Elisa & Matt Rispoli
The Rispolis – Elisa, Matt, Holden (4) and Reid (2) – are family of nature lovers, wanderers and adventure seekers. They snowboard, scuba dive, snowshoe, kayak, bike, raft, climb and hike, and have done so all over the world, but their home and hearts are on the East Coast. Matt is a police officer by day, and a mountain man on his off time. Elisa handles the home-base acting as full-time mom and CAO (Chief Adventure Officer). Elisa also is a freelance travel and food writer and the editor for her local NJ Macaroni Kid newsletter. In their spare time, Elisa and Matt volunteer as branch leads for their local Hike It Baby chapter and keep up the family blog.
Patrice & Justin Lavigne
Justin and Patrice’s life together has always been fueled by their love for the outdoors. In 2011, they quit the rat race and created “a life less ordinary.” The self-proclaimed modern-day nomads spend more time outside than inside with their main passion being backpacking. The couple has more than 12,000 trail miles between them, including thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail and Te Araroa in New Zealand. They have explored 37 of the National Parks and summited 40 of the U.S. high peaks. Otherwise, the husband-wife dynamic duo works here, there and everywhere in the hospitality and outdoors industry. They are Leave No Trace Master Educators, Wilderness First Responders, gear testers, writers and speakers. You can catch them on the road in the summer of 2017 speaking about their Te Araroa thru-hike and Patrice's upcoming book.
My name is Berkley Aiken. I live in Nashville, TN and am thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail this year! If all goes well, I'll be a proud member of the 2,000-miler club, Class of 2017. It all started at a young age for me, as my brother is an Eagle Scout and my family... the most adventurous family you could imagine. We grew up camping in the backyard of our Charlotte, NC home. We've traveled the world together, cycled in Europe, camped on the beaches of Thailand, hiked at Philmont, skied/snowboarded out west. Blessed is an understatement. A life in the outdoors was instilled in us at a young age, and I'm forever grateful to my family for that. I'm excited to start this journey! Let's Hike, shall we?! Check out my blog and funding page to follow along. I decided to raise funds for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy -- to support this amazing organization that maintains this trail and it's community.
Warren is Kentucky Fried Hiker Trash finding solace in sharing the wilderness experience with as many unsuspecting victims as possible through his writing, and videos. Favorite trail food is calories stuffed in a tortilla. Warren has been spotted: hiking trails along the Appalachian Mountains, climbing crags across the country, bobbing along rivers in a kayak, and often taking a siesta in a hammock. Warren is also an Interpretive Ranger for the Parklands of Floyds fork in Louisville Kentucky.
Amoris grew up traveling around the USA in a family band called the EarthWalkers, promoting environmental action through music and comedy. The desire to travel, protect wild places and animals, and share those message has stayed with her ever since. Amoris now owns her own digital marketing business Hot Tea Media and enjoys working with like-minded people who love the world and want to make it a better place. Her motto is "I'd rather be camping"
Katelyn started playing golf at the age of five. After graduating and playing for the University of Texas Katelyn turned professional and continued on perusing her dream of playing on the LPGA tour. Even though she has only recently gotten into hiking she completely fallen for the great outdoors. With many fairways and trails ahead, Katelyn has ambitions to continue to have success on the course and enjoy herself on as many hikes along the way. Maybe (hopefully) even a thru-hike.
Kelsey and Mason Boring live in the foothills of beautiful East Tennessee. Don't let the last name fool you. Mason is a businessman turned Wilderness Ranger for Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards in the Cherokee National Forest. Kelsey is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee and works as a speech pathologist. As Wilderness and public land advocates, if they aren't playing in them, they are working to protect them through stewardship and photography. They enjoy kayaking, climbing, dirt bikes and adventure. They are lovers of the underdog and friends to the down and out.