“Anyone who thinks walking across the country is about walking, I’m here to tell you that it’s not.”
Following the death, in 2017, of his 96-year-old father, a World War II veteran, Robert Schoen set off on a coast-to-coast journey. After stepping into the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, he walked east, through homeless communities, ghost towns, and the Mojave Desert for 40 days and nights, until he faced defeat by a heat dome that brought extreme temperatures to the Southwest. Depressed and disappointed, he returned home.
Early the following year, he was back on the road, determined to complete his journey. In spite of a brief medical emergency that temporarily sidelined him, he persevered through temperatures in the low 20°s, steep climbs, ongoing blisters, a threat from a crazy person, bedbugs, barbed wire, rain, lightning, fire, and smoke until, 2,644 miles and 14 states later, he waded into the Atlantic Ocean.
This is a photojournalistic tour of America told with humor and passion by a man who experienced the best and worst of what our country—and its people—has to offer.