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Extraordinary photos of young hitchhikers and freight train hoppers by Mike Brodie

Posted by Liv Siddall,

When you read On the Road (I assume you’ve read it) did you ever get upset that things just weren’t like the old days, and kids in this day and age – yourself included– would never have the balls to hitch hike across America with nothing but the clothes on their/your back? I did, until seeing this photo series by Mike Brodie. Armed with a camera, Mike hopped trains with this weathered group of youngsters in 2004, feverishly documenting their grubby and exhilarating existence on the roofs of freight trains and on the banks of the railroads.

The frank nature of these photographs of good-looking, un-showered and windswept whippersnappers travelling together and looking out for one another makes for one of the most fascinating photo series we’ve seen for ages. It is also intriguing to discover that Mike Brodie, after returning from photographing this group of extraordinary humans, quite simply never photographed again, and is now working as a mobile diesel mechanic. We can rest assured that his short-lived photographic escapades will mark him down as one of America’s most important contemporary travel photographers.

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Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She also runs our London listings site This At There, and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.