"A Dog Named Southbound", NC to PA (1 Viewer)

Dirty Rig

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Well, I guess this isn't much of a story. Sorry if it's long and boring. I tend to ramble when I write. It's not a particularly exciting story. Nothing out of the ordinary or dangerous, and chock-full of unnecessary details. But I felt compelled to write it, since I did have fun and meet a lot of interesting people this time out. I'd like to write about some other trips I've taken, but this was the most recent, and therefore, easiest to remember in detail.

I suppose this particular journey began in Greensboro, NC. I was bouncing back and forth between my friend's house in Salisbury, and Greensboro where I was looking for work. I was couch-surfing in Greensboro, and pretty pennilessly at that. My friend Vomit was just recently off the road in NC coming back from the West Coast. I ran into him outside of a vegan restaraunt on Tate St., where he introduced me to a couple travelers named Colt, Pony Boy, Dylan, and a dog named Banjo (full name, southern-drawl required: Souf-Boun' Baynjo on the Souf-Boun' Train). We hung out for the night at man named Greg's house. Greg was convinced he new me, but I didn't know him. I pretended I knew who he was, simply so as not to embarrass or offend him. After all, he was getting me stoned out of my goard and giving me a place to sleep. We partied all night, listend to some nasty, dirty crust, and passed out. I headed back to Salisbury out of boredom to pick up an atlas someone said they had for me. Pony Boy, Colt, Dylan, and Banjo would come into play later.

In Salisbury, I came across a young wanderer chick named Nicole, and we started...ahem "dating". She and her buddy Ian had expressed some interest in travelling, and since I wasn't finding any work or any steady places to live, I assumed now would be as good a time as ever to get back on the road, even for just a quick trip to another city to look for more work. So, we spent a few days getting drunk together, and I lectured them on what to expect while traveling: the cold nights, starvation, mind-numbing boredom, etc. Basically, trying to downplay a lot of the romanticism that seems to attach itself to hopping trains and squatting abandoned buildings. They seemed to still be up with it, so we decided Talahassee was our destination. This didn't last long. After hitching a ride to Charlotte, we spent a few days spanging and deciding on the best way to get south. We picked up a kid named Spider who talked non-stop, but was pleasant to have around, if for no other reason than conversation.

This is when things started to get bad, FAST. We chilled under a concealed overpass for a few days, and Ian started getting sick. I mean, really fucking sick. We would go out during the day and try to make a few bucks, and he would sit under the overpass, clutching his stomach, writhing in pain. Now, keep in mind, it's the first time this kid has travelled, and he's less than a hundred miles from his home. We saved up enough money to get him a bus ticket back home. We never found out what was wrong with him, but we heard through word-of-mouth that he later spent a week in the hospital after getting home. After only a few days and a few miles, Nicole was starting to have second thoughts about leaving. It's my own fault I didn't see this shit coming. I picked up a couple of new kids and expected them to dive head-first into 40s and boxcars. She was an ex-junkie trying to get her life back in order, and being away from home and her child wasn't gonna help her get that college degree she was going after, so she hitch-hiked off to god-knows-where. I don't even remember what happened to Spider.

So, I wound up alone in Charlotte. A city I was familiar with, but now alone. And I fucking hate travelling alone. I just can't deal with the fucking boredom. So I hitched to a town called Winston-Salem, not too far from Greensboro, where I had a friend who I knew would be good for a place to stay for a couple days, and keep me steadily buzzed. I spent a night with him, and decided to get moving down south. As per usual, my plans were interrupted when I ran, yet again, into Vomit. He said he was living in the town, and welcomed me in for "as long as I needed to stay", where I was eventually adopted. He took me to a place we dubbed "DRUNK SQUAT". Drunk Squat wasn't actually a squat. It was a crash-pad that just looked, smelled, tasted, and partied like a long-term squat house. About 12 people occupied the cramped 2-bedroom apartment. It was an incredible house I'll never forget. I stayed there for about 4 days, hanging out with the regulars, a bizarre assortment of homeless kids, punx, skins, and Pokemon addicts. The demographics were through the roof. Every race, religion, sexual orientation, and walk of life seemed to be represented in that little living room, where we all slept, smoked, and drank all day, getting up only to buy weed or busk. Then, who should walk in the door but Pony Boy & crew. The four of us and the dog started getting pretty tight, mostly because we were the "train-hoppers" of the group, and we spent our mornings at Drunk Squat spanging out in Winston, which is a fucking INCREDIBLE city to make money in. Between the four of us, we could busk or spange up to $200 in a day. The money and dumpsters in this city were too good to leave right away, so we spent almost two weeks crashing at Drunk Squat, making money and drinking spacebags.

Pretty soon, the landlords started the dozen people living at the apartment, the graffiti on the walls, the drugs, and, oh yeah, the fact that rent hadn't been paid in months. So they shut off the power, evicted the residents, and posted a C&E for those not on the lease. For three days, we sat in the dark, rolling blunts by candle light. Pony Boy & crew asked me (like I had been hoping they would) if I wanted to come along with them to the west coast. Having never been, I eagerly agreed. Trains don't run through that town, and we spent the next day in the pouring rain trying to hitch out. Not many people are gonna pick up four smelly white kids and a dog in the pouring ran, so we took the last bit of money we had to buy a couple blunts and a bus ticket to Asheville, NC where we could take a train to Knoxville, TN.

We arrived in freezing cold Asheville late at night, and headed immediately for the infamous Ice House, an abandoned ice factory or some shit beside the river. We spent all fucking night trying to tear into the warehouse, tearing down boards, doing our best to break in (no squat-key), and shake off all the rumor's we'd heard about the place being haunted, hence all the travelers in Asheville, and there were a LOT, avoiding the place like the plague. We gave up around 4 that morning and crashed under the bridge not too far. We were able to break in the next day, where we caught a few nights of sleep. Spanging was tough in that city. Mostly, we just got kick-downs, but we ran into a hippie who was able to hook us up with herb, warm clothes, and a couple cold ones. In a bizarre coincidence, I ran into a friend of mine named Chrischarge at a metal show sometime later that week. He lives 300 miles away on the coast of NC, and we were in the mountains. He was apparently there to visit his girlfriend, and the next couple days were spent with him talking about hopping trains, politics, and punk-rock. He told us how back home, in Wilmington, he had a massive acid connection, and anyone who was willing to go back with him would be welcome to help themselves. Everyone agreed. I was a bit anxious to get on a train (I hadn't been on one since Charlotte, and I was getting antsy, feeling that need for steel!), but I was lucky to come across these guys, so I agreed to go. Chris' car would only fit two people and the dog, so we flipped coins to see who would go with Chris, and who would hitch-hike. Pony Boy and I lost, and Colt and Dylan won the seats. Things started to get a little fishy here, and I started getting the vibe that I was about to be ditched, due to the fact that it was now a pretty large group and making it hard to get around. Pony Boy decided we would get there faster if we split up, so I took the hint, and decided not to head to Wilmington. I'd given up acid earlier in the summer anyway.

So, we went our seperate ways (I never found out if Pony Boy made it to Wilmington. If anyone knows him, or the rest of the crew, give 'em my love and best wishes!) I was once again alone in a city I hated. While spanging, I ran into a tall, good-looking black kid named Sean, who was travelling from TN down to NOLA. He didn't carry a pack or anything with him, just an electric guitar strapped across his back, and a gymbag carrying a blanket and a battery-powered amplifier. We hit it off pretty quick, and spent the day busking. A girl calling herself "Faye" (we found out later her real name was Morgan) and her dog "Folsom" started following us around, she new of a safer place to stay than the Ice House. She took us to an abandoned house down the river from Ice House that was occupied by an older guy she new who reminded me very much of Mother Superior from trainspotting. Morgan said she'd been crashing there a while, so rooted around through the old recording equipment and porno lying around the place, and slept on soft, reasonably cleaned matresses.

My plans had originally called for me to head south. They were then changed to follow Pony Boy & crew out west, but that had fallen through as well. I was hating Asheville for the cocky and condescending locals, contrary to the "traveler-friendly" reputation the city had 15 years ago, and still aching to get on a train. But the only trains in Asheville were heading west to Tennesee and east back home to Salisbury, so I decided on Philadelphia. A lot of the Salisbury kids had moved up there a little over a year ago to become bike-messengers, so I figured I had a pretty good shot there. I did my best to convince Sean to come with me. We'd gotten pretty tight, but he was still bent on NOLA, so after a night at Hell House (a disgusting home-bum squat, complete with a clogged-up bathtub, filled to the brim with frozen urine), I hooked up with a rideshare online, and made my way to Baltimore. I only crashed there a night, but a friend of a friend living up there was kind enough to take me to Ellicott City, where I was able to catch the Juice Line on the fly. Not as cool as it sounds. It passed through that city slow enough for Banjo to hop on, if she'd been with us.

So, here I am in Killadelphia, Pistolvania. I've been adopted by a group of young kids in a townhouse on the South Side, where Korey lives. Korey is moving to Syndey in March, but is letting me crash here rent-free until he moves. By then, I'll hopefully have a job, and the kids here are asking me to take his place at the house. Since the only bankable job I have experience in is bartending, I'm looking for work of that nature around here, but I'll be doing medical studies at U-Penn for cash until then. My first study is later this month, and pays three-fucking-grand if all goes well.

But I finally made it to my destination. And I only got to ride one fucking train.



l_cf34eb4bc3e2405ca0839186fa682d83.jpg

^ Ian, the kid who got sick.

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^ Ian and Nicole. I'm pretty good at covering up half the lens with my finger.

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^ Your humble narrator

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^ D-Squat.

There are a lot of other great pictures out there. Dylan's camera has about 40 or so photographs between Drunk House and their departure to Wilmington. If anyone comes across these kids, let me know how I can get in touch with them, just to say hi. Despite getting ditched, they were actually some of the best people I've travelled with.

end transmission.
 
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marc

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i know dillon colton and ponyboy i just rode with them from baldwin to nola. theyre in vegas now i have dillon and coltons myspace accounts if you want them. thats dillons head right there in my avatar picture on our way from pensacola to new orleans
 

Dirty Rig

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damn, are you serious? i couldnt find ANYTHING about trains in winston. i assumed there were trains, but no one there knew anything about them, and my crew-change didnt say anything.


and im glad to hear dillon and colton made it to vegas. i knew they were trying pretty hard to get back.
 

jokey_bogus

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where are all these squat kids coming from that you talk about being in Winston-salem. thats where i went to high-school or where i was suppost to go anyways. only about 3 squat kids came out of that city.

\and for sure never seen a house like that. not saying i dont beieve it, ive just never been lucky enough to find it wehen i roll through there. if you ever meet some kids Sergio, brandi and dave or pazuzu. there good people and for the most part can help you out with anything you need.
 

severegout

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Winston-Salem has the WSSR (Winston-Salem Southern RR) which connects with CSX to go to Hamlet... in Southern Pines I think???? I don't remember. Norfolk Southern also runs a daily road freight outta their yard near downtown up to Roanoke. There's also a local to Greensboro. You can catch the local from Greensboro to Winston-Salem right behind the bowling alley near the train yard... goes south then takes the huge curve right there, very slow... if it continues straight it is going to Linwood. Make sure it takes the curve.
 
S

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I thought Winston-Salem Southbound connected with CSX in Wadesboro and from there you can catch to Hamlet. If you didn't want to wait you could just hitch from Wadesboro to Hamlet its really not far. Take hwy 74 to 177 and Hamlet yard is right off hwy 177. This is the way I would go personally.

OR

Winston-Salem Southbound connects with Aberdeen, Carolina and Western Railway in Norwood, NC and then you catch ACWR to Aberdeen (which isn't far from Southern Pines) and that connects with CSX to Hamlet. I think this is the route you're talking about but it might take longer, and ACWR has real short trains.

I have never hopped WSS or ACWR so I know very little about the two railroads or how often they run. I want to ride these lines but I haven't had the time. I looked over some notes and maps I have and this looks right.
 

BCstranger

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where are all these squat kids coming from that you talk about being in Winston-salem. thats where i went to high-school or where i was suppost to go anyways. only about 3 squat kids came out of that city.

\and for sure never seen a house like that. not saying i dont beieve it, ive just never been lucky enough to find it wehen i roll through there. if you ever meet some kids Sergio, brandi and dave or pazuzu. there good people and for the most part can help you out with anything you need.
my homegirl is married to pazuzu
 

Teko

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my homegirl is married to pazuzu
i met pazuzu's wife like 2 weeks ago at a gas station in clemmons. pulled beside me and some friends with some other people i knew. paz has been in jail for a min. i think he is getting out some time around the end of july.. at least thats what his wife said.
paz is crazy, but fun, because of him i got my pirate brand. lol
 

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