Roads Rivers and Trails

Dream. Plan. Live.

Blog Archives


Mason Doherty

Being the youngest member of the RRT crew, I am 16 years old, and go to Milford High School.  As you might’ve found out, age can restrict you to do a number of things, but you can never be too young or too old to truly enjoy what nature has to offer. I was born in Chicago, Illinois, where I lived for about a year before I moved to the wonderful city of Cincinnati, Ohio. Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved the outdoors, whether it be a quick hike at the Cincinnati Nature Center with my dad, sister, and one of my four dogs, or living in a tent at a High Adventure Camp for ten days.

Time with friends and family is considered sacred to me, and bringing those experiences to the wilderness has only strengthened my love for mother nature. I have spent time all over this gorgeous country, but my favorite trip so far has been my family trip to Alaska. We rode the full length of the infamous Alaska Railroad, making several stops on the way, and getting to spend a significant amount of time hiking, exploring, and mountain biking in Denali National Park. In all of my time in the open air, I have been able to test and push my gear to its limits.

I have been spending my money at Roads, Rivers, and Trails ever since I got my first payment on my paper route, so as you can imagine, I know my gear pretty well. One of my specialties is my knowledge on the Benchmade knife brand, as well as pretty much any other knife that we have in the case.  Even though I have an abundance of knowledge on knives,  I also know a lot about the clothing, boots, bags, and other gear that we carry here at RRT.  Feel free to ask me any questions you have about me, my trips, or any of the gear that you see, I will be more than happy to help.

 

DREAM-PLAN-LIVE

Q- What trips are you currently day dreaming about?

A-  I’m currently day dreaming about the Swiss Alps, but would love to visit Yosemite National Park, and Glacier National Park in the near future.

Q– Is there a trip that you are planning to do next?

A-  My next trip will be in Yosemite with a group of classmates from Milford.

Q– What was the last trip you took?

A–  The last trip I took was in the beautiful Yellowstone National Park, where I ventured around the  Northwestern region. I spent about 16 days going to landmarks such as the Devil’s Tower,  Badlands, and Grand Tetons.

 

 

Ben Shaw

My name is Ben, I’ve always had a love of the outdoors but in the past years that has exploded.  Upon starting at the University of Cincinnati in 2014 working towards my B.S. in Architectural Engineering I picked up backpacking through the UC Mountaineering Club, I quickly picked up climbing, whitewater rafting, caving, kayaking, mountaineering and its really just snowballed since then.

In my first trips with my friends I found I was much better versed in directions then they were…  They would jokingly call me “Squanto” because I could “lead the way by the stars” but it stuck and now about half the trips I go on I have people affectionately calling me Squanto.   Every weekend I get, I can be found down in Red River Gorge in what my friends call “my weekend office”.

My first big trip was a week long trip out to Zion NP, UT and Great Sand Dunes NP, CO with two of my buddies.  We set out with one trip planned and came back having completed something completely different and extremely amazing.  Since then I’ve been to The Wind River Range, WY, The Black Mountains, NC, Bryce Canyon NP, UT, Guadalupe Mountains NP, TX, Porcupine Mountains SP, MI, and all over Colorado.  I’ve summited 4 14ers including Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain NP and multiple 6ers here on the East Coast including  Mt. Mitchell and Mt. Craig.  This list will forever be growing…

 

DREAM-PLAN-LIVE

Q- What trips are you currently day dreaming about?

A-  Hiking Mt. Mansfield, VT in December, Road tripping around South Dakota to visit an old friend and Hike Black Elk Peak in March, Hiking Crater Lake NP in April, Hiking Boulder Pass in Glacier NP in August 2018 (I keep busy…)

Q– Is there a trip that you are planning to do next?

A– My next big trip is a 5 day road trip around Michigan this coming October to show some friends my home state.

Q– What was the last trip you took?

A–  My last trip was out to The Wind River Range in Wyoming and Rocky Mountain NP on a 6 day trip, 3 spent getting to Titcomb Lake and Indian Pass, 2 spent hiking in and out of The Cirque du Towers and another spent summiting Longs Peak, a 14,259’ beast of a mountain…  In all 72 miles hiked in 6 days, an amazing and tiring trip.

 

Emma Littmann

Hey! My name is Emma. I’m a “professional volunteer” and am preparing myself to combine social work with my love of the outdoors. While volunteering through Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest and AmeriCorps I lived in rural Montana and Southeast Alaska. There I was lucky enough to live with incredible access to myriad trails, opportunities for simplicity and stillness, and a time to connect to the land.

After stomping around glaciers, plains, and a rainforest for two years, I challenged myself to come home and find the same sense of wonder in nature back here in Cincinnati without the mountains, insane wildlife, or sense of solitude.

Though I am still working on finding that sense of wonder and contentment here, I’m looking forward to exploring more of the world and finding it there.

 

DREAM-PLAN-LIVE

Q- What trips are you currently day dreaming about?

A-  I’m especially inclined to make my way to South America, the Canadian Rockies, the Alaskan Interior, and anywhere that has good trees to climb. 

Q– Is there a trip that you are planning to do next?

A– I’d like to get more acquainted with distance biking so I’m hoping to bike the Little Miami Trail pretty soon.

Q– What was the last trip you took?

A–  Before leaving Alaska in June, my roommates and I took a week to camp across the Kenai Peninsula along the south-central part of the state.

 

 

Will Babb

Hi, I’m Will but I’m just as happy to be called my trail name “Leapfrog”. I’m interested in backpacking, running, fishing, and just about anything that gets me outside. I’m an Eagle Scout and 2016 Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. On my northbound thru-hike I learned a lot about myself, my gear, and what it means to be “hiker trash”. This 5 month trip instilled a love of backpacking and infrequent showers in me and I’ve got a long list of future trips planned all across the country.

My next trips will probably be on the Knife’s Edge Trail on Mount Katahdin, a John Muir Trail thru-hike, and a Pacific Crest Trail thru hike. Keeping a long bucket list keeps me sane and gives me something to dream about and work towards. I congratulated myself on my high school graduation with my AT thru and I plan on rewarding myself on college graduation with the PCT. I’ve got a long distance backpacking bug, but really I’m excited to get out on any backpack trip- from a winter ascent of Leconte to a week long trek through some of the best scenery Iceland has to offer.

I’ll be happy to talk about my favorite backpacking gear or my most recent adventure anytime. Backpacking is my true love but I’ve got a growing interest and knowledge in kayaking and climbing. I consider myself somewhat of a shoe and jacket guru so I’ll be happy to help you find the shoes that work best for you and probably geek out about the gear in the process. I’ll be attending Ohio State this year to study Environmental Engineering and will hopefully make an impact on this world in that field.

Robby Hansen

I’m a Cincinnati Native who has a passion for start-ups and local business. I love my family, and I spend most of my time relaxing around a pool or bon-fire with my 30+ cousins.

My first major backpacking trip was in 2014 when I hiked the John Muir Trail in California. It took 21 days to hike 230 miles, and I wish it never ended. Sequoia National Park was my favorite part of the journey, and climbing Mt. Whitney was the best ending I could have asked for. I started the journey to Mt. Whitney with 3 friends and I came home with 20 new ones. My goal is to go back and hike the trail every 10 years as a reunion with the friends we made. Fingers crossed I can stick to it!

Outside of the JMT I’ve spent most my time down in Red River Gorge running, hiking, cliff jumping or climbing. I graduated from Northern Kentucky University in 2013 with a degree in Marketing, and I now work in the wonderful world of finance. Roads Rivers and Trails has always been my home away from home.  This is where I daydream about the outdoors, and swap stories with all my friends. All of my favorite trips started here, and I can’t wait to see what adventures come next. If you have any pictures or videos of your latest adventures then please do not hesitate to share!

 

DREAM-PLAN-LIVE

Q- What trips are you currently day dreaming about?

A-  Honeymoon cruise with my fiancé to Jamaica, Cayman Islands & Mexico.

Q– Is there a trip that you are planning to do next?

A-  The Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier with a summit climb at the end.

Q– What was the last trip you took?

A-  Hiking/Camping in Joshua Tree, CA.

 

Mac Griesser

Hello friends! My name is Mac and I am so excited to be a part of the team here at RRT! I grew up here in Milford, graduated from Milford High in 2010, attended the University of Cincinnati and graduated at the end of April 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Studies and minors in Anthropology and Spanish. My love of the outdoors began with my parents, who always opted to go camping instead of staying in hotels while traveling. During the summer, we would spend nearly every weekend camping at East Fork or Stonelick State Park. Growing up so close to nature helped develop a love and respect that now fuels my passion for adventuring.

Before RRT opened in 2010, I didn’t even know backpacking was a thing. Since then I have learned so much about thru-hiking, rock climbing, and adventuring in general. I did not have the opportunity to travel much in high school, but since graduating in 2010 I have traveled to Death Valley and Zion National Parks, made several trips to Red River Gorge and Hocking Hills, and left the country for the first time in October 2016 for a 2-week New Zealand adventure with my father. Now life is taking me out west to Colorado, where I plan on taking my adventuring to the next level and pursuing a career in trail guiding or ecosystem restoration.

Eli Staggs

Hello! My name is Eli and I am very excited to be working at RRT. I couldn’t be happier to surround my self in an environment that I feel so passionate about. It is my hope I can share my love of the outdoors with you and answers any questions you may have.

I was raised in a family where camping was common and being outside was valued. But I never had an extended backpacking trip until high school. A 50 mile trip through Shenandoah National Park in early spring inspired me to thru hike one day. One week after graduating high school I found my self in Maine beginning my thru hike.

Over the past few years I have also become an avid rock climber. I love to gym climb and traverse at the Eden Park reservoir wall. I have climbed traditionally a few times down at the Red River Gorge. Climbing is a sport that I hope to continue practicing through out the rest of my life along with long distance back packing.

Kayla McKinney

Hello! I am a UC graduate that loves adventuresplorin’. I have a serious wanderlust and love traveling as much as possible. My main passions are rock climbing and backpacking, but I also love exploring new cultures and languages. I returned this December from a year abroad in Austria, and I was blessed to explore many different countries and to also spend a good amount of time in the Alps. I believe that if travel is your main priority then anything is possible when combined with a simple lifestyle. I am always scheming and day dreaming of the next trip and my bucket list is enormous. Cheers to adventure!

Louie Knolle

Greetings!  My name is Louie and I couldn’t be happier to be an employee here at Roads Rivers and Trails.  Despite never having experienced the wildly, wonderful world of the wilderness until I was 19 years old. I have definitely dove in head first since then.  My first ever trip was a 4 day backpacking trip to Shenandoah National Park after graduating high school in 2010, and to put it simply, that trip changed my life.  Since then, I have rock climbed in Maine, backpacked sections of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia and Tennessee, winter summited 14ers in Colorado, and hiked in more areas than I am able to count.  And the list will continue to grow, I promise!

Forever a hiker at heart, I try to enjoy as many other outdoor activities as possible.  In addition to hiking all over the country, I enjoy exploring with my dog Korra, meeting and sharing stories with new people, and simply taking a step back from it all and lying in my hammock to read a good book.  My wandering in college led me to the University of Cincinnati’s Mountaineering Club where I have met some very amazing people and fellow adventure lovers.  This connection to the outdoors community in Cincinnati then introduced me to everyone at Roads Rivers and Trails where I’m now working my dream job.  I am always ready and willing to go out of my way to assist others, and love sharing my experiences with others who are interested.

James Mobley

Hello, my name is James. My journey in my careers has taken me from a number of leadership positions being an Assistant Manager, Store Manager, and a District Manager with a number of companies. These experiences have brought me to my current leadership position as the Store Manager at Roads Rivers & Trails. I am honored to be apart of something as genuine and pure as RRT. The owner’s passion for the outdoors, community, delivering customer service, and living life to the fullest aligns with my passion, and I’m lucky that they have taken me into their team!

I have traveled to over 30 states and hiked in over 25 National Parks throughout my life.  My top three National Parks have been Zion, Yosemite, and Arches National Park so far.  I have experienced all of these natural wonders with my wife and two boys at my side.  In addition to hiking I enjoy camping, mountain biking, kayaking, frisbee golf, relaxing in my hammock, and in general being outside in the fresh air.  Over the past 14 years I have become an avid rock climber. I have had the opportunity to climb throughout the United States and have met a great number of amazing people along the way. My passion for climbing runs through my mind, body, and spirit, in a way that I can’t explain.