Eric T. Johnson - 50 West
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I have always been fascinated by the “long road”, those lines that run continuously across the map from coast to coast or north to south. The most interesting are those routes that have been supplanted by the Interstate highways, winding their way through places that we often speed by in our haste to get to work, home, or some other activity.
US-50 is one of those roads. We in the Washington area typically think of it as a congested commuter route from the Virginia suburbs to DC, or the equally busy route to a weekend getaway on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. But if one heads west, clear of the Washington, DC suburbs, the route is transformed into a scenic route across the middle of the country, passing through the hills of Appalachia, the expansive agricultural lands of the Midwest, over the continental divide in Colorado, across the deserts of central Utah and Nevada, and ending just outside Sacramento, California.
The photographs in this project are the product of a series of trips on US-50 - one cross-country run over the entire length of the route, and several shorter trips covering smaller segments of the route. I usually did not set out with a specific photographic itinerary, but instead gave myself over to the serendipitous discovery of my subjects. The resulting images are a personal visual chronicle of long-established places newly seen.
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