On April 28, 2014 I began the four-week Overland trip, the same day the massive steam locomotive Big Boy 4014 left California for Cheyenne. We would cross paths during the trip.
OVERLAND, the newest book from German photographer and author Rolf Stumpf is a 230 page pictorial spanning the Union Pacific along the famed Overland Route - and the Lincoln Highway which follows the steel ribbon for most of the part - from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean - Council Bluffs to Oakland.
The idea for this trip was lingering in my mind for years. Little did I know about US railroading, except for a handful of famous locations, when I visited Sherman Hill in southern Wyoming for a few hours in April 1995. I travelled along the Overland Route west of Salt Lake City in September 2002 for a magazine story about the Central Pacific. And once more for a single day in February 2009 when I took the Interstate 80 from Cheyenne to Salt Lake City. I was ready for more but the distance to the subject took its toll.
From 2012 on my bookshelf filled with books about the Overland Route when the concept of a documentary trip from the Missouri River to the Pacific took shape. The stories about pioneer characters like Theodore Judah and General Dodge were so fascinating that I wanted to travel along their entire accomplishment, the first trancontinental railroad. Necessarily in a single cross-country trip. It seems like a strange coincidence that I was born in May 1969, exactly 100 years after the Golden Spike was driven at Promontory, Utah.
230 pages with 230+ photos in color and monochrome