Bruce “RTK” Matson and Michael “Sharkbait” Neiman both completed northbound thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail in 2018. A lawyer from Richmond, Virginia for over 35 years, RTK now helps to lead a patent analytics and litigation finance company. Sharkbait traveled from sunny Los Angeles to hike the Trail, and loved it so much he moved to Northern Virginia afterwards. He is a human resources technology consultant in the hospitality industry in the Washington DC metro area.

RTK and Sharkbait met online while individually preparing for their hikes, and although started a few weeks apart, met up in Virginia in person – but only twice; once near Chestnut Knob in a freezing fog and then during a beautiful, sunny zero day at Woods Hole Hostel. Through their personal blogs and podcasts, they kept up on each other’s whereabouts throughout the trail, and remain close friends and hiking partners today.

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