John's Open Road
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alcoholism, college drop out, Colorado river, construction, controversy, cotton farms, drugs, giving back, mistakes, outdoors, positivity, rafting, river guide, trying, white water rafting
John Weisheit lived in Los Angeles, Calif., for 12 years until his family moved to Phoenix, Ariz. Growing up, his family enjoyed outdoor activities, especially white water rafting in the Colorado River, where they often spent their vacations. Since John had created many memories with this river, he developed a strong connection with it and the beauty that it brought to people. But, it wasn't until later in life that John realized that he could truly build his life around this river that he loved so much. One day, while in college, John realized that he had become disenchanted with urban life and yearned for a living in the outdoors. He decided to leave college, knowing that he would continue his education doing what he loved. From 1980 until 2001, John worked as a professional river guide on the Colorado River. In 2000, John felt an urgency to ensure that the Colorado River stayed in its natural state and prevent damage done by man-made dams and reservoirs. He then started Living Rivers, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the Colorado River. Since then, John has been known as the Colorado Riverkeeper and, in this context, he has felt that he is giving back to society.