Interview with Rob Laverture

Tell us about your outdoors experience. How much do you like participating in outdoor activities?

Since 2014 I have been on a journey of exploring the outdoors.  I had a reawakening to nature and have found a renewed sense of spirit since I’ve focused on natural ways to be active and engaged with the world around me.  Nature is my religion.

If you knew someone who was thinking of starting to hike, what advice would you give them?

Just do it!!  Joining a club like GO is a great way to get your feet wet in a variety of outdoor activities.  You will meet lots of people but what is important is not to wait for someone to do something with – just get out and go.  I know from experience it can be intimidating but start small and grow into it – I promise you won’t be disappointed!!  For me it just keeps getting better.

What was your first GO excursion? How did it turn out?

My first GO experience was Flags on the 48 – Mt. Osceola.  At the time I was searching for hiking/outdoor adventure groups – specifically geared towards gay men.  What can I say, I like men!  The trip that sealed my fate was the Zealand Hut Overnight via South Twin – that really captured my spirit and set the tone for things to come. 

Describe Massachusetts to our outdoorzy members who’ve never been there? Is there a lot to do if you are an outdoor enthusiast?

There is a lot to do in Massachusetts.  From urban hiking in Boston, the Blue Hills, the Arboretum to more modestly rugged trails of central Massachusetts to the Appalachian Trail that runs through Massachusetts in the Berkshires.  There are many opportunities for camping, swimming, kayaking, biking, both along the seashore as well as central and western Massachusetts.  Whatever your speed, casual to rugged, you can find it.  Despite that – I tend to run north into New Hampshire whenever possible. 

What changes have you made to better our environment?

I am more aware than ever of the importance to preserve the open spaces we have.  I live more simply.  I recycle everything I can.  I consume only what I need and try very hard to purchase food in eco friendly packaging in addition to eating healthy.  I should be more politically active – baby steps – see note above about “getting started”, lol.

What is your earliest outdoor adventure memory? Who did you go with?

My earliest outdoor adventures are as a kid with friends.   I grew up in a small town and we used to run off and play in the woods.  I have great memories of running the trails and tossing rocks in the river with my best friend.  As a family we often went camping.  Our family vacations consisted of traversing the New England states in search of state parks, beaches and short places to day hike.

What is your favorite thing to do a perfect summer day?

That’s easy – a hike to a secluded swimming hole and SKINNY DIPPING – LOVE IT.

If you could spend the day on the trail with one person, living or dead, it would be…

For a long time it has been Mark Ruffalo but my new “Man Crush” is Chris Mazdzer from the 2018 US Men’s Olympic Luge Team.

What is your favorite post-adventure meal?

A well done hamburger served with fresh greens – quite satisfying!!

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Hiking, backpacking, camping or vacation adventures, GayOutdoors [GO] has been the LGBTQ outdoorzy community leader for the last 22 years. We are an informal group of diverse hiking enthusiasts in the United States with a shared love of the mountains who prefer hiking with friends. We invite you to join us on our hikes, to post hikes for other members to join you and to share your hiking photos, stories and advice.

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