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Train Hopping

After three years of travel by foot, bicycle, bus and plane, Brian Cray hopped his first freight train outta Flagstaff, AZ, riding blind on a boxcar on the Southern Transcon.  He had no idea what he was doing or where he was going, but somewhere between the chaos, the innocence, the paranoia, train hopping stuck with him through the years, flowing in his gypsy blood.  Now he spends his free time between jobs wandering the country by freight train whenever he has the money and the time.

Scotty Doesn’t Know

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Scotty was a dreamer, a raconteur of tales at sea, a bullshitter.  He stood about the same height as myself, maybe slightly taller, with a stubbly, red beard, a face tattoo of...

Riding Freight through the Clouds

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I spent the hours before dusk curled up in the dirt beneath a bush, with empty bottles and cans of beer scattered around me, left by past train hoppers.  Plastic bags of...

Teardrop and the Empty Gas Jug

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Over the next few days, I rubber tramped from Baldwin to Mobile with an old friend, Teardrop, but I really didn't enjoy the stretch, sticking to the monotonous I-10. As usual, he was flat...

All Across America 40,000 Mile Tour

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I left my wet footprints behind as sawdust caked to the bottom of my feet, catching a viking ship on the Q160 out of Chicago.  An emulsion of grays furrowed the sky....

White Night along Champlain

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I worked for free that day as a cemetery groundskeeper, sitting beneath a large oak tree, gazing out at the latent train tracks waiting for them to come alive.  Thick air struck...