Cross country and to the right (1 Viewer)


The Slack Action Hero
Sep 13, 2006
Florida - FEC milepost 105.1
This is a repost from the "claim your stories" thread.

As a side note: this trip took place in the summer of 2006. Kind of a
long story too. Warning you now

So I suppose the start of all this was after we got to Seattle. It was
the day after 4th of July with all the drunkenness & debauchery
just a fuzzy hungover memory. Kayla and me were due in Missoula to
meet up with our friends Bryanpaul & Gus so we could all catch east to
Philly for pointless fest. We decided to hitch over instead of trying
to catch something lowline bound. We scammed the bus east over to
Issiquah (oh, how I love Seattle's bus system with their color coded
transfers) and hopped on the exit there. Four hours later, no luck,
and it was dark. We woke up bright and early to try again.

Before we even got our sign up some dude in a brand new SUV pulled
over- a cool guy. He was from Brazil. He dropped us off just past the
Gorge in a little town called George. (no rhyme intended) We hitched
under an overpass by the exit because it was blistering hot. Eastern
Washington ain't no joke in the summer. An hour later, this weird lady
picked us up and said she could take us 20 miles down the road to
Moses Lake. It turned out she was an ex-hitchhiker and was also a
security guard. Bleh. She dropped us off at a desolate truck stop.

Moses Lake sucked. Nowhere really to pull over on the exit, no shade.
So we decided to say fuck it and get on the highway. It was just as
bleak looking there too. One car passed every 15 minutes. Then a
tractor trailer pulled over for us. This hasn't happened to me in
years. It almost seems like truckers barely pick up hitchhikers
anymore. We were stoked. We walked up and this little gangsta lookin
kid poked his head out the window and asked us where we were headed.

"Montana," I told him. He said hop on in. His uncle, who was driving,
said "Y'alls best not be no serial killer mutha fuckers or we gonna
shoot yo ass," It was cool, though. They were from Oakland taking a
load to Billings. We listened to gangster rap the whole way and played
some playstation. When we got to Missoula we passed it by 6 miles,
because the truck stop he was stopping at was in East Missoula. I got
out, thanked him, and got some food.

Some kid who overheard us talking about how we needed to get back into
Missoula, said he'd just gotten out of jail east of where we were and
needed to get back to Missoula, too. I hooked him up with a doobie as
a freedom present and he said he'd get us a ride in with him. His
friends came but there wasn't enough room, so we just ended up
sleeping next to the highway. The next day, we stuck out our thumb for
2 seconds and a lady picked us up.

In Missoula, we found Bryan and Gus living at this college chick's
house getting a little too comfy. We stayed about a week ourselves. We
went tubing down the Clark Fork River, lots of beer drinking, skated
the new skate park which was only half finished. At the college kids
dorm, we made mass amounts of poppy tea and had those college kids
rollin around on the front lawn gigglin into the night. Next day we
left to continue our journey. Me and Kayla started out first. Before
we even got on the highway, this college dude picked us up. He already
had another hitchhiker with him and was headed west. He dropped us at
the junction to 93. We waited in the hot ass sun for about an hour and
then these two redneck brothers picked us up. The one had just gotten
back from picking up the other in Casper, WY. They were on the last
leg of their trip. They had a case of beer pre-cracked and offered us
some. They dropped us in St. Ignatius.

We got burritos at this little mom and pop store and then started
walking down the highway. There was lots of construction going on, so
there wasn't many good places for people to pull over. We found a side
road and hitched off that. This older hippyish dude from the Bay area
gave us a lift to Polson. He gave me the usual "I used to hitchhike
stories" complete with gay truckers trying to hit on him and of his
Alaskan adventures in the 70's. In Polson, the highway split to go
around the lake which we didn't know , so we started walking into town
along the highway with our sign up. Some little old lady pulled over
just to tell us we were going the wrong way to get to Whitefish. She
told us the short way was 3 miles back from where we had just come
from. So we walked all the way back. After an hour we got picked up by
a tweaker dude who had just come back from court in Missoula. He
smoked some green with us and dropped us off in Kalispell (the white
trash answer to yuppified Whitefish).

Five minutes later, this guy pulls over into this huge ditch. He's at
a 45 degree angle. We hop in the back of his truck and his wife hands
us a couple twisted iced teas. They only took us a couple miles but we
got dropped off at a place with a shoulder. Then right after we
started walking another dude pulls over. He seemed kind of sketchy at
first, but later on it turned out he was a BNSF worker who was on his
way to work up in Whitefish. He told us all about his job grinding
track and gave us the low down on the hop out spot. He dropped us off
right at the station.

We were beat so we chilled out in Credit Union park and watched the
yards. Then we met these two other kids waiting on a train. One from
Texas and one from Delaware. They were also headed to pointless. We
all threw in and got a bunch of tall boys. 89 cents a piece! It was
getting dark and we were about half way through our beer when Gus and
Bryan finally showed up. We all killed off the booze and went up town.

It was a hopping night in Whitefish. Somehow Bryan got a bunch of
promotional shots of Jager off some dudes. We raged it up, etc. We
found a decent spot to crash out in the woods near the tracks and
passed out. Next day, we found a bunch of tortillas in the Safeway
dumpster. We were nearing our goal of having enough train food. We
ended up meeting this couple who had just hopped in from Minneapolis.
We got a bunch of booze and went swimming in the pristine Whitefish
Lake. Next day was hop out day.

We lugged our shit to the spot and waited, and waited, but never got
anything that day.

Next day we hopped on a 48, and within a couple hours we were on our
way. When we got to about West Glacier National Park some mean clouds
started forming. It started raining on us and thundering as we entered
the first small tunnel. It was awesome! The park was frickin pristine!
Crystal clear teal rivers and the storm was making everything more
intense. We'd get ahead of the storm and it would stop raining, our
bucket would drain and be dry again, and then we'd go into a hole and
the storm would catch back up with us. This happened throughout all of
Glacier. At one point we rounded a curve and there was a crazy bright
double rainbow going into the head end of the train. Afterwards, the
scenery started getting more bland and flat and we slept and woke up
outside of North Dakota.

It was mostly nothingness until we got farther east into ND. There
were a couple of ghost towns right up close to the trax and we creeped
at about 15 mph for hours! We pulled into Minots Gavin yard about
midday and sat for a couple hours while our headend block swapped and
then rolled on along. We fell asleep and woke up in Northtown,
Minneapolis' yards. We got out made a long ass walk into the outskirts
of town and caught a bus to city center. We found an awesome bridge
camp spot with a kick ass fire pit and furniture, right on the
Mississippi River.

Next couple of days was spent mostly getting drunk, sweating our asses
off, hiding from the sun, bickering, flying signs, digging in the Mall
of America's trash, and preparing to exodus Minneapolis. We went to
the old Union yards where, apparently, they leave strings for a day
and pick them up en-route to Chicago. We waited all day. Nothing. So
we ended up taking a bus back to the confusing-ass Northtown yards. We
stayed up most of the night watching the bulls race around the yards
as stuff started coming in, but no double stacks came in all night. At
4 am, I decided to take a walk and found this awesome abandoned
warehouse with electricity and unlocked doors! Explored for a couple
hours and then crashed out at 5 am, and woke up at 6 am to a double
stack creeping into the yards. We scrambled and found a nice evergreen
bucket. Then waited. The air came up. We moved 2 inches and the air
broke. This continued for the next 30 hours!

After 12 hours of waiting in the hot ass 100 degree, 90% humidity, we
finally started moving more than a couple feet. We got just outside
the yards and stopped again. This time when I looked up, I saw there
was someone else riding with us on this train. He introduced himself
as JustDave. He claimed he was FTRA. We chatted a bit and then the
train aired up again. We went about 2 miles and stopped outside the CP
yards. He ran out to some deserted units and got a bunch of
desperately-needed water and by the time he got back, we started
moving again. We made it all the way to the old Union yards where we
were waiting in the first place and the units detached and left us
sitting there like suckers!

Me and Dave went to the McDonalds and dumpstered some shit and got
more water. We came back and slept on the train. At about 12 o'clock,
it started raining on us and thundering. Gus got soaked to the bone,
because he tried to sleep through it. We found an old boxcar and slept
till the morning. Got up, climbed on, and still nothing. About midday
another stack pulled up and stopped. Then, miraculously the units to
our train came back and we started up again!!

As we were rolling along, it started misting, which later turned into
rain. We got to the intermodal yards and stopped. This should have
been our first clue. They backed us up and pulled us forward back and
forth for awhile. Then we pulled up onto a track on the furthest side
of the yard (next to the container unloaders) and the power dynamited.
Just then it started pouring harder then I had seen in years. We got
out and had no choice but to walk right through the center of the the
mega unloading procesion and out the front door. We got some smiles
and some disapproving glances but we got out with no problem and found
a awning in a park to dry our shit in. So the next day it cleared up
and we decided to walk (5 miles we were told) to the St. Paul yards.
We ended up walking about 10 miles or so and when we finally got there
(pigs eye yard) we realized we were out of water.

There was no water source for a couple miles and the yard was
ridiculous. So since we were right next to highway 61 (parallels the
Mississippi the whole way down) we hitched it. Me and Kayla got dibbs
on first again. And within minutes this ZZ-Top looking dude picked us
up and dropped us 2 miles outside of Hastings. We walked into town and
slept at a community center on the outskirts. Got a ride the next
morning from this dude from Washington. He dropped us off in Red Wing
where this kid picked us up and took us to his 1800's log cabin out in
the sticks and showed us his pot plants. I gave him a bunch of good
Mendocino seeds and he dropped us off in Lake City (the birthplace of
water skiing). We stunk, so we took baths in the lake and after
walking up to the highway instantly this old black dude picked us up.
Cool dude. He dropped us in Wabasha and gave us all the change in his
ash tray despite us telling him we didn't need it.

Here we waited a good stretch of time; had a couple fake outs. You
know where fuckos pull over and wait till you get up to their cars and
then pull away. They didn't even do it right! Finally, this cool chick
pulls over and takes us to Winona. She took us up on this 500-foot
cliff that overlooked Winona and told us we had just missed the
Crimethinc gathering deal, but that weekend was creamed corn wrestling
with free food and beer. But alas we had to make it to Philly in a
hurry. (i'm still kicking myself over that) We continued on hitching.
She left us at a Quick Trip. And there we learned firsthand the joys
of a Quick Trip dumpster. Some kid picked us up and smoked us out and
dropped us in La Crosse, our end destination.

We met this dready dude with a house boat, and he and his wife were on
there way to New Orleans. We were supposed to go hang out with them
but we ran into Gus and Bryan instead. They had got a ride the whole
way straight shot style. We drank and slept and later on went to the
yards. We got on a string that looked like it had just been made up
and took off. We flew!!!! We probably went 70 some miles an hour the
whole way to the Illinois state line where we had our first siding. It
felt like we were gonna jump right off the tracks. Then we trucked
down to Savannah, IL where our train went into the yard and stayed a
couple hours. We went to sleep and woke up outside Chicago in the town
of Aurora. Bryan and Gus jumped off while we were still drifting, and
Gus ate shit (had to throw that in Gus).

We caught the METRA into downtown where we learned Lallapolooza was
starting. But we had to get on our way once again, so we caught the
south shore commuter train (for a nominal fee) to South Bend, Indiana.
Once there we took a bus into Osceola. Then we started our walk 10
miles into Elkhart. Along the way this guy pulled into the gas station
where we were getting water. He gave us a ride to the Elkhart Walmart
and told us about how Elkhart was the R.V. manufacturing capital of
the world. Woooooo! We made bank and some lady bought us like $90
worth of food. We walked (in the wrong direction) towards what we
thought was the yards. Then after a couple miles we realized we were a
good 7 miles away.

While we were walking back, this pimped-out custom van with a husky
sticking out the window pulled over. We weren't even hitchhiking. The
guy dropped us off right at the yards. He said he used to ride
freights, so he knew right where it was. We found a nice waiting spot
and right before it started to get dark, we heard a train in the
distance. Sure enough, a black Norfolk Southern unit pulled right in
double stacked to the brim. We found adjoining 48's and pulled out
right after. We hauled ass all the way to Toledo. It stopped in the
yards there for about 15 minutes and continued on.

Somewhere about 20 miles out from Toledo, we were moving along at
about 50 or 60 mph and all the sudden we hear a "psssst," like the
units disconnecting. Then we smelled burning plastic or oil or
something as the brakes locked up. Apparently our train had broke in
half. It took them 3 hours to get us rolling again. All the while, we
were right next to a marshy swamp rife with mosquitoes. We got going
again and made it to Pittsburgh's Conway yards by noon. We were on one
of the mains there but we hadn't moved for hours. Then a unit came by
and the engineer gave us a shitty look. And this was right after the
bull had driven by. So we jumped off and hightailed it out of the
yards. We took a bus into Pittsburgh.

We busted around downtown awhile and caught a bag lunch, and retired
in Triangle Point Park, under a little pedestrian bridge. Next day, we
caught a bus to the east side of Pittsburgh so we could hitch I-70.
There were signs proclaiming hitchhiking to be illegal in PA, plus we
had warrants, so we gave up. Then we noticed a Conrail intermodal sign
that said 3.8 miles for trucks. We followed the signs and took a break
at a gas station where this punk rock kid that was working gave us
free hot dogs and pizza sticks.

Eventually we realized the signs were taking us toward Wall, PA. We
found a spot and waited... All day. And the next day. Nothing. We
ended up getting a 30-pack and got a lil loud and the town cops came.
They ran our names (locally I guess?) and told us to not be on the
property. Just after they left a train pulled in going the opposite
way we were trying to go. We talked to a brakeman who was cutting out
a section and he told us that nothing going east stops in Wall and
that the train he was on was going to Kansas City via Conway. So we
hopped on a piggy and went back to the yards in Conway. We slept on a
grainer that had a freddy on it facing east. We woke up still in the
yards, waited all day. Nothing.

One crew change all day and we missed it, because me and Gus were
messing around further down in the yards. We ran out of water and gave
up for the day. Found an old set of steps that went over the bulk of
the yard and out to a plaza with a grocery store. We stamped up a
fatty dinner and refilled our water. As night fell, we slipped back
into the yards to see what we could see. We waited in a field of empty
boxcars right off the mains from the crew change. All the sudden, as
if someone opened a valve, trains left and right started pulling up
and crew changing, one right after the other. We let some go and then
decided on a nice single stack that pulled up (mistake). We jumped
in, fell asleep and woke up in Harrisburg. Then we fell back asleep
and woke up tracing our way down the Susquehanna River on our way to
Baltimore. Damn it! (You see, we are all from Maryland and have
retarded warrants there and aren't allowed back in the state.)

We got out in North West Baltimore, luckily only 3 miles or so from
Gus' brother's house. At this point we just gave up on pointless fest
and spent a week there doing various bad things and then caught a ride
with a friend down to Stafford, VA. Visited another friend and then
hitched out 3 days later headed souf. A sheriff kicked us off the
exit, first thing. We decided to stay anyways and a hippy dude from
L.A. picked us up, gave us cheeseburgers and ice water and dropped us
in Fredericksburg. While we were hitching there, this guy from across
the street wanted to know which way we were heading on 95. We told him
Richmond and he offered to give us a ride down there, but the
stipulation was we had to stop at every Waffle House along the way
(awesome). He was a caretaker for them and he was on the clock. I
offered to help him mow the lawns and that's what we did. 5 waffle
houses down the road and we got to Richmond. He gave us $20.

In Richmond, we got dropped off a mile from the Acca yard and couldn't
quite make sense of it at first. It was really hard as fuck to access.
We found an empty, unlocked truck trailer and slept in it for the
night. In the morning we walked into town and stocked up on food and
water and cigarettes. We found a decent covered area in a dry river
bed near the mains and waited. Q131 and Q137 both pulled up right on
time and left without us because they were crew changing in the middle
of the yards buried 4 strings deep. After the next day, we kind of
figured things out and luckily, while we were deep in the yard, a
piggy pulled up and we jumped on it. We fell asleep somewhere after
Rocky Mount, NC and then woke up in Savannah, GA. We cruised into
Jacksonville an hour later. I'll stop it at here. Thanks fer sticking
out this story to the end. Give yerself a pat on the back and for
shit sake go do something constructive! You just sat there staring at
a computer for at least 20 minutes
Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!


Apr 20, 2007
eastern shore of Maryland
dood yer a fuckin idiot if yoo think sumbody's gonna read all that shit ...yer nuts...................thanx fer the reminder of sum good times in conclusion.... dance on a bobcat butt


Nov 11, 2008
north america
i read the whole thing, sounds like travelin hah
got through a few hank sr and hank 3 songs, a feederz, skarp, business, norman blake song, 3 woody guthrie songs, a meat puppets song and i finished right as the prophecy by immortal technique started.

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