This is the story of a 4,000-mile / 6,400-km trail of footprints from Seattle to New Orleans, via deserts, mountains, and winding rivers. This diagonal walk across the United States followed on my walk across Europe in 2011, and grew out of my interest in how people deal with space, distance, and geography. I hope you find the notes and other media on this site interesting, or even useful if you’re contemplating a similar walk yourself.
My journey was part adventure and part research project. I’m curious how a country as big as the United States is logistically tied together, and I’m curious how transportation and communication technologies affect our sense of place. These issues are especially fundamental to life in the American West, and have been for as long as people have lived in the region. Because I’ve found that walking provides a valuable ground-level perspective, I decided to explore the West’s transit landscape on foot. Along the way, I recorded material for a Kickstarter-funded video documentary combining my own traveling experiences with stories from Western transit history and conversations with residents of the West who help to move people, goods, and signals across the region – from horsepackers and television broadcasters to airport developers and telephone technicians. I owe these people, and the many others who helped me in the course of my journey, a tremendous debt of gratitude.
This website may periodically get a little dusty as I hammer all of this material into shape, but I hope you’ll bear with me as I sort through the bounty of a long and fruitful expedition.