John “Spike” Carter’s Off-Season Profile
Spike, his name given to him as a toddler, is a native Vermonter and outdoorsman. Growing up he helped with his Father’s contracting business and played in the outdoors as much as possible.
The lure of the outdoors and experiential learning led him to Marlboro College in Vermont where he earned a B.A. in Literature in 2009.
Spike’s love of the outdoors found a river focus in 2008 when he became a Registered Maine Guide by completing the whitewater guide training course with New England Outdoor Center.
In 2010, Spike joined the Crab Apple staff in Massachusetts which was closer to his English teaching job in Bellows Falls, VT. Along with the training class of 2010, Spike braved the frigid March snow and water to learn the Deerfield and its rapids. He had a strong guiding base from his training in Maine and quickly became a great white water rafting guide for our family business.
Spike left Bellows Falls Free Academy after two years to become the Director of the Sharon Academy Writing Center in Sharon, Vermont. Along with full time teaching duties, Spike worked toward and completed his Masters in Education in 2013. Luckily, he found some time to get on the river with Crab Apple and guide as many trips as possible in busy 2012 and 2013.
Since joining Crab Apple in 2010, Spike has added a Wilderness First Responder Certification and a Level III Whitewater Kayak Instructor with the American Canoe Association. These certifications allow Spike to lead rafting trips for Crab Apple and to teach kayaking to students at Sharon Academy.
In 2014, Spike led and guided many trips for Crab Apple. However, the trip on July 26, 2014 will be remembered forever by the 150 or so guides and guests that enjoyed that special day on the Deerfield. It had been arranged for his girlfriend, Vanessa, to run a rapid called Zoar Gap at the beginning of the busy Saturday and Spike would bring up the rear as the last raft. Four people were in on the plans – Spike, Crab Apple photographer Lindsey, river manager Frank and his son Ryan. When he finished the rapid he parked amongst the twenty or so rafts on shore and climbed out of his boat and walked across several rafts to enter Vanessa’s raft. Lindsey was ready with the camera and Ryan had his video camera in hand. Vanessa did not suspect a thing until he reached into his lifejacket for a small box and took a knee.
He proposed and she accepted as many guests and guides alike realized what was going on and erupted in applause. Vanessa was grinning from ear to ear and held her hand up to show her beautiful ring to the crowd and Spike looked relieved and blissfully happy at the same time.
Spike and Vanessa will be married July 25, 2015 in Chelsea, Vermont. They are great people and important members of the Crab Apple family. We hope they guide rafts for Crab Apple for years to come.