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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.


I splay out along a swimming hole where the cataracts flow, down the craggy chasms of rock, over the moss and through the riffs and ferns, swimming out to meet the St. John's.  Beneath...

Scotty Kickin’ Dope on a Freight to Livonia

I woke to the train's thrumming, and the clickety-clack of her wheels.  The tapping of rain struck against the roof as she rolled out of the yard towards Livonia.  Puddles of raindrops swished around...

Scotty Doesn’t Know

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 a diamond...

Riding Freight through the Clouds

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 trash dangled...

Teardrop and the Empty Gas Jug

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...