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Rick Guthke

Rick was raised outside of Cambridge in Massachusetts, but spent all his summers and Christmas vacations with his extended family in Germany. His parents always combined these family visits with side-trips to neighboring European countries, and thus his traveling spirit -- and love of dark ale -- was born. After graduating from Connecticut College with a Degree in Zoology, Rick moved to Colorado to climb mountains and pursue an adventuresome career. Between job opportunities, Rick stuffed his backpack and traveled internationally as far as his pennies could take him. After working as a Marine Biologist in the Aleutians Islands of Alaska, as a Wildland Firefighter based in Arizona and in the wine cellars of the Barossa Valley in Australia, Rick settled nicely back in Boulder in 1999 and into the field of Adventure Travel. He is now embarking on his next big adventure: parenting two young children!
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Rick's Adventures
    I started with Natural Habitat Adventures in 1999, as an assistant guide for our Harp Seal Expedition to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada. The sensation of stepping out of the helicopter onto a frozen ice floe, and hearing nothing but the wind and the bleating sounds of those baby seals was really an unforgettable experience. I was hooked!Soon after I started in the office as an Adventure Specialist, I had the chance to head up to Churchill for the Polar Bear trip, which has become our trademark trip in the eyes of many nature enthusiasts. A highlight was the chance to take a helicopter trip over the frozen tundra – and actually crawl into a bear den.My first trip to the Galapagos was a lifelong dream come true. As a zoology major in college, the chance to step out on Darwin’s famous Islands was really fulfilling. Here, the marine iguanas sit en masse at the waters edge, purging salt by snorting it through their nostrils. Clearly, I am out of range!Between the famous active Arenal volcano, the Cloud Forests of Monteverde and the prolific birding of Tortuguero, Costa Rica is a natural history enthusiasts dream destination.In addition to the amazing wildlife in Africa, I was able to meet the young leader of a Masaai village in Kenya. After an evening of increasingly thick ice floes, we awoke one morning off the coast of the Antarctic peninsula crashing through solid ice. Before tacking on to another course, we all had the chance to disembark for this bizarre stroll around our expedition vessel.The crashing waterfalls, ice blue glaciers and picturesque fjords of Iceland are really a landscape photographers canvas. Here, a client and I are forced to abandon this deep blue glacier floating at the edge of Jokulsarlon, featured in several James Bonds movies.Here we are taking a brief rest in the Dead Vlei, just before attempted to tackle Big Daddy – Namibia’s highest sand dune.I had the chance to join our Wild & Ancient China trip in June, 2006. Here I climbed to the top of a watchtower at Taoping Qiang village, the oldest Qiang village in China. This village visit was such a surprise highlight, as it is far removed from the typical visitor stops of the Great Wall and Xian – which were as impressive as advertised.Brazil is such an enormous and diverse country, one filled with interesting culture and natural biomes. The Pantanal was definitely a much different experience than I was expecting – grasslands interrupted by islands of trees – and the wildlife you would expect to search high and low for in the Amazon was relatively easy to see! Iguazu Falls is by far one of the most impressive natural phenomenon’s I’ve ever been around – I’m glad I brought rain gear!In 2008, I had the opportunity to fulfill a near-lifelong dream – to see Madagascar! This ‘8th continent’ has some of the strangest and most interesting creatures on the planet. The lemurs were magnificent, and to visit a country like this in the infancy of its eco-tourism industry was special.Bhutan is interesting place – nestled in the mountains between China and India – it has just recently opened the doors to tourism, and therefore its culture, customs and identity are largely uninfluenced by the outside world. I’ve never been among a more quietly patriotic, content and peaceful society. The mountain scenery was stunning and it was humbling to visit the active monasteries. One of my favorite assignments is to set up brand new destinations, and I had the chance to do just that in Borneo. The primary rainforest in Sabah is absolutely awe-inspiring, and seeing Proboscis monkeys and Orangutans in the wild was fantastic. The combination of fascinating culture and diverse wildlife make Borneo a destination that we can’t wait to offer!I find Kenya to be a wildlife paradise – you can just about bank on outstanding, productive game drives. These days, my wife and I try to enjoy the Colorado outdoors with our young daughters Malia & Makena. I have the chance to revisit my first-ever safari destination of Kenya, and to see it from an explorers viewpoint along the secluded Loita Hills perspective. Hiking through the forests with Maasai guides was a true adventure!Having the chance to see Botswana in a new light and season – the Green Season – was a pleasure. The deep green vegetation brought so much color and beautiful background to my photographs, and I now have a difficult time advising which season is preferable. My exploratory trip to Greenland to select a luxury tented camp site, and explore the rugged, iceberg-choked coastal wilderness was a dream come true for any wanna-be explorer.To float quietly down the Chobe River is a wonderful contrast to the traditional game drives one expects in Botswana – serenely gliding past small villages and drinking wildlife at the rivers edge. A must-do for the experienced safari enthusiast looking for a new experience!Sharing the Galapagos experience with my family was even better than exploring it for the first time years ago! To see the landscape and wildlife through the eyes of my daughter was incredibly enriching. The trip reinvigorated my love for what I do—and the greater purpose we serve. In addition to the incredible wildlife of the Okavango Delta, Sabi Sands and Mashatu, my family and I explored the salt pans of the Kalahari. The moonscape was an extraordinary compliment to the wildlife-rich safari experience – the lack of any sound, any blip on the horizon 360 degrees around us, and the power of emerging stars at nightfall challenged our sense of our place in this world in a new way!
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