by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Bob Kraus is employed as a wilderness guide and volunteers in the kitchen at the West Linn Adult Community Center.

Bob Kraus is the West Linn Adult Community Center’s newest kitchen volunteer, and we’re delighted to have his help at the three lunches we serve each week.

But to assume his only interest is helping with our meals is to underestimate his talents radically.

You see, Kraus has a day job working for The Wildland Trekking Company out of Flagstaff, Ariz. He’s a backcountry guide who has a lot of experience. Indeed, around the company it’s joked that “when Kraus started hiking in the Grand Canyon, it was only a couple hundred feet deep.”

These days, Kraus leads backpacking, day hiking, inn-based and custom tours in at least five western national parks: the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone and Zion national parks. And he provides up to six hikers with virtually all the gear, medical supplies and food they’ll need for five- to seven-day trips into the wilderness.

He helps set up all the tents, cooks all the fresh gourmet meals, washes all the dishes and tends to all the blisters. The hikers just get to hike.

“I love my job,” Kraus said. “It’s so cool to show people this stuff!”

In order to be qualified to guide others for Wildland Trekking Company, Kraus must train as a wilderness first responder and earn a Backcountry Food Handler’s Permit. The former provides the skills to handle medical emergencies; the latter provides the skills to avoid culinary emergencies. Additionally, Kraus says his resume should include “lay psychiatrist” since his clients often come with personal issues needing resolutions.

Kraus showed an interest in the outdoors at an early age. He was an Eagle Scout and became an avid fly fisherman. An Oregon girlfriend’s influence brought him to West Linn where he decided to pitch in at the WLACC while waiting for his next trip, which, in this case, will be a winter trip in Yellowstone Park.

For more information about Bob Kraus, stop by the WLACC, 1180 Rosemont Road, for lunch and ask him. For more information about The Wildland Trekking Company, visit

Here are the upcoming week’s activities. Call the center at 503-557-4704 for specific times and possible fees. Also, all lunches listed below are subject to change, but only for the better.

Friday, Dec. 20

Computer instruction (by appointment), core strength, strength and balance, Peripatetic Walkers, aerobics, painting, whist card group, pinochle, Texas Hold’em poker.

Lunch entrée is meatloaf and new potatoes.

Monday, Dec. 23

Tai chi, Peripatetic Walkers, woodcarving, aerobics, hand and foot card game, bridge. Lunch entrée is chicken Marengo.

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