You won’t believe how many miles he had to walk
Featured photo credit: “Juggalo March 15 – Insane Clown Posse Make a Speech 1” by Amaury Laporte via www.flickr.com/photos/8283439@N04/37272307465
Earlier this month photographer Nate Igor Smith tweeted out a photo of a young man at a Gathering of the Juggalos event holding most of an exhaust system with the catalytic converter attached.
While the caption is self-explanatory, the tweets Smith commented in reply to shed more context on the photo revealed the amazing story behind such an amazing shot.
Check out Smith’s tweet that went viral below.
This kid walked hundreds of miles to get to the Gathering of the Juggalos. After his girlfriend kicked him out he just started walking. He was carrying around this catalytic converter that he was going to sell to pay for his trip home. pic.twitter.com/Y7E531if3k— Nate Igor Smith (@drivenbyboredom) September 9, 2022
Juggalos, if you don’t already know, are fans of the hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse and The Gathering of the Juggalos, aka the Gathering, is the Juggalos’ annual festival.
As you can tell by their face paint, they are a dedicated and passionate group of fans.
The explainer for Smith’s aforementioned photo comes from a forward from Dan Cornin’s “Gathering of the Juggalos” which, among other things, describes who Cody Perez is (the man holding the exhaust,) and the circumstances that led up to this unique shot.
In the forward tweeted below, the forward author describes how Perez, after being robbed by his ex-girlfriend, is still motivated to attend Gathering of the Juggalos in Cave-in-Rock, Illinois.
If you’d like to know more about the guy in the first photo, here’s a few paragraphs from the forward to Dan Cronin’s Gathering of the Juggalos book written by my frequent Dark Carnival collaborator @camilledodero. pic.twitter.com/TTZPWrnIfU— Nate Igor Smith (@drivenbyboredom) September 9, 2022
The only problem is The Gathering is on August 8, 2012, a month away from when he broke up.
With no money, or car, according to the book,
“On July 8, 2012, the 24-year-old Perez left Portland, Oregon with a bag, a map, and this destination (The Gathering.)”
I looked up how far Cave-in-Rock is from Portland and, on foot, it’s 2,200 miles away.
If Perez walked the entire way, that’s 71 miles a day to make it to Cave-in-rock in 31 days.
Although the forward doesn’t go into details how he made it there, he had to have hitched a ride a couple of times.
71 miles of walking a day averages to about 3 miles per hour for close to 24 hours which is, for the regular humans among us, assumedly Perez included, practically impossible.
The bits about how his walking went are noteworthy.
“Following interstate highways across the Western American States, he (Perez) traipsed along roadsides for seemingly countless hours each day, passing the Rocky Mounts, detouring by the Grand Canyon, and sleeping “under the stars” every night.”
This just goes to show the lengths and struggles fans, like the Juggalos, will go to make it to a concert (or gathering) they’re hellbent on attending.
Smith also made an NFT out of Perez famous photo, recently sold it on Opensea for .1 ETH (about $170 as of the sale date on Sept 9) and, according to an update, donated some (or all) of the proceeds to Perez’s now wife.
Update for everyone: I was able to get in touch with his wife and she was so happy to see the photo and how it had blown up. Turns out it was taken the year they met. I also was able to send her some money after someone purchased the NFT of the now viral photo.— Nate Igor Smith (@drivenbyboredom) September 13, 2022
I do wonder if Perez ever actually sold that catalytic converter and for how much?