I’ve always liked road trips. Not the sitting in a cramped car for hours or having to pee without a restroom for miles. But, watching the landscape change before your eyes and being able to see the culture shift and morph as you drive by.
It’s been a goal of mine for years to travel to all 50 states. Numerous family road trips and train trips has brought my total to 39. I can’t think of a better way to pick up all, but Hawaii and Alaska, than by driving. I’ve never considered myself a red, white and blue, wave the flag, ra-ra-ra patriotic kind of American, but there’s something about doing a road trip that seems like the American thing to do. Talk about your all American cultural experience. It’s a chance to see the country inside and out. From small towns to large cities. From West Coast hippies to Southern belles to New England preps.
During the Great Depression the government hired a group of photographers under the Farm Security Administration to document poverty throughout the country. The photographers, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, and Walker Evans to name a few, provided some of the best and most powerful images of American history. They weren’t documenting poses, they were documenting life, everyday life.
That’s what intrigues me about road trips, it’s a unique opportunity to see the country, to have a chance to document not only for others, but for myself everyday life in the United States. It gives you a chance to see and capture in words and images how every day citizens live their lives.