This is the story of a 4,000-mile / 6,400-km diagonal walk across the United States from Seattle to New Orleans, via deserts, mountains, and winding rivers. The journey was a sequel to my walk across Europe in 2011, part of my continuing exploration of 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.
The walk was part adventure and part research project. I was curious how a country as big as the United States is tied together, and how transportation and communication technologies affect western Americans’ sense of place, given the age-old difficulty of traversing the West’s mountains and deserts. I also wanted to find out how it felt to cross a desert the hard way myself. The result was a Kickstarter-funded video documentary project 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.
I owe thanks to the people whose support on Kickstarter helped to make this walk feasible in the first place:
To the people who sheltered and supported me along the way:
To the experts who spoke with me about the ways people tie the West together:
And to you, for being curious.