Stories from the River


The Whale calendar has always tried to provide a glimpse into the Canyon world where Grand guides live. Ours are lives based in place: Upper Elves Chasm, the Fifth Wave in Hermit, the shuffling silence of a hike over Surprise Valley, the brutal honesty of Crystal. For the 2017 calendar, we thought it would be fun to add another dimension to the photographs of Grand Canyon. We decided to add guide voices, their stories to the pictures.

In addition to providing a slick QR code for each story on the calendar itself, here you’ll find a URL that can link you to those stories. Sure, technology is seductive, but what we really hope is that we’ve captured at least a tiny reflection of their worldimage001−boatmen relating to each other, boatmen relating to passengers, boatmen relating to the Canyon. Enjoy.

All of this year’s pictures were generously contributed by the photographers. The sound tracks were produced by Michael Collier. Here, try one. This is Dave Edwards sharing what the boatman’s life has meant to him.

January 2018 - Phil Tena

Phil Tena2 web

February 2018 - Matt Fahey

Matt Fahey

March 2018 - TJ Janecek


April 2018 - Richard ‘Q” Quartaroli


May 2018 - Kelly McGrath

Kelly IMG_8741 web

June 2018 - Howie Usher


July 2018 - Jake Snyder

Jake Snyder web

August 2018 - Holly Sullivan

Holly Sullivan

September 2018 - Laura Fallon

Laura Fallon web

October 2018 - Nate Jordan

Nate Jordan

November 2018 - Joe Pollock


December 2018 - Holly Mikulas

Holly Mikulas

2017 Calendar Stories

George Bain
Wesley – Pigeons at Soap Creek
Brad Dimock
Little Colorado River

Granite Narrows
Jeffe Aronson
Suzanne at 19-Mile

• Wesley – Pigeons at Soap Creek
image004  John Crowley
Clear Creek
image009 Brian Hansen
Lessons from North Canyon
image010 Kelsey Wogan
Flood at Trinity Canyon
image014 Mary Williams
Silver Grotto
image011 David Lowry
image012 Connie Tibbitts
Women in Marble Canyon
image005 Dave Edwards
Floating Through Havasu
image003 Sarah Clinger
Ghost Boat
image007 Brian Dierker
Molybdenum Mine
image006  Scott Davis
Ghost Boat
image013 Harlan Taney
Kayaking with Eric

These stories, and the beautifully rendered photographs that correspond with each, are included in the Whale Foundation’s 2017 and 2018 Grand Canyon Calendars, available now for purchase.  Proceeds support the Grand Canyon Guiding Community through the many programs and services this foundation provides.

These calendars are a great gift for anyone who already loves the river and the guides who make commercial trips what they are, and a great teaser for anyone who is still thinking of getting on the water for the first time.  Order online at