A Guide’s life, redux

Posted by Ken Campbell August 11, 2011 0 Comment 718 views


I was reading a piece by David Quammen the other day, in which he described his brief career as a guide as demanding “the humility of a chauffeur and the complaisance of a pimp.”
Hardly a glowing review of the profession and, to be fair, Mr. Quammen was speaking of his time as a fishing guide, an occupation I don’t know much about. (I catch my fish at Safeway, mostly, and although I can probably guide you to the seafood counter, I don’t expect a tip for my trouble.)
I’ve been a kayak guide for over 20 years now and while I don’t feel the same way about my time on the water as he did, the man has a point. I’ve had great luck most of the time, with clients who are both interesting and adventurous, and some of them have turned into long-time friends. Then there are those who make a guide’s life far less enjoyable, far more stressful. I guess what I’m saying is, if you are the type to hire a guide, please just be nice. Be decent. It’s a tough job, no matter how you look at it.

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