RGA brings together an amazing team of quality guides. The depth of experience on our team is unsurpassed. Our success begins with hiring the right people, giving them in–depth training and then treating them well so that they want to return year after year. We have the most in-depth training program and one of the highest guide return rates in the business. Our guides remain fresh and enthusiastic through the season and have lots of stories to share with you about life in Alaska.
Joe arrived in Haines in 1986 working as a naturalist aboard a small, eighty-passenger expedition ship. Haines captured Joe’s heart and imagination, and he moved here in 1987 to manage and guide for a local rafting company. Joe founded Rainbow Glacier Adventures in 1992. The first tours RGA offered featured small group visits to local artists’ homes. Since that time, the company and variety of tours has grown but the concept of local guides and high-quality, educational tours remains. While Joe spends much of his time running the organization, he particularly enjoys guiding private photography tours and special charters. Joe enjoys backcountry skiing, international travel, photography, and, above all, spending time with his wife, Edie, and daughters, Stella Angelina and Sapphire Marie. See Joe’s complete bio.
Michelle, the Operations Manager for Rainbow Glacier Adventures, was born and raised in Washington State. She received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from Linfield College where she met her husband, Mark. They lived in several states before coming to his native state of Alaska in 1992. Over the years Michelle ran a Licensed Home Child Care, worked as a Special Education Para-educator, a Case Manager for a local counseling center and homeschooled her daughter at the family’s off-the-grid log cabin home near Haines. On a typical day she commutes to work by hiking a mile through the woods and crossing a tidal basin in rubber boots or with a kayak to get to her car to drive past the Rainbow Glacier on the way to town. Michelle has worked at RGA since 2015.
Deb came to Alaska in 1974 to strike her fortune in the restaurant business. She owned and operated Juneau’s celebrated eatery, the Fiddlehead Restaurant and Bakery, for over twenty years. Early on she discovered the beauty of the Chilkat Peninsula, and built a cabin in the woods in Haines in 1985. Now she feeds her soul by living the subsistence lifestyle, exploring the planet and guiding for Rainbow Glacier Adventures. Since 2007, Deb has guided almost every type of tour offered here at RGA from kayaking and hiking to cultural local artist and historic walking tours to flightseeing over Glacier Bay. Sharing her love of the wild with Alaska’s visitors is the high point of her year.
Jen has been guiding since 2007, but living the rugged Alaska life for over 30 years. She does all sorts of nature tours, artist tours, sightseeing tours and anything else that comes up. She loves showing off the glaciers and wildlife in this paradise we live in and sharing about the freedom we have to be ourselves and do whatever we want. Jen is an artist – she carves fossil ivory and makes jewelry. She also loves to hike, sail, kayak, fish, ski, knit, sew, garden, read and she loves trying and learning new things. Jen says, “I can’t imagine any lifestyle that could possibly beat what I already have!
Dena is a retired Pathologist who has been a summertime visitor of Haines since 2006, and as of April 2012, owns a house in downtown Haines. She does return to Maryland in the winter months to visit with family. She is an award-winning photographer in both Alaska and Maryland. Her passion with Haines, photography, and teaching is a great mixture for being a photo-tour guide. She has happily been guiding with Rainbow Glacier Adventures since 2012.
Nate Anderson grew up in the coastal forests of the Puget Sound among boats, bikes, and backpacks. His first sea kayak regatta was
15 years ago and he raced around the country in sleek flatwater boats. He earned a creative writing degree from the University of Washington in the last, cool days of 2015, where the ferry ride from U.W.’s marine research laboratories on San Juan Island back to the main land filled in for a graduation ceremony. Before this, he worked as a studio musician in L.A. and more recently as a whiskey distiller. All of this combined with a deep curiosity about Alaskan ecosystems brings him north to embrace the landscape and culture and write it all down.
Carolyn has been guiding for Rainbow Glacier Adventures since 2010. She guides nature tours and an occasional historical tours. Her background is in science, engineering, and education. Carolyn loves guiding because, “it is always a great pleasure to help our visitors get a closer experience of Haines and its magnificent surroundings!”
David, originally from Vallejo, California, has traveled to, lived in and worked at many places around the US. After following his family to Haines, AK, he says, “This is where my soul has settled.” Dave can’t imagine ever leaving Haines. He’s rowed the rivers of Haines each summer since he’s arrived and is happy to share his knowledge of salmon and eagles. He also volunteers his off time at the Bald Eagle Foundation building enclosures for the birds that can’t be released back to the wild.
Kim is a 3 time visitor to Alaska whose 3rd time became the residential charm. From Upstate New York, Kim has been a professional wedding photographer and photography instructor since 2013. She studied with The Arcanum, and her work has been featured in 6 juried New York art exhibits. Her photography has also served several prior professions, from publicist for acts such as Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, and web designer for various musicians. The subjects that feed her soul have always been wildlife and nature, and she has traveled the globe to capture the natural world through her lens. Haines is where Kim returned to her photographic roots. You can see her work at Kim Clune Photography.
Rachel Deehan was born in a small town in Scotland but moved away to America when she was quite young. She became interested in photography while hiking the Sierra Nevada mountains as a child, the Sierras instilled in her a love of nature and landscapes that encouraged her pursuit of photography. She studied at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara where she concentrated on the scientific aspects of photography, recording what the eye can not see. Since graduating she has pursued alternative shooting and printing styles such as tintype and palladium platinum printing. When lacking inspiration she returns to mountain lakes and forest trails where her passion was first discovered.
Aly grew up in Southeast Alaska, first in Juneau, then in Haines. Her parents took her hiking and canoeing within her first two months of life, and she has loved the outdoors ever since. When the family moved to Haines and off the grid, Aly thought she must be the luckiest girl in the world. 12 years later, she’s quite certain of it. She lives on the family property, surrounded by forests with a spectacular view of Lynn Canal. She learns new things every day, and has a job in which she gets to share her love of this place with visitors.
In 1977, Ellen Larson arrived in Haines as a first year school teacher from R.I. Although she only planned to stay for a year, 1 year turned into 23- She really fell for the Haines community and the surrounding natural splendor (not to mention Larry, the man she met here who she has been married to for 38 years!). In 2000 Ellen had the opportunity to teach at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff – an incredible experience. She retired from NAU in 2015, and is now living in Haines and teaching online classes for the University of Alaska at Anchorage as needed. This is Ellen’s third season working with RGA. She loves doing the Historic Walk Around Town Tour and interacting with the participants.
Anna was born and raised in Haines. She lives on 2 acres of paradise that includes an orchard with close to 100 cherry trees. Besides guiding for Rainbow Glacier tours, she makes jelwery, is a photographer, knits, hikes, bikes, and skis. She loves to travel with her husband during the winter months.
Chessie came to SE Alaska in 1999 and landed in Haines in 2003 after heading north and graduating from UAF. For many years she has split her time between the interior city of Fairbanks working as a nurse in the winter and as a naturalist guide in Haines the summer. Chessie has always spent time traipsing in the outdoors and has worked in a number of research positions, focusing on populations and nesting success of birds, in particular neotropical migrants. She says she really wanted to study mustelids, but there are not many jobs in the area, but she did get to see some waiting for birds to show up! Now she just searches for birds for fun.
Haines has been home for Katheryn and her husband, John, since 1995, and Alaska since 1981. Currently retired from the Haines School District as an elementary teacher and special education para-educator, and the Haines Borough as Administrative Assistant, Kathy has also been a naturalist guide for 8 years in Haines. She joined the RGA team in February 2018, and primarily works in the office, but enjoys sharing her knowledge with guests, and the team, when she gets a chance to do “other duties as assigned!”
Jim lives in Haines with his wife Anna. He’s the reason our guests get to where they’re going. Maintaining our vehicles is Jim’s top priority with Rainbow Glacier Adventures. Jim was born in Juneau, and then moved to Haines with his family while in high school. After graduating from college he worked as a licensed engineer aboard the Alaska Marine Highway system for 26 years, retiring in 2011. He now works part time for RGA. Jim likes to play banjo, ride motorcycles and travel with his wife.
Cindy Schultz is an award-winning photojournalist who’s worked in the newspaper business for 25 years. A native of Minneapolis, Cindy spent most of her professional career at the Times Union in Albany, NY, photographing presidential visits to NCAA tournaments. She has taught photography, presented her work to college students and photo clubs, and has been a mentor to up-and-coming photographers. In 2017, Cindy’s “Year of Yes” took her to Southeast Alaska where she was captivated by the area’s natural beauty and friendly people. When offered the opportunity, Cindy embraced the chance to guide photography and sightseeing tours here. Visit Cindy’s portfolio, at cschultzphoto.com.
Barb has been guiding for Rainbow Glacier Adventures since 2001. She can be found guiding walking tours, Offbeat Haines, and bear viewing trips. She has been in Alaska since 1973 and in Haines since 1990. She especially loves the history of Haines and never tires of sharing what makes Haines a wonderful place to live. Now retired from a nursing career and from the Haines Borough Public Library, she spends the winters traveling to visit grandchildren and volunteering at the school, the library, the Sheldon Museum and for Hospice of Haines.
Alaskan river enthusiast Steve Daly spends every chance he can out on the local rivers. Steve is comfortable in a raft or canoe. When not working for Rainbow Glacier Adventures, Steve guides extended wilderness trips in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Steve recently retired from a career with the US Postal Service.