Randy Hess, An Idaho Rafting Pioneer

Rest in Peace Randy. Randy Hess, a fellow outfitter on the Upper Salmon passed away this week. He owned White Otter Outdoor Adventures for the past 30 years.

He will be dearly missed by Roni and I.

Roni is having a very hard time with this news. Randy was her favorite person in Stanley, she looked forward to seeing him every summer. She will miss their chats, joking and referring to her as his Stanley girlfriend. Randy’s support and generosity to her during her difficult battle with a back injury will not be forgotten. She always felt he was one of the few people who understood her and what she was going through. She is doing much better and recovering, part of this is due to Randy’s love and support.

As for me, I have lost a great friend and mentor. Randy was a pioneer in the Stanley rafting community, and his void will never be filled. Though we were competitors, I always looked at Randy as more of a partner. Thank you for taking me under your wing and teaching me the ins and outs of the rafting business in Stanley. I will miss our dinners at Redfish were we would talk about life, business, employees, politics… Randy always supported me and my business from the beginning; I truly appreciated that, and will not forget it. Randy’s help and knowledge last season with the 358 person trip was priceless. I am a better person, businessman, employer, boater, and friend for having the opportunity of knowing and spending time with Randy.

Randy spent more time rafting on the Upper Salmon than any other person in history. I will be creating a memorial along the river in Randy’s honor. I plan to formally name a rapid after Randy in hopes that you will watch over the river, keep us safe and never be forgotten.

Thanks for living the life you lived, rest in peace Randy.


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