photo diary

After riding through several bad storms, Winslow stopped to photograph a beautiful day in Idaho's Snake River Valley. This picture of Winslow, shot by McCarthy, captures the essence of journeying by bicycle. "I don't think I would have noticed this image if I wasn't traveling at 10 miles per hour," Winslow said.

Winslow and McCarthy rode through deserts, thunderstorms, windy coastal highways and lonely plains. Even so, the steep, curved roads of Wasco County, Ore., were among the most treacherous the riders conquered. "That little dot on the right side is Morrigan going down the pass," Winslow said.

The wide-open spaces in and around Virginia City, Mont., stunned Winslow and McCarthy. The two, both professional photographers, had never before seen such huge, sprawling skies. "We always joke that out here, we couldn't make a bad image," Winslow said. "It was so beautiful."

This sunset in Gayhill, Tex., was one of many moments that Winslow captured on his 11,000-mile journey. "I had just gotten off the phone with my family and found out my grandpa had passed away," he said. "I didn't really know what to do, other than make an image. So I walked outside and took this photo."

Wildflowers blanketed a pasture in Sterling, Colo. The owner of the ranch said the bloom was the biggest he had seen in 20 years. "It was a special moment," Winslow said. "We were in the back country, off the main highways, and seeing these flowers that only last for a couple of weeks was fascinating and fun."

This Big Hole, Mont., rancher and his friend took Winslow and McCarthy in for the day, hosting a barbecue and inviting the guests to tag along on a cattle drive. The cowboys' generosity and hospitality was typical: Across the country, strangers welcomed Winslow and McCarthy into their lives and homes.

This barn in Berkeley, S.C., struck Winslow and McCarthy as beautiful. The cross fixed to the building's left side showed how devoted people in the area were to their faith, Winslow said. "Even though it's understated, it's still there," he said. "Religion is pretty much in every aspect of their life."

Sprinklers bring life to farmland in San Louis Obispo, Calif. As Winslow and McCarthy traveled, they discovered that water and irrigation were major concerns for communities across America. To document the issue, the partners got into the habit of photographing different irrigation systems.

This shop in Wisdom, Mont., where Winslow and McCarthy stopped for breakfast was, literally, a blast. "This was the only store in town, and they had everything you could possibly need," Winslow said. "Outside, there's giant speakers attached to it blasting country music into empty, sleepy streets."

This grocery store in Saratoga, Wyo., was one of many out west where Winslow saw mounted animals. Taxidermy was also popular in restaurants, cafes and other small establishments whose owners were hunters, Winslow said. When

The Delaware Water Gap in New Jersey was one of many beautiful places the two would never have discovered had they not set out to see America. "When we tell people about this area, people are shocked that it's in New Jersey," he said. "It's this gorgeous preserve in a state that's not really known for parks."

Winslow took this photo of McCarthy on the last trail they rode before ending their journey at Winslow's family farm in Saratoga, N.Y. In their final days on the road, the two talked about all they had seen and discovered. They marveled at how far they had comeā€”and began to think about what they would do next.