45 episodes

Bruce Matson has yearned to hike the Appalachian Trail for over 40 years. 2018 is going to be HIS year. Join Bruce in his conversations with Steve Adams as he prepares for, then undertakes, his epic journey.

Returning to Katahdin: An Appalachian Trail Dream Bruce Matson and Steve Adams

    • Sports
    • 4.7 • 108 Ratings

Bruce Matson has yearned to hike the Appalachian Trail for over 40 years. 2018 is going to be HIS year. Join Bruce in his conversations with Steve Adams as he prepares for, then undertakes, his epic journey.

    Episode #45 - Four weeks later

    Episode #45 - Four weeks later

    We always planned to have this final episode, so it was great to catch up with Bruce in such good spirits after his epic journey. He'd been home for a month and was starting to absorb what he'd done, yet his stresses from "normal" life were piling up once more.

    We spoke about what he'd learned and how he felt after his journey, with some words from Cheryl to give another perspective.
    I couldn't be happier that we followed Bruce. Like Jessa, last year, he was an interesting person who articulated the ups and downs of life on the trail. Also like Jessa, he had had moments of doubt that needed to be overcome.
    We're now two for two. Let's hope that I can make it three for three next year.
    Thanks for listening. Your support has meant a lot to both of us.

    • 51 min
    Episode #44 - Week Twenty Seven

    Episode #44 - Week Twenty Seven

    As all things must do, the end was in sight as Bruce set off into the 100 Mile Wilderness last week. I didn't hear from him again until Saturday evening when he had summited Katahdin and fulfilled his 44-year dream to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.

    There is plenty of time for Bruce to draw his conclusions of a journey that had kept him occupied, away from his beloved family for half a year. This episode is going to follow the pattern of all the others, with his stories on the trail, his thoughts about aspects of hiking the trail and, of course, his epic retelling of his final day on the trail.

    I'm full of admiration for Bruce's tenacity and vulnerability and the way he has managed his expectations along this pathway. He hasn't always been frank with how tough it has been, yet he has always projected a positivity that surely carried him to the top of Katahdin. At the end of the day, it was the finish he wanted.

    We hope that you take the opportunity to support our sponsor, Trailtopia, when you consider your next backpacking trip. Go to https://www.trailtopia.com/ to check out their wide variety of meals. They have assisted greatly in bringing this show to you and I'll always be grateful for that support.
    One last thing which has often been buried under the news of Bruce's progress. He has been raising funds for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, an organization dedicated to making the trail accessible to all. If you've loved this podcast I'd urge you to make a donation to the fund that Bruce is personally matching out of his own funds. Click on the link and support the ATC.  http://www.rtkchallenge.com/support/  
    Thanks for all your support.

    • 39 min
    Episode #43 - Week Twenty Six

    Episode #43 - Week Twenty Six

    Bruce is now within a week of Katahdin, at Monson, preparing for the 100 Mile Wilderness. By the time you hear this show, he'll be in the wilderness and out of touch, reflecting on the beauty he has seen.

    He and his buddy, GBolt have decided to load up six days of food and enjoy the wilderness without interruption or food drop. It is hard to believe that the journey is almost over, yet the culmination of Bruce's 44-year dream concludes next Saturday, September 1 as he climbs Katahdin with Cheryl.

    We also say goodbye to our great sponsor, Trailtopia, who has been with us all the way. We hope that you take the opportunity to support Trailtopia when you consider your next backpacking trip. Go to https://www.trailtopia.com/ to check out the wide variety of meals that are on offer.

    We hope that you come back next week to hear how this epic journey comes to an end.

    • 29 min
    Episode #42 - Week Twenty Five

    Episode #42 - Week Twenty Five

    With just a couple of weeks left on the trail, Bruce reassesses his difficulty rating after his New Hampshire and Maine experience. Recon has sustained an injury that forced him from the trail, leaving Bruce and Gbolt together as they contemplate the 100-Mile Wilderness.
    They intend to use their time in the Wilderness to reflect upon what they have achieved so far.
    We also got a great question from Patrick Sackrider about how impactful a thru-hike might have been on Bruce and me had we done it in our 20s as opposed to our 60s. It made us both think and speculate.
    We hope that you take the opportunity to support our sponsor, Trailtopia, when you consider your next backpacking trip. Go to https://www.trailtopia.com/ to check out their wide variety of meals. 

    • 30 min
    Episode #41 - Week Twenty Four

    Episode #41 - Week Twenty Four

    Bruce is in the last state–Maine. He has already gone through the Mahoosuc Notch, a kind of rocky jigsaw puzzle, where you work out the best route as you move through it. The pictures in these notes are taken by Bruce and feature his two hiking compadres, Gbolt and Recon.

    He felt the need to hike with other people, partly out of safety reasons but also because he wanted to share his hike with other people. Many hikers team up with a trail family, or "tramily," for the majority of their journey but Bruce has rarely hiked with others for more than a day. He intentionally considered and prayed for hiking partners and he met and teamed up with his current friends the following day. He speaks about his faith and how it has helped him on the trip.

    Shout out to Jeff and Tracy for sharing their home with Bruce and other hikers simply out of the goodness in their hearts and their fascination with the stories from the trail.

    Also, thanks to GBolt for asking Bruce his question. He's already sent his address to receive his two Trailtopia meals
    We hope that you take the opportunity to support our sponsor, Trailtopia, when you consider your next backpacking trip. Go to https://www.trailtopia.com/ to check out their wide variety of meals. 

    • 25 min
    Episode #40 - Week Twenty Three

    Episode #40 - Week Twenty Three

    Bruce has been in one of my favourite parts of the trail; The White Mountains in New Hampshire. As always, he has researched his subject and knew what to expect. Consequently, he has had a tough time that he knew was coming. The weather doesn't always cooperate–and it didn't for Bruce–but the scenery, when you find it, is hard to beat.

    He even had fairly decent weather as he crossed the second-highest point of the trail, Mt Washington. With the Whites pretty much now behind him, he is looking forward to the last great test before Mt Katahdin; Southern Maine.

    We had an excellent question this week about thunderstorms from David Braxton, so make sure that you send me your address, David, so that I can get two of Trailtopia's yummy meals sent to you.

    We hope that you take the opportunity to support our sponsor, Trailtopia, when you consider your next backpacking trip. Go to https://www.trailtopia.com/ to check out their wide variety of meals.  

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
108 Ratings

108 Ratings

Tom Baski ,

Loved every step of the trail!

Great show, I could identify well with Bruce and loved following his journey. great stuff.

Padrecookster ,

Very well done.

Such a great podcast. Very informative and intriguing. Both of you guys did such a great job! Hopefully one day I’ll be able to complete the AT! Meanwhile I’ll stick to hiking around central Alabama when I get the time.

Muddyfoot1022 ,

Very inspiring

Congratulations on the thru hike. This podcast was great! I listened from the beginning. Made my work week better as I looked forward weekly to find the right time to listen.
Very inspiring!! Thanks for letting us join your journey.

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