Monday, September 28, 2009
Me: Is this the road over Rabbit Ear pass?
Her: Yes, but you know its snowing right?
Me: Yea I figured but its Ok, I got lots of gear.
Her: Can I ask you something?
Her: Don't go. Its snowing and nasty up there.
Me: I'll be OK
Her: No Its really far! 60 miles from here to Steamboat and seriously snowy and cold with no Hotels
Me: Thats fine. I plan on camping along the way and getting there tomorrow.
Her: There is no place to camp anywhere up there.
ME: Are you telling me in that whole mountain range there is no place to camp?
Her: Yes, you would be stupid to go now. Wait for the storm to blow over in a few days.
ME: Thanx for the concern but "This ain't my first Rodeo" (Borrowed from Ben)
Her: Maybe you don't understand! Its SNOWING
Me: (thinking: What am I a 4 year old playing with matches. Man,I havent even told her that I'm going over the higher unpaved buffalo pass)
Me: I'v been over more mountain passes than I can count. I think I'll be Ok.
Her: If you wind up dead, It wont be my fault!
Me: Thanx Lady, have a good day.
Then I walk outside, look down and realize that I'm wearing shorts and sandals. Ok, She had some ground to stand on.
Needless to say I rode over the pass and found many beautiful National Forest camp spots along the way. I could count the snow flakes as thay fell, slept cozy and warm and woke to blue skys. Its always funny to me how little some people know of the places they live in or how afraid they are of them.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I didn't get out of Oakland till my second night. Many trains rolled by but nothing had my name on it. I was hoping for a long haul hotshot but after waiting 24 hours, impatience got the best of me and I dove into a boxcar.
I got off in Roseville with hopes of a faster higher priority train. Man, it was still hot for September. I hid in what shade I could find and watched them work trains in the yard. Not a single train I wanted to ride came or went that whole day and night. I shuffled into downtown for coffee and refill my water jug, Then back out to wait and stew some more. By that evening I was really wondering what the fuck was going on with the freight traffic in Roseville these days? It was once the hub yard for all the freight in far west.
My answer arrived in living form, carrying a backpack and also prowling the mainline. I didn't catch his name but he was much more up to date with the happs then me. He was calling in unit numbers on his cell phone to find out their destination. Then he told me that they have down scaled this yard. Most traffic from down south and the Bay Area are taking the by pass in Sacramento. That put an end to the mystery.
As we're still talking a train pulled in. He called in the numbers and said "that one is heading for Seattle", "I think I'll take it". It was all empty 48 trailers but he went and got on it anyways. I went back to lounging in my hidden spot and not but a few minutes later I hear the rail cops pulling him off.
Again nothing that seemed like a good east bound ride came through that night. I shuffled back to town once again that morning for coffee and some internet at the library. It was Saturday already. 4 days and I had made it a hours drive from Oakland.
I talked to Kelly at the library, It was her weekend. She came to resuce me from shuffling back and forth through Roseville pulling my hair out.
We drove up to Quincy to visit Chris, Lily and Ciano. We got in some good hanging out and a little high sierra hiking and BBQing.
Kelly drove me out to Portola. The same little mountain town I got off at one my way out. We raced a double stack train on the way and got there in enough time for a quick good-bye and for me to dash off to catch it.
There was not a single bucket on the whole thing. I was sick of trains passing while I sat and watched so I rode suicide (up in the wind on the deck) through the night into Nevada. At the next yard, Wherever it was, I switched trains and got into a boxcar. That night I got off in Salt Lake City.
I had met Dallin randomly a few months earlier in Wyoming. He gave me his phone number and said If I was ever in SLC to give him a call. So I called. He gave me directions to the "Boing" anarchist collective and met me there. I stayed the night there cuz on his recomendation it is better to take the city bus in the morning for 2 bucks to Ogden and catch East from there.
In Ogden it took a while for the right combination. You have to catch south out of the yard. I was worried I would just get taken right back down to SLC.
Finally a junker came in off the west side of the y at the north end and was switching to the east side of the yard heading south. (say that 10 times fast)It was just what I was waiting for, I ran down the strand and found a shotgun grainer.(a.k.a. Double hole canadian grainer) ( my favorite junk train rideable cuz it has a nice big hidden compartment to ride in)I climbed in and went to sleep and woke up in Green river, Wy.
I was broken up and humped all over that yard but eventually dragged on to the east. Next stop I recognized the yard of Rawlins and knew the next one was Laramie.
This is where I started talking to the train in a nice voice asking it; "Please slow down enough for me to only do a couple somersaults" or "I promise to brush my teeth more and learn to like grapefruit if you'll just slow for me to bail off without turning completly to dog meat. But really I was preparing myself for having to make my way back from Cheyenne the next day.
Just after dark, on the out skirts of Laramie the train started to slow and by the time I was just where I had gotten on a month and a half ago it stopped. I stepped off in the warm night air, filthy, hungry and happy as can be. Man, I love those trains.
It seemed strange to be in Oakland. Seeing friends that I had just said good-bye to with the vigor of leaving for half a decade. Hi! Oh, all that? I was just kidding....Like I said; It felt strange but really I was only “visiting on business”. The business of visiting a very special neighbor and helping her build a touring bicycle.
I was back in the East Bay for nearly a month. It kinda flew by. I had not planned on being there that long but who plans anything anyways?
It was great to see all ya'll if only for a second or two. And If I didn't happen to see you, Please erase from your mind what you just read and I never left Wyoming.
Thanx so much to Ty and The Bent Spoke crew for all you help and letting me get in the way.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
The Hiatus is over!
Back to the saddle and down to business. Man, I'm chomping at the bit to get pedaling again.
A junk train from Ogden, unbelievably obediant to my instructive cooing stopped to let me off right in Ol' Downtown Laramie.
I made a hasty dash to the home of Adam and Danielle (Sorry again guys for barging) to see the sight I'v been dreaming of: Mybike. The sight of Samu the savage mule slightly dusty and tucked away patiently waiting for me was an emotional expierience that left me a bit teary and choked up.... Ok I'm over it. But man, is it good to be back.
The trip out West was good though. Alot of things got accomplished and some damn good times were had.
So the Hiatus and the train trip back out? I'll elaborate later. I got some riding to do!
Thanx to Lily for the new tattoo! Check out Lily's art work at: www.lilymosaics.com