiful Columbia Gorge. Since the rafting bug bit her family, Leslie has loved every minute that they get to spend on whitewater. The Rogue and the Main Salmon are among her family’s biggest river adventures. Leslie spent two summers working at Wet Planet’s base deciding it was time to get on the river. She started guiding on the Kern River in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains of California in 2017. After graduating from Southern Oregon University in 2018 with a degree in pre physical therapy she got to explore the Chihuahuan Desert for the first time while guiding on the Rio Grande. Leslie has spent time in Oaxaca Mexico, biked across Italy and will be returning from a couple of months in Ecuador in May, 2019. Last summer, she had the pleasure of rafting nearly 200 miles of river in Idaho, from the Middle Fork of the Salmon River to the Main Salmon River. When Leslie is not on the river, she enjoys climbing, trail running, making stuff and staring at topo maps.
Interested in becoming part of the Wet Planet team? Check out our Employment Opportunities.