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My most depraved fantasy...

October 23, 2019 07:06PM
Probably going to get a lot of views with that subject title... you'll be disappointed.

This is, however, a very odd 'wish'... perhaps even a desire... one that I will NEVER fulfill, and will regret not having partaken in to my dying day.

Riding the rails.

Yup... a hobo, on the rails. During the depression, the "Grapes Of Wrath" days, my step-grandfather came to California by rail. And I don't mean with a ticket and in a passenger car... I mean from freight car to freight car - sometimes inside, sometimes clinging to the roof. He gave me a few tips:

Like when on top of the freight car wrap your arms around the rails that run the length of the car. This allows you to catch a good night's sleep and not fall off onto a cactus somewhere in New Mexico.

My grandfather didn't make riding the rails a career... he came to California, rode a few more trains up and down the state seeking employment... found employment in the Coalinga Oil Fields and began his lifelong career.

He remembered those days, riding the rails, fondly. Every story about that adventure told with a wide grin across his face and no small degree of pride. In fact - when speaking to me.. and I think others, he told far more riding the rails stories than his career working in the oil fields stories. The oil fields didn't 'bore' him... but they simply didn't have the romance of riding the rails.

So what the hell made me think of this? Well, some of you have guessed.. it was driving back to Colorado this last weekend. The journey follows the rails nearly the entire way... the Mojave desert crossing being one of the most active railroad tracks in the world... delivering goods to California. Along the journey there exists huge depots... and even in the middle of the deserts lie many, (forgive my ignorance of railroad terminology), places where freight cars are transferred to different routes.. some more northernly and some more southernly.

Keen eye that I have, from years of hunting, I spotted many a 'hobo', (a term I use with respect), awaiting the next somewhere-bound train.

Also of interest, to me anyway... the many types of railroad cars lying dormant along the routes that cross the west. Back in March of this year I drove to Colorado...noting many railroad cars lying dormant and they are STILL there, same cars... today.

In Grand Junction, Colorado I saw more locomotives than perhaps all the locomotives I've seen actually at work - and this in my entire life. Hundreds of them... dormant, (at least for now).. Hobo's were few, but present.

Thought about those hobo's in Grand Junction... where too? Many possibilities... east and west. They travel light, amazingly light.. perhaps only a bottle of water. I don't think they are ever content in being where they are... I believe it's the 'travel' that spurs them on, not the destinations. I could be wrong, of course.

I have spoken to few, very few. A couple times in Fresno I pulled over to ask questions... once, I remember, in the middle of the Mojave desert... all give elusive answers, like - "Something is out there, not sure where, and I'm on my way". yeah....

I get that. - JamesJM
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

  My most depraved fantasy...

JamesJM56October 23, 2019 07:06PM

  Re: My most depraved fantasy...

SeattleRam20October 25, 2019 01:19AM

  This is probably mine... Attachments

Atlantic Ram23October 26, 2019 10:51AM

  Mine

waterfield17October 29, 2019 11:21AM

  No real desire to ride the hobo way

IowaRam12October 29, 2019 02:12PM