Friday, May 10, 2013

The first day of trains

Travel recap.

After spending a night under the 42nd street over pass and traveling back and forth between that spot and Jewbitz truck stop, several hours talking to truck drivers, getting kicked out of said truck stop, eating fabulous goat soup at a Mexican dive, drinking beer and chatting with ted under said overpass, hunting around portland with Ted, at about 10:00 pm I caught a west bound train to Chicago.

Rode in the pusher Unit through Oregon and Idaho ( an engine that is on the back of the train.) it is heated has a toilet, drinking water and an instrument that tells speed and other things that are interesting to me. The views were spectacular, and I could climb outside and ride in the open air. I had MRE's to eat and made a little bed on the floor. I suspected that the unit need to be inspected once a day ( there was an inspection sheet on the wall that was per printed for the year with a space for each day. Ted told me that he thought there was an inspection in Pocatello, I did the math.

It felt like we were making good time, the train never stopped, it often slowed while either on a siding track or while another train was on a siding track so the two could pass each other in opposite directions.

At about midnight of the second day a truck started following us as we pulled into the freight yard in what I thought was Pocatello yard. the train was still moving but I took all my stuff with me out the side of the train opposite the truck... Waited for complete stop then climbed down and into the shadow of the train sitting on the track next to us... I was wearing all black. I watched the truck and realized that the light was such that the truck driver probably couldn't see me. I set my bike and backpack down in the shadows and walked up to the truck making sure to now be as visible and non threatening as possible, i.e. stayed 10 feet or so away from the truck and stood still, stooping over as to ask a question. The man in the truck opened his door and got out, he was wearing thick heavy clothes and put a flip down full face safety shield on his head and said


Are you inspecting this train?


He did not appeared concerned by my presence

Listen... I don't want to be trouble, but I just got off that train... And I'm planning on getting back on...

Don't touch anything, I didn't see you... See that blue flashing light on the train, I will take it off when I'm done, there is another guy inspecting the rest of the train, he will take off the other blue light when he is done. I'm the only one who will get in the train.

I retreated back into the shadows. Then climbed up into the unit and set up my bed as soon as he drove off.

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