“Dom”

Job Title: 

River Guide

Marketing Intern

Bartender (The Boatman’s Millinocket)

Certifications: 

Level 1 Maine River Guide License

First Aid/CPR Certified

Originally from:

Peabody, Massachusetts

How long have you worked in the Outdoor Industry?

I am a first year guide for the 2021 season.

What is your origin story working for Three Rivers Whitewater?

In the Spring of 2021, I submitted an application to become a marketing intern for Three Rivers Whitewater. Upon acceptance and after completing internship training, I was able to also complete the necessary 8-day training course to become a Maine River Guide.  

What do you love most about being a Maine River Guide?

There is a lot to love about being a guide in Maine. Being outdoors and having access to beautiful environments is definitely a plus. I guess my favorite thing about guiding is giving total strangers a unique and memorable experience on a river. There are so many moments when all of a sudden a collection of strangers with a common goal do something epic. The stories that come from those moments resonate for a long time for guests and guides alike.

What is your favorite rapid to guide in Maine?

On the Kennebec River about 25 minutes into the trip, there is a section of whitewater known to the rafting industry as Magic Hole Rapid. Here, there is a very dynamic and unique collection of whitewater features that changes drastically according to the water level. At 8000 CFS, the feature Maytag turns into a massive vertical wave that sends the raft on a near-vertical climb. Every time I see this feature during a high water event I get so excited squaring up to that goliath feature.

What is your favorite hike in Maine? 

Mount Katahdin offers a challenging one-day hike with insanely rewarding views at the summit. Regardless of the weather, Maine’s tallest peak is a majestic standalone mountain with many trails giving you views of Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin Woods and Waters National Park.

What do you enjoy doing when not working?

Given my position as a marketing intern in the summer of 2021, I like to spend my time shooting photography, video and traveling. In the winter I am an avid snowboarder and I love to take trips with friends. I am also an automotive enthusiast and love to find roads where I can enjoy driving. If you’re in the Millinocket area, I highly recommend driving the Baxter State Park road as it was refinished in 2019. If you’re in The Forks in the north-western part of Maine, I highly recommend driving Route 201. It gives you the closest experience to driving canyon roads with a gorgeous background of the Kennebec River and the huge geological features in the area.

Favorite experience on the river?

My favorite and most memorable experience on the river occurred on Day 3 of my Guide Training week. Before guide training, I had never been whitewater rafting. I had never even put on a wetsuit. On my second guided run, under overcast skies on a cool June morning, I flipped our raft after I botched the correct line through Magic Falls Rapid. I remember our trainer, Will Bastian, to my left coaching me through the run. In my panic to turn the raft in the proper direction, I wasn’t looking at a diagonal wave that pushed our raft directly into Maytag, the feature all rafts avoid at 5000 CFS. What ensued was a snapshot of my fellow trainees falling down from their seats in the raft into the churning water below. What followed was a plunge into aerated whitewater that spun me head over heels twice. I felt the buoyancy of my PFD and then I popped up disoriented, soaked, and immediately concerned for the others in my boat. This was the most powerful and effective learning lesson during my time in guide training, I remember it in detail and will never forget the correct way to navigate that rapid. The experience was jarring, however, I value my mistake and the lesson it taught me. It’s not in the flip, it’s in the recovery.

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