SENSE MAKER

Angel Martinez

Chatting with a navigator of nature

Let’s start with your story. How did you find yourself in Healdsburg?

Hello my name is Angel Martinez, and I work at SOAR inflatables Russian River Adventures in Healdsburg & Promotion Pix throughout Sonoma County.

I am a third generation local, and my son a fourth generation. My family started off at the Geyserville farms and followed the work out to the farms in Healdsburg. After many years of hard work, several of my family members were able to start their own construction companies, including my father who has been in the construction business for 30 years.

Have you always been working on the river?

I’ve had many jobs around Sonoma County, and throughout the western part of the U.S.; ranging from a drum instructor in my early years, a housekeeper, a security guard, a dog sled driver, a local mover, an event staff worker, a raft wrangler/guide, and an automotive photographer.

Wow! A dog sled driver?
Please, please tell us a story.

One day I was guiding a dog sled ride, everything was going as planned until chaos ensued. At the first big turn of the trail I flipped my sled, the customers toppled out onto the snow and the dogs continued on without noticing. My coworker at the next checkpoint tried to catch the runaway sled with the dogs still attached, but was not successful. At that same moment I was pursuing the dog team by running down the adjacent slope and dove to grab the sled. Successful, but still hanging on by a few fingers, I managed to grab the team and continue on the ride, even though the customers who were originally on the ride did not continue with me. As a driver it was one of the more stressful scenarios that could occur during a trip, But I found it to be a learning experience and in the end; it was still a positive dog sled ride. 

Is this how you found your love of dogs?

It all started with an unknown dog that couldn’t be caught at the kennel I worked at in Sonoma County. Her name was originally Angel, she was scared of the world, but little did I know she was growing fond of me. I instantly felt the urge to take her in once I knew she was up for adoption, but at the time there were several others with the same intentions. After a slight miscommunication I was able to adopt her from the local rescue. From there she traveled with me to Colorado where she thrived and learned not to be so afraid of the world around her. She flourished in an environment where she was the littlest dog in a pack of 250 other larger sled dogs. Since then her name has changed to Little, and she has become one of my most well trained dogs I’ve owned. 

My adventures are not over yet, there is still much in store that I would like to experience in my life, especially with my loved ones.

- Angel Martinez -