Meet the crew of experienced paddlers, philosophizing naturalists, professional guides, and hammock-swinging river folk.
At Broken Paddle our crew takes paddles and spokes and shapes them around the four seasons on the waters, in the valleys, and atop the bluffs of this beautiful region - sharing with you every exquisite stream and path we find.
A keen observer of the great outdoors, a full on bird nerd, and in between days on the river you can find Michael with his partner Lauren on their small farm, Dancing Gnome Farm, where they grow tasty vegetables and pasture raise heritage hogs. Michael grew up playing in the Northwoods where he cut his chops as a guide and outfitter, worked on the Pacific Crest Trail in the Cascade Mountains, traversed the highlands of Guatemala, and fought wildfires in Northern Minnesota. Having kayaked the Mississippi River in Minnesota every month of the year he knows the rhythms of the Big Muddy in all its seasons.
Certifications: First Aid/CPR, Wilderness First Aid, ACA level 2, MN Master Naturalist, *Certified Taco Salesman
He grew up in the BWCA, guiding canoe and kayak trips with campers from around the world. Alex is an experienced guide of many methods of adventure travel but is most at home in the waters of his home state - Minnesota. He has guided since the beginning with Broken Paddle and knows some of the tricks to summon the fresh water whale sharks. He will share with you if you trade him your fermented goods.
Certifications: First Aid/CPR, WFR, ACA Level 3, Swift Water Safety Tech, *Official Amateur Cabbage Surgeon
Michael Anderson (It's a popular name around here!)
Fresh off solo paddling 2000 miles on the Mississippi from its headwaters down to Louisiana, Michael is eager to return to the bluff country and share some quality river time with you! Formerly a National Park Service Mississippi River Ranger and wilderness guide for thousands, Michael passionately embraces the “river rat” lifestyle, preferring muddy toes and campfire sunsets. This guy means stewardship – deep care of place, of people, and of self- come join him and get connected with the river!
Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, NPS Interpreter Training, Wilderness Water Safety and Rescue, Skin-on-Frame Boatbuilding Instructor, *Designated Good Vibes Machine
When not working the farm or building greenhouses, you can find Jake paddling the Mississippi backwaters or biking bluff country. A climber, backpacker, and long boarder, he has traveled extensively around the world but this river rat is most at home in the beautiful Driftless region of Southeast Minnesota. With a strong interest in agro-ecology and a healthy appetite for adventure, kayak tours with Jake are a righteous experience -- and he's your guy to find the perfect watering hole on and off the river.
Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, EMT-B, CPR, Eagle Scout
From the hidden spaces of the Mighty Mississippi to the bare stone faces of Moab, Utah Taylor has tackled life’s finest adventures. Raised in the waters and woods Taylor knows his way through these winding streams and towering bluffs, learning the ropes of climbing and paddling at a young age he has never stopped exploring. A true waterman, Taylor will show you what it means to bliss out and grab the most out of your outdoor experience.
Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, Professional Climbing Instructors Association Base Manager Certification, *Licensed Night Cap Provider
A city boy with a hippy-dippy country-boy’s heart. This means that, while he was born and raised in South Minneapolis, he has kept a consistent eye out for opportunities to adventure (it also means he can consistently kick a hacky sack three times in a row – four if you count hands). He has spent the majority of every summer engaged in activities such as kayaking/canoeing/floating down the Minnehaha Creek; paddling around the BWCA and Quetico; exploring the banks of the Mississippi River on self-guided vegetation tours; and tanning his feet with sandals on all while learning about the ecosystems in which he was raised. This season he will be lending his enthusiastic spirit to both Broken Paddle Guiding Co. and Dancing Gnome Farms.
Certifications: First Aid and CPR, *Certified Sunscreen Checker
A local, outdoor professional who has worked as a raft guide on the Chattooga River, a naturalist at Wolf Ridge ELC, and the summer director at the nearby Lake City ELC. She has climbed the limestone walls, tapped the sugar maples, paddled the Mississippi, and picked up the local accent while growing up in Red Wing. When she is not working as a field instructor for the Red Wing ELC, she will be ready to share stories, high fives, and the ways of the wilderness with you.
Certifications: First Aid/CPR, ACA level 2, Swift Water Safety Tech, Certified Water Bottle Inspector
A seasoned wilderness and kayak guide with over a decade guiding experience. Need a fire started? Find Richie! Growing up in the woods, the terms sustainable and survival were deeply powerful and meaningful to him. Also a thrower of knives, he dreams big and paddles fast. Never far from a pen and paper, ask him for a story about a bear and he'll give you the epoch of human's kinship with animals.
Certifications: First Aid/CPR, ACA level 3, Wilderness First Aid, *Man of Natural Law
A man of many ideas. The business brains behind Broken Paddle Guiding Co. But, Dan is never far from his backpack and paddle which sit ready to go under his desk. An avid knife thrower and outdoor enthusiast, Dan has made his home in Minneapolis, MN with his wife Katrina. You may meet her on the water as well with Dan paddling behind- he has a hard time keeping up with her.
Certifications: First Aid/CPR, * Licensed Tire Swing Inspector
With an ever seeking eye for adventure and a thirst for an unmarked trail, Jay is no stranger to the alchemy that makes Broken Paddle Guiding a star along the northern reach of the Great Mississippi. While he is most comfortable with mud between his toes and cheap sunglasses shielding his eyes, these days his focus is on the business side of Broken Paddle. You can see Jay’s influence on the eagle’s nests dotting the paddle routes, the pain reward of the inclines and descents on the cycle routes, and the wordsmithing of the liability waiver.
Certifications: First Air/CPR, *Founder, Monster Pancake Association
Explore the beautiful, remote, and scenic waters as you would on our kayak tour, but this time from our new and fast growing Stand up Paddleboard Tours. Change your perspective from sitting on, to standing atop the water – you’d be surprised at the difference you see and feel!
Free your winter doldrums and ride the hottest sport out there! Experience the frozen forests and the unfrozen Mississippi River as we bike the banks and the woods of the big river. We’ll hop off the saddle at a riverside brewpub for a pint to round out this epic tour.