As a talented travel photographer, Mikael Kennedy is always on the go, escaping from the clamor of New York City to calmer ground with his Filson gear and camera. In November, Mikael will be releasing 100 signed and numbered books exclusively through his website, featuring photographs dedicated to the allure of the road.
“I saw him once. I was tearing down that 101,
alone, as the rain pounded the road.
Banks of fog crashing against the coast.
Could’ve been anywhere between Crescent City and Halfmoon Bay. He stood on the guard rail, shrouded by the water on my windshield, spread his arms wide, seeming to grow taller than the trees,
The wind driving against the dark wings of his poncho, silently he stood there not moving, not putting his thumb out,
he wasn’t looking for a ride, he was saying keep going.
Somewhere out there’s the hobo king, banging on the rail with a ring.”
This text is the center piece of the book and idea behind this project. The hobo king is a character I created in my head over the last few years of travel. This idea that there’s some deity or imp out there luring us all out back to the road. It’s that idea of wanderlust you just can’t shake. The reason I can’t sit still, that sometimes when I’m feeling the itch I just get in my car and drive up and down the BQE like a caged animal. I liked building this mythology around that feeling, like the devil you sell your soul to at the 4 corners, the king of the hobos, out there with a song, luring young men and women out of the comfort of their homes to a life on the road. I’ve been studying myth and mythology for the past few years in my spare time, I love the idea of the unspoken prayer when you’re standing out on freeway with your thumb out hoping that the next set of headlights on the horizon slows to a stop for you.
All myth is based in reality. I really did see that figure once on the 101, I was driving through the mist and rain, I thought he was a ghost at first, silhouetted against the fog over the cliffs and the sea.