“Stop worrying, make a decision and learn from it.”
Matt Duncan (@matthewduncs) has been a leader and planner at Overland Summers for the past 4 years, guiding domestic and international adventure trips for 4th-12th graders. He’s a member of the U.S. National Guard and an avid bikepacker, having biked over 200 miles in a single day.
In this episode we cover:
The differences in solo vs. bikepacking with a group (11:59)
Matt’s run-in with a bear (20:30)
How Matt used Craiglist to get a ride across the Canadian border (35:35)
How studying abroad made Matt switch from a career in the army to one outdoors (1:11:50)
What he’s learned from traveling (2:01:00)
Matt’s advice to himself (2:08:38)
Make sure to subscribe and listen to new episodes of "After School Program" released every Tuesday at 5am EST!
Zach McHale 0:01
All right, Matt, welcome to the podcast. Thanks, man. Yeah, thanks for having me. So you just recently went on a solo bikepacking trip to Vermont. How was that?
Matt Duncan 0:11
first one ever? Yeah, it was, uh, it was pretty sweet. I've been the first one ever to bike solo in Vermont. Yeah, the first one. So write that down. Matt Duncan first Vermont. So backpackers thing in your bio bike backer yet? Um, but no, I've been pretty much on my bike since all this COVID stuff started in May.
But doing it with my roommate, who I worked with, out in like super Northwest Massachusetts, and was biking with him for a while then hurt my back and came back rehabbed. And then I decided after you didn't just hurt your back, he like pulled a disc. Yeah, herniated? Yeah, it was not a big it wasn't
Connor Heine 0:56
great. Not Not a big deal for someone who just rides their bike everywhere.
Matt Duncan 0:59
Yeah, I was on top of the world. And then I was laying on my parents couch for about a month. Well,
Zach McHale 1:04
yeah. And you guys threw that trip together? Pretty last minute.
Matt Duncan 1:07
Yeah, cuz we didn't know we. I mean, like, we had an idea that this summer probably wasn't going to happen. So we planned trips for kids to go on like these adventure hiking biking trips around the world. And we like pull kids from all over. So when the virus started to break out, we figured that we weren't going to be running a summer. And then shortly after that, the office closed down, we were all furloughed. And we kind of decided to like have our summer. And what we both love the most is bike packing. So yeah, we kind of threw together with this route that we found online. And maybe like a week later, we like both popped home for a little bit. And then a week later, we were driving from New Jersey in my car straight out to Montana to start this trip. And how long were you guys on there until you're back.
We are out there for about a month biking around. So we did we got Montana and Wyoming Utah. And then in Colorado is like on the easiest day to unloaded. We were on a rail trail. So it was like no elevation whatsoever. And all of a sudden my back just went and gave it like a de icing stretching. But I could not move at all. So then, like two days later, I flew back home to New Jersey and left my car out there with Connor
Zach McHale 2:36
with the car. Yeah,
Matt Duncan 2:37
I was like yeah, you take it all. You take everything and I'll go rehab pretty
Connor Heine 2:41
nice car to just leave out.
Matt Duncan 2:43
I mean, he deserved it. You trust him drove half
Connor Heine 2:46
so on this bike trip. Just lay out like a day. What a day looks like for you. Yeah,
Zach McHale 2:52
cuz I have no different like, I have no understanding between hiking and this
Matt Duncan 2:56
is good because you're about to come with me so right. Yeah.
Connor Heine 3:00
A day, like go through like how, like, how you have water. Okay, don't have water. Yeah,
Matt Duncan 3:07
I'd say All in all, it's the best possible day that one person can have. It's, you wake up, you're pretty much like on schedule with the sun. Because you're in a tent. So as soon as as soon as the sun rises, you're up out of your tent and you cook right there. Out of what just like a cast
Zach McHale 3:27
Matt Duncan 3:28
out of like a little jet boil. stove. So nice. It's like super light compact, you can carry it around with you. And breakfast is almost everything you bring with you has to fit on your bike. Yeah, and like three bags. Yeah. And you try not to have a backpack.
Connor Heine 3:43
Right? And are you thinking about weight? As you're packing? These things are like
Matt Duncan 3:48
no now when you're as strong as a bikers. Oh, I forgot my bed.
Zach McHale 3:52
When you can put it all at
Connor Heine 3:54
some points here like climbing? No, yeah, you're totally taking you have like 60 pounds worth of gear on your plate. That's gonna suck.
Matt Duncan 4:00
Yeah, no, it's like you're pretty much counting ounces when you're packing your bike. Right? Which is why the jet boil like super small stove is awesome. Right?
Connor Heine 4:10
Now you turn that into like a propulsion system for your bike.
Matt Duncan 4:13
Yeah, you easily worst case just get to each side tape, duct tape under your shoes, and your flying word. But no, it's like, it's really different from overnight backpacking, because almost every day you're like traveling through smaller towns, or just somewhere that you can like, buy and restock on fuel and food, water and stuff like that. So you're not carrying nearly as much weight as you would be in like an overnight you're covering more ground. Yeah, cuz you're going because you're popping through these towns.
Connor Heine 4:49
Yeah. And you're on roads as opposed to backwards trails. Yeah.
Matt Duncan 4:52
So like when you're hiking, you'd be hiking and maybe you'd hit like 10 2020 miles at most a day and with By packing you can, like you can hit pretty easily. 80 miles. Yes.
Connor Heine 5:05
It seems like you're averaging like in the 70s.
Matt Duncan 5:08
Yeah, you can cruise which is really nice. Because and then you're also like having real food. And I don't know, are you
Zach McHale 5:15
guys staying at different places? Or are you Tom sleeping in the tent? mostly in the tent?
Matt Duncan 5:22
Okay. I'd say there were a few nights where we're like, a few days or you're looking at the weather. Then we'd be like, Oh, shit, there. That's a huge storm and it's going to be super cold. We're gonna get we're gonna like get to this one town so we can have like a pavilion. I started to get really into baseball fields and dugouts and camping in there. But then if you're like, really, really want to get out of the elements and like a motel or something like that.
Unknown Speaker 5:49
Just every morning.
Connor Heine 5:53
We're like little kids just coming in. There's Matt hobo looking with his bike in the dugout.
Matt Duncan 5:58
Well, that was the best thing about the pandemic. All sports shut down. So I really was a homeless person. Yeah. In the dugout waking up. Yeah.
Zach McHale 6:10
Have you seen this man? Yeah. hopping from town to town. local town loves
Matt Duncan 6:14
the dugouts. Yeah, but no and then you pretty much bike until dinner. And a lot of time out your stops.
Connor Heine 6:23
Yeah. Where you wanted to stay unless something occurred
Matt Duncan 6:27
every day pretty much. You've when you start looking for like tricky parts
Connor Heine 6:33
that like let you campaign or what was your
Google Apps just looking for the diamonds?
Matt Duncan 6:41
Yeah, it's like zoom out all the way say search this area for baseball field town parks. Yeah, dugouts, pavilion,
Connor Heine 6:48
you and predators. Were doing that?
Matt Duncan 6:50
Yeah, no, the keywords.
But no, it's, it's awesome. And then the solo trip was absolutely insane. like totally different than biking with someone. For sure. And there are definitely like pros and cons to it. But I enjoyed it. Because of like, how I came back into it like after my injury I've been with I was like biking with Connor and a few other people all summer. And then I heard from Connor, after I left, he was like, you have to try solo bikepacking. Now I don't know if that was him, like telling me like, yo, you suck
Zach McHale 7:30
with the car and he goes Yo man.
Matt Duncan 7:34
by yourself. I have everything I need now. You're good to just go solo.
Connor Heine 7:38
Was there? Was there any of like, was your mindset kind of off? Because it kind of seems like it was perfect? Because I don't think after major back injury, you'd want to like, fall back in with a group. Yes. That
was the other thing like you're slowing them down or
Matt Duncan 7:50
Exactly. There was like no pressure for I must been nice. Hitting a certain mileage or like going a certain speed. So yeah, it was very relaxed.
Connor Heine 8:00
Yeah. Which is another Well, that's also a question I was thinking of while you were talking about backpacking was it? How does it get competitive? Like,
Matt Duncan 8:09
yeah, there's this common cold, but it it doesn't have to be competitive. It can certainly be like the most relaxed day. I mean, knowing you and
Connor Heine 8:18
Connor, I think.
Matt Duncan 8:18
But yeah, we like to throw in these like little competitive aspects. But it gets the most competitive because of an app called Strava. Which is like this fitness tracking app. That's like heavy on social media presence. In there are these things within Strava that are like the record for how fast you can do certain portions of
Connor Heine 8:44
a trail or road. Is this just a biking fitness app? Or it's all it's all? No, it's all
Matt Duncan 8:49
like biking, running. So it's your sailing paddleboard.
Zach McHale 8:52
You can add your friends and stuff, and you can see their pictures. There they are, and you can race them. And yeah, and then there's this Tuesday. I got it for a little bit, but then I just didn't really bike that much. I was like I kind of run until I don't feel like it anymore. Turn around.
Connor Heine 9:06
Yeah, this is available in the App Store.
Matt Duncan 9:08
Available in the App Store. Wow. And it's getting better because they just, I mean, they made it so you have to pay for membership now. But like all of their services are so much better.
Yeah, stroeve it on the way over here.
Connor Heine 9:23
And it's a verb down to
Zach McHale 9:28
jump on it. Yeah, like
Matt Duncan 9:29
I get in now becomes
Connor Heine 9:30
Yeah, in the language. Were you telling Weren't you telling us a while ago that like within certain towns to there's like record holders and that gets competitive?
Matt Duncan 9:41
Oh, yeah. I mean, I
Connor Heine 9:42
had Can you message each other on the apps or did you or was this Oh,
Zach McHale 9:45
yeah, yeah, that does. breaks the record then kicks the guys ask.
Matt Duncan 9:51
Me, I'm immediately talking shit if I if I get someone's record
Zach McHale 9:55
taken down to town. You know,
Matt Duncan 9:57
there's some good trash talking. I'm actually I've gone back and forth with someone that I've never even met here in my hometown, and I think he's probably like 45 or 50. And I'm going after his record, probably at least once a week. And this dude just talks mad shit on me every time that I go for it and don't get and he see your attempts. Oh, yeah, he sees it every time because I friend I like messaged him one time. And I called him out and told him I was coming for his record. I haven't been able to get it
Zach McHale 10:30
yet. I stopped by his house the other day and he told me that you'll never break it because back when he said that record, the roads were freshly paved.
Unknown Speaker 10:40
I knew they were
Zach McHale 10:43
because that's the thing I was like the other would be
Connor Heine 10:44
an asterisk next to that.
Matt Duncan 10:46
Asterix Dude, that's where so that was the house that I dropped the beer off at. He told me I was running away because I was too freakin legend.
Connor Heine 10:54
Right? You didn't meet him face to face?
Matt Duncan 10:56
Yeah, I've never met him. Never Never. Never meet
Zach McHale 10:58
the local legend unless he's already been
Matt Duncan 11:01
Connor Heine 11:03
where you drop in your office like a peace offering because of all the trash talk that you didn't live up to?
Matt Duncan 11:09
Now? I'm hoping just to fatten him up. Ah, okay. Yeah, no more records. No more record.
Connor Heine 11:16
But going back to the solo stuff, so yeah, tell us difference between, you know, riding with people verse routing with, like you said, it's more convenient for you.
Matt Duncan 11:24
I mean, that's I use you days. Well, you were talking, talking about, like, hit on the biggest thing is like, whenever there's a decision to make during the day, you don't have to figure out what everyone else wants to do. Like how they're feeling. You're kind of just like doing exactly what you want to do. Right. And there's no time or energy wasted on like, what's best for the group, which is really nice. But then there's also that aspect. And I realized this, like, almost immediately at the start of my trip where something awesome happens or like you see this beautiful overlook, and you like turn because you want to talk about it. And there's no one there to do that with so it's like, those moments feel a little less special. Right? But it's like you have to give something for not having to deal with other people, I guess.
Zach McHale 12:14
Yeah. And And what's cool with biking cuz you got me on into it a little bit this summer.
Matt Duncan 12:20
Yeah, kind of be. Can we talk about that? Have you heard about the first time Zach got on a bike? He biked? 112 miles? Whoa, no, just
Zach McHale 12:29
100? No, yeah, we Yeah, we beat 100 right to 100
Matt Duncan 12:35
it was 102
Zach McHale 12:36
Yeah, we went we wrote down to LBI. I couldn't believe it. 40 something? Yeah. With our other buddy, Eric. So he was uh, you know, I was able to keep up with Matt. And he was kind of going at a decent pace. You guys who are newer, but
Connor Heine 12:52
what kind of boat Did you have a road bike? Yeah,
Zach McHale 12:53
yeah, I used my dad's like he got he got a road bike.
Matt Duncan 12:57
Because you have to go somewhat quickly, to get 100 miles in
Zach McHale 13:02
daylight. Yeah. You can't just hop on a regular bike like that. Yeah, you'll be gassed. But so. So Eric also had one because his brother did like triathlons. And so Eric, he keeps asking me about the gears. He's like, dude, how do I how do I change the this? How do I change the gears or the be kept calling them breaks? And I was like, You mean the gears? Right? Yeah. And so eventually take these breaks off as we're going further and further down where, you know, hitting mile 10 mile 20 mile 30. Like Eric's really falling behind, to the point where and he's like, dude, like,
Matt Duncan 13:31
yeah, it's I was wondering what else was going on? Because he was dropping back. How many beers Did you have the night before? Right?
Zach McHale 13:38
Yeah. And so by the time we get to like, mile, whatever, 30 Matt, and I sort of just like, it sucked for him, too, because we're like, we're waiting for him at different mile interval stops and then he would get to us then be like, Alright, sweet. gas. So finally, we just like went over the bridge. We made it to the island. And then, you know, air comes over gets there we go to my backyard. We have a couple of beers. And then I was like, Matt, like, I'm feeling pretty good. Like, I'm down to go back with you. Because I knew he was planning on going back to med firm. Yep. And Eric was like,
Connor Heine 14:08
you went forth in one day? Yeah.
Matt Duncan 14:10
down and back. Whoa, the ocean.
Zach McHale 14:12
Yeah. And and so Eric was like, No way and he had a right.
Connor Heine 14:18
But so the way to mefford or assassin
Zach McHale 14:21
is that was down there. But so what happened was they ended up looking at the bike like the next week, both his back brakes were on they were locked the entire time he was riding his bike. This kid rubbing a dead back wheel. I mean, I hired God.
Matt Duncan 14:38
But like staying close enough to us that I was like, that can't be the problem. Like there's no way he's biking through break.
Zach McHale 14:44
Yeah. And so he said if he knew that was the issue with the entire time he would have bailed in five miles, right but because he thought it was just because he was
Matt Duncan 14:52
bad gears are
Zach McHale 14:55
powered through it the whole time.
Matt Duncan 14:57
He's like that and then the next day he's like, My legs are Fry.
Connor Heine 15:00
Like I came off the bike and look at it though. I don't know. Yeah,
Matt Duncan 15:06
that's on him hindsight. Yeah. But, but yeah, that was when you did that hundred miler, I was like, Alright, you're 100%, like ready to get into bikepacking. And you because you were loving it too.
Zach McHale 15:21
It's really fun because it's like, it's kind of a group thing. But also, when you're on the road, like, it can be a very quiet solo thing, like Matt would have speakers on him in his bike up there, but I could hardly keep up to listen to it. So you're very in your own head, and like, you're just kind of with your own thoughts. So it's very, like, relaxing, you're kind of just going at your own pace, or whoever wants to set the pace. Yeah, that'd be mindless. Probably. Yeah, it's pretty mindless. And you're just kind of, you know, looking around, you kind of unwind and a lot of different things that are going on.
Matt Duncan 15:52
And then you like pull, and we were talking about this, we like pulled up to each other and then had like, unbelievable conversations. Yeah, we I feel like we haven't had like those deep conversations. For probably like, a few years. Yeah. Cuz it's just like, You're, you're not really using any more energy than you have to for like, barriers, almost. So you're just kind of like, all walls are down. You're gonna talk about whatever you want. And then if it got too deep, I just pedal away from Zack.
Zach McHale 16:21
Talk about that. Yeah. So it's kind of like he can just like you just like thinkin and then he can kind of just go back and discuss and then eventually he'll kind of part away and I think on what each other said about it. And so but really cool. Yeah, it's really it's really interesting, man. It's definitely no different than hiking. But it's, it's a fun thing in its own fun, how much ground you cover and stuff like that.
Connor Heine 16:42
So, uh, what what are the challenges of solo? Um, it's a lot of like, obviously, there's the camaraderie come Robert. Mark can't say that word. Someone say, Come out. Yeah. Come comrades, comrades. Yeah,
Matt Duncan 16:58
I guess they go ahead. And then
Connor Heine 17:01
they're of the same Latin coming on. Ready?
Matt Duncan 17:04
Yeah, we could do the rest of the dead language.
Connor Heine 17:08
Yeah, we'll do that. resurrected.
Matt Duncan 17:10
The three comrades.
Connor Heine 17:12
Um, but what are the challenges of, of the solo? aspect?
The non, they're their challenges.
Matt Duncan 17:21
Yeah, they're certainly challenges. And I think that it's probably different for everyone. But one thing that like, and I guess it's not even a challenge, but something that I had to like, deal with and kind of accept almost is like just being in your own head for that long, right. And not being able to like bounce thoughts or ideas off other people where it's just like, you have an idea that pops in your head, and you kind of have to like, think about it and get through it on your own. Which is nice. But then also, really, it's like mentally exhausting, almost, for the for the deeper thoughts that pop into your
Zach McHale 17:59
head is it's the same thing with any thing, and you can kind of get stuck on stuck on something. And yes, like a man. And this way, you're not
Matt Duncan 18:05
as a solo biker, you're not there's no way you're getting away from it. Like you're on the road. And it's a lot like biking, when you're not on trail, and like wondering where your wheel is gonna go and you're just on a road. There's a lot like meditation, where it's like, the only thing you have to think about is continue, like, continue to move your legs and pedal. But most of the time, you're just like thinking about whatever. So that was definitely like one of the challenge. Not even a challenge. It was like one of the harder parts of being up or doing a solo trip. And then other than that, just like worrying that something's gonna happen to you, right? We're like your bikes gonna go by yourself totally destroyed. And yeah, no one's there with you. With like, maybe the extra tool that you needed, you didn't bring it. So having that in the back of your head. I think it also like changes the way you make decisions. But
Connor Heine 18:56
well, going off that what what is the craziest thing? It's solo or non solo? That's happened to you on a bike ride? I think I know what it is. What? Why don't you tell the story, but what happened when you rounded that corner? Wasn't in Montana? You were almost in line?
Matt Duncan 19:12
Yeah. I guess that. Was there anything. That was the craziest thing on the bike. You definitely heard the story about when we went across the border.
We weren't on we weren't on bikes then. Yeah.
Connor Heine 19:32
You know what I'm talking about? Yeah,
Zach McHale 19:33
I know. I know. You're talking about Yeah. So
what you guys are planning on going on a trip? Wait, which 1am? I No,
Unknown Speaker 19:40
no, no. Which 1am I telling you
Connor Heine 19:42
because you ever heard do the border one later.
Matt Duncan 19:44
Yeah. I don't think you've heard this. This
Connor Heine 19:48
bike for Yeah,
Matt Duncan 19:49
yeah. So this was this past summer in Montana. And I was biking with Connor O'Brien, who I've mentioned and then this other woman who joined Emily Hamill, who's just like a beast, and both of them are super strong riders. And we were like pushing the pace almost every day, like a lot of climbing with distance. And this was the last day of like, just like a week long trip that we did. And it was like the thing that we've all been looking forward to is a downhill like a thing was like 30 miles of this gradual downhill on a gravel road in the back country of Montana. Like we were coming out of the woods. Not a pretty place I've heard. No, no, it's terrible. I tried to not look at the surrounding. Key, my eyes down to my wheels. It's like,
Zach McHale 20:43
asphalt finally something familiar? Yeah.
Matt Duncan 20:46
Yeah, no, it was spectacular. And so we stop. And we're about to start this downhill. And we like talk talked about it, and we're just going to go our own pace. Because the downhill now and we're fully loaded bikes. So it's hard to like, kind of stay together. And
Connor Heine 21:06
I've actually asked, do you think you're going on these downhills?
Matt Duncan 21:09
Zach McHale 21:12
Yeah. Is that like, are you like, large? And then like, You're
Matt Duncan 21:15
not? Yeah, no, that's like, why we stopped and talked about it.
Connor Heine 21:18
Because that's the other thing I get scared, I would imagine going 35 miles an hour.
Matt Duncan 21:22
This is so this is something that we've talked about the people that I've biked with, I've never had a big bike crash. The biggest like the scariest thing that's happened to me is I've Mao's mountain biking one time, and I put my bike into a tree and somehow went like right in between two trees, and my handlebars hit the trees, but I just like went forward. Jesus
Zach McHale 21:42
Christ. So you launched
Matt Duncan 21:44
Yeah, launched through the trees. But that's like, the biggest thing What do you mean that sounds pretty I
Zach McHale 21:50
wasn't I wasn't like injured. I got launched through a field goal of threes.
Matt Duncan 21:54
Yeah, I wasn't injured at all, I guess at the end of it.
Connor Heine 21:57
That was lucky.
Matt Duncan 21:58
So there's a it's like known with especially these two that I bike with a lot how I've never had a fall. So I kind of like push it on downhills, because I've I haven't had that fear of where like the pain of falling, right? So I usually go out in front on the downhills and push the pace. And there's maybe 20 minutes into this downhill that we're all looking forward to and you get speed wobbles on a bike. Oh, yeah.
Connor Heine 22:25
100% back in my longboarding days. I was excellent. longboarder all over town.
Unknown Speaker 22:31
Good. I'll do
Connor Heine 22:32
this all the time. Go down hills and like you'll get the speed while I was gonna be nothing you can do but jump off and hope you don't like crack your head. And I was only I don't I was probably only go like 12 miles an hour. That's
Zach McHale 22:45
first time ever rode an electric scooter when those got real hot. Yeah, middle school. Kids who's 15 miles an hour speed wobbles a meeting? Oh, yeah. four houses down crash. It comes back. It's all nicked up. Yeah, yeah, I'll take
Matt Duncan 22:59
it back. But yeah, speed wobbles are certainly a thing. Yeah. But also 35 miles per hour is like, not it's not that fast. Because you're on a gravel bike, and you're fully weighed down. So it doesn't feel fast. It's like a little bit. It feels a little bit more intense because there's a lot of weight to control. Right. But like on a road bike, the fastest I've gone on a road bike is 64 miles per hour. Oh my god, which that was scary. Because I was like, if I fall right now that I'm going to come in a racer? Yeah. Like I'm I'm gonna be
Connor Heine 23:32
Where? Where you go? 60. How?
Matt Duncan 23:34
down a hill down a mountain. Yeah, in Massachusetts, a paved mountain. Wow. That's crazy. Yes.
Connor Heine 23:40
That was scary. So you're going 35 miles an hour. No one bead wobbles yet?
Matt Duncan 23:44
Nope. And just like enjoying
Zach McHale 23:47
just 20 minutes enjoying
Matt Duncan 23:48
the long time of not pedaling. And you're going it's like it's bliss. Yeah, this is every single climb that you've had before. This is all worth it now,
Connor Heine 23:57
right? and enjoying the beautiful vistas of rain. Yeah,
Matt Duncan 24:00
ripping it down, and I turn the corner.
And at this point, I'd say it. I'm in the front, Emily's in the middle, and then condors in the back. And we're all like probably 20 yards at like 20 yard intervals from each other. And I turn the corner and look up. And 90 yards from me. I see a grizzly bear, just like dead smack in the middle of the road, right around this blind corner.
Connor Heine 24:31
Just going 35 miles an hour straight out
Matt Duncan 24:33
with a loaded bike. So I slam both brakes, front and back. But since I am on a loaded bike on gravel, I slide probably like 10 feet still for sure. And finally stopped my bike.
Connor Heine 24:46
The bear hears me. How far are you from now? When you start? I
Matt Duncan 24:49
looked at the picture again. And then I have a picture of it. Yeah, there's a picture of the spot in the picture because I was like, this is how close I was.
Unknown Speaker 24:56
Connor Heine 24:59
Grab the camera. Got my
Matt Duncan 25:01
no because I have a picture of the spot because I wanted to Google map it and figure out how close I was. And I was right around 40 yards from the bear. Like it was
Connor Heine 25:13
90 yards and you don't stop for another 50. And now you're 40 yards.
Matt Duncan 25:17
Yeah, like it was a it was in the distance. Wow.
Connor Heine 25:19
Matt Duncan 25:20
because I also had to react like react and pull the brakes. But I so I stopped.
Connor Heine 25:24
Yeah, so your reaction times not good. Terrible. No, it's
Matt Duncan 25:27
totally in another world. Yeah. And the grizzly bears like, staring back at me and I'm looking at it. And it's like, it was in the back of our minds the entire time. We were in the back country of Montana. Right there are grizzly
Connor Heine 25:39
bears. Bear me sir.
Matt Duncan 25:41
We also we all had bear sky. No guns. No
Connor Heine 25:44
guns. bear spray
Matt Duncan 25:45
bear spray more effective than guns? Actually. Not very good. I've been told.
Connor Heine 25:49
I'm pretty good shot.
Matt Duncan 25:50
Yeah. Should have been with us. Yeah. Should have been in the front. Yeah. Oh, my handlebars.
Connor Heine 25:55
Yeah. With a rifle.
Zach McHale 25:57
With a rifle at the ready. terrifying. car that drives by
Connor Heine 26:00
who's this guy with you? This is our security. Yeah, he's my friend. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 26:05
But we don't mind the extra weight.
Connor Heine 26:08
Especially on these down countdown says you got to count on ounces. That's
Unknown Speaker 26:13
Connor Heine 26:18
40 yards from this bear and you come to a stop. You take out your phone. Take a picture. What's the next thing? Haha.
Matt Duncan 26:23
So I start backing up because I know Emily.
Zach McHale 26:26
Great instinct is ripping. Yeah.
Matt Duncan 26:29
Kimberly, my instincts kicked
Connor Heine 26:30
in this well, genius backup from the bear.
Matt Duncan 26:33
And so actually, at this point, I got off my bike because the next thing there was, man, these people don't run into you behind me. Right? You have to make sure that's what I was scared about. Right? Because not that they were gonna run into me that they were gonna go past you into the path of the bear, right? So I get off my bike and start walking back. I watched the bear run into the left side of the woods brush. And I'm walking back and telling Emily and I'm trying not to yell or like freak out. And I'm like motioning to Emily to slow down. And she's like getting closer. And she's like the Smiley's person that I've ever met in my life. And she has this huge smile on her face. And she told me later, she thinks she thought that I was making a joke. And joking about the bear. Oh, no, but I was like, Slow down. Slow down. There's a grizzly bear. And I was saying it in that tone. Right? Because I didn't want it. Yeah. Freak her out what?
Zach McHale 27:27
So she's slowing down at this point. Or you're just like miming a bear? Yeah. No.
Matt Duncan 27:33
I was just dancing in the middle of the road. No, she wouldn't.
Connor Heine 27:37
Rain dancer. So
Matt Duncan 27:39
finally, she slows down and like pulls up next to me. And I tell her and we do the same thing to Connor. He slows down. And we're all like, What now? What do we do next? Because the bear ran into the left side. And we have to go down the road around this blind corner where it came out the right side is now on the left. So we're thinking it's going to come back over the road. Right? So we're staying there and like, maybe five minutes goes by how big
Connor Heine 28:06
do you think is big? I mean, you're 40 yards from it.
Matt Duncan 28:09
It was like as big as any black bear that I've seen right out here in Massachusetts. So I was like, Oh, it's it's this is a fully grown.
Connor Heine 28:16
Grizzly. Yeah. decent size careers.
Matt Duncan 28:18
It's a decent size. It's definitely not a cup. Yeah. Well, it comes back out. And it's a it's definitely a cup. Oh, no. So yeah, we're all standing there with our bear spray and the cub comes back out, walks across the road, and we don't see the mom, but the bushes on the other side of the road. Once the cub goes in, everything's moving the bushes the trees. And it's like that is that's the mom over there and how many other cubs there are. And then we were thinking like, if we didn't wait this whole time, and we went down the road, we would have been directly in the middle of the mom. Yeah. And, like there's no doubt in our minds that we would have been attacked or mauled. Oh, my God,
Zach McHale 29:01
looking at the left side waiting to get picked off from there and the mom comes out from the right. Yeah,
Matt Duncan 29:04
the actual bear that we should have been worried about. No. So that was terrifying. Definitely the craziest thing that's ever happened to me on a bike.
Connor Heine 29:12
Yeah, that's that's nuts
Matt Duncan 29:14
in our adrenaline was so high. Like not five minutes later, a car was driving up the road. And it's like the first car we've seen in a few days. Now. We're doing the bear and we're like jacked up crate like adrenaline's pumping, and all of us in the car pulls over to us. Not because we're doing anything crazy and rolls down the window, and they ask us like where this one location is. We tell them and then we're like, also, there's a bear like a grizzly bear right up the road. These two people didn't give a shit. They're like two older people and they're like, okay, yeah, whatever. We were trying to go somewhere. Yeah, we got a party throw the window up and drive away. And they're
Zach McHale 29:49
probably gonna go for not car. Yeah, we're just
Connor Heine 29:52
saying they're freaking out. They're probably local people from Montana and they probably see one every single day. Understand.
Unknown Speaker 30:00
Matt Duncan 30:02
But yeah, that without a doubt, the craziest thing has happened to me on a bike.
Connor Heine 30:07
I mean, nothing's ever crazy happened. Nothing that crazy is ever happen to me off a bike. And you were. Yeah. Go is almost 40 right at a mama bear and her cubs. Yeah,
Matt Duncan 30:20
I've seen a grizzly bear.
Unknown Speaker 30:22
Matt Duncan 30:23
I had a grizzly bear walk through camp one time on a hiking trip. But
Unknown Speaker 30:26
Matt Duncan 30:28
Yeah, with the kids. That's
Zach McHale 30:31
really worried about yourself there.
Matt Duncan 30:33
No, yeah. And I woke up and saw the pawprint right next to my 10 huge ball fret with the claws and everything. And that I was leading with another woman and I told her,
Connor Heine 30:44
and I like pointed it out. And she had the same reaction. She just didn't care. She looked at me like you're such
Zach McHale 30:49
you're sick in the car with an older couple of history.
Matt Duncan 30:52
We're trying to get somewhere. Now. Yeah, she's like, we just won't we're not gonna tell the kids about this. Yeah, we agreed on that. But yeah, walk into our camp. Right as we were all sleeping.
Connor Heine 31:04
Yeah, that's a crazy story. I couldn't imagine. I mean, but he
Zach McHale 31:07
was telling me that, uh, you guys never did find that one camper?
Matt Duncan 31:12
No, let's Yeah, let's go to the next.
Connor Heine 31:14
Sarah Jane. Um,
I was gonna say
what do you what? What was the there's a really good, yeah, we're drinking. Or we'd like to say this. We're drinking heady topper from the alchemists in Vermont,
Zach McHale 31:30
that we're gonna have to bleep that out.
Connor Heine 31:33
That Matt picked up the answers that Matt picked up in on his solo biking trips. is a delicious. Thank you, Matt. Um, yeah. So what I was gonna say. So where was that in that? Like in the sequence of that trip? Was that early on in the trip? blast. It was Oh, damn. So
Matt Duncan 31:49
we were like it. You mentioned it the entire time. We were freaking out because we're in the back country, right? Like away from civilization. They're dead the entire time. And this is like the I'd say the first time all of us like lay
Connor Heine 32:00
down our guard. The easiest part of the trip the last part of the trip. That's what always happened.
Zach McHale 32:05
Or are you guys still just like it's downhill? Like you guys are just enjoying it. That's what your leg shot? Oh,
Matt Duncan 32:11
yeah. Yeah. No, because at this point, it's like, the last day we're right. We know we're gonna get some real food. We're gonna shower like we're pumped. Okay, like you're pretty. You're at the last day of these kind of trips, I'd say you're kind of over it. You're like, except you're not over it. But you're excited to write get clean, clean every, like, get everything off your bike, right? And be finished in a way. Oh, and in this particular situation, just because we know we're about to clean up and then do the same thing next week.
Connor Heine 32:42
So I was gonna say, I couldn't imagine. I mean, I guess you're in Montana. You're always thinking about, we're gonna see it, bear. We're gonna come to bear but I couldn't imagine if that happened. Like, early on on the trip. Like what your mindset would be like, I feel like I'm terrified. Like, I wouldn't want a bike on the side of the road right in the middle. You know, I mean, every band that be just like, Is there a bear around the band?
Matt Duncan 33:05
Yeah, I was trying to figure out how I was gonna tell my mom, because she was freaking out when we left for this trip. Right? She was so nervous that something like that was going to happen. It's a bear.
Zach McHale 33:16
As we're talking to just book it out of the woods.
Connor Heine 33:21
I've got the headphones outside even here. kind of
Matt Duncan 33:23
feels like merging back country here.
Connor Heine 33:25
Yeah, my feet are getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I guess I should have worn shoes.
Matt Duncan 33:29
But the jeans look good.
Connor Heine 33:31
Hey, thanks, man. I was told I had to wear him by Zack even though this is a podcast where we're not. Everyone's gonna see you not allowed to wear shorts in my own goddamn backyard. Um, pants.
Matt Duncan 33:44
Oh, but yeah, so I was trying to figure out how I was going to tell my mom. And then ultimately, I just decided she follows me on the Strava app. So she knows that I like to have survived each day. So I was like, I know she's following this religiously. So in my description, I just wrote all about the grizzly encounter and had her read it on her own. Like, didn't tell her at all just posted the ride with Oh my god. I had the picture of like, where it happened. And it could you could see how close I was. I just like let her unpack it by yourself.
Unknown Speaker 34:14
Somebody get help.
Connor Heine 34:17
I don't know if we're gonna make
that's, that's not good. Smart. I don't I
Zach McHale 34:24
don't get that right. Let us let a few people know.
Connor Heine 34:27
Yeah, what was her real? Did she call you like, she
Matt Duncan 34:29
texted me and she was like, went on airplane mode for the next three weeks. No response. Oh, no, she I think she texted me and just said like, bear question mark, question mark. So
Connor Heine 34:39
and you were like, yes, there are bears out here.
Matt Duncan 34:42
Yeah. And I saw one today. Very close up.
Connor Heine 34:45
Yeah, that's crazy. That's crazy story. I'm not near the I mean, I don't know. They're, they're two very crazy stories. Tell the other story where you guys were trying to get across the border into Canada. We Trying to start your trip there ended the trip there. I forget. You're trying to start in Canada.
Matt Duncan 35:03
We were. We had just biked in again, Montana, but this time north, like pretty Northeastern Montana.
Zach McHale 35:12
And that was your first time going out west biking?
Matt Duncan 35:14
Yeah, first time bike packing in general. And we like looking back on it. We had no idea what we were doing bikepacking wise, but it was still a blast, but we just like,
Zach McHale 35:27
and keep in mind this is the second trip Matt's going on with my sister. Yeah.
Connor Heine 35:31
Wait, he's with your sister. Yeah.
Matt Duncan 35:33
No, I'm trying to get to meet up with his sister, her boyfriend. And then her friend like one of her best friends. So we're like texting them. Like, yeah, we're gonna meet you guys at this place in Canada. And on this date. Then we leave for our bikepacking trip in Montana, and we get back. But before we left, we at this point, we still didn't know how we were going to get from Montana to Banff, Canada. Yeah.
Connor Heine 36:02
And little kids take notes on don't do
Matt Duncan 36:05
what I don't do what I'm about to exactly what
Connor Heine 36:08
this young man did. Yes. The perfect way to get around that way to get around and meet very interesting new people.
Matt Duncan 36:15
This is when we were pinching pennies. Which
Connor Heine 36:17
which website did you use to go about trying to find someone was
Matt Duncan 36:21
Uber super reliable website? Yeah, yeah. Everyone knows that Craigslist. Oh, yeah. Thank you, Greg. And we took a picture from
Connor Heine 36:32
nothing ever weird happens on Craigslist, right?
Matt Duncan 36:34
Dude, that's what the that's what everyone in Montana told us all the locals in whitefish Montana said, just post the weirdest things happen on
Connor Heine 36:44
Matt Duncan 36:48
Actually, the person who told us to post white, the person who told us to post on craigslist was the guy that we were staying with and hidden Airbnb in his name. His legal name was life everlasting, Noel.
Connor Heine 37:03
Great guy, you guys know,
Zach McHale 37:05
best advice I've ever gotten.
Matt Duncan 37:06
And he had the cheapest house in whitefish, Montana, on Airbnb. Great, dude. Really awesome, dude, great house. Not the best advice for how to get in. Maybe not the best confidant when it comes to trying to cross the border. And I'd say it probably started with our posts to our post on craigslist isn't great. You guys.
Connor Heine 37:24
I don't know the whole situation doesn't make it seem like you guys are like, I guess get into it. But it doesn't like it from the outside perspective. The way you're talking about getting across the border does make it seem like you are trying to do something illegal when you're not, you
Matt Duncan 37:36
know, it was like, yeah, it came down
Connor Heine 37:39
on your bikes, right. Are you allowed to cross it among bikes?
Matt Duncan 37:42
You can cross on your bike.
Zach McHale 37:44
You're fast enough, but we didn't have
Matt Duncan 37:46
that was then this is the first thing we learned. We have rented bikes in Montana, and we're gonna rent bikes in Canada. We didn't ship our bikes out there. There you go, which we also learned was not the way to do it.
Zach McHale 37:57
Yeah. So how far are you guys from Bampton?
Matt Duncan 38:00
Like 200 miles. I think
Connor Heine 38:02
whitefish is 200 miles from
Matt Duncan 38:05
that it might be totally like for just six
Zach McHale 38:07
Connor Heine 38:08
it's like a long trawler. Five hours. 10 are going these guys are idiots. Yeah, it's so much close to
Zach McHale 38:14
go. These guys aren't even on Craigslist.
Connor Heine 38:17
They've no idea what they're doing. They're talking about us on crime.
Zach McHale 38:20
So you guys post on craigslist? What's your post like?
Matt Duncan 38:22
And that's where I think it all starts because we find a picture of the two of us from our last trip together posted a picture with them in Peru. Yeah, cuz that's what this guy told us to do. He's like, you need to post a picture of yourselves to make sure you're reliable.
Make sure you're good.
That's what ultimately we'll learn. We post a picture of the two of us shirts off in Peru, just like super hungover and look terrible. So we're just like, oh, people are gonna know that we're cool, guys. Yeah.
Zach McHale 38:54
Throw it up in the bag. Yeah,
Matt Duncan 38:56
disheveled. And we post a picture in our caption was something along the lines of two dudes.
Three bags, because we had all of our gear with us
Zach McHale 39:06
today. The other two were talking about their sacks.
Matt Duncan 39:10
Three dude, two, not two dudes, three bags. Trying to get from whitefish to BAM
Unknown Speaker 39:18
Matt Duncan 39:19
then the next sentence we're pretty much
Connor Heine 39:22
forget Are you trying to throw some flair in there and
Matt Duncan 39:24
you're like pretty loopy when you're posting this I think just
Zach McHale 39:26
like just as like overs
Matt Duncan 39:28
and we're like looking for a ride sometimes we I remember typing this out specifically like sometimes you fart in the car and put up the window and refuse to get any other air and that's what did it but and then we were like dot dot dot but we'll pay you with for gas money and a snack. And now as our posts and we put it out
Zach McHale 39:52
this is all Do you have a picture of this like
Matt Duncan 39:54
Yeah, no, I definitely I definitely have right she does to that I want
Zach McHale 39:57
to I want to like put up like show notes and stuff. I'd love
Matt Duncan 40:01
the actual post I screenshot it after. And it's like exactly what I just said probably even worse. And it's with the picture too. So you'll see the picture I used. And I put it up. And we get back and we were leaving the next day after our bike trip. Now, did you
Connor Heine 40:18
write the poster? Did you guys read it in tandem? I just ripped it out when Connor did a peer review it.
Unknown Speaker 40:23
No, he wasn't it goes, What do you do?
Matt Duncan 40:25
He was like listening in as I was like, typing it out loud. And then I just posted it. And he was like, What? What are you saying over there? At this point? He also like knows listen to 10% of what I said. Right? Yeah. So I post it, and we get back five days later. And we're back in service in whitefish. And I was like, Oh,
Zach McHale 40:44
nice, dude. We got it. We got three responses. Wait, how? Um, how when were you supposed to leave when you got back when we supposed to leave to go to bed the next morning. So you guys, you guys, post on craigslist, go off the grid.
Matt Duncan 40:58
Leave. No service whatsoever.
Zach McHale 41:00
Come back and just assume
Matt Duncan 41:02
Yeah, we'll have arrived. Tomorrow. That's exactly how it works. Actually, yeah, no, that's we had a lot of faith. And then we get back and I open open up my phone and I have three responses. And I was like, Oh, dude, we're in we have three different people wanting to drive us to ban right open up the first respond
Connor Heine 41:22
one of them's got to be normal.
Matt Duncan 41:24
What? Yeah, you would think of the three
Connor Heine 41:26
are you guys not even thinking about this? I feel like you guys didn't even I didn't even come into the realm of possibility. Cross maybe on Craigslist posting a weird message like this. We're not gonna get like the best people to answer
Matt Duncan 41:38
did not even cross my mind. Yeah. So yeah. Insane. And open up the this is the first time I realized that our post probably wasn't great. Because I open up the first message and
Connor Heine 41:50
it's got to be second week
Zach McHale 41:51
to sit on. It's got
Connor Heine 41:52
the first first has to be skin sexual.
Matt Duncan 41:55
Yeah, I mean, I guess we looked off.
So the first the first response I get is a guy and he responds and he's like, happy to take you to the white fish. Don't you? You don't need to pay me in gas money. Just let me blow both of you.
And I was like, ah, the first. The first response didn't work
Zach McHale 42:15
out Connor ego does that mean we still have to get you a snack.
Connor Heine 42:19
snacks. counter. He didn't want to take us across the board just to the border.
Matt Duncan 42:23
Yeah, no. First Response, Knock Knock or a second one was some kind of like robot auto message. All right.
Zach McHale 42:31
Finally, getting attacked by pervs and robots.
Matt Duncan 42:34
Ron Johnson Mirage, our Savior, our Savior from whitefish, a normal response. Happy to take you guys to Banff. I make that trip all the time. I used to work up there. Like it's a beautiful ride. Here's my number. Let's talk details.
Zach McHale 42:51
I great. We can't say the guy's name. No, I don't know.
Matt Duncan 42:55
It's just such it's such a generic name. We can call him Ron Jeremy.
Zach McHale 43:01
I can't say his name. I don't know. I just look what happens. I don't know.
Matt Duncan 43:05
Oh, yeah. All right. I'll say it again.
So yeah, we get the I get to the third response, right. And it's this guy. And he just it's a super normal spot. normal response. And he's like, happy to take you guys over to bam, make this drive all the time. It's beautiful. I haven't done it in years. But I really enjoy that drive. Like, here's my number. Text me or call me and let's talk specifics. So I tell Connor I'm like, yo, we're in this guy. He is willing to take us. Let's go. Let's go into town and grab beers and I'll call him
Zach McHale 43:40
this gunner also know the other two responses.
Matt Duncan 43:43
This is your only shot at this one. He does know that. Yeah.
Connor Heine 43:47
It's got a wealth of people that choose from No, no, no. You could have taken the first option. I don't know. It sounds fine to me to the border.
Matt Duncan 43:56
Yeah, he could have just blown con.
Connor Heine 43:59
fingered border then I'll blow you and then I'll take your I said
Zach McHale 44:03
both of you.
Matt Duncan 44:06
One to the border one to bend
Zach McHale 44:10
and I wanted
Matt Duncan 44:13
Yeah, I'd want that snow forget about that snack.
But I also don't know how how in detail. I should go with this. There's a long story.
Connor Heine 44:24
It's it's a pretty good long story. So Alright, so just start it from when you get in the car with him.
Zach McHale 44:32
Well, he starts you start getting some weird vibes right before that right?
Matt Duncan 44:37
Yeah. So it starts all start from when we first meet him. We're then it's the next morning. And we figured out all the logistics if it went perfectly normal, just as you would talk with anyone else he met on Craigslist.
Connor Heine 44:50
Matt Duncan 44:52
Yeah. So we're waiting at this call came up. I don't know. No, actually no red flags. And we decided we're going to meet to discuss Coffee shop at seven in the morning to start the drive. So we get there, we're just hanging out. It's just, it's just the two of us at this point. And he's driving I think he said, like half an hour, 45 minutes, he had a drive from his place. And we're drinking coffee eating breakfast. Seven o'clock rolls around eight o'clock rolls around. And then finally I shoot him attacks. And I was like, hey, do you like pretty much like where are you need any help finding us? And shows up doesn't answer the text, but shows up an hour later at night. And he was supposed to grab me at seven. And he's supposed to grab us at seven.
Connor Heine 45:37
And he pulls up snack in that snack.
Matt Duncan 45:40
That's part of it. Is that part of it? No, that is part of it. Because we said, You snack in front of you guys listening will see my post and we specifically said we'll buy you snacks. So we weren't gonna go back on that just yet. And he pulls up in this beat down pickup truck. Like it is. It's trashed, but pulls up. It's a working car. And the first thing he says is I forgot my license, my ID my passport
Zach McHale 46:11
to go across.
Matt Duncan 46:13
We're already two hours behind schedule. Like we're already two hours late. Oh, no. So we're like, Alright, just go. But at the same time, he's our only option. So we're like, Alright, can you go grab it and come back and pick us up? He's like, yeah, yeah, sure. Come on. You guys come with. It's 45 minutes, and then 45 minutes back. And we're like, no, we're fine. Like, we'll just chill here, which we were going to do. So he leaves. Wait,
Zach McHale 46:38
why is he drive out there to tell you that?
Matt Duncan 46:40
That's that's also we're wondering. Like we definitely service closer.
Connor Heine 46:45
That At what point did he realize he forgot all this?
Matt Duncan 46:48
I guess as soon as he stepped out of the car, maybe he had a secret plan to
Unknown Speaker 46:51
bring you guys
Zach McHale 46:55
up to you guys. opens the door gets out of the car goes Oh, two hours later.
Connor Heine 47:02
not know how to do the pocket check phone wallet.
Matt Duncan 47:05
Now he's all over the place. So jump ahead. It. It's now 11. So it was like two hours round trip for him to drive back. Come over. It's 11 o'clock. We're jacked up on caffeine at this point. I'm getting. I'm a little pissed because I'm like it, Nancy. I don't want to Yeah, we could have been in Bath by now. Right? It feels like any comes back. Oh, we also at this point, because we saw the car that he was driving we flip a coin for who's gonna have to sit in the middle of the two?
Connor Heine 47:35
Oh, it's a bench seat in a truck.
Matt Duncan 47:36
That's it? Oh, pickup straight across the front. So it's gonna be him driving someone in the middle and someone in the past? Yeah, so we flip a coin I lose. This isn't the guy who wanted to get no and this is this is this is our most reliable Craigslist contact should have gone with the robot.
Unknown Speaker 47:57
Matt Duncan 47:58
I lose, I know I'm gonna be in the middle. He shows back up. We throw all of our bags in the back of his truck. And we hop in. And I'm sitting in the front. And I definitely Connor is much more patient than I am. And I'm like kind of getting towards the end of my patience with this guy already. And we sit down. We're about to pull out and he goes, Oh, wait, you guys mentioned something about snacks, right? He's like, do you guys mind buying me milk? What time is 11?
It's 11 o'clock.
And I have caffeine coursing through my veins. And he mentions milkshake. He like wants us to go inside and buy milkshake. And I was like, yo, you're four hours late. There's no way we're buying you snacks for the rest of this trip. Like I was just I was I was fed up. And I was like, there's not a chance. It's like really? He was like, surprised that I was saying this. That's like,
Connor Heine 48:53
I don't care about the money. I want the snack.
Matt Duncan 48:55
And I was like yeah, there's no there's no everybody, you know, cake and he's like, Alright, well, and then it gets out and buys himself a milkshake. Yeah, cuz he needs he needs it, I guess comes back in. And we're off. Finally 11 o'clock. We're driving by the border vamped. here we come. And it's like two hours to the border. And I think it's two hours on the opposite side into Canada.
Connor Heine 49:15
I'm sorry, I think I missed to draw the short stick for sitting in the middle. Every minute. That would be
Matt Duncan 49:20
Yeah, that'd be great. Great. Well, that wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yeah. This guy holds the conversation, the conversation the entire time. And he's telling us about his poker and gambling days and white fish and all this other stuff. And I can pretty much like close my eyes and have this guy talk the entire time I
Zach McHale 49:40
hold the conversation. You mean this guy's talking out loud.
Connor Heine 49:44
Unknown Speaker 49:45
and on. And Oh.
Connor Heine 49:48
No questions about the two random kids trying to get across the board and now
Zach McHale 49:51
he just got his milkshake to go.
Connor Heine 49:55
That'd be too.
Matt Duncan 49:56
So he's talking the entire time up there.
Connor Heine 49:58
We both check as any good gambling and it sounded like
he winning money. He must have been a normal gambler needed this money.
Matt Duncan 50:06
Well, he might have needed this money for a few things. But he's talking the entire time. And then we started approaching the border and we're maybe like 1015 minutes out. And this guy is talking has come to a standstill. He's not saying a word. And I'm like, I'm wondering a little bit What's going on? little weird vibes. Yeah, it's definitely a little bit and then we get closer and closer to the border. And now we can see the border and he is freaking out. He's asking us like how fast he should be driving? If we have our seatbelts on. He's like, should I put my seatbelt on? No, no. And he's like searching for a seatbelt driving like 15 miles per hour to the border. And he's just like, we can tell there's something wrong here. And we pull up to the border agent. And the first thing this guy says, rolls down his window, looks at the border agent. And he goes, I don't know, either of these guys. They found me on Craigslist and asked me to drive across the border.
Unknown Speaker 51:08
Matt Duncan 51:11
and the border agents just like what the like was, okay. He goes,
Zach McHale 51:16
you're from white Meadows or whatever.
Matt Duncan 51:19
And the border the border, he was just like, Alright, just give me all your passports. So we hand over our passports, and I didn't say anything to him at that point. But we're just like, what the hell yeah, what the hell are you doing? Then big surprise. The border agent comes back. And he's like, hey, yeah, just pull over here. Right? You guys, I cannot go. He's like, you've been chosen for a random inspection. very random. And we're like, yeah, the figures that we've been chosen. So we pull over to kind of like a little bit more of an intense spot to it's not just like, where they'll search your car, like on the outside. Okay. And definitely, like the most intense border.
Zach McHale 52:01
Like it's like, whatever.
Matt Duncan 52:03
No, it's like Emily coats like a place that you're pulling over to and you're getting out of your car. Okay. And we all hop out of our car. And they have this like silver table. And they're like, empty all your pockets. Take off your hat, like, empty on this table. Didn't you say? And at the same time? So at the same time? Wait, what?
Zach McHale 52:23
Didn't you see the guy goes every time?
Matt Duncan 52:25
Oh, yeah, that was the best part. He's like, he's like you to pull over here. You've been randomly inspected. And the guy who's driving this looks at us and he goes every time.
No, this is going down.
Unknown Speaker 52:43
Interaction the way you just did.
Matt Duncan 52:44
I don't know these guys said.
Unknown Speaker 52:48
Matt Duncan 52:50
Yeah, so we start we pull everything out of our pockets.
Connor Heine 52:53
What do you think is going through the border Patrol's head?
Matt Duncan 52:58
These two idiots I want to see Oh, we told him that that we had to show him the Craigslist post that comes later on but right
Connor Heine 53:03
that was pretty bad. But like when when the driver just immediately no questions asked. The first thing he says is just I don't know, these guys. I found him on. Like,
Zach McHale 53:13
maybe that's how he starts every conversation. He just went into go get a milkshake and goes by the way. I don't know those two guys.
Matt Duncan 53:20
All right, here's your fucking knife. Would you just relax, dude. But we're emptying our pockets. We throw everything out on the table. And then we watch the person who's who's been driving us. And he pulls out this vial. That's like, obviously some kind of medicine. It's a medical vial. And it's filled with pink liquid. And he pulls it out, throws it on the table. And the border agent like hones in on it immediately. Yeah, that's exactly what it is. And he's like, he looks at the driver. And he's like so and we're all standing there. Right? And he's like, So when's the last time that you've used? And you're the guys like, I know. he's a he's like a meat. He's like, No, I don't. He's like, I don't shoot heroin. This is for back pain. This is methadone for back pain that I have. And then at this point, I like look over Connor and I was just like, Dude, this is fucked. Like the wrong we're not. We're not leaving. Yeah. And the guy picks it up, picks up the vial and he's looking at it. And he's like, what did you say your name was again? And the driver answers and he's like, usually when you have method methadone, it's under your name. And that's the last we saw the driver. Yeah, the guy he obviously has like some I don't even know what it is some kind of pain medication on him. That's not his. And they pull him inside. never see him again. And they're just like, yeah, you to go sit over there on the curb. Right. We're gonna search the car.
Connor Heine 54:44
Right. And well, I guess at this point, you guys probably thinking like, thank you for saying you didn't know who we were.
Matt Duncan 54:51
Yeah, no, that's actually it was like, maybe he was leaving. Like, he knew he was gonna get stopped. He knew yet, but also like, why would you even try Yeah, you know you're gonna eyes the border. And I guess it's because of, he got to keep the money in the end that we paid him but he goes inside we don't see him again and they start ripping apart the car, right? And obviously they find like needles. At one point he like opens up a tin like this piece of tin foil and he's like, go grab the test kit like this is like actually
Zach McHale 55:22
wrapping it up like knives and
Matt Duncan 55:24
like opening like ripping the seats
Connor Heine 55:26
forward full fledged cops episode. Yeah,
Matt Duncan 55:28
and we're sitting there. And we're just like, what? We're never gonna get too bad. No,
Connor Heine 55:33
we're never leaving this spot ever.
Matt Duncan 55:36
No, it was bad. And they're like pulling out license plate. Turns out the car was stolen. Like everything that could have gone wrong is going wrong. Going. It would have been so
Connor Heine 55:48
great, just like the weird rocker but the fact that like, he's trying to bring drugs across the border. The car, he's driving you and he's got multiple license plates, just like we're
Zach McHale 55:59
hours late. And on top of that, yeah, well, he needs a milkshake like Dude, maybe
Connor Heine 56:03
don't forget a milkshake like me. I guess he didn't have any ill intentions towards you guys. Because why would he try to cross the border you would have done so before then. But like at that point, I'd be thinking like, What's going to happen to us? Yes, guys driving a stolen car. He's an addict.
Matt Duncan 56:17
Yeah. And and that's, that's really I think what it came down to is like, I didn't even mention this, but he demanded that we pay him the cash before before we got to the border, right? Because I was there was like a full back and forth that I forgot to mention where I was like, Can we pay you half now and then half when we get to our location? And he seemed at this point, like, like a reasonable guy. Yeah. Right. It was he was super normal, except for being four hours late. And he was like, No, like, just pay me. I don't want you guys to screw me like get to the border and peace, which I get that side of it. I totally got it.
Connor Heine 56:50
Like what do you what are you guys gonna jump and roll from the car like you're sitting down?
Matt Duncan 56:56
I like God has happened to like, make him feel a little half and half sounds
Unknown Speaker 56:59
fine. Yeah. But I'm
Matt Duncan 57:00
also sitting right next to him in this car. And I don't know this guy. And he's like, getting pretty demanding about me paying him for a job that he's doing. So I was like, Alright, here's the money. And you're just trying to close your eyes.
Connor Heine 57:11
Yeah. I don't care about your gambling days. Right. So that was the other thing. He was definitely just doing it for the money. Right? Which he ultimately got to keep. So as as Matt is the first time Matt told me the story. We're at, we're at a friend's house. And we're and we're all chilling, he's telling the story. And he's like, right at the part like where they get to the border. And like he pulls out the bio. And also, none of you believe me, yet was a ridiculous. It's a ridiculous story. So like, we're all just sitting there like, within, like, I believed you. But like it was just like, how much of this exaggerating, like, come on like, this just sounds crazy. At that moment, like, we're gonna say the guy's name. But he told us the name. And at that moment, Matt's phone is sitting like on the table where everyone else's phones is, and the phone lights up. And the name just comes across it.
Unknown Speaker 57:56
This guy's name,
Connor Heine 57:58
dude. And at that point, I was like, it's not staging the story. Is this like a performance act? Or like he was gonna have some call to like back them up? Right,
but couldn't have been
on the other side? Yeah, exactly. Economists like trying to help him out. But no, this guy calls him because I put it on speaker. Yeah. As he's telling the story. And I put it on speak. What's the chance? What are the chances? Yeah,
Matt Duncan 58:19
and he like, tries to tell me exactly what happened. Yeah, he tried to tell him like the whole backstory, because I also tell I think he was he was following up because I texted him right after. And I was like, thanks for stealing it. We paid him $200 to drive us, right. And I was like, thanks for robbing us of $200. something along the lines of like, oh, you're in jail or something?
Zach McHale 58:42
Exactly. Yeah. No,
Matt Duncan 58:43
I was pissed. Because we didn't have a lot of money for this trip. And we just wasted $200 and we're about to spend a lot more on travel up to BAM been right.
Connor Heine 58:54
Yeah, but he calls and like, we're all set. And we're like, What? What the hell? And then Matt starts like giving it to him. And he's like, what what do you what happened? Man, like, thanks a lot. Like you just totally screwed us and you just left and he and he was like, No, dude. Like, you screwed me like they were looking for you guys. I tried to
Matt Duncan 59:15
spin it is like knows the two of you that they're looking. Yeah, me. It will dig.
Zach McHale 59:20
Did you call him out on his intro line to the border patrol?
Matt Duncan 59:23
No, we didn't. I didn't comment on that. But I was like, What are you talking about? And then he went into how he was bragging about the money he was gonna make off of this drive at a poker game. And someone called the Border Patrol, and was like, This guy is taking these two guys cross cross the border, and they knew obviously he was gonna have drugs on him. Yeah. And that was the reason he gave which is like, maybe that did happen because he was bragging about the money. Yeah. And he was like, yeah, this person wants to drive you instead of me. It's just so tough.
Unknown Speaker 59:55
Guy is gonna suck you off.
Zach McHale 59:57
That's the guys playing magic.
Connor Heine 1:00:01
That's what we thought to when he was telling us. Yeah. So when you got after this man gets taken away and his car gets stripped and everything, you're free to go,
Matt Duncan 1:00:10
Well, we didn't know that you didn't know. They're still just sitting there. But they've totally forgotten about us, right? Because they're pulling out more and more illegal things from this guy, right? Well, not even his car. From this illegally stolen stolen car.
Zach McHale 1:00:24
Now we can just go that's not my car. Yeah,
Connor Heine 1:00:26
no, yeah, nothing in there is mine. Right? So when when they got to you, what did they say to you guys? Like what happened?
Matt Duncan 1:00:30
So they didn't even say anything to us. And then finally, I had to go to the bathroom. So I walked into, and I'm also still kind of, like, pissed that we lost $200. Yeah. So I walked inside, and I was like, Hey, is there any way I can go to the bathroom? Also? I know that, that. That That guy's like, probably not going to be the one driving us. But is there any way we can get the money back that we that we paid him to drive us, right? Because they have all this stuff. And he saw that too, like he and when he entered his pockets, the $200 came out, right? So then they asked us about it. I was like, Oh, that's what I paid him to drive us to bam, they know the whole story, right? And the border patrol agent looks at me and he was like, no, that guy's dealing with a lot more serious crimes than petty theft, right? Which is like what they were going to classify the $200 being like, wrongly, right? handed over to him. But he's like, that guy's dealing with a lot of problems. And he's like, also, there's no way that he's going across the border. There's no way that that car is getting across the border. So you do have to figure out another way to leave here. And we're just like, Alright, what do you have any suggestions? Right?
Connor Heine 1:01:46
What's your Craigslist post? Say this?
Matt Duncan 1:01:49
Lose the picture. And don't talk about farting.
Zach McHale 1:01:54
But keep the snacks.
Matt Duncan 1:01:57
I can't wait until you guys see this post because I'm not kidding that far. It's
Unknown Speaker 1:02:01
Unknown Speaker 1:02:03
No, you're not.
Matt Duncan 1:02:04
Yeah. But he said this guy's like go 100 yards that way. Stand right on the other side of that cone. And this is at the border. He's like stand on the other side of that cone and
Zach McHale 1:02:13
pull my gun out.
Matt Duncan 1:02:17
target practice and start looking like start thumbing for a rod pretty much as what he said. Either. He told you guys to hitchhike tolls to hitchhike. Wow. The closest town on either side. On the US side is 20 miles and on the Canada side, the Canadian sides. 40
Zach McHale 1:02:35
this guy told you guys to hitchhike after you just went online hitchhiking.
Connor Heine 1:02:40
In person. Yeah. It might be a little better. That's crazy. So did you guys make it bam.
Matt Duncan 1:02:46
We made it. We didn't make it to bamps that day, but we made it to the next town over huh. Which is ferny. Right? Which is awesome. It's a beautiful town. It's like this beautiful mountain town in Canada. That really nice guy who ended up getting like an hour into us hitchhiking stop poles car over. He was from the US had a son our age. They like hiked around all the time. He's like, it's it was it's a godsend when people pick us up on the tee and drive us places so I can drive you guys as far as ferny I can we spent the night in Fernie watched once upon a time in Hollywood. Great movie theater.
Connor Heine 1:03:27
In a movie theater.
Unknown Speaker 1:03:28
Matt Duncan 1:03:31
This is pretty crowded. Yeah, I mean, the guy or the guy picking this movie.
Unknown Speaker 1:03:36
In the car. Yeah.
Matt Duncan 1:03:38
But yeah, spent the night there and then ultimately got a ride in like this taxi service that we had to hire. But you didn't make it to bamps yet made it man. Zach sister
Connor Heine 1:03:48
was waiting there for you.
Unknown Speaker 1:03:50
Matt Duncan 1:03:52
The best story upon our entrance into bed. Yeah.
Connor Heine 1:03:55
How could you not? Yeah, yeah, that must have been
Zach McHale 1:03:58
very cool. Oh my god, man. Yeah, that story is crazy. That is wild. That's it all
Matt Duncan 1:04:03
the time. Yeah, that's one of my favorite memories.
Zach McHale 1:04:05
Yeah, I'm glad. I'm glad.
Connor Heine 1:04:07
Yes, I love that one. It's a good story. Um, I think I think we would be
dissin genuine if we didn't talk about how you got into the outdoors life because that wasn't your vision at first. Right? And not what you set out to do? Not at all. Yeah,
Zach McHale 1:04:25
yeah. So I wanted to go back cuz you used to just be like, gung ho on like, army stuff, right?
Connor Heine 1:04:31
Yeah, ROTC can stay younger.
Zach McHale 1:04:33
So maybe even before that, because you You're just like a really energetic kid. Right. Growing up,
Matt Duncan 1:04:38
right. Yeah. The thing is called I think the actual term is just add. Yeah, yeah. Such if that's what you're getting at? Yeah. I have a lot of energy. Yeah.
Zach McHale 1:04:48
Yeah. Like so where as a kid, did you like or when did you like, figure out how to channel that because essentially, it's just like you're always causing But what are you trying to make me out to be a yo yo is causing trouble in class and stuff like that? And like, just like because you just like CCD? Yeah.
Connor Heine 1:05:09
Yeah. And I think that's, I mean, I was definitely pretty sure I was your lawyer and CCD at one point and Yeah,
Matt Duncan 1:05:15
I did. I did hire you as my lawyer got you out of trouble for drinking water.
Connor Heine 1:05:20
Eating like a substitute teacher and CCD which like, What? How does it's once a week
Matt Duncan 1:05:25
you're, you're gonna not expect Matt to freak out. Yeah.
Connor Heine 1:05:29
And so Matt, Matt, like not holy water. Matt freaks out like we're going to visit like the office like we're in like, what fourth graders were going to visit the office and match crazy. In class no matter what now there's a sub nccd like, he
Matt Duncan 1:05:42
was like, at one point, I remember that. Yeah, he's
Connor Heine 1:05:45
going to have a heyday at this. And so like, we're in this guy was looking for anything to get mad on mats in like the Office of the CCD. And he like, doesn't ask anybody. He just gets a cup of water and pours it from like, the, the water.
Unknown Speaker 1:06:01
Water jug, right?
Connor Heine 1:06:03
And the guy like, breathed out on him. And like, I was like, I'm gonna represent him and like, made a whole case about it. Yeah, it was ridiculous.
Matt Duncan 1:06:12
But how we spent the entire hour?
Connor Heine 1:06:14
Yeah, that's how we spent the whole CCD we didn't learn about Jesus or anything. We just talked about looking at grabbing water. But that's how you were in every class. Yeah, like, pushing the limits,
Matt Duncan 1:06:24
pushing, I think my fitness favorite. And my mom, that was the other thing. My mom like, knew I was crazy. And she would reprimand me to a point. But also she was like, I know that you need to get your energy out and like, have fun, pretty much but the one time where I saw my mom's smile was or like, where she was like, almost happy that I was getting in trouble to two instances, one where our neighbor came home and told my mom that she saw me in school that day. And my mom has explained the story to me, and she's like, yeah, Mrs. Talbot walked into the office, and she said, You were lounging on the couch. Like you're just like it, this is a normal everyday thing for you that you're gonna get sent down to the office. And I can see you're like kind of smirking. But the best time was when I brought home detention slip from fourth grade, Miss amygdalas class and on the reason for like departure to the office. That was the title that they had to fill in. And the reason for the departure to be sent down to the office was Miss M and Dola had to regain control of the class. My mind like handed me, I handed that piece of paper to my mom. And she was like, I could tell she was a little proud.
Connor Heine 1:07:43
Guy. At one point he was in control. Yeah.
Zach McHale 1:07:49
Like 12 Yeah,
Matt Duncan 1:07:50
yeah. To take away too much energy. Right.
Connor Heine 1:07:53
So he had to put that energy somewhere. Right?
Matt Duncan 1:07:56
Yeah. And I also I think I just had, because of how I was as a kid. I also then had a I had a lot more patience for kids when I'd be working with them. Right? That's true. And that like started pretty early on like volunteering for different types of things for like NHS,
Connor Heine 1:08:15
right? Well, you would go
Matt Duncan 1:08:16
to vacation Bible school I went to that wasn't it? It wasn't associated with like our church at all, but it got me out of that. Everyone in our neighborhood did it
Zach McHale 1:08:26
right makes me think of one one more story when we're in middle school. And Matt is just stirring things up the the entire eighth grade or whatever, the whole eighth grade every day. He's killing at least 15 first 15 minutes of class it's done. Yeah, I'm in this other kid. Yeah, man, we go on a one of those trips like I don't like bastow like somewhere in random New Jersey. Stranger Yeah. And so it's not our teachers lead in that but like whoever works at this area? Oh no, there's this guy had new they don't know Matt though. They don't know it's dead. And it's like it's not school so you can't really get in trouble like and so we're on this hiking trail and this poor freaking guy man. This This dude is probably like if I think about it maybe late 20s Yeah, he's
Matt Duncan 1:09:12
probably right around like right around our age a little older. And
Zach McHale 1:09:15
Matt back that whole trip with our class just a living hell I mean, they're running all off in the woods they're coming back
Matt Duncan 1:09:22
well this other kids Luke is like he matches my energy levels. And he just like it
definitely goes in
Zach McHale 1:09:33
this like this guy from the get go had no control over anything. He didn't know they were just running the show. And just like anything went so fast forward a couple months. And English class Oh, and our teachers not there. And we have a substitute teacher. And who walks in the door then this guy was the Ranger there. He looks In the back and the glass, man, Luke, this guy is like, he just knows it's over.
Matt Duncan 1:10:06
He goes like ghost What? Yeah.
Zach McHale 1:10:10
It was a done deal. And so what
Connor Heine 1:10:13
what was the time lapse in between?
Zach McHale 1:10:16
I think it was just a couple of months because it was within that same like, yeah, it was within a couple of months. I
Connor Heine 1:10:21
totally forgot. I just got Oh, he just got over the field trip. He was just
Zach McHale 1:10:25
a couple months later, though.
Somebody shows us this newspaper clipping. Turns out the guy was like a sex offender.
Matt Duncan 1:10:36
Oh, yeah. No, that's exactly
Zach McHale 1:10:39
yeah. Like creepin on them or something. Dude, and it was like,
Matt Duncan 1:10:44
on him like mugshot and everything.
Zach McHale 1:10:47
Yeah, like in the paper
Connor Heine 1:10:49
good for you that
Unknown Speaker 1:10:52
he knew that there's
Zach McHale 1:10:53
he could easily spend some weird
Matt Duncan 1:10:59
part was, this is the guy that drove me to the border.
Unknown Speaker 1:11:05
didn't think anything of it because
Zach McHale 1:11:06
I know this guy. Great guy. Great
Connor Heine 1:11:08
guy. super reliable. Great guy knows the wilderness super
well. Yeah, he's taking kids back there. Yeah, he's creeping or something like, Yeah, no, that's like,
Matt Duncan 1:11:17
I I think it started back to like, how I got into ultimately what I'm doing now. Because I was like, how I would harness all my energy that I had was like, doing every single sport that I could try, like, all these crazy things, especially my neighborhood. I was in a neighborhood with really athletic, Kind of Adventurous kids all around my age. So we do like triathlons in our neighborhood. Like anything that could just like, get our energy out somehow. Right? And then I got into I remember in like, eighth grade, I read lone survivor, that book. And I was like, that's it. I want to be a navy seal. Like I want to be Marcus Luttrell. I want to do all this got really into the military
Connor Heine 1:11:59
ROTC Penn State,
Matt Duncan 1:12:01
yep, ultimately applied for ROTC at college got in, started doing that. And then it was mice. My sophomore year, I went abroad at state at Penn State, which is like unheard of to do while you're in an ROTC program.
Unknown Speaker 1:12:17
Connor Heine 1:12:18
was a junior spring is that when everyone? Okay, so junior year, so I've already the ROTC kids don't go abroad?
Yeah, no, like that's gone through their training. Right?
Matt Duncan 1:12:25
Yeah. And you have classes and all these like in person trainings every Thursday, but I like read the fine print kind of and I was like, Oh, this is the thing I can do. Right. Also, like all my friends are going abroad, take advantage outside of ROTC and I was like, fuck that if I'm not gonna go right and have a blast there.
Connor Heine 1:12:41
And you were on a full ride from Penn State at that point to right
Matt Duncan 1:12:44
through ROTC. Yeah, fantastic. So I ultimately I applied to go abroad and instead of like going with everyone from Penn State just like being picked up and moved to Did you get to pick when I did a completely random program
Connor Heine 1:13:00
I don't know anything about going abroad Do you get to pick like their satellite schools you can just go but you don't have to like you don't have to apply for a certain satellite school if you get the art if you get the abroad status you get to pick anywhere
Zach McHale 1:13:13
you can and you can do one of the like approved ones through that school or if the school has it you can the and I think it's the best way to do it is just taking online classes through your school while you're in another country. Yeah, and that's that's really how you do it because it's cheaper now, but I knew I didn't even know you did it. And by the time I'm sitting there I'm like, Oh my God, that's genius. Right? thousands of
Connor Heine 1:13:37
dollars less for less time
Zach McHale 1:13:39
it's less time so you can really just because like enjoy a knockout it's like the bullshit classes or a Gen Ed or so but it's like you just take it through your school you don't have to worry about fixing the transfers and stuff because it's already in there you just do it online and then you just right where
Connor Heine 1:13:57
it was if it wasn't online you would have to in person do something
Zach McHale 1:14:01
more cities because you have to go to this particular schools right right that's cool.
Connor Heine 1:14:05
Yeah. So you got a pretty awesome place that you picked
Matt Duncan 1:14:09
yeah so I didn't want to go to like they're like programs that like all Penn State kids go to or like all business because if
Unknown Speaker 1:14:16
we go shots here
Connor Heine 1:14:18
but you ladies and gentlemen was also went abroad
Zach McHale 1:14:22
Yeah, with Penn State I did go with everyone we thought we are going to everyone goes to Barcelona is the hot spot that's the college house but everybody goes there.
Connor Heine 1:14:33
And so then you got dancing you got you got all
Zach McHale 1:14:36
the clubs are really fun.
Matt Duncan 1:14:39
It has everything a college kid wants. Yeah,
Zach McHale 1:14:41
but then me my buddy were like, oh, like my buddy's like, hey, let's go to Florence city. Like that sounds like good time. Yeah, like oh, yeah, like that'd be interesting. Like I don't really matter. Like, we went Barcelona scene and then lo and behold, everyone starts coming up to us like, oh, we're going to Florence too we're going to Florence too.. Yeah, dude it must have been at least half Maybe three quarters of the entire program was Penn State people that we knew.
Matt Duncan 1:15:04
We already knew tried you at least you tried.
Zach McHale 1:15:07
Honestly, we didn't. We? Yeah, I went to Sam came up and said one place and I was like, sounds great. Yeah.
Connor Heine 1:15:13
Then we went anywhere other than United States. Sounds
Zach McHale 1:15:16
good. Yeah, exactly. So, so yeah, it's those. I feel like the least.
Connor Heine 1:15:22
From our time, I'm gonna go on over the house. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say, Matt, choose the better.
Matt Duncan 1:15:27
Yeah, maybe I didn't have as many friends as Zach had that. Yeah.
Connor Heine 1:15:31
That's not as popular. But where did you go Matt?
Matt Duncan 1:15:34
So I went to I did like a completely different program. And I went to Austria, Vienna, Austria, in particular. Beautiful, because I was a psych major. This is like, where you
Connor Heine 1:15:44
look at pictures when you look at
Matt Duncan 1:15:47
Wait, what? Yeah, this is where Freud did all this coke and smoke cigars. And I was like, I'm in I want to go there.
Connor Heine 1:15:53
You did a bunch of different subjects. Yeah. When you look at pictures of Vienna, it doesn't look like a real place. Dude. It's it looks clean. It looks like it's out of like Lord of the Rings or like Narnia or something. It looks like
Matt Duncan 1:16:06
it's a mosaic. It's my favorite place. And I haven't been back since.
Connor Heine 1:16:09
Yeah, gotta go back there.
Matt Duncan 1:16:11
Yeah, so I went there. I didn't know a single person. Perfect. It was a program. Dude. Well, yeah,
Zach McHale 1:16:18
like totally worth it. Yes, that's exactly what it's all about.
Matt Duncan 1:16:22
Zach's gonna be silent for most.
Just like stewing over there. Yeah. But Florence's sweet. Yeah, it's cool. I've never been to visit Florence. It is cool. But
Zach McHale 1:16:33
it's a place you get in a weekend. You're like, Oh, yeah. Are art, statues, churches.
Connor Heine 1:16:38
Yeah, Italy, the place where you when you go there, you're supposed to travel all over Italy. Not just like, stay in one spot. Ah,
Zach McHale 1:16:45
yeah. But it's also then it's just like, Alright, you go out you go to rural Italy. It's like you can you can go see like some castles and stuff. Because what's cool about Europe is it's all old as hell. So a lot of history. We can go out and you go to like the vineyards and or you can go to Venice, you know, in that city, right float and stuff. And that's cool. But it's just like, that floats. No, like it is it is cool. But it's just like, when you go to Florence, you can understand it in a weekend. You don't need to be there for three months. Unless you're like really big into art or like culture and stuff. Like
Connor Heine 1:17:16
that's a place in which you're not you just ended up getting drunk.
Zach McHale 1:17:21
But I can only see so many churches.
Matt Duncan 1:17:23
Yeah, yeah they all have arches.
Connor Heine 1:17:27
the beauty of Vienna, and just the whole area. Did that have anything to do with you getting into the wilderness side of things to that?
Matt Duncan 1:17:36
the Alps in Vienna? Probably right? It had to, but I think more so the mindset of like going like throwing yourself into a place you've never been. They've never been with people that you don't know, right? Just like the unknown of that doesn't have to be in the wilderness. But just like the unknown of travel right is probably what sparked it, right? Because it's like constant. It's like constant. I wouldn't say adrenaline, but like, you're adapting trying to take Yeah, you're trying to take everything in right so quickly, because everything is new, and you don't have anyone else there that's even familiar at all to you. Right? That that feeling of like, trying to experience and soak in as much new stimuli as possible is probably what ultimately pushed me into my old like, what I did
Zach McHale 1:18:24
is I do, because there are two things that like, because you, you really when you were at school, you you try going all in doing the opposite greenbrae or what was the Oh, that group that was five days a week.
Matt Duncan 1:18:38
Oh, yeah. It was like Ranger training. Yeah.
Zach McHale 1:18:41
And you did that for what? A couple of weeks or something? Yeah, maybe I made it. Yeah. A week. And I remember it. Yeah.
Connor Heine 1:18:46
One point you were pretty set on like going in. You wanted to be in a combat zone, right?
Matt Duncan 1:18:51
Yeah. No, I was I was totally full blown on all that. Yeah. Right. Like freshmen sophomore year. And you would say Vienna was like the turning point. Oh, yeah, I texted my mom, like midway through being abroad. And I was like, I don't know if I have at this point. I've already signed my contract with the army, right? They're paying for all my college and I was like, texting my mom, my dad and I was like, one I don't even know if I want to come back to the US and to and, like, I guess the larger thing is like, I don't even know if I want to do the army anymore, right? Like this is I've enjoyed every single moment of being abroad and traveling around and experiencing like, all these different aspects of life. 10 times more than I've explained. I've enjoyed anything within ROTC. So ultimately, it came down to me like talking with my dad mostly about like not quitting. Right. And you started and right.
Connor Heine 1:19:46
How old Archer is and this is another thing I feel like is such a huge deal with like the system of going to high school going to college like
Matt Duncan 1:19:55
I had no idea what I was doing.
Connor Heine 1:19:56
14 you're a junior in college. How old are your junior college Yeah just turned 21. So yeah, that,
Matt Duncan 1:20:02
but I also made this decision to do ROTC when I was 18. Right, right guys in high school. Yeah,
Zach McHale 1:20:07
yeah. Which is crazy. Yeah. And so your kid and then by the time you hit that, like, junior year, that's really I feel like when a lot of people will have like somewhat of a portal, if you're not having a quarter life crisis, you're at least like evaluating you're finally,
Connor Heine 1:20:20
in closing, you're done. Right? Don't they say? Like, the male brain doesn't fully like 20 develop until they're only five?
Matt Duncan 1:20:27
This is the smartest we're gonna be. Yeah.
Connor Heine 1:20:29
So like, like, Alright, so like, you take into account like, perhaps your brain isn't fully developed. It's definitely not fully my brains not fully developed. Because all the drinking and know things. This is exempted. You're done. This is smartest, you're gonna be Yeah, I'm probably stupider than I ever was at this point. But you have to decide at 18 like your career. That's right. kind of crazy. And then you decided I wanted to go have this experience, which is something I've never done before. And it totally changed
Matt Duncan 1:20:58
completely changed the way I saw snakes. Yeah, so cool.
Zach McHale 1:21:02
So you come back to school after that.
Matt Duncan 1:21:04
But I also and I think this is a combination of how I ultimately ended up in the job that I've been working for since college, I, while I was there abroad, I applied to be a student teacher at an elementary school, and I Indiana, in Vienna teaching. So like, after my classes, I would go hop on the train and teach kids English, like right outside the city limits. And I got to work with the kids the entire time. There was like the second semester that I was there. So that also I think added to like my enjoy, like the enjoyment I have from watching kids like, be in a classroom and be themselves and right, allowing them to also learn in this world that I felt like I was learning the same way they were right. Okay, that's awesome. Yeah, that was I think that was an important part in my abroad experience, right?
Zach McHale 1:22:00
Yeah. So what did you do that summer, then for work after that after that spring abroad?
Matt Duncan 1:22:06
Yeah. So while I was abroad, I was like, applying for internships that I thought you had to do. Like, I remember I had an interview for BlackRock, which is like, this huge finance financial company. Yeah. And I was gonna be in New York, and I like, had to put on a button down and a tie for the interview. And I'm sitting there in my apartment in Vienna, talking about shit that I had no idea what it meant. And I like finished that interview. And then maybe 10 minutes later, I had an interview for this company that I worked for now for the past four years, to be a trip leader. And it was pretty much like it came down to taking about 12 kids with a co leader on a trip on a hiking trip. How'd you hear about this company? My cousin worked for them. Okay. And she just like, I remember she shot me a text after her summer and she was like, this was the most unbelievable experience I've ever had. Think you might be interested check him out.
Zach McHale 1:23:04
Which he sent me that like a year and a half shot the dog. Can we say overly?
Unknown Speaker 1:23:07
Yeah, totally. Okay.
Zach McHale 1:23:08
That's a company. Yeah. So I think people listening would want to hear what what the company isn't? Yeah.
Connor Heine 1:23:12
See, like, Great water bottles. I've got a great water bottle.
Matt Duncan 1:23:15
Yeah, I got you one of their hydroflask. Yeah, yeah. So the company is overland. It's a smaller company. It's pretty much like Knowles are Outward Bound, but smaller, more, like, tailor to this small group experience
Zach McHale 1:23:29
up in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Yeah, exact right by Williams College. beautiful town, right? No, yeah, both
Matt Duncan 1:23:35
of you have been there. Yeah,
Connor Heine 1:23:35
we were on horseback riding.
Zach McHale 1:23:39
Yeah. Can we take a brief aside?
Matt Duncan 1:23:41
I think you have to mention real quick.
Connor Heine 1:23:44
It's a little different than our because our bound is more like for troubled kids. Right. Um, I feel like I feel like
Matt Duncan 1:23:51
this one is more. It's like, more, the counselors are more involved. So we're like, in Overland in Overland? Oh, yeah. Overland is more involved with the counselor. So we're like, helping them out with all their meals and like showing them how to pack their bags for certain ages. But yeah, it's definitely a little bit. I'd say like it's comfier than Outward Bound, and all those.
Zach McHale 1:24:15
So you go in you do your interview for overland? How do you feel about the interview? And when you come out?
Matt Duncan 1:24:22
I felt good about it. I get I think looking back on it now and like, I've also interviewed a lot of different leaders working there full time, my interview must have sucked. Like I had no idea what the company was or like what I was getting into. I was wearing my button up right from this BlackRock interview still, like Luckily, it took off my tie.
Connor Heine 1:24:43
But I was gonna ask, like, were you as excited for this interview? as like, relative to how much happiness it brought you when you actually got the job? You know what I mean? Like, yeah, did you understand that how great of an experience it was going to be when You were taking the interview, or was
Zach McHale 1:25:01
it still just another place like throwing a dart at
Connor Heine 1:25:04
right? You're not gonna just find a job. I'm just gonna go do this for like, you know, a summer and it will look on my resume.
Matt Duncan 1:25:11
thing. 100% it was a Dart, right? I like finished this BlackRock interview, and I was like, Fuck that, like, I don't want to be doing this. York. Also, there's no way I got the job because I know what they're talking about. I'm not a business major, right? I remembered my cousin texted me about this company. And I was like, well, I might as well give it a shot. I know. And this is earlier, so I like had the interview set up. But the second I started talking with the person interviewing me, Collin Cummings, who I'm still, like, close with today, have gotten a few trips with him. Like the questions he was asking, and the way he was like, engaged in my answers, and then asking questions, based upon my answers. I was like, Oh, my God, this is just a real conversation. Finally, this isn't just someone sitting in an office ripping through interview questions. And it was during the interview where I fell, I think, probably for the first time like, fell in love with Oh,
Zach McHale 1:26:06
holy shit, I actually want this job.
Matt Duncan 1:26:08
Now I'm getting nervous in my wearing this button up shirt. And yeah, I just remember that. So clearly,
Connor Heine 1:26:14
in the interview, you're like, Damn, this sounds like a very, very cool job. So you
Matt Duncan 1:26:18
asked a cool job, but also like someone who actually cares, honestly. Right.
Zach McHale 1:26:23
So you personally talking to three more hours of research?
Matt Duncan 1:26:27
Wait, just one second? Yeah, I'm totally unprepared for this. Let me put on a different shirt. And can we reschedule for tomorrow? Because he came in
Zach McHale 1:26:36
with no shirt on and a
jacket. Talking about
Connor Heine 1:26:40
finance. So what was it? It was Colin, who was interviewing? Oh, yeah. So what was what was it about his like, temperament or his
Matt Duncan 1:26:48
dude, just like energy? He was he wasn't trying to get out of the interview, which at that point, I've ripped, there's so many different interviews with like, these big companies that I could tell they're, they've This is probably like their 50th to a hundredth college kid, they're talking to that day, right? They have that three bullet points, they're gonna ask you, and they're gonna shut down the screen and go to the next one, right. And I hopped on the, it was a Skype call with Collin because I was abroad. And usually they like almost every time they do in person interviews before they hire anyone. But I just remember he like came on. And we didn't start talking about like, specific job interview questions maybe until like, 15 minutes in nice. It was just like getting to know each other, right? And just like the whole setting, like what he was wearing, like pretty casual clothes. He was in this awesome, like, exposed brick office building that he was working in. And just like, felt like I was talking to one of you guys. And that's when I started to realize like, these are the type of people that I want to be working with, right? And surround myself with so
Connor Heine 1:27:54
that it's just interesting that it was the person rather than like, I mean, obviously the job price, right, pretty because
Matt Duncan 1:27:59
I had no idea what the job wasn't even. But then once I started leading it was everyone that I met, every single kid that I lead, like was also at the same time teaching me way more about myself than I could ever have learned.
Zach McHale 1:28:15
Right. So. So interview finishes up with Collin. And then what do you have another one? Or is it just like you get the offer? I had
Matt Duncan 1:28:24
a few different interviews and I was still doing the ROTC thing. So then, my final I got offered a job. This is all while you're abroad, all while I'm abroad. And finally I got offered a job to lead. I forget. It was a some hiking trip I got offered to lead. But since I was still doing ROTC, I had to do this like training camp during the summer. And this again comes back to me not knowing anything about the job. But pretty much you like lead all summer, you're 24 seven on with these kids, because you're hiking somewhere. There's that there's like no downtime. And I remember Jonathan who's who was a director at overland, who's the one who gave me my final offer. I was like, Oh, yeah, that sounds great. Like I'm in, I'd love to work for you guys. The only thing is I have this army training right in the middle of the summer. It's three weeks long. Like, that won't be a problem, right? And here's like, pretty much I think what he wanted to say was like, What the fuck are you talking about? That's right. That matters. That matters. Yeah, that's like the one thing that matters. You have to be available all summer and pretty much fell through from there. There's like you can't lead if you have to leave for three weeks, right? So I was like, Alright, whatever I have to do this did the training. Then the next year I got I applied again. Now I knew a little bit more about the company knew I couldn't take three years. I knew I couldn't take three weeks off in the middle of leading right and lead my first trip. In Maine with high schoolers. So it's you and one other person. Yeah, there's one other co leader. And the main trip in particular, we led three different groups of 10 kids how they were eighth, or seventh and eighth grade. What do you say three different groups? What do you mean by that? Like three different trips? Yeah, three different trips. Same itinerary. How long? They were two weeks long, two weeks on how many miles were you guys? This was a this was like one of the more tame hiking trips. Okay. So yeah, it was seventh and eighth graders two weeks long, in Maine, and you had like two days in between. So the entire summer is like, six weeks or seven weeks of actual leading. And then there's like a leader opening and a leader closing. But that was the first trip I led. And then my schedule is always like, a little weird. With the army and now leading, and I came back and led for three weeks in the high Sierras of California with the oldest kids. So how old are they? Oh, 11th and 12th graders? Okay. Yeah. Which is awesome. Yeah, I've like, was able to connect with them a little bit more have like real conversations.
Connor Heine 1:31:18
What's the so I mean, obviously, you've never really done anything like this before. Never. So what was the training? Like?
Matt Duncan 1:31:25
The training was intense. Yeah, but which is awesome. I it reminded me a lot of like military training, just like the way it was structured and kind of like how much that like the importance they put on understanding the training now. So when you got out into the field with the kids, you're gonna be ready for it. Right? Which I, I loved, like how I went through college. But the training was intense. And then the summer is intense. It's like a job that you have to be on. 24. Seven, right. And kids are waking up and rolling over. Yeah, throwing up all over themselves at like two in the morning. They're coming to you damn right. Just getting wasted. Yeah, they're coming to you to figure it out.
Zach McHale 1:32:05
I'm drunk. What do I do? I'm 12. So listen here.
Connor Heine 1:32:10
So at one point, because obviously, there was a point where you kind of strayed further away from the army, and the ROTC more into
Matt Duncan 1:32:19
the National Guard.
Connor Heine 1:32:20
Yeah. Right. But like even more, so it seems like you're more involved in wilderness down than you are with the military.
Matt Duncan 1:32:28
Yeah, right. Yeah, I'd say that like making the decision to not do active duty and do the National Guard instead and have a civilian job full time, right, which is over was overland since I graduated. That was like a big decision in my life was, I could graduate and do four years of active duty and then be done. There would be finished with it, or I could graduate and do the National Guard reserves for eight years, and have a civilian job. Right. Okay.
Connor Heine 1:32:58
So what do you think led you because, like we said earlier, you were pretty gung ho about active duty? Yeah. What was there a moment was it like we've been talking about just the build up all the gradual.
Matt Duncan 1:33:09
Yeah, to be gradual. Yeah.
Zach McHale 1:33:10
Right. wasn't one day we're like, Alright, like, like,
Matt Duncan 1:33:14
Fuck Uncle Sam, these kids need need me more. And it was definitely gradual. Yeah, it was like multiple things are happening. And then I was like, able to reflect upon it and be like, I'm just, I'm a happier person. And I feel better about what I'm doing in with overland and helping out these kids, or leading these kids. But also them helping, like me understand myself not having
Connor Heine 1:33:41
Matt Duncan 1:33:42
Yeah. So it was definitely over time, like chipping away at me. And then it was just me accepting it. And did you see a lot of,
Zach McHale 1:33:50
you know, other
other peers in your program, like as you're going through ROTC kind of wean out a little bit, like take a step back from the army a little bit, huh? Or where most of those guys like I'm doing army like, and I think there's half and half.
Matt Duncan 1:34:06
Okay. There were some that were not going to be convinced otherwise that they were going to go active duty. Mm hmm. But then it was also an the other half of them that realized they could get a civilian job, get paid. Probably a lot more money, honestly. And do the National Guard reserves. And right around that junior year of college, it's like when you're hitting all those internships and right. I think that's when the decision was made for a lot of people. Okay, and I was just pulled in. Just like someone be pulled in the direction of BlackRock. I was pulled in the direction of overland right. And then made that decision.
Unknown Speaker 1:34:40
Connor Heine 1:34:42
Matt Duncan 1:34:44
Pretty happy with it. I'd say
Zach McHale 1:34:48
sounds like it. Yeah. I mean, this is we went to visit you out there. And that place is it's a beautiful spot out there. I knew winters are harsh.
Matt Duncan 1:34:56
Yeah, winters are tough. We travel a lot, but when you visited,
Connor Heine 1:35:01
Williamstown is on the border of Massachusetts and Vermont. So it's like five minutes from right. So when you're going to places around there you are going in and out of Vermont and Massachusetts, beautiful area, Western, Western and the birch of Massachusetts mountain range there.
Zach McHale 1:35:16
How would you describe like the people that you work with?
Um, they're a general kind of, like, I know, they're all, you know, they're all different. They're all you know, individuals. But I mean, like, Is there a more of a general vibe that you get with those people? Because like, it's an out doors here crew is what
Matt Duncan 1:35:32
Yeah, certainly there's like a, with the leaders, I feel like there's a little bit more of not a, I don't want to say cookie cutter. But like, we are all we all have like the same. We're very like minded, I think we like hold a few certain values higher than most people woods. And a lot of it like revolves around obviously, like, the public lands and just like the earth as a whole, and caring for it. Kids and how they're going to mature throughout life and like, how the adolescent years are pretty important, right, and how they ultimately view different things or become attached to certain things. And then also, just like, and this is one thing that just like blew me away with the different people that I met at overland was like, just caring for every single person. Like I remember, my first leader training, I was terrified of this group of people that were all pretty type A like extroverted, which I am. But now I'm surrounded by 200 of that same person, who are probably in the end more extroverted than I am. And I just remember being like, totally out of my element, not really knowing if this was right for me, right when I got there. And someone came up to me who was like this leader that had had she she knew everyone. She has been leading for the past few years. And the alpha, she was certainly an alpha. And I was the new guy first year. And she came up to me probably because I look terrified. And I was being quiet standing off to the sides. Do you need a new pair of pants? Yeah, I smelled like shit. I had a huge just diarrhea pancake in my pants. She was like, Hey, can we figure this out? So you can actually get through this training? You go no, these are my favorite pair of pants. Yeah, I can't take these off. But I remember she just started talking to me, like a normal friend would write. And then she asked me I forget what what question it was. Or maybe I asked her, I was like, yeah, or I said to her, I was like, I just feel kind of like out of place. Like, these people are so smart and energetic. And I just feel lesser than I didn't say that. But ultimately, that's how I was getting in. She was like, you were you interviewed and went through the same exact process that every single person went through that was that's here now. And they interviewed thousands of applicants. And they chose 100 of us. And she was like, at that point, when you were being interviewed, were you a different version of yourself then you're trying to be right now? No, I didn't answer obviously, cuz I was thinking about it. And she was like, You need to be the exact same exact person. You were during that interview. Right? Because that's why they hired you. Yeah. And that's why you're the person that you are, yeah, you wouldn't be here. And I just like, like having her say that to me. And just like reassuring that, like, I didn't have to be someone else. Or try to be this other person that I saw the larger community being was incredible,
Zach McHale 1:38:52
because it's easy to tell yourself that but it's it's hard to
Matt Duncan 1:38:55
Yeah, it's hard to convince yourself that you are there for a reason. Yeah. And that you've deserved. You deserve to be there.
Zach McHale 1:39:02
hearing that from somebody else who's in there saying that to you definitely hits a lot harder than it would be. Yeah.
Matt Duncan 1:39:07
Who has like the respect of everyone has been there? Yeah. So for her to tell me that and just like, reassure me as this first year leader, just like says more than I can about the community leaders like a bunch of confidence. Yeah, they're the most unbelievable type person.
Zach McHale 1:39:27
Okay, so I want you to keep those unbelievable people in mind when Connor I went to visit you and keep everything that you just said there. So we me and Connor go up to visit Matt up in Williams, Massachusetts in the fall in the fall Beautiful, beautiful and Oh, yeah, yeah,
Matt Duncan 1:39:43
yeah. was coming out. Yep.
Zach McHale 1:39:44
No, no. It was in the summer, early fall. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Beautiful, you know,
Connor Heine 1:39:50
picks me up from the start change our members beautiful,
Zach McHale 1:39:53
gorgeous and, and so you had to work that next day like we got up there just so you like briefly. Yeah, well Though I did have to pick
Matt Duncan 1:40:01
up this not just get up there you got up there super fucking late and I had to work the next day. We did.
Connor Heine 1:40:05
Yeah, we did. We did. I did I did have to pick up it was a very it just the juxtaposition I had to pick up Zach at the Newark train station, which keep
Zach McHale 1:40:14
in mind all the positions of the jugs, right?
Matt Duncan 1:40:16
Yeah, I don't know if there are a few.
Connor Heine 1:40:18
Yeah, I don't know. How many people have been to the Newark train station, but it's, it's very different than the glorious foothills of Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Zach McHale 1:40:28
Right? You feel very safe.
Connor Heine 1:40:31
Yes. Yeah. You don't feel like anything happened to you at all smells like it smells great. There. No, but yeah, so I picked up Zach from the Newark train station are always
Matt Duncan 1:40:42
picking up sack from the Newark train station. That's true. Now that I'm thinking yeah,
Connor Heine 1:40:45
yeah, I don't have a why to always hang out there. Yeah, did you? I think
Matt Duncan 1:40:49
your New York City is uh, he's always begging for
Zach McHale 1:40:55
Matt Duncan 1:40:56
come to us again. We also want to hang out with him though. So I guess we have to pick it
Connor Heine 1:41:00
right. So the trip started in Newark, and and ended up in Williamstown Mass which was very, like I said, two very different places.
Zach McHale 1:41:07
We get up there whatever, late at night, like 11 or eight right up there and stuff and you're beautiful. So Matt's got work the next day. I think we got up there like a Thursday night Matt's got work that Friday. I
Connor Heine 1:41:17
totally didn't go to your neighbor's house and try to get in their house.
Matt Duncan 1:41:21
chillin porch couch for a while which couch Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 1:41:23
Matt Duncan 1:41:25
We had like this wraparound deck and the house that I was living in and we just had a couch on the outside deck. Yeah. Great that everyone would hang out. Beautiful.
It was perfect.
Zach McHale 1:41:35
But so Connor I had we hadn't planned. We knew our Friday was wide open for us to figure it out. Right, Matt
Connor Heine 1:41:40
had work. We knew there was gonna be like a party at that night. Right? prom. Yeah, yeah, so we had a big party in the summer banger.
Zach McHale 1:41:49
So we have the day to kill and
Connor Heine 1:41:51
although we didn't have the day to kill, we were asked to run some errands. A lot of errands
Zach McHale 1:41:55
we did. We did run some errands. We got some got some supplies for the party.
Matt Duncan 1:41:59
You guys got balloons. You went above and beyond. I think you got balloons. And we were like, oh, wow, these guys are gonna do it. Well, you said it was prom let's party.
Zach McHale 1:42:07
They're like, we're like, oh,
Matt Duncan 1:42:11
yeah, they love that. You got balloons.
Zach McHale 1:42:13
Yeah. So so we grabbed those. And then then we decide the rest of the afternoon to decide what to do. And we decide. We looked it up.
Connor Heine 1:42:22
Like I think you just hand me out. Well, there was a handful of things we could do. I remember that one was like, we could go on a like a kayaking trip down a river, I think but that was like kind of far away. And it was you know, it was kind of cold out to everything and maybe not, you found didn't find like a hot air balloon trip. We could have taken
Zach McHale 1:42:45
something something. And you know, obviously there's hiking right, you can go around but
Connor Heine 1:42:50
like we don't know the area. So like, where are we just gonna go hiking? Right? We I guess we could ask the company
Zach McHale 1:42:58
hikers that live there
Connor Heine 1:43:00
That we were living with for that weekend. So
Zach McHale 1:43:03
that down in our mind. I don't remember if it was I think it might have been Yeah,
Connor Heine 1:43:07
it was definitely me. I guess on the drive up. I was okay. Because I'm a big I'd like going horseback riding whenever I go to distinct part of the country. I like going horseback riding. We made my family go to Colorado, go horseback riding, go to Arizona go horseback riding. It's a great way to see the country that you're in.
Zach McHale 1:43:26
And you brought that up. That's right. And then I also Yeah, and so we had been out there like in Colorado, my family like and always really enjoyed it. It was a really cool one. Yeah, you just can go out on some, you know, random kind of rough terrain and stuff and just go out and see just the landscape. So cons and I are super amped about going horseback riding. Yeah, bang, we'll knock out our chores, we'll get some balloons, like we'll look like those guys will show up to that office. meet everyone. You know, tell them we're going to do some cool outdoorsy stuff. And then we'll just head out and go horsebacking. So we go we get into Matt's office like nice little area in that in that little like Main Street in town downtown. Matt's bopping around and college town
Matt Duncan 1:44:08
a small college town. Yeah.
Zach McHale 1:44:11
And we're meeting everybody. They're all you know, super nice. And we meet MAtt's Boss and stuff, except we tell everybody we tell that we're horseback riding. These are all people who leave hikes lead,
Connor Heine 1:44:26
the most outdoorsy people go could ever talk to
Zach McHale 1:44:29
they go bikepacking all the time. They take great adventures. And we tell them we're going horseback right every single one of them looks at us like
Connor Heine 1:44:42
there's Yeah, there was the choco there's the downplay of the horseback ride. Yeah,
Zach McHale 1:44:46
I wasn't gonna stand there. Like these are my friend.
Matt Duncan 1:44:48
My two best friends and they're both big horse guys.
Connor Heine 1:44:53
Yeah. By the way, we talked to many people who have lived in that town for years. Like we already said. Very outdoorsy people. No one's even thought about going horseback riding. No one's actually done it. We were up there for like, less than 12 hours and we were on a horse.
Matt Duncan 1:45:10
like these guys really want to get on buying beer. We're buying balloons. We're going horsebackriding.
Unknown Speaker 1:45:15
knock it off.
Zach McHale 1:45:16
It was great time. Yeah, it was nice we go out there. Let's do it had been all over the place. Yes, dude this guy
I don't know say whatever farmhands. Yeah,
Connor Heine 1:45:27
yeah. Yeah, he said he would, he would he was traveling he was in Montana and in Wyoming and he was just a ranch and that was traveling from ranch to ranch just doing you know, summer work and winter work, whatever you could get his hands on and he also was like, a master at breaking horses. So like he would get hired to do that and ranches to to break horses. And then he was like in the rodeo and like, got pretty injured during the rodeo. So he stopped and just got a great story, which is another great reason to go horseback riding because who you gonna meet going horseback?
Matt Duncan 1:45:54
Yeah, who's this guy that owns all these forces in the Berkshires? I
Connor Heine 1:45:58
don't even know he worked for the guy who owned the land and all the horses like he just travels all over the place and does work with horses.
Zach McHale 1:46:04
And so we have a really wholesome photo of me and Connor horseback.
Matt Duncan 1:46:09
Yeah. Have you guys got that photo? Because you left the office and everyone was like, What the fuck Matt? Like, they're going horseback riding. Like,
Connor Heine 1:46:18
I still don't know why it sounds so ridiculous. And then
Matt Duncan 1:46:20
you said the picture of the horse. And I think you were wearing the hat.
Unknown Speaker 1:46:23
Yeah, I did. Like this nice, like, nice,
Matt Duncan 1:46:26
like full brim hat. And you said the picture to me. And I showed everyone in the office. And I was like, Look, it's awesome. Yeah. Beautiful.
Connor Heine 1:46:33
Like, I guess so. Well, and the guy I mean, so when you go there, you know, there's obviously a lot of places throughout the country. There's like dude ranches, which like specialize in horseback riding trips and stuff like this, but this guy was telling us like, they have a hunting cabin. where, like, you go hunting in the woods, and you have horses there. And the way you get around is like traveling on the horses to hunting locations. Like some of these woods in Vermont. Who's in Vermont. Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. To me. It just sounds like anybody. happen. None of us know Massachusetts. None. Williamstown? I did not understand why all your friends just thought it was so ridiculous. It just seems like such a natural thing to do when you're out in the wilderness. So
Zach McHale 1:47:19
cons and I say fuck your balloons fucking party. Yeah, hop them all out of here. Yeah,
Connor Heine 1:47:23
we brought our horses to the party. And we're like, yeah, look at these guys.
Matt Duncan 1:47:27
Fuck your prom.
Zach McHale 1:47:28
Yeah, the guy shows up because you guys stole my horses. Yeah, about 40 miles back.
Unknown Speaker 1:47:34
Things are great.
Connor Heine 1:47:36
I had a blast, though. Yeah. That whole weekend was great. We had flippin on that little creek.
Matt Duncan 1:47:43
Getting trashed? Yeah, he's stomping sand all through the house that I lived in. Did we do? Yeah, I just remember getting we all i got yelled at for it for all the sand.
Zach McHale 1:47:54
That Creek was awesome, though, because it would just spit you back out. So you don't think right? There's like a natural world?
Matt Duncan 1:47:59
conflict. Yeah. So
Zach McHale 1:48:00
you just keep going round around. We did that for a 3030 pack.
Connor Heine 1:48:06
The length of 30 pack between three people.
Matt Duncan 1:48:09
And then we might have been the only 20 year olds that ever played king of the island. started wrestling and pushing each other off. Yeah.
Connor Heine 1:48:17
We play basketball.
Zach McHale 1:48:23
So we go back to this we go to this playground. The three of us well did
Connor Heine 1:48:28
you have to emphasize it like that? You don't emphasize playground.
Zach McHale 1:48:31
It was a school playground
Unknown Speaker 1:48:34
Connor Heine 1:48:37
It was the closest basketball
Matt Duncan 1:48:39
we had to go walk through this basketball court.
Zach McHale 1:48:42
So we're playing basketball there, whatever. And three high school kids like Yeah, come up and freshmen or sophmores
Matt Duncan 1:48:50
the board. This is after the Daniel Yeah, this.
Zach McHale 1:48:55
And so these three kids, so we decided to play them in three on three. It was
Matt Duncan 1:48:59
because of you too. We're talking shit about who was the better basketball player the entire time out there. From then on, right? Yeah, we grabbed the basketball. You're like fine, but the three of us are gonna go play and we'll figure out the best. And then the high school kids.
Connor Heine 1:49:12
Right? We were playing like horse or something between the three of us. Yeah, he's high school kid shirt. I think we asked them I don't think
Matt Duncan 1:49:18
they're like watching. Yeah, and we just want to play through.
Zach McHale 1:49:22
Remember, in the middle of the three on there?
Connor Heine 1:49:26
Like it's like we're playing to 11 they're like, it's like eight to two
Matt Duncan 1:49:28
Yeah, I thought we were
Zach McHale 1:49:30
And this kid looks at us and goes, "Are you guys drunk?"
Connor Heine 1:49:35
Guys drunk or something? Yeah,
Matt Duncan 1:49:40
we're just sweating out all the beer. Yeah. falling over. I remember you fell on me at one point. I did. Yeah. And I was like, Oh, my I just broke both my knees.
Yeah, the kids knew immediately. Right?
Totally forgot. Beautiful,
Connor Heine 1:49:55
beautiful town. beautiful
Unknown Speaker 1:49:56
Connor Heine 1:49:58
Nature. Fantastic. Hate horses. Yeah. Not from like horses kids
Unknown Speaker 1:50:02
good bass player that
Connor Heine 1:50:03
Yeah. Decent, decent, decent High School. A lot
Zach McHale 1:50:07
of Larry birds coming out of that town.
Connor Heine 1:50:09
I still don't. To this day don't understand why your friends wanted to make fun of us.
Matt Duncan 1:50:16
That was that was unheard of activity. Yeah.
Zach McHale 1:50:18
blows my mind that it was Yeah, but I guess apparently it being in Vermont made everybody Yeah, we're
Matt Duncan 1:50:27
back riding in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Yeah. Right? You go up north to that kind of
Connor Heine 1:50:33
you gotta head to the North Pole balldashery.
Zach McHale 1:50:38
So I got a, I got a couple other questions then. Are there any like habits you do daily that you do to like, feel like you have more structure or any? Any kind of usual routines that you do? Um,
Matt Duncan 1:50:55
yeah, I'd love to brush my teeth, both in the morning and at night. I do that electric toothbrush. But now that the main routine, or like the habit that I have done now I'm on year four. I definitely I think I've definitely talked about this to you. And Connor, probably, I have a five year journal. So every night and now I've actually kind of changed it to every morning. I have like four lines that I write about what I did that day. And the journal is set up in a way where it's a page, and it will be the day to date. So like today, in particular, it's like a small journal. It's like the quarter size of a notebook. Yeah, I'd say it's like this, if you had if you held your hand out, it would fit on top of your hand almost perfectly right? Like a full hand.
Zach McHale 1:51:53
Right? And then so there are five years along that full page, right?
Matt Duncan 1:51:58
Yeah. So each day, it says like the date the top, whatever it is October 1. And then underneath that, it will be a full page of lines. But split evenly across those lines will be like, I started in 2017, it will say like 2017, four lines, 2018, four lines, and so on, right and in you
Zach McHale 1:52:19
got me and my sister both doing that journal. It's awesome. Because I've had
Matt Duncan 1:52:24
so many people get like, so everyone that I hang out with really for more than a day. Because I take it out and start writing it at night or in the morning. And they're like, they always ask about it. Every single person almost that I've traveled with, it's awesome.
Zach McHale 1:52:40
The size of it. Just how small is like, you don't feel pressured, like you would open in a full notebook and be like, I gotta write about all about today, like everything that I did today or whatever. And it's just like, No, you got like, four lines to work with just say the big points today. And that's it. And you can keep it like you're you're almost always pressed for like, the important things you want to add to it. Because that's how short of an entry you have. Mm hmm.
Matt Duncan 1:53:05
But yeah, so I'm on year four of that every single day. I haven't missed a day. I wish you were brought it ever. I'll take a picture of it so you guys can add it to all right.
Connor Heine 1:53:14
I would just love to pick like a random date. And you just start
Unknown Speaker 1:53:17
Connor Heine 1:53:19
I see what you're doing.
Matt Duncan 1:53:20
That'd be really cool and cool.
God dammit. But yeah, but that's like, speaking of that is like all read it that night or in the morning when I'm reading the entry. And I'll send people texts for and I'll be like this day, three years ago, right?
Unknown Speaker 1:53:38
Yeah, we got smoked
Zach McHale 1:53:41
by a bunch of freshmen in high school.
Matt Duncan 1:53:43
I think actually, I've like quoted that. Are you drunk? These high schoolers writing that but yeah, that's like been, like, probably the most grounding and routine thing I've done now for the past four years.
Zach McHale 1:53:56
It's a very cool thing to do. It's really cool. And it's really cool when you'll text us and tell us I haven't overlapped yet. Okay. Yeah, I started in January.
Connor Heine 1:54:04
So getting closer to it. This is such a good memory. I don't need to write a
Matt Duncan 1:54:08
steel trap. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 1:54:09
Connor Heine 1:54:10
know exactly what I was doing three years ago today.
Matt Duncan 1:54:14
Yeah, it's awesome. In the back to like, mine has definitely taken on a lot of character. Like, I think in year two started letting people who spent the entire day with me. So if I like was hanging out with them, or on one of these back country trips, if they spent that from like the start of the day to the end of the day, I would hand the journal over to them. And I asked them to give their entry that's right about whatever they wanted. They had this many lines in it. But that's that's been
Connor Heine 1:54:44
really cool to know Rachael and Turner. You Dude, you have to get one of these. Now, I've never written in your journal. We spent days together.
Matt Duncan 1:54:53
Yeah, I guess not. Sure you haven't. I don't think I have you're definitely featured. Many times. I'm heavily featured in it. feature tonight. Yeah, there. Yeah. Zack and
Connor Heine 1:55:02
Connor podcast. Right? If someone was writing like a cast list for your journal, I think I'd be very big supporting character out
Matt Duncan 1:55:08
there. Yeah, the horseback rider, horseback horseback rider. Number one. All right. No, but it's cool, because the back of it now too is like, taking on my trip to Peru that I was talking about earlier. In particular, everyone got into it, and wanted to like, write things in the back of it like things that I needed to check out whether it was like albums, or books or places to travel to podcasts. So dive like these lists of all these different categories. Now, in the back of the journal two that I saw people have written into jack asked you how, what, how did you get this idea of the he didn't know so my mom and my older sister, right? Got one, I think I just like decided to buy one for each other. And it was like three, they had theirs for like three years. And then finally I was like, I think I want one of these once I graduated college. I was like, I want to start one now.
Zach McHale 1:56:07
Right? Your mom and your sister got you in on it.
Matt Duncan 1:56:10
Yep. And they both finished their five year journal. My older sister didn't start again. My mom's on like year seven. Oh, wow. She said she's gonna do them. Yeah, for the rest of the
Connor Heine 1:56:19
year. Like, I should start doing that. I feel like most of my days would just be like,
Matt Duncan 1:56:23
well, dude, that's the thing. Like, there are definitely days where I'm like, especially right now back at home. I'm like, right? Here I am again, like, the mornings exactly the same, right? But then there are also these entries that I had two years or a year earlier that are like, absolutely crazy. And you feel lucky to have had those experiences. And I don't know, I love it. And
Zach McHale 1:56:46
you can use this blank days to just kind of put your general thoughts that weekend rather than really quick thing. Because like if I if I get more than three or four days ahead, and I have to reflect on it, eventually. It's just like, work today. Like what it is. It is cyclical,
Matt Duncan 1:57:01
like it definitely becomes cyclical points. And that's and you can took it a little deep two and a
Connor Heine 1:57:05
half poops today.
Matt Duncan 1:57:06
Yeah, we're on schedule. And
Zach McHale 1:57:08
by half I mean, I missed
Connor Heine 1:57:11
right on the rim. Mom, come clean it up.
Zach McHale 1:57:15
26 clean it up yourself.
Connor Heine 1:57:20
I took I took a half poop again.
Zach McHale 1:57:22
Maybe if you'd stop shitting squatting over the toilet while you're writing in your journal.
Matt Duncan 1:57:28
Make it just trying to make every day different.
Zach McHale 1:57:32
I didn't do much today.
Connor Heine 1:57:33
Right. Um, I think one thing we didn't touch upon. Matt was, um, for your I think it was for your solo bike trip. You decked out your car that eventually made it back from Colorado and is now in your possession again. Yes. Tell us what you did with that, because it was super cool.
Matt Duncan 1:57:52
Yeah, so this entire summer I was like leaning more and more. So I moved back home. After I got laid off from overland we like shut down from for the summer, ultimately got laid off, move back home from Williamstown mass. And while I was out traveling out west, on my bike, I was like, more and more thinking like I don't need a house, I don't need an apartment anymore. And I was getting more and more into the idea that I was going to sell my jeep by a van that then I could build out through the winter while I was home with my dad because he has like all the equipment that I would need. And honestly a lot of the skill that it would take. So I was thinking like I'll build out a van by van do that then go on the road. And that like slowly morphed into, maybe I'll sell my jeep and buy Tacoma truck, buy a cab for it, build out the back of the truck, like it's the same exact idea a little bit cheaper, right. And then after I like figured out the measurements for the truck, I was like that feels like my the back of my jeep right now that I have is going to be the same size if I put if I take out the seats or put the seats all the way down. So I put the seats down measures all out and I was like sweet don't have to do anything now on to sell or buy anything. And I looked up I just went online and looked up like Do It Yourself bedframes and eventually just like measured out the back of my jeep. And over the course of three days built out a bed frame that fits like perfectly and snug in the back of my jeep. And then built these two long 72 inch drawers that go underneath it that I can pack all my bike gear in and all the clothing that I would need, like clothing, food grills to pretty much live on the road. And then I have a rack on top of my car where I put both my bikes. Awesome.
Connor Heine 1:59:58
So you're set
Matt Duncan 1:59:59
and I'm set And then I was like, for now now it's been like I go out on a trip. And because I'm still doing the National Guard, I come back one time a month. But I'm living out of my jeep right now like, go and bike around, come back, do the army thing. drive back to wherever I want to go. And yeah, it's been awesome. Yeah, it's great, I think eventually will lead to like, either van or one of those like small homes, because you really don't need the space that people in historically have bought to like live right. living out of my car has been perfect for the most part. I don't
Connor Heine 2:00:37
Yeah, I don't think everybody could do that. You're, you're certainly built for that.
Matt Duncan 2:00:40
Yeah, there's, there's a certain type of person for sure. Right. But but even I didn't realize like how little I actually needed to. And definitely, like being outside helps. But like, be happy ultimately. Right? You don't need a lot.
Connor Heine 2:00:54
Yeah. Yes. So that's a great overarching question. What do you what do you think you've learned mostly about yourself from all day's experiences? Because? And I know, that's a really large question. And, you know, answer it however you want. But you are doing something very different than, you know, the normal, if you want to say people are doing Yeah, and you are built for it. Um, but what, what's the biggest thing you got out of it? It sounded like you were kind of hitting it right there.
Matt Duncan 2:01:22
Yeah, that's definitely part of it. I also think that I have like thought about this a lot
over the past few months, but like,
within the like, right now, especially with like, the discord, obviously, you can't deny that the country is going through. It's been nothing that I've, like, learned about myself, but it has been like, so reassuring to be on the road traveling around, and to almost, like make yourself dependent on other people. Where you, like, hear all this awful stuff in the media, and it is awful, like a lot of it that you hear is awful. But then to be on the road and depend on other people and the kindness of other people. Everywhere I go, right. So traveling especially is like people want to help, right? For the most part, people are looking to do good to others and help you out. And I think because of the situation we're in right now, just within history, and this year, having that as like a constant reminder of like everyone trying to help out and do good, that I've come in contact with for the most part again, this isn't everyone, but that's been like the most sobering thing. And like, honestly, in the eye, who gives me faith, who would think it would take you going out on the road to, you know, desk, not desolate places, but out in the wilderness to figure out how, you know, nice people can actually be yes, I even that they're like nice, and sometimes they like, are pretty skeptical of what you're doing and are like, standoffish of the like, what you're doing and how you're living. But at the end of the day, the like, the ultimate emotion not even, like what they want for you, is to somehow help you out, right? So they don't have to be nice, right? They certainly don't have to be nice or like, don't have to go out of their way. But they're not going to do something that again, like goes out of their way to be mean, or hurt you.
Zach McHale 2:03:37
So it's what my like, almost respect or just like,
Matt Duncan 2:03:42
I just think like humans like to me, like it makes them feel better if they're helping out another human right. And I think that's like, ultimately what's inside everyone. And being on the road and traveling. I've experienced it so much every single day that it gets, it makes me feel a lot better about the human race and like really reinforces that idea every time you go out. Yeah. And I'm not bombarded with like, the worst headlines in the news every time like throughout the day, apart from the Craigslist Craigslist guy that got done.
Zach McHale 2:04:19
Yeah. But again, took him to the boarder.
Unknown Speaker 2:04:21
He's trying to help me. He just didn't suck him off.
Matt Duncan 2:04:24
I'm not helping him. Yes, that's I guess,
Connor Heine 2:04:27
you know, during the during these times of you know, COVID and everything that's going on it, it is nice to see silver linings that happen in this spot. I know. I know. For me one of the silver linings is like I get to see my nephew a lot more. And I know for silver linings for you know, my brother was there not going to work so they're getting to see their and, you know, one year old kid every day instead. Um, it sounds like for you this was like, you know, I don't want to say a perfect You know, situation, but it kind of was you didn't have anything else going on, you really got to go like full gung ho of doing something you really wanted to do.
Matt Duncan 2:05:11
Yeah, something for myself, which I think over the past few months, I was then also able to like, take the time and really think about what I want to do next. Right.
Connor Heine 2:05:21
Like, do you think you would have done all these trips? If this pandemic and there's no way right?
Matt Duncan 2:05:26
No way, right? Nothing even close? Yeah. And who knows where like where I would have, because it was going to be my last summer at overland anyway. And I like made that decision. I didn't want to stay in this small town anymore. I loved it. I loved every part of it. No, but I think I was getting to the point where I was too comfortable and like, falling in love with it too much. That if I didn't get out at the end of the summer, I would have stayed there for who knows how long. What's interesting about you guys sent like, you've been able to get out more and stuff. And just like this opportunity for, for everybody kind of being able to do things like trying to find pockets of happiness and
Connor Heine 2:06:04
bettering yourself, I guess, right. And in tough times
Zach McHale 2:06:06
in my system, what was nice was like, my sister lives in Tampa, she's able to work remote. So she come up here, and it's the first time I meet her and my brother would be able to be at the house. Yeah, the first time since like, my brother was in high school, right? Essentially, yes, like six years older. But I had a buddy of mine, who's a hab buddy of mine, who's a skydiving instructor in Texas. And he said normally, like every year, they'll get like, every summer, they'll get like, 800 people doing it. He said this summer, 1600 people doing it, you know, he's like, people, and he would ask them every time like, why are you doing this, whatever he's like, they finally have the time. Like, I've always wanted to do this. And they only have the time. And I think like what's been nice with this is it gives people like, almost a chance to take a step back and like reevaluate themselves reevaluate what they value. Yeah, uhh maybe take some more risks, or go on some more trips, I see a lot more people going on hikes like out west or wherever, even just around here, bike shops completely sold out of all they're in like retail, and just kind of doing some of the things that have been kind of put to the side, right? You know, with having to work every single day. Right?
Connor Heine 2:07:12
as terrible as time it is, it was like a nice little timeout from the daily, you know, grind of just getting, you know, getting stuff done.
Zach McHale 2:07:22
Yeah, for sure lies like what's important. Finding, finding your pockets with it. Right. So literally, right? Yeah,
Matt Duncan 2:07:27
like that saying, like finding the pockets of happiness. Because that's exactly what it is. You have the time to really explore them, right? Mm hmm. That's great.
Zach McHale 2:07:37
So what's something you would tell yourself when you're younger? Like say, like, towards the end of high school? You know,
Connor Heine 2:07:43
I feel like probably fresh, given all the all the changes that
Zach McHale 2:07:46
Yeah, you just spoke about like, freshman sophomore year, you're, you're kind of just like, in whatever the high school student like junior senior year certain thing like, oh, like, what am I gonna do? Like, what what's, what's my next step at least like school? Like, what do I sort of want to do after that? Like, what's a piece of advice that you would give yourself for that period of time? And if if that's not like, clear enough for you, then maybe, you know, sort of earlier in college, when you're starting to realize like, maybe this army thing isn't for me, like, whenever that sort of tipping point period was for you? Like, what would you kind of say to yourself?
Matt Duncan 2:08:24
Yeah, so it wasn't any. Like, am I giving my high school? The end of High School self advice, or my college self?
Connor Heine 2:08:33
You just you've seen like, to us, at least it seems like you've gone there's been these? Not like he said, tipping points, necessarily. But there has been moments where you've made decisions to change the course of, you know, the trajectory of your career, what not like, what, what were the most important decisions you made? And what was what would be the advice be to yourself, if you had to go through those decisions, like what would you wish you have known going through those decisions? Again,
Zach McHale 2:09:03
because you don't make a big decision without dealing with a bunch of uncertainty? Certainly can make you anxious and totally nervous. Right? And you don't know the future?
Matt Duncan 2:09:14
Yeah, I think what?
It's, I really love that question. But I think what I would say to myself, and like, this might sound like a cop out, but because of how anxious every decision would make me i think i would tell myself, at any point now, whether it was heist the end of high school, middle of college, when I went abroad, I would just tell myself, like, Whatever decision you're going to make, whether you feel good about it, where you feel terrible about it, or you feel like it's the wrong or right decision is going to shape who you are in the end, and you're going to be able to like, at least learn about yourself from that decision. So though it might like feel like it was now a decision that's controlling your life or pushing you in a certain direction. You're always in control. That's what I probably would ultimately say is like, it's your life, you're in control. And this is just yourself, you're not a situation you're learning from. So don't feel like it's the like the end all be all right, if you make the wrong decision, right,
Connor Heine 2:10:24
there's not a wrong decision. Yeah, I feel like, I don't know, at least, what I always heard growing up was like, you have to make a decision, and you have to stick with it. Like people don't like, I don't even want to use the word quitters, but people don't like, it seems like, it doesn't look good on your resume. If you've had very different jobs and very different careers where what I found is like, those are the more interesting people that you come across, it's like matter, I did this. And then I did this, didn't like this so much. I started doing this, like those those who are like, I don't know,
Matt Duncan 2:10:56
That's just like your major doesn't matter in college. Right? Right, you're going to learn everything you need to learn at the job if you got it. Right. So I think that's that would ultimately be if I had to say, like one line for advice I'd give myself it's like, stop worrying, make a decision, and learn from it. Right? That would be
Connor Heine 2:11:16
it, right? Because it's not your decision is not the end all be all of what's going to happen. You can always decide to do something else. And and like you said, like, I mean, you learn, you learn more from your failures than you do your successes. So even if you make this decision and you fail at it, you feel you're gonna learn just as much if not more out of that situation about yourself and about, you know, what you want to do eventually.
Zach McHale 2:11:43
100% I think that point you brought up about control is really interesting, because I saw there was a study where they did in senior homes, about, you know, seniors who had very regimented schedules, and like they had, you know, whatever the helpers coming around, taking them to do everything, you can only this meal or whatever. And they studied the seniors who would trade their meals for to get more desserts. Or they would rearrange the furniture in their rooms who, you know, they're supposed to stay the same way, right. And the seniors that changed and broke those rules and took control for themselves, ended up living longer, like staving off Alzheimer's and dementia. And like kind of pushing that off. It was just sort of it's like that locus of control where it's like, as long as you feel like you're in control right of your life. dam then you feel like you kind of have more power over your life. And that makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And that is, that's really cool.
Matt Duncan 2:12:38
Yeah. All right. I'm gonna go home and change around my bed and my dresser. Yeah, I think that's the next step. Yeah,
Connor Heine 2:12:44
I'm living back at home and I'm living in a room that my parents design.
Matt Duncan 2:12:49
Does that say for me? Yeah, I gotta, I gotta change.
Zach McHale 2:12:52
We're gonna go take a dump on his toilet.
Connor Heine 2:12:54
I'm just gonna put I'm gonna put the table this next my bed on the others. No different than me longer. Um, is I mean, I guess kind of wrapping this up. Is there any? Like, we already went over the advice you'd give to yourself but like, as an overarching theme Like what? I don't want to say like, what do you live by? But like, we had to break it down into like, what heavy heavy question it is. It's a very heavy question, but I feel like it's a good question. Like, if you were God. Yeah.
Matt Duncan 2:13:28
Man was gonna tell Jesus
Connor Heine 2:13:30
to tell the rest of us. Um, but no, like, what what do you fall back on? Like, what? Like when when you're down? Or you know, even when you're up like what do you fall back on? Like, what? Is there something that drives you more than anything else? Hmm.
Matt Duncan 2:13:52
I'm trying to think not having a job being able to do what I love right now. I haven't like been in that mind state in a while like that where I feel like totally worn out. And down. So I have to think back to like the last
Zach McHale 2:14:10
like, maybe that's the biggest kind of into good and awesome. Yeah,
Connor Heine 2:14:14
I love biking. No, but maybe though, but I beat that maybe that's kind of what I'm getting at. Maybe
Matt Duncan 2:14:20
Maybe it is biking that I felt like or just doing things outdoors with my friends. Right? Because while I'm
Connor Heine 2:14:25
right yeah, right now you're doing you're in a lucky opportunity where you're doing the only things that you want to do. And is this the most happy you've ever been?
Matt Duncan 2:14:37
Probably and it's and I'm like there are there times in the bike room like screaming at the wind or like I'm screaming at my chain that can't get into the right gear and I'm I'm like, angry and I'm more pissed and I can't even remember the last time I've been that angry. Right? But at the same time, I'm like as soon as I i can reflect on that. I'm like, this is what I'm angry about. This is what I'm getting frustrated about. I'm doing something that I love, and I'm yelling at the wind, and I'm yelling at my bike like, Yeah, when you put it in that kind of perspective of like, I'd say that honestly, that's probably when I get most down is like, the fact that I can let myself get that worked up about something that doesn't matter. Right. Well, that's something I'm privileged to be able to do. Right? reflecting on that is when I feel I am embarrassed that I get that angry, right?
Connor Heine 2:15:35
I was, it just goes to show you that, that it's such a human thing, because you're like you said, you're doing exactly what you love. I couldn't be wish you're doing anything else yet. You're still getting hung up.
Matt Duncan 2:15:46
Yeah, there's things that are always going to like get under your nerves, right, get under your skin and push you to that point. But I think it's really healthy to have the highs and lows, right? And to have these like peaks and then drop down into these valleys, all within the same day. That's like, the emotions are a good thing. Right? And to remind yourself of that,
Zach McHale 2:16:10
right and keeping a perspective on it.
Matt Duncan 2:16:13
And then that like to be able to understand,
Connor Heine 2:16:16
yeah, their perspective to be able to think back on it and realize what was happening. Exactly.
Matt Duncan 2:16:21
Yeah, for sure. That's great.
Trip Leader/Planner at Overland Summers
Originally from Medford, New Jersey Matt is currently living mostly out of his Jeep which he converted into a (very) small bed on wheels. After graduating from Penn State in 2017 Matt started working for Overland Summers, a company that offered both domestic and international adventure trips for kids 4th - 12th grade. He led a few hiking trips for three summers before joining the full-time staff as a Trip Planner. Matt worked and lived in the beautiful Berkshire’s for the next three years taking in everything the rural North East had to offer. In mid-May of 2020, his company announced it was canceling all summer trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like millions of others around the country, the majority of his office staff was now out of a job. After contemplating what to do next, Matt and his roommate at the time, Conor, decided to take full advantage of their first free summer in years. A few weeks later, Matt and Conor found themselves packed into the still very small bed on wheels and driving west. It was time to explore!