Ever hopped a freight train?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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$P.Muff$
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Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby $P.Muff$ » 01 Oct 2018, 21:58

Or maybe just considered it?

I did a bit of hitchhiking when I was in my late teens / early twenties - got a grand total of 4 rides, in Wyoming & in to Idaho. I was trying to get to the Tetons, to explore, get a crappy job, have fun, be young. It all worked out for the most part, but I've always wanted to hop a freight train, just for the experience, although that could possibly entail jail, or death - maybe just a lost limb or two.

Hobo fantasy, anyone?

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Quaco
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby Quaco » 01 Oct 2018, 22:49

I hitchhiked once, but it was in town. I was just very late to a movie I wanted to see, and decided to ask somebody if I could sit in the back of his truck for a couple miles. :)
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Diamond Dog
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby Diamond Dog » 01 Oct 2018, 22:53

I once caught a bus to Oxford without paying. Hope this helps.
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby Snarfyguy » 01 Oct 2018, 22:55

We used to hitch-hike recreationally in high school, just to see how far from home we could and still make it back by morning and have a few adventures along the way.

Sometimes it got a bit scary to be really far away with almost no money, but it always turned out okay. One night we got picked up twice by the same weirdos who seemed to just be driving around randomly, in rides many hours apart. I wonder what that was all about.
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby GoogaMooga » 01 Oct 2018, 23:27

I have a cousin who once hitchhiked all the way from Denmark to Scotland. Dunno how he got on the boat, though. I've done a bit of hitchhiking myself, but only short distance.
1966 and all that

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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby sloopjohnc » 02 Oct 2018, 00:06

Quaco wrote:I hitchhiked once, but it was in town. I was just very late to a movie I wanted to see, and decided to ask somebody if I could sit in the back of his truck for a couple miles. :)


:lol:

When Prop 13 canceled all the school buses, circa 1978, we hitchhiked to high school and back all the time. But that's when you'd see teenagers and young people hitchhiking by freeway off ramps or by the side of the highway pretty regularly still.

I remember my dad picking up hitchhikers every once in awhile if he was in the mood.
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby $P.Muff$ » 02 Oct 2018, 00:54

My last experience hitching was kind of hilarious. I was flying a sign at a truck stop, a guy driving an RV towing a car offered me a ride. The entire time he was blatantly hitting on me in an extremely aggressive manner. I had my knife in my pocket as I most always do, so I didn't feel threatened really, just very uneasy. Considering the situation and his completely unacceptable behavior, I feel I held my cool rather well. The guy was pathetic, and I felt sorry for him, just not enough to engage in homosexual activity with him. I actually apologized to him when I got out of the RV for not being able to "help him out".

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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby harvey k-tel » 02 Oct 2018, 00:55

I've hitchhiked a few times between my hometown and Toronto (about a 2 hour drive), but always with a friend. My friend Daragh and I once got picked up by a nice woman who turned out to be a stripper on her way to a 'residency' at some club in Toronto. She played Guns N Roses for the duration of the trip.

I've never hopped a train, but have come very close to doing it - although I had no reason to other than wanting to get to the other side of the tracks that this slow moving freight train was preventing me from crossing. I figured the risk of injury was reason enough to not do it.
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby Snarfyguy » 02 Oct 2018, 01:29

Wally Bingbang wrote:She played Guns N Roses for the duration of the trip.

Walking doesn't seem so bad in that instance.
GoogaMooga wrote: The further away from home you go, the greater the risk of getting stuck there.

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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby Jimbo » 02 Oct 2018, 01:55

Hitching with my girlfriend from Elat in the south to our kibbutz in the Galilee in the north, because we were standing outside an airport a guy offered to fly us to Tel Aviv, half way home, and so we flew.

Hitch hiking is brilliant. Why not give or take an empty seat in a vehicle going in a particular direction? If hitching were somehow normalized, where anyone who needed a ride were given a simple fucking ride, life would be better. Talk about your sharing economy.
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby $P.Muff$ » 02 Oct 2018, 03:02

Not long after my father died (15 years ago) I packed a rucksack and had a friend drop me off in the city with the hopes of catching a frieght. I was majorly depressed, and just wanted to go somewhere, anywhere.

I ended up hanging out all night under an overpass with a couple of homeless black gentlemen who thought I was a social worker because I had packed peanut butter sandwiches. They told me tales of homicidal maniacs riding the rails, and we kept each other great company throughout the long, lonely night.

After the sun rose, I suggested that we head to the local homeless shelter for breakfast. That's when they finally believed I wasn't a social worker, because the local shelter didn't serve breakfast, only black coffee.

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The Modernist
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby The Modernist » 02 Oct 2018, 12:29

Jimbo wrote:Hitching with my girlfriend from Elat in the south to our kibbutz in the Galilee in the north,


I've done the identical hitch hike!

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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby clive gash » 02 Oct 2018, 12:30

With Jimbo’s girlfriend?
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The Modernist
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby The Modernist » 02 Oct 2018, 12:42

Ssshh! Don't tell him!

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Hightea
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby Hightea » 02 Oct 2018, 15:08

We hitchhiked as kids - mostly just around town or in the summer on the NJ Shore we hitched from beach to beach.
We hitchhiked back from college one year(Central Maine to the Bronx. Went well from Maine to NY state line then some guy picked me up and yelled at me for hitching in NY. He drove me to my home and told me never to hitch again.

Hiked a lot in the 80 and early 90's and would hitch sometimes back to the car when it wasn't a loop trail or was back backing for days. Mostly in Colorado and New England all in hiking country typically did more of the asking people in the hiking parking lot.

In regards to hopping a freight train. Yes in high school we lived near a train depot and it was sort of a right of passage to party on one of the old trains in the back. If we got drunk enough we would dare someone to jump on one of the moving ones on the active side of the train depot. Never did but watch a few friend do it. Don't think anyone ever got caught. We did see hobos on the tracks from time to time.
Last edited by Hightea on 03 Oct 2018, 01:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby $P.Muff$ » 02 Oct 2018, 16:07

This is the time of year the older hobos & travellers start heading south to Florida. I don't see nearly as many nowadays as even 10 years ago, but if a person is reasonably clean and doesn't appear entirely insane I don't mind giving someone a lift. It's hard work hitching a ride, especially if you get stuck in a small town. People are so untrusting of one another that you'll instantly be deemed suspicious - maybe just for the fact that you're walking, and everyone else in stupidsville is driving a monster truck.

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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby pig bodine » 02 Oct 2018, 17:01

I hitchhiked quite a bit when I was young and stupid (as opposed to old and stupid) and did hop onto a flat car on a slow moving train once, that took me 20 miles out of town. Probably the one time I should have hitched but I ended up spending the rest of the day and evening walking back. My hitchhiking was an enhanced form of stupidity, since I grew up in a town with two prisons from which people frequently escaped.
I remember my father used to pick up hitchhikers in uniform during the Vietnam War.

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$P.Muff$
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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby $P.Muff$ » 02 Oct 2018, 22:16

Picking the right kind of car to hop seems like an important decision. The flat cars would be great if you're just rolling through the countryside, or maybe riding at night, but you'd have nowhere to hide coming into a city or train yard.

If I ever do it, I'm going to put a lot more planning into my effort.

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Re: Ever hopped a freight train?

Postby $P.Muff$ » 09 Oct 2018, 03:44

Stobe the Hobo may be gone, but he left us with some treasures. This is one of my favorites in his collection, riding across The Great Salt Lake causeway:





Edited to include part1