“You never take for granted the opportunities to build stories with the people that matter in your life.”
When a friend backs out of an epic two-week motorcycle trip down the Rio Grande, Bruce Matthews gets tapped by his son to join him on an adventure he’ll never forget. Join us, as Bruce shares this story of close calls, tarantulas, rattlesnakes, and starry desert nights.
1:39 – “The North Country Trail is the longest [in the US] by far. It’s 4600 miles long.”
For 10 years, Bruce was the executive director of the North Country Trail, which spans from the Adirondacks in New York to the Great Plains of North Dakota. The longest section of trail goes through Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas. If you haven’t been to Pictured Rocks, it’s worth putting on your hiking bucket list.
17:20 – “Next thing I knew, I was committed to a two week trip on a motorcycle. I hadn’t been on a motorcycle in 35 years.”
Bruce takes a training class to re-familiarize himself with riding a motorcycle. Next thing he knows, he’s trying to keep up with his son down the highway on a KLR 650 Dual-Sport. They started in Fairplay, CO started to make their way south along the Rio Grande.
25:11 – “We were right in the middle of the tarantula migration.”
Riding through Taos, New Mexico, night time is when all the tarantulas and scorpions come out. Bruce talks about trying to avoid spiders and rattlesnakes, and the beauty of riding through the desert. Bruce also shares a close call he had on his bike when he blew a tire in Las Cruces.
The 1500+ mile adventure finished on the Gulf of Mexico near Bownsville, TX, where Bruce and his son turned in the bikes and finished the trip with some shark fishing on the big water and site fishing for red fish on Matamoros Bay.
40:48 – “To spend this time with my son… it just doesn’t happen. We get together, but not THIS kind of together. Not two weeks on the road together.”
Bruce finishes up this episode by sharing what he learned about the himself, his son, and the beauty of creation. He also gives us some essential gear tips for backcountry motorcycle trips including helmet, body armor, hydration packs, and a good tent.