Day 71: Melting Pot

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March 11, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

America is…big.  It’s so big, in fact, that it’s difficult to conceive of just how big it really is.  Bigness, in this sense, doesn’t just encompass geography and land-mass; America is a big land of big things, big people, big opportunities and big stories.  The vastness and diversity of America can’t be seen from any one point within it, and so with a hope to glimpse the bigger American picture, today’s project embarked on a journey through our nation’s big heart.

Ten Million Steps began in 2004 with a cross-country walking tour, taking Joe Hurley and Travis Lindhorst, a photographer, 3,600 miles across the continental United States via Route 6.  On his way, he met farmers and miners, cows, corn and city folk.  He walked and talked and ate as he made his way across America, chronicling his journey as he went.  Now, his story and the hundreds of stories he gathered along his way will be published with the help of his fellow Americans.

We searched the heartbeat of the nation at the start of the 21st Century, trekking through 14 States and more than 500 Communities. Our days were filled with struggles and triumphant moments.

Our weekly task was to compile and submit articles & photographs in 12 newspapers across the nation. Along the way we talked to thousands of people, sometimes traveling off our path in pursuit of exceptional stories or unique locations. We brought light to those places you didn’t know existed and told stories about people you will never forget.

This book is giving us all a peek into our own backyard – a backyard so vast that most of us will never know it fully.  Joe and Travis took an incredible trip and are sharing everything that makes ordinary Americans truly extraordinary people.

For a mere $25 pledge, you can get yourself a copy of Ten Million Steps and share in the great American story.  We have a lot of neighbors in this big country of ours – why not get to know them a little better?  This project has only 8 days to go (March 19), but the story is far from over.


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