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The Origin Episode

The magic of being on the water as kid.

Sam Carter has been engaged with rivers since he was a kid. Growing up he had a creek in his backyard where he made tree limb boats, frequently went to the shores of the Mississippi with his Dad, canoed on the rivers of the Ozarks, and even messed around on lakes sailing little Sunfish boats with his Mom.

In high school his Dad took him out west to meet the waters of the Intermountain West. It started on the Lochsa in Idaho with the commercial outfitter, ROW, and on that trip Sam knew he was going to live in the Rockies and be a river guide.

"And that is exactly what happened."

"Early on I knew I was going to be a river guide."

Today Sam lives at the edge of the Southern Rockies and the Colorado Plateau.  He has worked as a commercial river guide throughout the southwest United States, boats on private trips across the west, has worked as the BLM River Ranger on the Dolores River, served on the Board of Directors of Dolores River Boating Advocates (DRBA) for several years.

"As a kid, I also loved radio."

Sam loved radio as a kid listening to many stations for music, Cardinal baseball and news. In college he worked as a volunteer DJ at KDUR, the college radio station and took over a down and out talk radio show and worked it up to a popular and respected show. After college Sam moved to a new town and while teaching high school, he also hosted a volunteer talk show, River Radio at KSJD, the local public radio station. Eventually Sam moved on from radio and started up The River Radius Podcast.


His personal boats are a 14’ stubnose Jack’s Plastic cat with a custom frame from Eddyline Welding and custom oars from Songbird Oars. The new favorite, the Mini Max from Hyside run as a paddle raft or with a ultralight frame from Welfelt Fabrication.  And a 12’ Hyside Nimbus cataraft with a Clear Creek Frame from Downriver.  And for the smaller places, a Mule and Gnarwahl from Alpacka Raft.

This list varies depending on how long a trip is and what boat is going:

  • Bag of Osha
  • In Reach
  • PFD and all the pocket things: flip line, chapstick, knives, whistle, fire kit, emergency blankets, eye drops, pulley
  • Beanie
  • Eyes (I wear either glasses or contacts and there is always some sort of extra stuff I take to support that)
  • Hat to shade my light sensitive eyes
  • Binoculars, to support the long vision
  • Recording tool.  Either full record gear or iPhone which has recording app.
  • Dictionary
  • Usually a pen and paper
  • And, usually a boat

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