Mike Brodie's journey took him across the U.S.

Adventure is around every corner and for those who seek it, a clash of beauty and complication awaits. Exhibit A: Mike Broadie. After getting his hands on a Polaroid camera as a teenager, Mike’s passion for exploration led him on an adventure that changed his life.

Fascinated by train-hopping communities, in 2002, 17-year-old Mike hopped on a train and traveled for days, sparking a journey across the country. Taking him far and wide, he eventually traveled through 46 states jumping from one train to another capturing his travels, the people, and the lifestyle as he embraced the subculture community.

Over the span of 10 years, Mike covered 50,000 miles on over 170 freight trains. In 2004 he began photographing his encounters with the communities on the trains. His Polaroid pictures of  punks, drifters, squatters, and the homeless rightfully earned him the name “The Polaroid Kidd.” In 2006, he transferred over to 35 mm film and what unfolded was an untold story that lasted three years. He calls it,  A Period of Juvenile Prosperity.

Documenting his years of travels, the photos depict a gritty subculture but within the same shots, they hold a timeless need for movement and simplicity. Detached from mainstream culture, the people and surroundings resemble a forgotten culture. A culture that values the curiosity of the unknown and eagerly awaits what’s to be seen and felt wherever their journey took them.

How will you answer the call of adventure?

Check out more of his photos in the slideshow below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(Photo credit: Mike Brodie: Peta Pixel)