Q&A’s with Todd Bruce

Please check out Todd Bruce’s new book, Nine Passes.The Amazon link is in the pic.

If you would like to read my review, just CLICK HERE.

I thought it would be fun to ask Todd a few questions about his journey.

Charity – You seemed to be traveling along with some people and seeing them often. Did you grow lasting friendships, or was it just on the trail?

Todd – Interestingly, it was a little of both. At the beginning of the trip, I had met Taka and Alan. We seemed to be leap-frogging along for several days. I have lost contact with both of them. Later on, I had met Dan and his 80 year old mother on the top of Silver Pass. I have kept in contact with them and have also visited them in Bend, Oregon. A fond friendship has grown between me and John and Towner Menefee. We hiked and camped together for three days and have also visited each other since the trip. We are very similar people and talk frequently.

Charity – Do you think you will take the trip again?

Todd – No. One thing that came out of the trip for me are new places to explore. All along the trip, I kept finding side trails and locations that interest me and I will spend time to go back and explore. Another by-product of the trip, was realizing that I am the kind of guy that enjoys a focused project. This project from beginning to end was exciting and kept me interested and driven. It is about time to start ramping up for the next project.

Charity – Oh my goodness! Can’t wait to hear about your next adventure!

What was the hardest part for you?

Todd – I would have to say being is such a beautiful place, day after day for almost 5 weeks, without being able to share it with my wife and kids. They are so much a part of my life and have shared many beautiful experiences with me in the past. I just wanted them to be there too.

Charity – I am sure they missed you! Perhaps they can join you on your next adventure.

What was your favorite part of the journey?

Todd – I really enjoyed exploring new areas and being surprised with what I found under every bit of water I fished. Constantly, I would approach a stretch of water and expect one thing and get dealt with something that I did not expect. Frequently, I caught fish species and sized that I was not expecting. That was fun for me. Although, I have been to many of the areas long the route before, I enjoyed the visits to familiar locations and sights.

Charity – Did you run into anything frightening that you didn’t write about? Storms, animals, etc?

Todd – No I did not. I have a lifetime of outdoor experience. I have endured bears (black bears and grizzly bears), snakes, fires, and extreme weather many times before. This trip was tame from that stand point.

Charity – Ahh! What in the world? That’s crazy! You need to write a book about that!!

Ok, so what’s the most important “tool” to have on a hike like that?

Todd – This is a good question. I would have to say it is your brain. One needs to have the skills to survive, navigate, explore, and work through issues while in the backcountry. I had several equipment issues that I needed to mitigate “McGiver-style” to keep going. When hiking solo, you only have your own skills to rely on to keep your safe.

Charity – Tricky! Ok, I like that answer.

How about some fun questions?

Best childhood memory?

Todd – I was fortunate to grow up in an era and in a neighborhood that allowed me to explore the outdoors. Fishing the creeks and lakes, hiking the hills and valleys, and having the freedom to make our own fun will always be with me. My parents encouraged it and we embraced it while thinking it was how everyone grew up.

Charity – That sounds so amazing. I know my boys would sure love that. My oldest son is a major outdoors fella. He would be so happy!!

Did any of your family (grandparents, etc) live in the wild west and do anything exciting? (Indian fighters, covered wagon trips, gold rush, civil war). My father’s parents, grandparents and uncles all had these types of experiences. It’s so fun to hear about them!

Todd- My great grand uncle, Edward Alphonso Goldman, was a mammalogist and naturalist that worked for the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey. He worked and explored all over the U.S., Mexico, Panama, and France. His most impressive expedition was in Baja, Mexico. In 1905 and 1906, he and his partner traversed the peninsula from north to south on horseback to study the flora and fauna. Over two thousand miles were covered, thousands of specimens collected, and numerous plant and animal species found for the first time. Approximately fifty mammals, birds, reptiles, mollusks, and plants bear his name. Goldman Peak in Baja California was also named in his honor. If you notice, on page 149, there is a picture of my mom, her grandfather, aunt, and great uncle on top of Colby pass. Edward Goldman was on that trip in 1945.

Charity – Wow! That is quite the legacy!!

Go to store for all your outdoor needs?

Todd – Not sure what this question is asking. If you are asking which outdoor store I shop for my equipment, it is REI.

Charity – I am sorry. That should have been “Go To”, as in, you answered it correctly (:

Favorite state you have visited?

Todd – I would have to say Montana. I spent a summer fighting fires there and had a chance to see much of the state. I have since been back to backpack and fish this beautiful place.

Charity – Thank you, SO MUCH for taking the time to answer some of my questions. I really enjoyed reading through this and seeing all the gorgeous photos.

Todd – You are very welcome Charity. I enjoyed the interview and look forward to seeing your post.

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