Day 152

Last night of the trip!

August 25th, 2010

And one last wonderful family to share it with. Dennis whipped up a terrific dinner, and then we sat around the fire talking and drinking various hot beverages (coffee and tea for the "adults", hot chocolate for the rest of us). Madelyn sat at my feet most of the night snorting in (what I'm sure was) admiration. And then we ended on a sweet note: Tillamook ice cream!

Fun fact: 30 years ago, Dennis proposed to Jan underneath the World's Largest Buffalo, which you may remember from back in Jamestown, ND!

From left to right: Harrison, Leah, Jan, Dennis, Madelyn


  1. Dennis in MI says:

    The Road goes ever on and on
    Out from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    Let others follow it who can!
    Let them a journey new begin,
    But I at last with weary feet
    Will turn towards the lighted inn,
    My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

  2. katzien in austin says:

    OH what fun Matt! And I can see they’ve got a sense of humor too. Thanks for sharing your home with Matt and the rest of hobo nation. Luckily, we don’t take up too much room. Band width maybe, but that’s it. heehee

  3. Steve in WI says:

    Thank you Matt for the last 5 months, it has been a wonderful time traveling with you. Thank You to everyone in the Hobo Nation that have commented and made the journey that much more enjoyable with your comments and the local information. Also a big THANK YOU to all the people that had the oppurtunity to meet our Chief Hobo and provide him with food and shelter or just a freindly wave and welcome. I will sure miss looking everyday to see the great pictures of our wonderful nation and people!!!

  4. Michael in Atlanta says:

    Thanks Matt. What a nice last night.

  5. John in MI says:

    I’m glad you a good night last night, and what a great family to spend it with. Well, this is truly it. The last morning venture out, the last goodbye to a host family, and soon the last steps to the end of your journey. Take it all in, and cherish every minute. Thanks once again for the opportunity to journey along, it’s been a wonderful ride (eh, walk.)

  6. Wilma in WV says:

    Wonderful way to spend the last night. Every moment and every picture will be cherished by all of us who are following your trek.

  7. skates in minnesnowta says:

    wow – what a trip, matt! i’ve so enjoyed seeing the country through your eyes. congratulations on reaching your destination.

    what’s next?!

  8. Cheri says:

    Matt, I have watched your whole walk but posted very little. I’ve really enjoyed seeing your pictures and being able to bear witness to the kindness of strangers. What a rich experience you’ve had and something you will carry with you in your heart always. I hope you’ll be able to keep in touch with all those kind samaritans who have provided you with shelter and nourishment (body and soul). This story will be one you will share with your family and friends forever and I’m sure many of us will also share this story with others when they begin to talk about how unkind the world is and how we have ventured so far from kindness. Your story has restored my faith in the human race, thanks for providing such a great example of how wonderful the people in this country are.

    I can’t be there to cheer you in today, but I am there in spirit!

    All the best for a bright future and new adventures!
    Cheri in Plano Texas

  9. MaryEllen says:

    That’s my sister, bro-in-law, niece and friend (though we’ve never met!)!! They are the nicest, most hospitable family in the world and I’m so glad you got to spend time with them! Lucky you, to have had a meal prepared by Dennis!

    • MN Roxanne says:

      That’s awesome MaryEllen… so glad Matt had a great family to spend his last night on the road with. Dennis and Jan have great smiles and seem very nice… welcome to Hobo nation… go back and read the journey… it’s amazing.

  10. RAYMOND in ALABAMA says:

    Dennis looks like an Alabama Man, ROLL TIDE, Matt you are on the way to GOAL LINE, what a Touchdown it will be………

  11. Thanks Harrison, Leah, Jan and Dennis for your kind hospitality for Matts last night ON THE ROAD! And thank you Madelyn for admiring Matt. We do too! You are probably the luckiest family so far! Not sure why, but I just feel to be the last one….and so near to the end makes you just a wee bit special. :-)

  12. Jeff says:

    America the Beautiful
    Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
    Muse by Jeff from New Jersey.

    O beautiful for spacious skies, – (Big sky Montana)
    For amber waves of grain, – (Indiana)
    For purple mountain majesties – (view of the Rockies)
    Above the fruited plain! – (those wheat seeds on the bridge shot)
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee (our thoughts conversations on ‘deity’s’)
    And crown thy good with brotherhood – (the people (all) he met along the way)
    From sea to shining sea! = (need I say more.)

    O beautiful for pilgrim feet – (every step a adventurer has ever taken)
    Whose stern impassioned stress – (the mighty Matt mobile)
    A thoroughfare of freedom beat – (highways, roadways…and “primitive-ways”)
    Across the wilderness! – (god bless all 11 states)
    America! America!
    God mend thine every flaw, – (roads dipping into water?)
    Confirm thy soul in self-control, – (not seeing/showing the bad)(boy on bike “sorry”)
    Thy liberty in law! – (no cops bothered him)

    O beautiful for heroes proved (war memorials, statue of liberties, road memorials)
    In liberating strife. (one man’s walk, vicariously shared)
    Who more than self their country loved (yellow flags at mile markers >
    And mercy more than life! – <for Iraq war VETS who died )(RIP)
    America! America!
    May God thy gold refine – (every ray of sunshine through clouds)
    Till all success be nobleness (Matt’s lasting impression on America)
    And every gain divine! – (we who have shared his walk/dream)

    O beautiful for patriot dream (Lewis and Clark highway section)
    That sees beyond the years (much wisdom passed on through matt’s visits)
    Thine alabaster cities gleam (Fargo North Dakota Shot)
    Undimmed by human tears! (World trade center, though not ever shown)
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee (grotto picture off the path in Minnesota)
    And crown thy good with brotherhood – (hat’s off to Big Scott ! )
    From sea to shining sea!

    O beautiful for halcyon skies, (all shots of sky and clouds and bridges)
    For amber waves of grain,
    For purple mountain majesties
    Above the enameled plain! (as shown through the eye of Hobo & a droid phone)

  13. Madeyln's Mom says:

    Thanks for staying with us on your last night, Matt! We enjoyed every minute of it and wish you the very best on your life journey. You always have a place to stay when you are out this way. Please keep us all informed on where you go from here. Jan

    • Jeff says:

      We are blessed to know you but a day. Thank you….now push that boy out…he has a goal with Destiny.

    • Janine says:

      Yay Jan! Hobo Planet VIP! Thank you for taking care of Our Matt. I have to say…I’m so glad the snoring Madelyn was the dog. *LOL*

    • Gigi says:

      Thank you for hosting Matt on the last night of his trip, and for the sweet dessert! Now, we’re all looking forward and cheering our hobo as he crosses the finish line. Cheers!

    • Michael in Atlanta says:


      You are a hallowed woman in our halls. Thank you!

  14. Julie in Cincinnati says:

    Huge thanks to Dennis, Jan, Leah, Harrison and Madelyn for taking such great care of our Chief Hobo on the last night of his journey!!

  15. MN Roxanne says:

    Yeah for Dennis and Jan…. Happy Anniversary- 30 years… awesome… many thanks for hosting Matt’s last night. We love it when he has a happy family to share food with… and ice cream- what a treat! Bless you.

  16. Ruthie in CA says:

    Love the last night Family, what a treat.

  17. Dennis G says:

    It was so much fun meeting you Matt, and having you at our house. What a privilege for us to be your last stop. Best of luck in the future and hopefully our paths will cross again one day!

  18. Alisa 11 says:

    BTW folks Tillamook ice cream is the best ice cream I’ve ever had!! And it’s fun to tour their factory too, especially when they hand out free samples ;)

  19. Linda in Michigan says:

    Wow! I have cheered you on all the way. I’m going to have a huge hole in my routine where I go check with my walking guy. Hmmm… have to think about filling that up! LOL

    I’m glad you made it there safely. I am impressed with the beauty of our country that you shared but more so of the people you met along the way. I just wish I’d known about you earlier so I could have located you in person to wish you all the best. (You walked near my home in southern Michigan.)

    I’m proud of you for setting such a large goal and achieving it with literally, one step at a time. Congrats!

  20. Maria says:

    Matt, I’ve been following your journey for several months now and I’m so sad to see it end. You have proven that the heart of America still beats strong. Whether or not you meant to be, you have been an inspiration to so many. The beauty of the countryside and of the people you have encountered has given me a renewed faith that the United States of America is still inherently good. I hope you found what you were looking for on this epic walk and I pray that what you discovered continues to enrich all the days of your life… Congratulations Matt! You did it!

  21. Diane says:

    That’s my sister and brother-in-law….the most hospitable people I know! Very, very cool that Matt got to experience Denny’s fine dining!

  22. karen428 in POPE co. AR says:

    Thanks for Dennis & family for hosting Matt! We are all envious ! Have a great last leg of the trip!

  23. Breanne says:

    Wow! Last night already???

  24. Melody in Oklahoma says:

    When I was a young teenager (about 1966) my family and I took a trip from Oklahoma City to Southern Indiana in my Uncle’s 1959 Cadilac. Somewhere in Southern Illinois on a late Sunday afternoon the car broke down in a beautiful little town in front of a home. (The water pump went out.) The home was owned by a couple in their 50’s (the age I now am). He was a mechanic who owned a garage in town. He happened to have a water pump that fit the car, which he put on and refused to let my uncle pay. While he was working on the car my uncle and dad stood in the yard visiting with him under a shade tree. His wife took my mom, my younger sister and I in and fed us. We talked about them for years. Then in 1987 I was traveling alone coming home to Oklahoma from Illinois. Sunday night about 6:00 p.m. I was near Cairo, Illinois and people kept passing me on the Interstate and honking and pointing at my hood. I then noticed steam coming out. I pulled off at the next exit which was a Dairy Queen outside of Cairo. I was sitting there with my hood up wondering what to do next (my water pumpt went out!) when a woman about 50 and her daughter about 25 pulled up beside me. They said their next door neighbor was a mechanic, and took me home with them in their car and stopped at his house. He went by his shop and got a water pump for my car and went out to the Dairy Queen and fixed it. They ladies wanted me to spend the night but I had to get back on the road and home to my daughter. Over the years, I had forgotten about these experiences, but when I started reading Matt’s blog and “meeting” all these great people and seeing all the wonderful people across America I remembered both incidents very clearly. The memories are now like they only happened this year. Matt and his blog has helped to see that Americans are still the best people in the world and the media with all it’s bad news had convinced me people couldn’t be trusted any more like in the “good old days”. Thank you, Matt, and everyone who have met along the way for giving me back my trust in my fellow Americans.

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