Team Indigo is comprised of guides, drivers, and a customer/trip support crew who love what they do. We strive to provide exceptional customer service, to run polished and expectation-shattering adventures, and love – absolutely love – sharing our amazing neighborhood rivers with locals and travelers alike.

As your host, our varied backgrounds and experiences, personalities, stories, and aspirations will form the backbone of your visit to our wild rivers. While many of our guests may join us simply for the thrill of whitewater or to take in the sights, it has always been the people – our staff, your family, friends, and new friends – that bring all of us back for another trip.

Julie Smith

Julie Volpert – Outfitter

Hometown: Concord, California
Southern Oregon University

Julie worked at Southern Oregon University as an Academic Advisor for nine years prior to joining Indigo Creek Outfitters. When she’s not helping guests plan their rafting trips, she stays busy as a mom to Emma, Carson, and Elijah. Read more about Julie, Will, their family, and the story behind Indigo Creek.


Aaron Koontz – Guide

Beekeeper, gardener, builder, mechanic, and river guide – Aaron has a knack for growing, building, and fixing things. When he’s not on the river he might be found with his honey bees, under his truck, or maybe even kayaking a local river.

Jill Lovrin

Jill Lovrin – Guide

Hometown: Over the Rainbow, Idaho
Southern Oregon University

Jill’s been in the Rogue Valley for quite some time and loves sharing our awesome rivers with visitors and locals alike. She’s a teacher and fills in her summer break with time on the river. Life is good!

Adlar Thomas

Adlar Thomas – Guide

Hometown: Phoenix, Oregon
Oregon State University – Cascades

Having grown up in the Rogue Valley, Adlar couldn’t resist a return to his stomping grounds and the nearby rivers. He’s spent the last few years in Bend, Oregon going to school and working on the nearby Deschutes.

Phil Finkel

Phil Finkel – Guide

Hometown:  Englewood, NJ
Humboldt State University

After retiring from a successful 8th grade teaching career, Phil enjoys nordic / backcountry skiing and mountain biking throughout northeastern California.  He stays busy managing his 17-acre forest on the northern end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Phil has guided multi-day rafting trips on the Rogue River since 1989.

Daniel Scott – Guide

Hometown: Santa Clara, California
Southern Oregon University

Daniel had spent a majority of his life in the heart of silicon valley until moving to Ashland for college. The change of skyscrapers to mountains was one that he loved, and now he spends as much time outside as he can. When not on the river, he enjoys spending his time rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking and playing the tuba.

Jim Ritter

Jim Ritter – Guide

Hometown: McKinleyville, California
Humboldt State University

Jim worked as an owner/manager of Rogue River Journeys for 27 years before starting a second career in education. He is now the Executive Director of Humboldt Live. He still loves guiding and makes it out to the Rogue River for a few trips every summer.

Arden Prehn – Guide

Hometown: Talent, Oregon
Southern Oregon University

For over 20 years, Arden has navigated her way down Southern Oregon’s rivers and mountains. During the summer months you can find her on the Rogue or Klamath, or perhaps on a motorcycle road trip with her husband, Roger. Arden loves water in all forms and spends her winters teaching ski school at Mt. Ashland Ski Area.

Scott Rion

Scott Rion – Guide

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Scott lived in Grants Pass, Oregon before relocating to the Sacramento area where he worked for the BLM on the American River. While in Grants Pass, he worked on the Rogue in the summer and fall for our sister company, Rogue River Journeys. In 2017, Scott made his return to guiding on the Rogue.

Ross Freeman

Ross Freeman – Guide

Hometown: Mercer Island, Washington

Off the river, Ross serves as the first-ever sustainability and communications manager for the City of Mercer Island, just east of Seattle. He got his start in rafting on the desert rivers of the Southwest, while living in Moab, Utah decades ago and working for a science school. Ross firmly believes in the wisdom of the Wind in the Willows: “…there is nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

TJ Eilers

T.J. Eilers – Guide

Hometown: Yuma, Arizona
Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences

T.J. began his Rogue River journey in 2012 thanks to his wife and former Indigo Creek office manager, Emily Berlant. Since then, he’s dipped an oar or a paddle in the Illinois, Owyhee, North Umpqua, Upper Klamath, and American rivers. When T.J.’s not on the water, he’s playing bass in one of four bands in the region or hiking with his dog Java.

Sam Money – Van Guide

Hometown: Heidelberg, Germany
Outdoor Adventure Leadership

Sam worked for the US Army for 15 years before discovering Southern Oregon and falling in love with nearby rivers and mountains. When she’s not driving rafting vans, you’ll find Sam on a local trail or simply doing anything outdoors. As an avid traveler, she has visited over 30 countries.

Darby Spence – Driver and Photographer

Hometown: Redwood City, California
Music Education, Southern Oregon University

Darby is studying Music education at Southern Oregon University. He was born in Redwood City, California, but came to the Rogue Valley at young age. Darby performs with various groups around the valley and has multiple original compositions performed across the West Coast. Aside from music and rafting, Darby enjoys mountain biking and staying outdoors as much possible.

Katherine Luscher – Guide

Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Western Washington University

When not rafting rivers, Katherine spends her days protecting them. She works for the Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit focused on clean water. She has been guiding multi-day river trips on the Rogue River for the past 15 years.

will volpert

Will Volpert – Outfitter

Hometown: Inverness Park, California
Business, Southern Oregon University

Originally from Inverness Park, California, Will has called Southern Oregon “home” since 2004. Will’s middle brother, Matt, runs Kern River Outfitters in Southern California and his youngest brother, Skip, runs operations for Idaho River Journeys on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Read more about Will, Julie, their family, and the story behind Indigo Creek.