Meet Mild to Wild Rafting's Founders, Molly and Alex!
By Molly • January 16, 2014
At Mild to Wild, we put people first. This means sharing with our guests and each other and inspiring our staff and guests with the beauty of Southwest Colorado and its endless adventures. So to share more with you, we’re starting a monthly blog feature where we will be sharing a little more about the people here at Mild to Wild.
As 2014 marks the 20 year anniversary of Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Trail Tours, we thought it fitting to start by talking to the founders of Mild to Wild, Molly and Alex Mickel. They spilled about their first rafting trips, why they love adventures, and the memories they’ve made in the last 20 years!
And don’t forget to enter our monthly trip giveaways, our way of celebrating 20 years with you!
Molly: I love getting outside, experiencing the outdoors and enjoying being outside with my family. Nothing’s better than escaping the busyness of life and just relaxing, rejuvenating and refreshing.
Alex: Adventures remove you from the hustle of every day life. While home is where the heart is, it’s often where the stress is too. An adventure lets you escape all that to get back in touch with yourself and to connect your friends and families. And shared memories of fun adventures make for life long bonds.
First Season Memories?
Molly: I loved the daily routine of checking in guests, then riding my bike to the rafting put-in to guide the trip, then getting out and riding my bike back to our kiosk to check in the next group of guests. And I still love the daily routine of greeting guests today!
Alex: Packing lunches to midnight then being up to prep vehicles at 6:00 and not even thinking it was work until my sister in law mentioned, “You sure work a lot.” And I thought to myself, “I guess this would be work if I was getting paid.”
On Making Memories at Mild to Wild:
Molly: We’re making some of my favorite memories right now! As our kids grow, it is great working together at Mild to Wild – our younger kids greet guests at the doors and our older kids are starting to help guide trips. We’re making memories as a family together, while doing what we love most – connecting other families to nature and helping them make their own favorite memories.
Alex: Definitely my favorite memories about Mild to Wild are the employees and the real friendships I have developed with everyone. If it weren’t for Mild to Wild, I would have never met such amazing people and made such lasting connections.
Molly: My favorite river trip is the Colorado River near Moab, in Utah. I love floating in the warm water, studying the spectacular red rock walls, relaxing on the big sandy beaches and stopping to stretch my legs on the fun trails.
Alex: Whichever trip I’m on that day!
Funniest Trip Memory?
Alex: Dumping my father-in-law in the Piedra River and pictures of only his feet sticking up in the air. I am still paying for this, by the way.
On Family Time Outside:
Molly: Our family loves any sport related to water – whether it be a rushing river, glassy lake, frozen pond or snow-covered mountains. In the winter, we’re active skiing, snowboarding and playing hockey and in the summer we wakeboard, water ski, kayak, paddleboard, canoe and raft, of course.
Alex: We love heading up above Silverton in one of the tour vehicles and taking in all the history and majesty the San Juan’s offer.
On the San Juan Mountain Range:
Alex: The San Juans are so remote and harbor Colorado’s largest designated wilderness. I love the dramatic elevation changes – within minutes you can completely change flora, fauna and climates!
Molly: The San Juans are so unique. I love the cute towns and friendly people. My three favorite towns in Colorado are Durango, Telluride and Ouray. Durango with its vibrant, fun downtown, Ouray with it’s hot springs and enveloping mountains, and Telluride with its adorable village and free gondola connecting people to the epic ridge line views.
On Owning an Adventure Company:
Molly: I love being able to share new experiences and adventures of the Southwest with others. It is very rewarding knowing that our business helps guests create memories that last a lifetime.
Alex: Seeing friends and family connect in the outdoors was really rewarding and ultimately had me hooked on adventure tours. Plus, I love being able to raise my family in a place like Durango!
On Their First Rafting Trip:
Molly: The first time I went rafting was on Colorado’s Arkansas River. It was funny; I ended up camping in a Lincoln Town Car instead of a tent.
Alex: I was 6 yrs old and we were vacationing in Wyoming. Mom signed us up for a trip and convinced them to wave their age limit for me to go on the whitewater section of the Snake River. Well, my Grandma gripped my belt so tightly she likely cut off all the circulation in her hand – and I cried most of the way. Hmm, maybe those age suggestions are pretty reasonable.