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.

We are very proud of our team!

Julie Smith

Julie Volpert – Outfitter

Hometown: Concord, California
Sociology, 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.

Brandon Worthington

Hometown: Medford, Oregon
Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Southern Oregon University

Brandon has worked at Indigo Creek since we started back in 2011. A few years ago he took a raft guide sabbatical to build a business based on his love of fly fishing. Worthing Fly Fishing is his brain child and fortunately for us he still has time to guide a raft during the summer months.

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.

Corby Fuhriman

Corby Fuhriman – Guide

Hometown: Kaysville, Utah
Professional Sales, Weber State University

Corby traveled to Oregon in the summer of 2017 to join the Indigo Creek crew. Leaving the desert behind, Corby soon morphed into the perfect Oregonian. He lives in the mountains just outside of Ashland and finds time between trips to capture images of nearby Crater Lake. His heart is set on far away places, but we are on the verge of convincing him that he is already living the dream.

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.

Yann Crist-Evans – Guide

Hometown: Boulder, Colorado
Art – Graphic Design, Fort Lewis College

Yann grew up in Boulder, Colorado and at an early age discovered a backyard playground of mountains and rivers. He’s worked as a guide throughout the west on big rivers, small creeks, half-day stretches and week-long multi-day trips. When he’s not working as a guide, he might be on out exploring a local creek or apprenticing as a horseshoer. He lives in Gold Hill, Oregon, with his wife Jaclyn.

Heidi Shuler – Driver and Photographer

Hometown: Lake Almanor, California
English, CSU Chico; MFA in Writing, Pacific University

As a toddler, Heidi was stowed in the pool on her mom’s back (for safe keeping) while her mom taught swim lessons for the American Red Cross. Thus began a lifetime habit of lake, sea, and river adventuring. These days, Heidi can be found snapping photos of Indigo Creek rafters as they careen the rapids, and writing her second book of poetry between the boats. She paddles a red flatwater kayak called Deeper, named for Ken Kesey’s rowboat which sank only three times.

Phil Finkel

Phil Finkel – Guide

Hometown: Susanville, California

When he isn’t tackling the whitewater challenges of the Rogue River, Phil can be found taking on the challenges of managing his 8th grade class in Susanville, CA. Wait, not anymore! He retired from teaching in 2016. Phil is on the backcountry Ski Patrol at the Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Daniel Scott – Guide

Hometown: Santa Clara, California
Outdoor Adventure Leadership, 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

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.


Sebastian Munoz – Guide

Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas
Hydrogeology and Plan II, University of Texas at Austin

Sebastian likes rocks and water and spends most of his time on the river. He is involved in research studying the impacts dams have on surface and groundwater interactions downstream. In between outings he spends time thinking, learning, and figuring out the next time he can get into the field.

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.”

Joseph Hatcher – Guide

Hometown: Morgantown, West Virginia
Electrical and Computer Engineering, West Virginia University

Joseph blames his parents for wanting to spend all his time in water. After all they were the ones that made him live there for the first 9 months. After spending the majority of his life on the East Coast and guiding all the major rivers, he has moved to the West Coast to continue that interest.

TJ Eilers

T.J. Eilers – Guide

Hometown: Yuma, Arizona
Audio Engineering, Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences

T.J. began his Rogue River journey in 2012 thanks to his now/future 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.

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.

Ian Gannon – Guide

Hometown: Gunnison, Colorado
Associate of Art, Colorado Mountain College

After five seasons in central Colorado, Ian has made the trek out to Southern Oregon to explore and guide on the Rogue and Klamath rivers.

Adlar Thomas – Guide

Hometown: Phoenix, Oregon
Kinesiology, 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.

Jill Lovrin – Guide

Hometown: Boise, 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 in Medford and fills in her summer break with time on the river. Life is good!

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.

Where are they now?

We stay in touch with our past crew members and you never know when they might show up for a “celebrity guide” appearance.

Glen Finch – Guide

Hometown: Livermore, California
Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Southern Oregon University

Glen hails from Livermore, California and graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. Before discovering the river, Glen played two years of football at Southern Oregon University as a defensive lineman. Glen guided for us in 2011, 2012, and 2013 before moving to Australia where he worked for the Outdoor Education Group. Glen returned to Indigo Creek Outfitters from 2016 to 2018 as our operations manager.

Erin Butler

Erin Butler – Guide

Hometown: Gainesville, Florida
Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Southern Oregon University

Erin fell in love with the outdoors when she moved to Oregon in 2003, and she found her true purpose through the outdoor adventure leadership degree at Southern Oregon University. Now she shares that love by facilitating growth, fun, and discovery as a guide. In the winter, Erin migrates to Southeast Asia to play, rock climb, and explore the rich culture the world has to offer.


Daisy Schadlich – Guide

Hometown: Healdsburg, California
Sustainable Environmental Design, U.C. Berkeley

Daisy grew up spending her summers on the Stanislaus River and her winters in the mountains. After a long career of ski racing, she started school at Cal, where she’s done research on river restoration and freshwater ecology. While living in Berkeley, Daisy spends all of her free time outside, whether it’s skiing in Tahoe, climbing in the Bay Area, or rafting on the American River. She’s thrilled to spend this summer in Ashland after graduation this year

Robert Schaaf

Robert Schaaf – Driver

Hometown: San Jose, California
English, Chabot College

Robert Schaaf was born in San Jose California and grew up in the East Bay. He served in the US Army in Germany as a scout and after his service he returned to the US for a time before moving to The Netherlands to live with his wife and children. When his oldest son wanted to go to high school in Ashland he came along and has been enjoying life here in Southern Oregon ever since.

Frank Debaugh – Guide

Hometown: Belair, Maryland
Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Southern Oregon University

Frank might be the most outdoorsy guy you’ve ever been around. When he’s not on the river he might be climbing, biking, scuba diving, or skiing. He works part time at the Ashland Outdoor Store and splits his summer guiding days with Indigo Creek Outfitters and our sister company, Rogue River Journeys.

Nick Pabst

Nick Pabst – Guide

Hometown: Lafayette, Louisiana
Spanish, Centenary College of Louisiana
M.A.T., American College of Education

Nick came to Indigo Creek in 2013 with years of whitewater experience and an ability to make anyone smile. In 2016, Nick completed his teaching credential and began his middle school teaching career. Nick is a great teacher – whether he is on the river or in a classroom he is knowledgeable, friendly, and has a tremendous sense of humor.

Sami Hawkins – Guide

Hometown: Chico, California
Kinesiology and Outdoor Education, California State University, Chico

Sami fell in love with the river in 2010, and never looked back. That love affair, along with the motivation of good friends brought her to pursue a degree in Kinesiology and Outdoor Education from California State University, Chico. She has used this degree to launch her career as a Wilderness Medical, River Rescue and Whitewater Kayak Instructor. If she has a day off you will probably find her skipping through the woods, monkeying up rocks, or napping by the river.

Taylor Nieri – Guide

Hometown: Sisters, Oregon
Social Studies, University of Oregon

Taylor spends her summer days on the river either in a raft or kayak, but for the remainder of the year you will find her hanging off of a rock. She’s living the nomadic life and chasing summer year-round with her work in the United States and Australia. She will graduate from the University of Oregon in Fall 2017, and from there plans to move to Australia for the southern hemisphere summer and to work on the Franklin River in Tasmania with her husband, James. She is looking forward to wrapping up school and traveling the world climbing rocks, journeying down rivers, and simply being surrounded by the natural world.

Thorn Lyons

Thorn Lyons – Guide

Hometown: Athons, Ohio
Undeclared, Ohio University

Thorn guided in Utah before heading to Ashland in the winter of 2015 and discovering the Rogue and Klamath Rivers. He quickly became one of our core crew members. He loves seeing new rivers and is a regular in an inflatable kayak on the Applegate River during the winter months.

Tyler “T.J.” Vandehey – Guide

Hometown: Salem, Oregon
Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Southern Oregon University

Having traveled to Ashland from his hometown of Salem, Oregon, T.J. has stayed busy working outside. He has worked for Indigo Creek Outfitters since our very beginning and has played an integral part in our operation. Previously, T.J. starred as a trail crew member of the Medford B.L.M.

Taylor Moellerich

Hometown: Sun Valley, Idaho
Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Southern Oregon University

Taylor graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and in 2013 left for Australia to work for the Outdoor Education Group. In 2016 she is working in New Zealand. Despite her international tendencies, she finds time to make infrequent, surprise appearances in Ashland.

Emily Berlant

Emily Berlant

Hometown: Grants Pass, Oregon
Environmental Studies, Southern Oregon University

Emily is from Grants Pass, Oregon and is pursuing an Environmental Studies degree at Southern Oregon University. We were lucky to have Emily oversee our office from 2013-2015. She now works full-time for the Blue Sky Program of Pacific Power.

Althea Sullivan

Althea Sullivan

Hometown: Eugene, Oregon
Environmental Science, Southern Oregon University

Before coming to Indigo Creek, Althea taught whitewater kayaking for the City of Eugene Outdoor Program. She was the whitewater program coordinator for the SOU Outdoor Program for two years. In 2016 she graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Environmental Studies and now works for the City of Eugene.

McKenzie Woolley

McKenzie Woolley

Hometown: Eugene, Oregon
Environmental Science, Colorado College

McKenzie worked Nugget trips for Indigo Creek in 2015. At the time she was working on a farm outside of Jacksonville, Oregon. In 2016 she began a migration to California in search of new whitewater. Now she’s traveling the west looking for Big Foot, working as a horse packer, and has a part time job as an outdoor educator.

Torrey Johnson

Torrey Johnson

Hometown: Ashland, Oregon
Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Southern Oregon University

An Ashland, Oregon native, Torrey graduated with a degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership from Southern Oregon University. Torrey is a Wild Land Firefighter Spring through Fall and spends his winter working a plethora of different jobs.

Robert Ginsbach

Hometown: Mill City, Oregon
Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Southern Oregon University

Rob grew up in the town of Mill City, Oregon. He graduated with a degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership from Southern Oregon University. He guided for Indigo Creek in 2011 and 2012 and now works full time at the Ashland YMCA.