FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

Photographer Ed Zirkle pondered life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on his six-month cross-country road trip.

By Kristin Baird Rattini

It’s fitting that a “We the People” road trip would include a stop at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia—on July 4th, no less. Ed Zirkle, a photographer from Columbus, Ohio, journeyed through 27 states in his 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid, capturing more than 25,000 photos and 5,300 videos of what the founding fathers’ ideals mean to “we the people” today.

What inspired the road trip?

It was sparked by a conversation I had with my mother in the 1970s. There was a book out then called Blue Highways, which was about taking the off-the-beaten-path roads. Last year, the opportunity presented itself to make that kind of trip happen.

How planned out was your itinerary?

I started in Atlantic City, N.J., on July 1, 2013. I knew I wanted to drive U.S. Route 30 to Astoria, Ore., and then down to the L.A. area before starting back.

What were some of the highlights?

Everywhere along the way, people would say, “Sure, come on in!” In Boise, Idaho, I toured the command center for wildfire fighters. I spent some time photographing migrant farmworkers in Salinas, Calif., at work in the fields at 6 a.m.

How did C-MAX Hybrid perform during the trip?

I’ve been a Ford guy since the ’70s. For me, C-MAX Hybrid was the perfect all-around car. It may seem small on the outside, but when you sit inside, it gets huge. There was plenty of room for me and my gear.

From Instagram

Showroom

The Ford Showroom