Sunday morning at 3am, June 8 (I think), I drove to University of Maine, where I spent my first two years of college. I hung out for a few hours and managed to sell my car for $500 and get a ride to the A.T. the next morning.
My first 3 days were extremely unnecessarily challenging. I entered the 100 mile wilderness at Abol Bridge, about 15 miles south of Mt. Katahdin (no dogs in Baxter St. Pk.) My pack weighed at least 60lbs. I hiked 3.5 miles to the first lean-to on Monday hitch-free. However, Tuesday, I hiked 11.5 miles with a pack that weighed about 70 lbs because first thing that morning I took a headfirst dive into a rock in a river. Plus, it rained all day. After countless rests, praying, cursing, etc, I made it to the lean-to, where I met the two 20 year old Eagle Scouts from Alabama that I have been hiking with since.
After steadily lightening my load, and a day and a half of rest 30 miles in at White House Landing, I am really starting to cruise. I hiked as much as 17 miles in mountainous terrain. Now I am in Monson, ME, 100 miles later, where I am taking my second ‘0’ day, further lightening my load, and picking up needed supplies. I hiked 70 miles in sandals, and intend on hiking in them indefinitely. My boots gave me blisters and disconnected me from the Earth.
I will keep you posted on my progress- I should be flying from here on!
My cell phone got wet, so will not be replaced for several weeks. If you need to communicate with me, do it via email for now. If you would like to join me on the trail, be sure to contact me first. My next stop will be Caratunk and then Stratton in the coming week.
If you would like to donate money or supplies, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
*checks or money order made out to: Matt Goodman
*please be sure all food is raw and unsulphered (dried fruit, raw nuts, dried raw coconut, etc)
Greetings from Stratton, ME!
I hope this message finds everyone healthy, happy, and holy. My adventure is now almost 3 weeks deep; and it seems like yesterday, and at the same time, forever ago, that it started.
I am taking my 3rd “0” day in 3 weeks at the White Wolf Motel, who has been so kind to sponsor my effort with free room and board. Today I helped an elderly woman find her car keys. It was funny walking down the street with the Jimmy I borrowed from the gas station up the street. But the police make no presence in this town that reminds me of a Hank Williams song. She is a trilingual former classical(1500+) opera singer.
The characters we meet are part of the charm of this hike. In Monson, our first stop after the 100 mile wilderness, there was the battle between Mr. Shaw, a cross between Uncle Jesse, Boss Hogg, and Mister Potatohead, and the Pie Lady. We stayed at Shaw’s because he picked us up when we were hitchhiking; but I bought a pie from The Pie Lady. It’s a feud that’s been going on for years.
In Caratunk, we, Squirrel, D-Bone, Harold & Maude (2 young ladies from Rochester, NY), swam in a hottub, at a bar/restaurant/resort, in our underwear. A different set of rules seems to apply to us.
All of the details of the stories will be in the book. We decided to wait to publish it until after I completed the hike.
Yesterday, I hiked about 17 miles over the biggest mountain peaks thus far (4200+ ft.) I felt unbelievably strong. We are about to embark on the most rugged section of Maine. We should be in New Hampshire in less than 10 days.
The spirit of the planet, and all that is holy, is sculpting my body into its natural state. Three or four days ago my ankles and knees were extremely sore; presumably from years of kicking balls, sports, skiing, walking on unnaturally flat surfaces. Now, after almost a month of the spirit of the earth (roots, rocks, moss, hills up and down, etc.), massaging and shaping my body, I have little or no pain, and more strength than I hoped for.
I am eating about 95% raw (NHU Food Bars, etc), deep breathing and chanting God’s name with every step, and getting back into my yoga practice. It is making for an interesting predicament that I’ll keep ya posted on!
Appalachian Trail Hike Update Continued:
July 3, 2003
We arrived in Andover, ME, solo (Jerry), yesterday. As expected, our pace has quickened, and we have left the group we were traveling a day or two behind, and have caught up to most of the people who passed me in the beginning.
We have done several 15+ and 1 or 2 20+ days over some of Maine’s highest mountain ranges (Bigelow, Saddleback).
Our next stop will be Gorham, NH; which should come in about 3 days. There we will meet up with my dear friend Ramananda Das, who plans to hike for the next month with us. He’s young and on the raw diet, so will adapt quickly I am sure. I will make sure he does not repeat my heavy pack mistakes. He went raw about 1 1/2 years ago, and healed from suicidal depression and bad acne. Now he is blissed-out with happiness!
For those who are interested, here is my daily diet:
BREAKFAST (sunrise)- H2O (about 1 1/2 quarts) I let it soak in for a few minutes then have Pure Planet wheatgrass, barleygrass, or spirulina. To purchase Pure Planet products, call 1-800-452-6884×207 or go to Arnold’s Way where he keeps a good supply.
Before my hike is when I do my self-massage, yoga, and meditation – then I chant with almost every step to keep focused.
MID-MORNING – I might have some dried fruit if the hike is a tough one – otherwise I don’t eat until I am done hiking in the afternoon or evening – I don’t like to be digesting while hiking. I take more wheatgrass etc if I don’t eat fruit. The greens digest very quickly.
UPON ARRIVAL @ CAMP – Now I feast on various foods – primarily my calories come from the amazing NHU FOOD (1-877-815-6904) meal bars (14 different nut, seed, and fruit, flavors; and worth their weight in gold)- I eat 2 of them a day while Jerry eats 1 (400-700 calories each!); but I also eat raw yams, garlic, dried coconut, Activated Barley (Pure Planet), other nuts, seeds, dried fruit. I try to keep my dinners simple (less than 5 ingredients).
I drink at least 2 gallons of H2O a day. With rest, water, and greens, my energy stays high and focused all day!
For those who are interested and get NY radio, I will be on 1600am, at 1pm today, telling my story and representing Pure Planet. I have been in the health food/supplement world for more than 10 years, and have never found anything that comes close to their products. They are powerful and pure foods, and are minimally processed. This is why they have a glow that eventually transfers onto the individual!
Tuesday July 15th, 2003
Just got to North Woodstock, NH, after finishing all its alpine mountain ranges. We are pooped and will be here for the next day and a half.
Ramananda Das joined in at Gorham, progressed quickly as expected, until he twisted both ankles and a knee coming down the extremely steep descent down Wildcat Mountain on the third day. It was one of the steepest I have seen. Nonetheless, we were very disappointed; him especially until he quickly healed and was notified that they reopened Kundalini training so he could go to be certified.
Later that day I entered the Presidential Mountain Range and sprained my left ankle just 200 feet from the hut (it was a 14 mile day). It made a pop after I rolled on a boulder. It hurt so bad it made my eyes water. I lost my focus because I became self conscious when the hut’s tenants and crew enjoyed my descent while eating dinner. Nevertheless, somehow it healed after 1 1/2 days rest at Madison Hut. A storm hit the next day while we rested. I had to keep Jerry warm with their wool blankets because he wasn’t allowed in until bedtime.
I should be in the Delaware Water Gap mid to late August for those who would like to join in at a convenient location.
I am in Gorham, NH now, and will probably be leaving tomorrow before noon for the White Mountains.
Saturday July 26th, 2003
Jerry and I arrived in Hanover, NH, July 20th, after completing my first 30 mile day! We stayed with a few kind Dartmouth students for two nights. We are about halfway done Vermont as I write this email. Yesterday, Jerry sprained his left front leg, so I am taking a zero mile day today. I hitchhiked into Rutland, Vt to use the library computer. We are really starting to cruise, so should be in the Del. Water Gap within 2-3 weeks. I hope you can join in for a couple days of camping! I will send out another email as I approach. We will be home in Wenonah for a couple of days after the Water Gap; so if you would like to get together, either email me or call and leave a message at 609-634-7086.
Thursday August 7th, 2003
Jerry and I arrived in Tyringham, Massachusetts yesterday, August 6th. We got caught in the middle of a wicked thunderstorm, so decided to hitchhike into town with Walt, a new hiker/musician/friend from Tennessee. There we called a childhood buddy of mine, Eric, who resides outside Springfield with his wife Heather, about 45 minutes away. After spending the night, and resupplying, we are heading back to the trail later this morning. We are about a day and a half from Connecticut.
The terrain is getting substantially easier, allowing for consistent hikes exceeding 20 miles. “They” say once a hiker finishes Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, they have done 25% of the miles, but over 80% of its difficulty. I don’t know if I completely buy it, but it sounds good.
Thanks to donations made by many, the hike continues, and we get stronger with every passing day.
For those who know me well, they know I am hardly perfect, and openly filled with many vices. Although our progress has been more than adequate, many will be suprised at how much it will improve as I divorce myself from these vices during the coming month, and for the duration of the hike.
I aim to show that if Nature is revisited, not only does the body heal itself, but maximizes. During transition to the hiking lifestyle, I have hung onto many limiting habits; but now is the time to go to another level. Although we will not break any speed records (many carry much less weight than I), we will definately be cruising at a higher rate.
Book available soon after the hike has a new name:
Monday August 18th, 2003
I just arrived in Vernon, NJ, which is about 60 miles, about 4 days, from the Delaware Water Gap. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York were beautiful, lush, and full of wildlife (turkeys, deer, reptiles, etc). Jerry and I spent much of our time hiking and camping with Synapse (Walt).
We finally started hitting the blueberries, huckleberries, and blackberries. Picking and eating delayed our hiking but made for great breaks!
Friday August 29th, 2003
Last Thursday, August 21st, I arrived at the Delaware Water Gap, where my mom picked exhausted me and Jerry up for a 5 day break at home. I got to hang out with many friends at parties, and relatives at the Philadelphia Folk Fest for a night. Subsequently, my rest was very limited.
Tuesday, August 26th, our friend David drove me and Jerry to Arnold’s house in Lansdale, where we were joined by friend, raw-foodist, dance, and Yamuna Body Rolling instructor, Michelle. Arnold, Michelle, Jerry, and myself drove to the DWG and spent two days hiking in the beautiful PA forest.
They both did a great job hiking the 6 miles to and from the lean-to. And I must say, Arnold has transformed his body in a very short time. H e looked rather buff doing his Tai Chi in the morning, while I did massage, YBR and Yoga, and Michelle Danced and body rolled. During our hike back to the Gap, we ran into several hiking friends; and were joined by one, Maude, for a swim in the Delaware. Maude and her hiking partner Harold, hiked much of Maine with me, Jerry, D-Bone, and Squirrel.
I spent the night in the DWG hostel with Harold and Maude and another hiker, Stringer and his dog Daisy. Jerry is the only dog that she seems to like.
It was great having you there guys! Michelle teaches YBR and can be contacted at Arnold’s Way (215-361-0116). It is an integration of massage, yoga, and chiropractic, and is extremely empowering and liberating.
Yesterday, we hiked 21.5 miles, from Wind Gap, PA to Palmerton, PA. It was very rocky and treacherous at the end; but we made it to the hiker-friendly, working village on the Lehigh River. We will probably be heading home for a day or two when we arrive in Port Clinton (about 3 days). My ankles need some quality rest-time to strengthen, and I have to address some financial issues.
While I am on the topic, if anyone would like to donate to the hike-fund, something we definately need to happen in order to finish the remaining 1300 miles, make check payable to Matt Goodman and mail to:
Matt Goodman c/o:
PO Box 91
Wenonah, NJ 08090
Palmerton is symbolically a passageway to a new hike for me. As I leave, I intend on implementing all of the tools with purity (without major vice), for the remainder of the hike. Watch out, I might turn into light!
Appalachian Trail Hike Update:
Wednesday September 10th, 2003
I hope this email finds everyone healthy and happy. After coming home for another 2 days last Sunday, and getting a ride back to Port Clinton by my friend John, we hiked 175 miles in 7 days; putting us on pace to finish at the end of October!
As I continue the hike, I am getting inspired; which means these emails are going to get a little heavier with my philosophies. If you don’t appreciate my input, feel free to contact my webmaster and be removed from the list. I will still be providing lots of info. on festivals, etc, in the future.
We are currently in Maryland, but will hit Virginia tomorrow. It is midday, so my message must be short so we can get back to the hike and crank out some miles.
I want to explain why I decided to name the book “HOLY SH*T”. First of all, the name is in honor of my deceased father whom surely would’ve gotten a kick out of. Secondly, it is an exclamation that fits the amazing nature of my healing and the one that 1000’s of others are experiencing. Thirdly, on an uncooked nutrition program, one experiences some spiritually inspiring bowel movements. Lastly, and most importantly, I want to shock and even repel the zealots who only seem to accept knowledge from their narrow-minded pool of information, which is usually derived from a very limited set of resources (one book, related resources, etc).
In the short term the name intends to repel some unaccepting people. However, as the healing #’s grow, some will realize their prejudices and hopefully open their hearts and senses to new ideas, ultimately making our world a more tolerable place.
Why such an issue with zealots, esp. religious, one might ask? I believe it is this zealotry that is taking our “civilized” cult-ure to hell in a bucket. It seems to protect its narrow view of existence, one that sees life in the short-term, and intent on fulfilling the prophesies of its teachings, they are willing to ignore common sense, instinct, and a longterm view of the universe that recognizes the delicate balance and interconnectednes of all that exists.
To change the industrial machine, we need to educate the people, which changes the demand. I believe it is happening, but needs to much more.
The violent reaction of other zealots towards our zealotry merely justifies even more fervent behavior. This seems to be the cycle we are caught in. Yes, we should react in horror to events like 9/11; but to lash out without a positive evolution on our part(imperalistically, environmentally, etc), on our part, is obsurd.
More diatribes to come. Apologies for the brief explanations of these ideas, but my time is very limited.
Thursday September 18th, 2003
Jerry and I arrived in Waynesboro, Va yesterday afternoon after a very exciting week.
Last Friday, September 12th, after almost two weeks straight of 25 mile days, it was raining as we arrived at the Mannassass shelter. It was about 2.5 miles to Linden, Va, my next PO supply drop pickup spot, where I was expecting a big package of NHU Food Meal Bars. Since I don’t wear a watch, and the sun was hidden, I had know idea what time it was. After unpacking my dampened gear, food, sleeping bag, and wrapping Jerry up in my wool sweater, I laid down, presumably for the night, in the dank and implied snake infested shelter.
In a moments time, I jumped up, packed everything up and cruised the 2.5 miles to the intersection of Rt. 55, which was still another mile down the road from the PO and small grocery. I asked the Spirit to take care of us throughout the departure.
Sometimes after hiking a short distance, like 2.5 miles, it feels like 10; but this time it felt like less than a mile.
Pouring rain, I knocked on the door of a home that rested at the intersection. I figured maybe they’d let us stay in the barn in the back. Barely cracking the door open, a tight faced, near-elderly woman, bitterly told me lodging was 6-7 miles down the road. I kept asking her how far, because with the rain so loud, and her refusal to open the door, made it sound like 67 miles. With each asking she became more snappy; so we quickly moved onto the road to try to get a hitch.
Approximately 20 cars sped by, watching me and Jerry pathetically in the pouring rain. At that time, I began to curse so-called Southern hospitality! Soon later, a pickup truck pulled over. Driving, was a friendly, 40-something fellow who introduced himself as Jeff, with long, pony-tailed hair, on his way back from his woodworking teacher job of autistic children. Excitedly he asked, “Where do you need to go?”. I told him, “To the PO to get some food, and I guess a hotel for a dry place to sleep.” We were flat out of food at this point; one of my motivating factors for our departure from the shelter. With a friendly southern twang he says, “Heck, do you want to stay with us in my cabin in the mountains,” which rested on a foggy ridge about 2 miles away. “Are you kidding, yes!”I exclaimed.
He was an extremely accomodating, seasoned musician, who was recently divorced. He washed and dried my wet clothes, offered me a bed in his loft, and treated me that night to drinks and dinner at a spectacular 18th century restuarant.
After taking a relaxing zero day on Saturday, a day earlier then I planned; enticed by his invitation to a genuine bluegrass party Sat. night, me and Jerry again hit the trail and entered the Shenandoah National Park.
The first day and a half was foggy, but the 3500 foot ridgewalk trails, with their many switchbacks, were very hiker friendly. When the skies did clear, the views were magnificent!
Because of the hurricane, I left the park 25 miles before I finished its 107, to stay in Waynesboro’s Quality Inn at hiker prices.
Tuesday September 30th, 2003
Hi everyone from Pearisburg, Va! Yesterday Jerry and I were in the midst of our 4th 30+ mile day, when I was inspired to make it my last day of hiking.
I have accomplished what I set out to accomplish; showing the world that not only can the bodyspirit heal from the decimation of any illness, it can maximize if the Infinite wisdoms are reembraced.
We have hiked over 1500 miles and countless mountains. It feels like a full experience filled with every dynamic imaginable. We have learned countless lessons from the greatest teacher, the church, the forest. We have met many wonderful people, and have had many unbelievable experiences, that will forever influence us. It just feels right to be coming home.
There are a few other specific reasons why we are leaving before we hit Georgia, but time prevents me from a full explanation. Briefly: 1. financial 2. death in family 3.dog logistics in Smokies 4. in wedding in Oct 5. thru-hiker is a label 6. want to go to Thailand soon to finish “HOLY SH*T Cleanse-Heal-Maximize, Multiple Sclerosis—-ME-VA 03” 7. enough of forced hiking- I want to only hike when I please
I want to thank everyone for their spiritual, financial, logistical support. It could not have happened without you!
I will give a more complete thanking after I get home and settled. (The spirit provided us a ride to Philly 5 minutes after finishing our hike yesterday).
Tuesday October 14th, 2003
Jerry and I are in Wenonah, NJ after arriving from Southwest, VA more than two weeks ago. It is nice to be resting and pursuing new interests.
I am spending a lot of time eating, hanging out with friends, and looking for publishers on the computers at the Gloucester County College Library. I sent the manuscript to an interested literary agent last week (pray for the best!).
Solo, except with DetourEd, the hiker-fellow from Philly who drove me and Jerry home, I am going back to hike some of North Carolina’s high peaks and Tennessee’s Smokies, around Oct. 24th. Although I don’t miss hiking 25-30+ miles/day, I do really miss the woods and hiking on my own terms. If the Spirit deems fit, I intend to travel to Thailand, India, Turkey, and Nepal with Ramananda Das (Pete); departure sometime in November.
At this time, I would like to list and thank all the sponsors of “The Walk for Health.” It definitely would have not been a success without you!
Mom- you helped me financially and logistically way beyond the call of duty-love you
Wegnerworks.com Web Design; designers and maintainers of rawpower.info
NHU Foods (1-877-815-6904) fed me their ultra-delicious/healthy meal bars the whole way
Pure Planet (1-800-452-6884 x207) carrying their supplements was like having my own private green garden
Arnold’s Way (1-215-361-0116) this “mecca of healthfood stores” is right in our backyard, and filled in all the blanks of my hiker diet
And the following financial/food givers:
*Cornell and Company, Inc. (cornellcraneandsteel.com)
*Multiple Sclerosis Association (1-800-532-7667)
*The Sheppards, SBJ Agency, Inc., Insurance (856-845-0292)
*Pine Street Studios, faux finishing
*Employees of Huff Paper
*Goodman Design (856-464-0223);superior graphics for print since 1984
*Mandarin Court (856-468-6893); themandaringroup.com favorite Chinese/Japanese food
*Dennis Egen; web design (215-636-9500); insight-interactive.com
*The Langiewiczs; thank you
*symbiotics.com (harvesters of organic colostrum)
*DrShermanLeis.com plastic surgery
*ServiceTrak Network, title insurance, appraisals, property and flood searches (fax 856-424-1956)
*Carney’s Auto Center(856-468-1052)
*Kelliann’s Tavern, 44th & Spruce Streets, Philadelphia
*Mrs. Ralston, Matt’s favorite public school teacher (4th grade)
*Dr. Wood (Rutgers University, Camden, NJ; favorite college professor)
*Susan Pologruto and her Mom
*Uncle Sam (Dad’s brother really!)
*Gar & Rhoda Miller
Email email@example.com for details.