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Whizzy amazing chef

Offbeat interview series with Whizzy

Lisa ‘Whizzy’ Whisnant


Lisa a.k.a. Whizzy grew up in California as one of two children. She spent her days soaking up the sun while enjoying a myriad of outdoor activities. Eventually, she found herself at BYU university in Utah, where she was introduced to river guiding. The Utah based company also ran trips on the Main Salmon River in Idaho. After a few summers working for them, Whiz landed a job with Canyons in 1987 and has just never stopped coming back. She is as much a part of Canyons as Canyons is a part of her.

Over the years Whiz has worked numerous trips in Grand Canyons studying Archeology and has spent endless energy studying the tribes of the Northwest. She brings this knowledge and respect for ancient cultures to our trips, with a passion that is unparalleled. She has a way of taking us all back in time, as we stand and gaze at the pictographs along the river.

In the wintertime, Whizzy offers an amazing dining experience in a yurt, that you must either ski or snowshoe into. She creates a five star, multi-course meal in a cozy and fun yurt environment. She has been operating Blue Moon Outfitters for over 20 years and is excited to be in a new location this year in McCall, ID. Whizzy’s incredible culinary skills are a big influence on our Canyons Menu and are showcased on our annual Wine & Culinary Confluence trip.

“I think my connection with the natural world is what makes me who I am.  I love it and I love being submerged in its beauty and wonder.  It makes me smile. It makes me want to dive into its mysteries, to learn and share with others, to connect and enjoy life in every possible moment. It inspires me to give back to a world so precious and to always be grateful for the journey.”

The Interview

If you could be a river superhero, what would you be?   A salmon superhero.  I would love to have gills and fins and try to help salmon species thrive, survive and remain on this planet  

What is your favorite dress up theme?   70’s for sure, any costume with bell bottoms   

What is your ‘go-to’ crazy hat night creation?   You know those twist ties that hold lettuce together?  They’re great for creating a Medusa-like headdress   

What brought you to Canyons?   A dear friend of mine was dating a guy that knew the founders of Canyons.  He said, “Go talk to them, they’re amazing”. Little did I know that I would find my river family!

How many years have you worked here?   33 Years   

What is your favorite thing about Canyons?   The family, the teamwork, the bond 

If you could describe Canyons in 3 words?   Love, Love, Love

When you hear the word Idaho, what comes to mind?   Magical, Dynamic, Pristine

What are your top three favorite camps?   Hard to choose, there are so many!  But I love Ground Hog, Lower Grouse and Big Bend    

Your favorite hike?   Marble Overlook

Top three favorite rapids?   Big Mallard, Jack Creek, Hancock

Currently, what is your nemesis rapid?   Probably Haystack, I have a lot of respect for that one!

What river do you want to run that you haven’t yet?   The Salt 

What do you consider a ‘real’ job?   The one I have!  

If you could only have one kayak in your quiver, what would it be and why?   A duckie

What is your favorite thing to cook on the river?   It’s gotta be the Cornbread Casserole

If you could take a musician or band down the river today, who would it be?   Bonnie Raitt 

What is your most memorable swim in a river?   Weber, out of a paddle raft 

What is one of your river rituals or superstitions?   To listen to the river…It’s the first sound that fills my ears in the morning when I wake and I like to pause and soak that up. It’s also the last sound I hear when I fall into slumber. 

What is the most valued non-river-related item that you bring with you on every trip?   My journal

What is your favorite groover spot?   Any spot that I can see the river rush by!

About Greg McFadden

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