Originally from Austin, TX, John Binger did what many only dream of…packed it up, said goodbye, and road tripped casually to Alaska to become a river guide on a whim. He was my river guide instructor for Chilkat Guides when I began working there, and listening to him tell one story was as long as it took for me to fall in love with his infectious energy. The 8 years he lived in Haines, AK he became known as a Jack of all trades, master of most. Instructing ANYTHING… fishing, carpentry, climbing, river guiding, training river guides, cooking, canning, gardening, juicing, and storytelling included.
In 2011 we began our journey together in the back of a Rav4. We climbed, played, visited hot springs, family, then flew to Maui for several months. In 2012, after our summer season in AK, I flew to Fiji to participate in 72 Hours, and I was paralyzed.
This man dedicated his life to making me well again, putting me back on my feet, and teaching me to walk. He lived with me in the Phoenix VA Hospital for nearly 2 months. He brought me to physical therapy 2-3 times a day, before walking me out to the pond behind the hospital to “live in nature.”
He is the most amazing human being I know.