COLORADO AMBASSADORS

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AUSTIN BALLINGER

Favorite Adventures: Hard to choose just a couple adventures, but  Austin loves hiking and camping and snowshoeing. 

Why He Always Choose Adventures:

Austin was born in the small town of Woodland Park Colorado where he spent his childhood exploring the Pikes Peak region. Then he went to Fort Lewis college where he studied to work with individuals with special needs. He helped them with outdoor activities such as rafting and snowboarding. Now Austin spends his winters as a Bering Sea Fisherman and summers exploring Colorado and surrounding states as well as learning more about there history.

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HEATHER BLAKEMAN

WESTERN SLOPE AMBASSADOR

Favorite Adventures: Heather's absolute favorite adventure is trail/ultra running, primarily in the mountains. Heather also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and anything active and outdoors. 

Why She Always Choose Adventures:

It was just a short time ago that Heather was overweight/obsese and struggled to be active. With a strong desire to be able to go on a backpacking trip, Heather decided to get healthy, get strong, and start adventuring. Just a backpack trip and half marathon later, Heather's passion for running distance and love for the mountains grew strong. Heather loves the opportunity to explore places that can only be found and seen by foot. High alpine lakes, peaks, single track trails are where peace is found. Knowing that she has had to work for every experience, Heather has learned that explorations and adventures should be sought and chosen, but never taken for granted.

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SAMI BOOKOUT

Favorite Adventures:

Sami's favorite adventure is trail running.  She loves getting out on the trails with friends, alone or with her favorite furry running buddy.  In addition to trail running, Sami takes advantage of the great hiking Colorado has to offer and enjoys hiking easy trails all the way to 14ers.  Paddle boarding is always her favorite way to relax after a run or on an active rest day.  

Why She Always Choose Adventures:

As a Colorado native, Sami has always known what the beautiful state has to offer outdoor adventure seekers.  Growing up playing sports and working out in the gym contributed to her love of being active, however it wasn't until after college that she realized how much she loves being outside with nature.  The old saying "Adventure is out there," is a phrase she lives by and takes advantage of every chance she gets to adventure outdoors.  

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TINA BRUCE

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking and being outdoors! 

Why She Always Choose Adventures:

As a Disabled Army Veteran, Tina uses recreational therapy to treat her depression and PTSD. Being outside and in nature brings her a sense of peace and tranquility. She always chooses adventures so she can live fully present in the moment.

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TANYA CHAFFEE 

Favorite Adventures:

Tanya is an avid runner and loves going camping, hiking, or doing anything in nature.  The mountains are, as she puts it, the place where her heart is happiest.  A close second is traveling around the world and experiencing new cultures.  She enjoys meeting people with her same appreciation of the wonders of this amazing Earth, and readily shares her passion for the outdoors and her sports with anyone who even hints at a glimmer of interest.

Why She Always Choose Adventures:

The greatest gift you are given and can give in this one life is your TIME.  Tanya always chooses adventures because she believes it is immeasurably important to use her time wisely, spend it with those she loves, and spend it doing meaningful things that create memories.  She grew up camping in the mountains of northern New Mexico.  Tanya remembers youthful summers of running wild through meadows and exploring for hours.  She now enjoys carrying those experiences and memories forward with her children.  Over the past 15 years, Tanya has also created deep bonds with friends through distance running, and is looking forward to pushing herself further and faster in the upcoming year.  Through Always Choose Adventures, Tanya hopes to share her sports and experiences, and to learn of new ways to spend time in appreciation of nature.

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AMBER EGBERT 

Favorite Adventures:

Amber's favorite adventures are all over the map! A leisurely hike/stroll along a creek bed? Check! Moonlight snowshoeing in crazy winds? Check! Trying out stand-up paddleboard for the first time? Check! 

Why She Always Choose Adventures:

Amber is a 5th generation Coloradan from a family with a connection to and a deep love of the land. She has also overcome her share of weird and unfortunate medical conditions over the years. She loves any adventure that challenges her to use her body in the great outdoors. Amber knows that a body that can carry you through challenges is a tremendous gift and wants to celebrate that gift by Always Choosing Adventure. Choosing adventure gives you a chance to grow; to know yourself and push your limits; and to build amazing relationships with fellow adventurers.

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ALY JOBSON

TRAIL TIMEOUTS - PROGRAM AMBASSADOR

Favorite Adventures:

Rock Climbing, Hiking, Camping, Anything out in nature!

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures: 

After moving to Colorado in 2015 to pursue a more outdoor-focused lifestyle, she has summited 10 14ers, completed multiple backpacking trips, climbed many rock climbing routes, and more...all things she couldn't do in her home state. Choosing adventures, taking risks, pushing past self-doubt and fear is where people grow the most. Aly lives a life of constant self-discovery, and adventuring is just what she does. 

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KATY JURGENSEN GLOEGE

REWILD YOUR CHILD PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking and exploring Colorado with family, Camping, rockhounding, Photographing wildflowers, Katy’s happy as long as she’s outside. 

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures: 

Katy grew up exploring, hiking and backpacking Colorado. Her family taught her every day is an adventure. Now that Katy has her own family she’s on a mission to share that joy with them.

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DONI MARSELIES

ACA EVENT PHOTOGRAPHER

Favorite Adventures:

Backpacking in the spring and winter and photography hunting.

 

Why He Always Chooses Adventures:

Marsel loves the outdoors. He often enjoys nature by going on solo backpacking trips. Since he would go out and about by himself, he likes to make sure that he knows everything there is to know about his surroundings. He likes looking at his immediate landscape that sometimes includes trees, rocks  and random shrubs with a hope that he can catch a glimpse of any type of wildlife; so he can capture it with his camera. Lately he's been writing about his hikes, and hope someday he can make a living writing about his experiences in the outdoors. 

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MACQUEL MARTIN

REWILD YOUR CHILD PROGRAM AMBASSADOR

Favorite Adventures:

Macquel considers herself a jack of all trades, master of none and enjoys a variety of adventures. Most regularly you can find her with her three young kids hiking all seasons, biking, snowboarding, walking, jogging, scaling playgrounds, anything outside!

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Macquel has chosen to believe that having young kids doesn't mean you have to stop adventuring. It may take a little more preparation and patience, and the adventures may be smaller, but they can and should still happen. In fact, she has learned the joy in seeing the world through her children's eyes as they see and experience new things. She loves to explore and play tourist with her family in her home state of Colorado, finding all the fun, beautiful spots, and encouraging others to travel and adventure within their own state lines!

DANIEL MULDOON

Favorite Adventures:

As a native of Colorado, Daniel has spent the majority of his life adventuring in the rocky mountains.  His passions include cycling, hiking, camping and off roading.  Daniel LOVES helping others get outside!  He’s always willing to help someone with less experience and learn from others with more experience.

 

Why He Always Chooses Adventures:

He believes nature has the ability to heal and spending time outside is the first medicine anyone should try when feeling down, overwhelmed or stressed out.  There’s an emotional, physical and spiritual connection to this planet that can’t be felt inside!

MOLLY QUIRK

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking and backpacking with friends, furry companions, and solo. Traveling to camp in National and State Parks since a child, she values the beauty and majesty of mountains, oceans, and deserts alike. In the last year, she has visited Joshua Tree National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Her favorite trip to date was Havasupai Indian Reservation in Grand Canyon National Park. She is also a fan of yoga, paddle boarding, kayaking, horseback riding, and trekking to hot springs.

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

As someone with ADHD, the outdoors is one of the most critical ways she harnesses energy into something positive. Getting outside helps her stay focused! Born and raised in Orange County, CA, spending time at the beach and swimming in the ocean was a calming activity which instilled the importance of adventure and recreation. Now, as a teacher she continues to see the value of nature and how it guides youth and adults alike to stay in the present moment. She is passionate about ensuring that all people have access to outdoor recreation and its benefits.

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JAMES KERSEY

Favorite Adventures:

Mountaineering, Class 3/4 scrambling, Backpacking, Snowshoeing

 

Why He Always Chooses Adventures: 

James's first mountain experience came the summer after college when, on a bit of a whim, he and college friends set their sights on Mt. Shasta in California. Armed with not much experience and facing very icy conditions on the Hotlum-Bolam Glacier, they only made it to ~12,000ft before turning around - but he was hooked. Since then (and after some much needed training), James has climbed mountains in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Wyoming. He feels most at home and a sense of peace high up in the mountains and calls Rocky Mountain National Park his home away from home. He's now looking to share these experiences and adventures with others!

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KRISTI ROGERS

Favorite Adventures:

While most outdoor activities are fair game and she absolutely embraces the classification of "renaissance woman," in the last few years, Kristi has pursued adventures in climbing and canyoneering, snowshoeing, hiking/backpacking, cycling, archery, rock-hounding, kayaking, nature photography, and is currently honing her skills in orienteering.  

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Kristi has always been active, exploratory, and loved connecting in nature, but a hypermobility condition that she was born with caused significant balance and core strength issues early on and required that she wear prosthetics. Her parents put her into team sports and other physical activities to see how she would do, and encouraged her not to focus on the ways that she was different from her peers. The rest has been (mostly happy) history. 

 

Now, any physical discomfort that Kristi experiences is part of the cost of entry to doing all of the outdoor activities that she loves! Today, she always chooses adventures because she knows that her immersion in outdoor activity at an early age was truly transformative in terms of how she perceived herself, the world around her, and what life could offer, in addition to providing an amazing context for authentic connection (and adventuring!) with others that is both humbling and empowering. 

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KRISTY ROGGEMAN

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking is probably her number one, then camping. She is attending school to become an outdoor professional and her first back packing trips are with her class. Backpacking will most likely become her favorite because it combines her 2 favorite things in to one.

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Because choosing adventures is what she wants to do for a living. She has been hiking for the last 8 years and been getting more extreme over the last 4-5 years. Hiking and camping and being in nature keeps her happy and healthy. She also loves to take pictures of her adventures and would like to get better at using a “real” camera.

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JENNY ROACH

LEAD AMBASSADOR

Favorite Adventures:

Jenny's favorite adventures include hiking the big rocks and exploring the trails sharing her love of the mountains with her grandson. She hiked her first 14er in 2019 and caught the bug. Jenny hopes to see the top of them all. She loves all the winter things best. 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

For sanity. For grounding. For connection. Jenny will be the first to tell you of the magic in the sparkling snow just before the sun crests the horizon; the tranquility of the rushing, half frozen mountain steam as it timelessly passes by; the utmost importance of passing on the knowledge of conservation, love and care for our planet. 

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TERRI RYLANDER

Favorite Adventures:

Terri’s favorite adventures include anywhere she can get to by foot, especially hikes to mountain summits. She loves spending hours on the trails either hiking or trail running and appreciates the beauty and serenity it provides. In the winter, you’ll find her either Nordic skiing or backcountry xc skiing, again in the solitude of nature.

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Terri grew up in the outdoors. Her house backing up to the woods, she spent all day playing and exploring the natural world around her. She had parents who also loved the outdoors and took her family camping nearly every weekend. Terri was lucky to be taken to many ranger talks and still chuckles when she thinks about the time they played the Lone Ranger theme song and asked if anyone knew what the tune was. No one else raised their hand so she spouted out, “Lone Ranger!” The crowd laughed because they were really asking for the name of the original classical tune, the William Tell Overture. With her friends continually asking her to take them on hikes, she looks forward to showing others that they too can enjoy the beautiful places we have here!

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AWK STANLEY

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking, camping, kayaking, fishing, snowshoeing, and traveling. And food! Food is an adventure too right?? 

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Nature and the outdoors is where she finds her therapy and peace. Having never visited Colorado at all, Awk decided to move to Colorado 3 years ago after a slump in her mental health. If the saying is true about the mountains calling, it called and Awk answered. It was probably the best decision she could have made and she doesn’t regret it one bit! The positive impact that nature and the endless outdoor possibilities have really helped her find her inner peace. She always choose adventures because life is full of amazing adventures and she wants to share it with as many people as possible! 

ALISON TAYLOR

Favorite Adventures:

Hiking/scrambling, snowboarding, sup/kayaking, snorkeling, obstacle courses, and paintball are among Alison's favorite outdoor activities. Alison is pursuing a Psych degree through UH Manoa. As a combat veteran, she has learned the importance of partaking in activities to decompress from life’s stressors. Upon obtaining her degree, Alison would like to give back to society by helping others find a personal connection between outdoor recreation and positive mental health. 

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

Alison always chooses adventures because that’s what life is. And because this story ain’t gonna write itself  ...Better summed up by the late and great Maya Angelou, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”. 

JACKIE WILSON

Favorite Adventures:

Backpacking Machu Picchu, a bike and barge trip in the Netherlands, backcountry hut trips, backpacking Havasupai (Obviously! She's done it 12 times!), the Grand Canyon rim to rim, the Grand Tetons, and Yosemite National Park. As well as hiking, snowshoeing, and backpacking almost anywhere in Colorado! She loves to travel and experience the great outdoors with workout vacations being her favorite. She loves hiking by herself and with her dogs (her best adventure buddies!) and hiking with others. It was an amazing adventure fostering dogs also for a Rescue; She was able to help save lives and help these dogs experience love and find people who truly care about them.

 

Why She Always Chooses Adventures:

She loves experiencing new places, meeting new people, and sharing these experiences with others. Every new adventure is exciting and every new experience, even if it's on the same trail. She always find peace in the mountains. When life can get so crazy busy, a hike in the mountains, especially if there's a waterfall or stream involved, brings calm to her world and fills her soul.