A Diverse America

I found so many fascinating people and places that I couldn’t fit them all into the newspaper articles. When the walk was over, I made a list of more than 100 undone stories, like the windmills of America, the red-hatted ladies, the Great Basin and, of course, the four-pound hamburger (eat it all and it’s free). I’ve included many of those stories in my book. – Joe Hurley

Joe Hurley observes the wonders and treasures of an area that most locals typically take for granted. He sees the value of history and Small Town America and after reading the tales of his trek it should make every American want to lace up their sneakers and take a walk through some of the highways and byways in their own backyard.

Through his observations, Joe reminds us that we all must understand and support our heritage and our history to ensure they have a future.”

Andrew M. Seder, Journalist

The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.



Today’s New Englanders are busier and less trusting. From Cape Cod to Pennsylvania, only one person offered me a ride -- a scruffy young guy in a beat-up car. Would I have stopped for him if our situations were reversed? Probably not. I’m from New England.

By Ohio, I was getting several ride offers a day. I couldn’t accept the rides of course, but they convinced me that these folks were different from New Englanders. People stopped to chat, they walked along with me. The Midwest, I thought, was more like the America I once knew.

But as I crossed the nation, I realized that the difference isn’t among sections of the country, it’s between the cities and the small towns, where the pace is slower and folks have more time and more trust.

There are parts of New England, far from the cities, where folks have a more in common with Midwesterners than Bostonians.

I wish I had done a better job of thanking these folks – and everyone who encouraged us along the way.

Some of them stand out in my mind, like the waist-high kid who offered me a banana and a dollar bill to speed me on the way. And the guy who drove 75 miles because he was convinced a few words from me would help his sick son. And all the people who opened their homes, hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and lodgings to two complete strangers.

ARCHIVED: Originally published on November 25, 2004

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA)


Eight months and 3,500 miles ago, Joe Hurley started walking in Connecticut, looking for the America you can't see from an interstate highway. A semi-retired newspaperman, the 59-year-old set out to see if Americans are the same as when he was a boy 50 years earlier – Ozzie and Harriet or Will and Grace?

"I haven't found what I thought I'd find. I found many other things,'' Hurley said Wednesday...


WBSM 1420 AM

Bedford , Massachusetts

Published on Aug 6, 2014

Retired reporter Joe Hurley walked from Cape Cod to California on Route 6 with professional photographer Travis Lindhorst to discover American and Americana.