Wandering through the San Juan Mountian Range in total fascination with the changing Fall colors I saw Mark sitting on his suitcase playing a Mandolin.
Where, I asked, ya headed. Durango, he replied. Hop on in, I invited. Mark was 27 and had been traveling for five years. He had worked as a musician all over, wine Bottler in Oregon, cook for traveling dancers (strippers) , and on and on. One of the interesting parts of our conversation revolved around riding trains. I had met some young men in Oregon that had told similar tales- see tracks, think train. He informed me of the clothing to wear, how to board, where in the train yard to board, how not to get caught and what to do in case of another ” bully” rider. I mentioned that I wanted to do it. He said many have said so but once done, it’s hard to stop, adrenalin high. Once in Tennessee he had boarded a train he thought was going West but went North and he wound up in Nebraska, almost froze to death.
Listen: we are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. – Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake
Five years of riding Trains and Hiking, he knew people all across the states. At times, when in a hurry he would use Craigslist to catch a ride. Some of the most interesting characters he met this way. Once a Gay little Chinese boy picked him up in North Carolina then drove to Chicago to pick up a gangster film maker on the way to the west.
We talked about all the places we had been, The Oregon Country Fair in which no Earthling should fail to see before he dies, and all the Mountian ranges we had hiked in. None near as pretty as the one we were driving through presently.
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really in.
– John Muir
If Mark can do it anyone can. Be prepared for excitement, hunger, Sleeping in the weeds, beaten, mugged and getting gang raped… No I’m just josh in’ ya.
I’ve found all peeps to be genuinely friendly and hospitable. Why would they not be. They are Free Range Earthlings.
Rise free from care before dawn, and seek adventures. Let the moon find thee by other lakes, and the night overtake thee everywhere at home. There are no larger fields than these, no worthier games than may be played here. – Henry Thorough, Walden