Day 61

Jon and Breta (and Penny)

May 26th, 2010

I walked until later than usual last night, but they graciously accommodated me, letting me stay in their trailer to avoid the thunderstorms (which never actually materialized). This morning they sent me off with some goodies for the road, including homegrown (and handpicked by me!) lettuce, spinach, and rhubarb.


  1. Sheri says:

    That’s one cute doggy, and what a kind couple.

  2. Jonathan says:


  3. Caroline says:

    I love Penny. LOVE.

  4. Bob says:

    I hope the good Kharma comes back to them tenfold…

  5. Dona Rae says:

    A beautiful story, and there are good folks out there.

  6. Derrick L Gould says:

    Because of people like these it restores the faith and hope that keeps us going. Thanks for being kind and open to strangers along there trek’s.

  7. Lesley says:

    God Bless you on your journey and may you find many others with kindness in their eyes. God Bless this couple as well. It’s people like them that make this world a better place.

  8. Aldo says:

    Beautiful story of humility, faith and trust in our brothers and sisters.
    Nature is on your side.

    Good luck, bring your message far and deep.

  9. Maxwell T. Hayes says:

    This is true Americana…the willingness to recognize the fact that we are all on a journey of some sort…and if we all would do something kind to help that person along their path, this world would be a gentler, more peaceful place. Good for this couple and good for you…I’ll be watching!

  10. This kindness of the couple in this post renews my faith in people. Your journey has social value, as you come to represent something to people whether you intend to or not. You are helping to restore some soul to this country, by weaving a thin thread across the fabric of the continent.

    • Frank Garon says:

      I’m with Jeffrey here. You may or may not realize it, but you’re walking for all of us in a sense. One single person is making all these really awesome connections with people, and it’s making us all realize there still are a LOT of good people in this country.

      More power to ‘ya!

  11. Brenna says:

    Love the Arebesque coffee mug, I used to sell Dansk dishes… Of course they are nice people!! They Haver great taste!!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    This should be the new and improved American Gothic (farmer’s wife) picture :)

  13. Brenda says:

    Breta, How do you pronouce your name? My Grandma was named Breta (pronounced the cheese with a “ta”) and I’ve never seen or heard of anyone with the same name. My grandma Breta would have been just as kind and generous!

    • Sheila says:

      I live in Westby and Jon and Breta are long time friends of mine. Breta’s name is pronounced Breh-ta and they are one of the kindest couples I know!

  14. John says:

    Amazing real American folks. Awesome!

  15. Donna says:

    keep On Walk’n Young Man What A terrific way to share YOUR experience With US KEEP the faith ill be bk to check see how its going !!

  16. Wes says:

    I have to concur with Aldo. Your humility is the real story here. If we as a society could take a lesson from you trip it is that humility and swallowing our pride will create a greater sense of community and cooperation.

    Your walk also shows that Americans are generous and ready to help…as long as someone is willing to ask for it.

  17. Kimberlie says:

    What a story you will have to tell your future wife and children.

  18. Karen says:

    Good luck Matt! May God Bless you and bring you safely home. Wish you were going through Massachusetts!!!

  19. renae says:

    I’m inspired. I’m from Jamaica and you’ve touched my life with the confirmation that a lot of good people are still around. thank you

  20. Justin Hokanson says:

    You’re gonna love Oregon! Let me know when you pass over Mt. Hood, and I’ll come camp with ya’. Keep it up brother. We’ll see you when you get here.

  21. Ali says:

    This story made me look at life much more spontaneous than before. GOD protect you from all negative. I am in CA and if you are close before Fall semester starts, I want to catch up to you for a picture. True inspiration.

  22. Jenn says:

    Just think this is so cool…. maybe I am a bit jealous.. I always wanted to be a free spirit and just go wherever my feet (or more likely car) would take me…Never got the chance. (YET) Life sometimes directs us an we kind of forget those ideas momentarily.
    GOD BLESS and be with you all along your journey.

  23. Chuck says:

    WOW! What an amazing adventure! Matt, you are the man! And I wanna give a shout out to that handful that supported you and encouraged you in this endeavor; Thanks to y’all. You’re an inspiration, Matt. I’ll keep you in my heart and prayers. Where can I get my “I wanna be like Matt” bumpersticker? Man, what a rockstar!!!

  24. Aatif says:

    Thank you for your hosting my hero of the day. You are a generous couple :)

  25. Tiffany says:

    You’re an inspiration to the wanderlust in all of us cowards that haven’t done anything about it yet. Lol My dream, RV across the country collecting the stories of every day folks, just because… Everyone has a story yes? Look at yours!


  26. Sandi says:

    Matt may GOD bless you and all who you touch with your walk. Wish you had come by here and I would have shared my garden with you too. I wish I were young enough to do what you are doing. But my heart and my GOD are with you all the way. Be blessed……………

  27. Keep on trucking good man. I did the same thing, but another way. I have never regretted a moment. God speed!!

  28. sany mackie says:

    just loved seeing the photos of wisconsin..may your journey continue…what an inspiration

  29. mae says:

    Wow I am so proud of you and so happy, that you are overcoming your comfort zone!!That just rox my sox!!I wish I could join you,what an adventure!You will be in my prayers for safety and spiritual guidance,and direction for your next adventure in your life!!mae

  30. John F says:

    Best of luck to you in your journey. This story is better then anything else on the web or tv to track. You will bring that adventorus part of each one of us to the surface

  31. Terri G says:

    Jon and Breta (and Penny) are definiately a family that sets an example of what America….and ALL countries should be like. Wonderful people, great hearts. And since they did this for you, I will too…..if you ever go thru Irving, Texas and knock on my door.

  32. cj richardson says:

    WOW…. I am so honored that you have taken time to share your experiences and your trip across the state photos. It is hard to make people believe there are great trusting people out there that are always ready to help what they can with someone else for their safety and well being! I am in Washington state would love to know if you are coming into this state also.

  33. sabrina Hookham says:

    Just by walking you are doing a great thing! Ahh I love it! I wish I was as motivated as you are!! God bless!!
    P.s. if you ever go through ca your welcome to stay and rest! : )
    I hope more people can realize what life is about
    Keep on Walking you never know what you will find!!! Amazing stories, people, things you never have known, History!!

  34. Carlos Herrera says:

    Incredibly impressed with your course of action. Thought about doing something like that years ago but it never happened. You simply did it!!!Destined for big things. Congrats!

  35. Liz Herlevi says:

    Wow! Congratuations on getting out there and doing something you’ve thought about for a long time! I’ve done similar travels, though not nearly as far (500+ miles.) Reading your posts reminds me of my trips and it’s good to hear about the kindness of people. Thanks for your posts, and I hope your trip continues to bring good things.

  36. joseph emanuel says:

    hey man if you come up to seattle let me buy you the finest steak you have ever had. i respect you and what your doing. there is something powerful in the choice you have made and i stand fully behind you.

    god bless


  37. Phillips Pioneer Farms/Jane says:

    Sensational son of Barry & Miriam, and a true inspiration to all “I-wish-I-would-have” people. My 14-yr old granddaughter (earbuds-n-iTune generation) just finished school report that researched her ancestor’s trek, west from Missouri, in 1847 along the Oregon Trail with wagon & oxen. She was enlightened to learn, “They had to walk almost the WHOLE distance, Missouri-to-Oregon.”, and she’ll be more impressed… you’re walking even further. Us Oregon pioneers will be waiting to say ‘Welcome to Oregon’! Godspeed!

  38. THOM FRENCH says:


  39. Tracy Brown says:

    Congrads on making this great trip. More and more people should be as courageous in making a journey sometime in their lives. A journey that requires that leap of faith.

    ‘Leap and the net will appear’….Zen Saying

    Good luck!

  40. Marco Falso says:

    That is great you are walking cross America. We all sure need to live our lives! I love that picture of John, Breta, and Penny the cute dog. That picture will immortalize forever as early 21st Century Americana. The picture touched me because it is modern version of that famous painting of a farmer with forked pitch with his wife with their farm behind.

    That picture should bring worth as a prize to many like myself.

    Will be praying for you to travel safe! I am a Designer without employment and looking. You touched me and I should really do something like you do with the walk. God bless!

  41. Norval says:

    Hey, I saw you in Lacrosse. The sign really caught my eye, and it made me think all day. If I’d known the rest of the story, I would of surely stopped to talk to you. Anyway, good luck on the journey. Munga Tuk {many thanks in Norwegian} for the memories to come! I’ll be watching…..

  42. Mariana says:

    Dear Matt
    I happened to log out of my e-mail account and read read your story. I was already googling (if that word exists) your name when I saw at the end of your article that you had a website.
    I haven’t finished reading it all but so far let me express you my admiration to your quest.
    My name is Mariana and I live in Guadalajara, the 2nd biggest city in Mexico. I enjoy walking very much and I totallyn share that freedom that our feet give us. I actually walk 45 minutes to work whenever I can to get that different perspective than the regular monotone drive. I’m very sure your walks are much different from mine because your goal is to cross the Country, and mine is to be on time for work but still I read once in a meditation book to be counscious and meditate on every action and fully live each moment, and while walking we should take one step at a time meaning that each step’s next goal is take another step.
    I don’t know if any of this makes sense speacially since English is not my first language but I wish you all the best and will keep you in my prayers.

  43. Doris says:

    Hi Jon, Breta and Penny, I’m glad you had the opportunity to meet Matt. I had the honor of having him as a guest in my home for awhile too. He is truely an amazing guy. I wish him all the luck on his great journey. We met on May 5th. He took a picture of me and my pup too.

  44. Lizz says:

    Matt. you are fulfilling this 62 year old’s dream. I never got started , because I’m a female, and did not feel it would be safe. Because of your inspiration, I will walk short distances. I’ll think of you with every step I take. God Bless….

  45. Patti Hyde says:

    You are surrounded with love. My 22 yo son and his girlfriend rode their bicycles 3,700 miles last year from Pensacola, FL to Portland, OR. They met some really wonderful people and, like you, grazed through gardens and pitched tents. I wish I could tell each and every one of those wonderful people who reached out to them how much I appreciate and love them as a mother. This will last a lifetime and you will add depth and breadth to your already very large heart. Peace.

  46. Neal Fahey says:

    Bravo Matt. I’ll be checking in from time to time. Brings back some wonderful memories.

  47. dawn bierek says:

    you are an amazing person to share your journey with the rest of us. i am longing for a journey of my own, and you nudge me even closer to action.
    Thank you for sharing America with us!

  48. Robyn Bitterwolf says:

    Wishing you a skip in your stride,
    Divine guidance, mountains of happiness
    and lot of good people along your way.
    Be blessed
    The Bitterwolf

  49. Karen says:

    God bless you and keep you safe as you are on your journey. I will keep you in my prayers. It must feel so great to be doing something that you have wanted to do. Most people only dream and then let the dream die. You are an inspiration to many.

  50. marek says:

    man, this is cool you can stay in my place when you come to south texas
    marek mission tx

  51. Karen Honess says:

    I too love this photo-they seem like such a healthy, happy and kind couple! I,am inspired by your trek and have been planning a way (not sure what yet) to get a new perspective on this life. Many blessings to you on your path!

  52. Karylin says:

    I don’t even know where to begin. This walk and all these people are acting like people should, with love for others and the earth, it is absolutely heart warming to follow this story and the people you meet!! I live in Oregon, hope to see you there!!

  53. Maria says:

    Well, glad you do that now as young, because when one is not soooo young, one can not walk so much. And he is right, why to worry for a job, or a retirement, one never knows if tomorrow will even come! Just have fun!

  54. starla says:

    Love your walking adventure, I applaud you. I also applaud your parents for raising an individual as yourself to take on such a trip, your life will be so much richer for it. I am awaiting a lung transplant and hooked to a oxygen concentrator. I have had much time to contemplate life and what is important, follow your heart. Enjoy your trip, I will be following it. With much admiration, Starla

  55. Donna says:

    I think what you are doing is awesome. Glad there are still good people that are willing to help out like this nice couple.

  56. H.T. Kim says:

    Good lunck on your journey. I’ve always wanted to do anything similar as what you are currently doing during my lifetime, but couldn’t make it yet. I am 47 anyway. Take a chance and be happy, my friend. I know you would look at the sky sometimes and speculate how livable the world is yet though. haha. Good luck on your walking and life journey, my dear friend.

  57. Joel Abella says:

    Matt, Good luck on your journeys! Many people that i have known would love to do what you are doing but can’t due to unforeseen circumstances. The world is big and we only have a certain a lotted time to do the things the we REALLY wanted to do in this life and you are living your dream. Yo have inspired a lot of people including me and to remind us all that there’s still good and kind hearted people who still believes and trusts other people and the world is all not that bad. Like You, i had a lot of journeys too myself, only thing is i did all my traveling on a motorcycle with basically the same set-up that you have (tent, Sleeping Bag, Extra clothes, food and a little bit of cash) and i went out 6 months straight from California to Vancouver, BC Canada. More power to you Matt and keep walking! :D

  58. CJ says:

    All I can say is, respect to you my man. Lots of it. All the best through your inspiring journey!

  59. Vicki says:

    Awesome experience you are on, traveling across our country……what fun-keep on going young man. You are truly on an adventure of a lifetime.

  60. Jorge A. Lopez says:

    Go Matt Go.
    Here’s that link to “I’m Walking” by Fats Domino

  61. JessieBelle says:

    Matt- Just like everyone else, I am in awe of your treck. I wish I was much of a free spirit. <3

    I know you're journey is taking you more norther-ish route, but if you happen to walk though Kansas, contact me. :-)

    My fiance and I live on a farm, just off the highway and would love to have you over for fresh vegis and a steak dinner on the grill. We'll get some local beer and make a night of it. Doesn't that sound wonderful?

    Go West, young man. -Horace Greeley

  62. Tna says:

    I didn’t know you could eat rhubarb raw. Now I do!

  63. 'gina says:

    fresh picked leafy greens….cant beat ’em!!!

  64. 1sun goddess says:

    Wow, you are making tracks! Hope you enjoyed the walk Vista house & that area is beatiful!

Leave a Reply