Arthur Hitchcock Walked Across America. You Should See the Photos.

At age 19, the photographer set off on a 4100-mile trek across the continent—and the American soul—in memory of his parent and to raise money for breast cancer research. His show “The Walk” opens with artist talks on Apr 2 & 3.

By Aaron Scott March 26, 2014

Image: Ira Lippke

The word preternatural was created for people like Arthur Hitchcock. His father died when he was 2 (he only knew the man through the photos he left behind). Arthur's mother died of breast cancer when he was 19. His approach to a grief beyond measure: to walk across the United States to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Setting off from Long Beach, California, he started up Highway 1 and then cut east, walking across 17 states to end in Augusta, Maine. The journey over 4100 miles of deserts, mountains, and plains took him 175 days (his longest day was 62 miles).

Along the way he met folks of all paths, from truckers to Occupy protestors to tramps and vagabonds riding the rails. The photos from his journey are landscapes of the emotional world and the American soul as much as they are of the physical world. They ache with the loneliness of long stretches of empty road; they indomitably search for a home, however makeshift, despite continual reminders of how small and meaningless life can be; they find hope in unexpected encounters and the ability of strangers to join together.

"I’ve learned to appreciate anything above nothing," Hitchcock says in the documentary he put together with his footage. "Anything above just being completely butt naked and cold—you really need to hold onto it."

Arthur Hitchcock: The Walk
The Good Mod, 1313 W Burnside St, Fourth Floor
Apr 2–30
Opening presentations Apr 2 & 3 at 7 pm.
His show, The Walk, will be at the Good Mod. The two opening presentations about the trip and the events leading up to it will utilize documentary footage, an interactive map with photos, and a large-scale map made from his journals (each photograph comes with the corresponding page from his journal). Rogue and Eastside Distillery will provide drinks. 

We asked Hitchcock to pick several of his favorite images and tell the story behind them. His documentary is below the slide show. You can see more of his work at his website.


Hitchcock Walks from Loose Luggage on Vimeo.


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