Danny McMillan, or as most know him by, Mouse, is a highly experienced rafting guide who leads trips on the Colorado River. Not only is Mouse an expert at navigating rivers, he is also a hero.
Danny McMillan, or as most know him by, Mouse, is a highly experienced rafting guide who leads trips on the Colorado River. Not only is Mouse an expert at navigating rivers, he is also a hero. Imagine a narrow opening between two rocks with edges like knife blades. Boats are flipping over left and right. One raft cautiously paddles through the aperture, also known as Needle’s Eye, between the mounds of granite. Just as the float is emerging from Needle’s Eye the guide of the boat, Mouse, shouted instructions one of his crew members to pull a life jacket out of the foamy water. Coughs and sputters are heard as the floatation device is gently released and placed at the center of the boat. “Lying in front of me wasn’t just a life jacket, it was an eleven year old boy!” Mouse explains. After the boy was calmed down Mouse asked the boy his name, Austin, and returned him to his parents. But not only did Mouse save Austin, he also saved a family of eight people, one an infant! Mouse was on a rafting bus was driving down the highway above Clear Creek after another successful rafting trip, when someone shouted ‘Stop the bus!’ ‘What?’ Mouse questioned, when he looked out the window and saw a mini van swirling down Clear Creek with two adults and a baby stuck in the rapids with the car. Mouse immediately hopped out of the vehicle and tossed down his throw bag, a sack full of rope used to rescue people after they fall into rivers, with unfortunately no reaction from the family below for they didn’t speak English. Someone had called emergency crews and the crews went down to the creek with Mouse and thanks to him eventually fished the two adults and infant, along with five others, three under the age of ten, out of the water.
Rafting has been Mouse’s career for the past twenty-three year but before that Mouse was a skateboarder. He won one of Colorado’s major skateboarding competitions and won a seasonal ski pass. “When I won the ski pass I thought ‘Pfft, I don’t know how to ski, I don’t like to be cold!’” Well it turned out that Mouse was very good at skiing and could do difficult stunts. Then one day, Mouse’s roommate, Mike, suggested that Mouse should go rafting. “I thought, ‘Pfft, I don’t want to go rafting, I don’t like to get wet!’” Mouse explains. Well as it turned out, obviously, Mouse was a natural at rafting and became a raft guide.
‘Why are you called ‘Mouse?’ Many people pester Danny McMillan with the question. “When I was in second grade, there were these giant snails in my classroom. One day my teacher left the room, and my friends and I released the snails. They were everywhere, on the floor, on the desks, the bookshelf, and the girls were screaming like crazy. Suddenly the teacher was coming back into the classroom. I quickly ran and climbed into a hole in the bookshelf that went into the next room. The room I was in was empty, so no one caught me. All of my friends had to go to the principal’s office, but I didn’t get in trouble, and from that day on everyone called me “Mouse.”
After over seventeen hundred rafting trips, Mouse decided that he wants it to say on a plaque, “Mouse says that the most important rule about rivers is wear a life jacket and bring a friend.” Mouse has many other fascinating stories and if you ever go rafting with Adventures in White Water Rafting, you should request Mouse as your guide!