Guide Interview: Crazy Uncle Curt

This interview is part of a series of interviews in which we help you get to know these amazing and passionate people who help to make RITS what it is. To view more, check out the Guide Interviews page.


Curt is tall and lanky with a long white beard (sometimes knotted). He’s also known as “Crazy Uncle Curt.” He works with special needs kids and has a girlfriend with a son who’s deaf. If you need someone who knows sign language for your group, he can take you down the river. Everyone is welcome at Rafting in the Smokies!

How did you come to Rafting in the Smokies?

I had been rafting on the French Broad River and camping near Hot Springs, but I had a girlfriend who was a scientist in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I stopped into the sales office and the woman asked if I had my certifications, so I pulled out my CPR card and she told me to go to straight to Hartford. I picked up some Appalachian daylilies and came in with the flowers in one hand and card in the other and the lady said “Oh you’re cute, get to work.” I have been doing this since for over ten years, except for one summer where I was in a movie in Atlanta.

What’s the best part of your job?

I love working with people and the physical challenge. When I was growing up, my father was a missionary to the coal fields. I never had any comfort with water. I was in my 40s when I started, and now I’m in my 60s and still rafting.

What happens when you’re on the river and a storm comes?

Yesterday we were out and a big storm came out with pouring rain. We always point out the fact that we’ve done this many times and we’ve never been hurt. We’re all wet anyway, so we just keep paddling.

What’s your philosophy on life?

Respond with what is going on with what is around me and come up with my own way to deal with that. I want to exude that. Everyone needs to pull together and work for a peaceful earth.


Want to feel the thrill of whitewater rafting? Now is your chance! Book now and choose either the Upper Pigeon River or Family Float trip.