Her love for rivers runs deep. Laura was only two years old when her river guide parents, Les and Susan Bechdel, founded Canyons in 1985. Laura and her brother Max literally grew up on the river. At the time of her training, she was the youngest person to become a guide for Canyons. She has guided in Idaho, Arizona, and Costa Rica since 2000. Laura met her husband Neal McAdam (also a Canyons guide) while working on a commercial river trip through the Grand Canyon in 2009, for AzRA. After getting married in Idaho, they lived in northern Utah for a few years before deciding to move to McCall, Idaho where they are proudly raising the third generation of river rats: Lucas, born in 2016, and Ruby, born in 2018. Lucas has already been in a kayak several times (in his parent’s lap of course).
Beyond guiding, Laura uses her Master of Arts in Teaching in her role as the Director of Studies for the Alzar School, a semester high school that builds leadership skills through outdoor adventure and cultural exchange in Chile. Laura also enjoys reading, word games, cooking, skiing, kayaking, hiking, and hanging out with her family.
To learn more about Neal and enjoy his responses to our offbeat guide interview, click here: Laura’s Offbeat Interview