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Interview with Katie Proctor

Offbeat Interview Series with Katie

Katie ‘Katie Eugene’ Proctor


Katie grew up in Virginia. As a child, the James River called to her while climbing the surrounding hills and she was very intrigued as to where it flowed and what was around the corner. That curiosity stayed with Katie throughout her adult life and she’s been fortunate enough to follow many rivers downstream ‘to see where they go’. The Colorado River in Grand Canyon became home to her for over a decade and when she wasn’t there, she explored the rivers of the desert Southwest, Africa, Nepal, and China. Nowadays, the Salmon River has Katie’s heart and it has joined Grand Canyon as her newfound happy place.

After about 14 years of guiding, Katie has found herself in a new landscape, an indoor office! She cannot imagine a more fulfilling job than working with Team Canyons, to get folks on the river. She and her partner are expecting a new addition to their family this summer, so as a result she has committed to front country duties in the Canyons’ office. Katie will most definitely be returning to guiding on the river in years to come, for once it is in your soul you can never quit. But for now, she looks forward to floating down the river of motherhood while working with our guests as they prepare for their trips.

The Interview

If you could be a river superhero, what would you be?   I would be the Chinook Salmon. That way I could take long journeys and enjoy both the beautiful clear mountain rivers of Idaho and bask in the vast ocean.

What is your favorite dress up theme?   Any theme requiring sequins and gowns. As a river guide, I find that the river is often my only opportunity to get that dressed up!

What is your ‘go to’ crazy hat night creation?   I seem to remember one excellent combination of a colander and ladles. It was a once in a lifetime creation. 

What brought you to Canyons?   Greg McFadden. He’s the pied piper of Canyons river trips! It didn’t hurt that I’d worked a few trips on the Salmon with other companies and had fallen in love with the river and the wilderness. But it was within the Canyons team that I found my home.

How many years have you worked here?   One year but it feels longer! I have worked with other companies but got to Canyons as quick as I could.   

What is your favorite thing about Canyons?   The culture at Canyons I think is one of the biggest reasons people keep coming back. Canyons has created a culture that embraces the wild landscape and cultivates a community that revels in the natural world and each other. 

If you could describe Canyons in 3 words?   Engaging, Inclusive, Delightful

When you hear the word Idaho, what comes to mind?   Wild places, Vast ranges, Peace

What are your top three favorite camps?   Dolly Lake, Big Loon and Magpie Creek 

Your favorite hike?   Any that take you up to a ridgeline to catch the view or to a hot spring 

Top three favorite rapids?  Velvet Falls, Pistol Rapid, and Elkhorn 

Currently, what is your nemesis rapid?   The Chutes at low water!

What river do you want to run that you haven’t yet?   The ones in Alaska

What do you consider a ‘real’ job?   The one that feels like you are what you love and doing it well with purpose.   

If you could only have one kayak in your quiver, what would it be and why?   Liquid Logic Remix 59

What is your favorite thing to cook on the river?   BIG cookie

If you could take a musician or band down the river today, who would it be?   Dolly Parton, she’d love it and her costume bag would be magnificent. 

What is your most memorable swim in a river?   Bujagali Falls Uganda. Type 3 fun.   

What is one of your river rituals or superstitions?   Always take a little sip of the river before big rapids. You and the river need to become one!

What is the most valued non-river-related item that you bring with you on every trip?   A toothbrush. Everything else can stay at home but I hate wearing sweaters on my teeth. 

What is your favorite groover spot?   Sun-dappled light, fresh breeze, fresh roll, fresh can.   

About Greg McFadden

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