All I want to do is drink beer, ride trains, and be free... (1 Viewer)

Coywolf

Mastering the Art of Houselessness
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Howdy, StP.

Some of y'all know me. I've been around here for a bit. I started this whole online traveling info journey when DigiHitch was still around. And eventually migrated over to StP when I posted about alternate sites to go to when they announced they were going down.

Lo, and behold, I found this site. This place has been, fuck, probably one of the most influential factors in my recent life. I think I've been here since 2014...? Anyway.

I started out traveling when my grandparents passed in 2010, I was 22. I was struggling with intermittent employment, the recent end of a 7 year relationship, severe depression, and the itching sensation of the open road (that could be a new STI!)

I was researching on DigiHitch and I felt I had enough info to hit the road, so I did, alone.

I had a bit of experience living out doors, and being homeless and broke, but nothing close to what I was about to encounter.

I had alot of fears, but the main one was getting addicted to this lifestyle, I had heard from many that they were unable to go back to "normal life" after they were on the road for long enough.

So I left Flagstaff to Portland with a friend, we got an apartment, but I couldn't find a job. I was about to be on the street again, so I said fuck it, and went down to the Yamhill Pub to spend the rest of my cash on beer. Little did I know, that place was a mecca for travelers in portland, and I met some punk chick that wanted to also travel for the first time.

After proving to her dad I could take care of her, (by showing him the KelTec .40 cal in my backpack), we left down the coast toward SF. It was a great trip, but we eventually split ways outside of SF in Dublin, as we both wanted to go home.

I got back home to Flagstaff, AZ and got a job. Hated it.

So I hit it again. My desination was Arcata, CA. Got my first ride, first fucking ride. Fucker took me all the way to Eureka. Amazing.

I lived in Arcata for a few months in a downed redwood in Redwood Park. One of the best experiences I've ever had. One of the most memorable being dodging this HUGE gothic chick in Arcata that was going around knifing people who were unfortunate enough to say a word to her. Toby and jacks man. Awesome. That was my first experience with Molly, acid, X, and being able to find weed anywhere. People trying to GIVE the shit away.

I got sick of Humboldt, saw how depressed and high people were there, and headed to eugene.

When I got up there, I had never been in Oregon before, but I had family I wanted to see that I had never met in Rouge River. My ride up there offered me a job trimming and I took it. I hit 2 ounces in a day and got some cash to continue my trip. So I headed to see my aunt, and then went up to Eugene.

Eugene was a fucking paradise. I had always lived in AZ, and had never seen the likes of OR before. I decided to stay.

I had bought a Martin Backpacker guitar before I left Flagstaff with the intent of learning guitar on the road to make money. So I learned a whole bunch of songs, and spent most of my time practicing on top of that main parking garage in downtown. Security would just come towards me, see I was playing guitar, kick me a couple bucks and say, "good luck".

I ended up busking, drinking, and living on the side of Skinner Butte for like 3 months. It was great. Right up until the time it wasent.

One day I started drinking a Steelie, and went to go busk, when i had a total mental break down. My time being alone and stressed on the road had gotten to me. I wanted to die. And I almost drank myself to death.

I was over by the WOW hall, and was slouched over my guitar, hoping I'd get someone to give me some money, when i heard my name.

I knew there was no one in the vicinity that knew me. I was 1500 miles from home. I heard my name again, followed by an "is that you?!" I looked up to see a girl I had worked with in AZ 2 years ago. Ceci. I remember this was her hometown.

She took me in, on the verge of suicide, and basically saved my life.

Flash forward. I ended up scoring a job as a seasonal Park Ranger with the National Park Service (something I had been working toward for the past 4 years) in Crater Lake.

After that I went on and off, working for 6 months with the NPS in places like Zion, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, and Yellowstone, and being on the road, either hitching, or living out of my truck in random places for the other 6 months.

My career, at this point, was amazing. I would patrol the backcountry of national parks, save people in peril, fight fires, and save the environment. All the while being able to live my "alternative" lifestyle in the winter, traveling and being a little less than legal.

I landed in Bend, OR for most of my off time. It was a perfect place to live in the forest, and do some research for my future work and travel plans. Not to mention it was a major highway/train hub.

Last year (and the year before that) I spent my whole work season studying hopping freight. I posted like hell on here, bugged people for information, bought books, atlases, traveled to a few places like Pocatello and Grand Junction while I was firefighting, and stalked the yards. Even hopped on a couple stopped trains to get a feel for it.

I felt I was ready. I needed to take the next step in travel culture. I had been interested in riding, but didn't ever have the balls, due to the fact that that lifestyle would ruin my career if caught. But I made sure that wouldn't happen.

I'M not going to brag about all my experience and knowledge that I have concerning freight, because it isint true. BUT I did my fucking due diligence, and made sure I would know where shit was going, what to catch, what yards were hot, and the like, ALONE. I did all of it alone. The way you should, in my opinion.

I ended up catching out of Bend last winter and riding to Denver, via RSV, Ogden, Provo, GJ, and Moffat.

I can't explain what happened to me, people. Any rider will know what I'm talking about. It was literally the most life changing experience I have ever had. I couldnt go back. I was addicted.

Flash forward. I've been living this lifestyle now for 8 years. I have a well established career in the NPS. I have a promotion opportunity to a permanent position. That's career status people. I'm talking full benefits, 401K, great Pay, and year-round work. It's something I have been working towards for years. Not to mention, I don't consider it a job. I basically get paid to play outdoors.

But there in lies the problem. It's year round. I have no more time to travel. Not to mention getting in trouble with the law will ruin my shit.

I've been drinking alot. My attitude has changed. I'm hanging out with different groups. My once "tidy" government employee persona is degrading. I don't think I can stop this transition from government grunt to full time hippy traveler.

I've not been able to smoke weed or do drugs with my job, something I really enjoy. I haven't been able to share my political or social views due to contracts. Something else I really enjoy.

I have came into contact with a few people on the road that have given me alternate employment opportunities. I have fire, tree work, and conservation experience out the ying yang. I'm considering getting away from my current career to do these instead and still travel.

But this is taking a toll on me. In depressed all the time. I want to be on the road. I crave social interaction (I live and work in a VERY remote location in Utah) I haven't been able to maintain my social skills and am turning into a loner.

But I'm afraid to leave it. I know that this is an ideal situation for the "normal world" and it a taking a toll. I had a breakdown the other night. One more thing, I just turned 30, and I've been reading Matt's recent posts about him having to exit the culture for a while. Something I am also worrying about.

It comes down to this:

One of my original fears came true. I'm addicted.

I know I'm in a great situation, but all I want to do is drink beer, ride trains, and be free......


I
 
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quad8

Nowhere bound...
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You're kinda like me at this point. Social media reached its limits and it's hard to even strike up a conversation. I was taught how to find my way out of whatever depression safely and effectively and even taught myself what my other options are. Whatever options you don't have now, you might find some on the open road. Drink all you want, but just don't give up hope. Be safe.
 

roughdraft

RápidoCorrenLosCarrosRespletoLosRielesDFerrocarril
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we have some in common. fuck man you worked at crater? that's dope i went as often as i could when i stayed near there; i think i went 12 times in one summer

riddle me this, why don't you take the promotion and rock it for like 5 years, with a meditation sort of thing to keep practicing music in yr free time? then take all of that cash and go on the road permanently doing freelance arborist type things if applicable? would that eliminate the extra money from the 401K?
 

Desperado Deluxe

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just don't be stupid and don't get caught. be careful of drinking.. I have like 30 k under my belt and the worst I got is a warning in FL by city police and an official warning from CSX police n philly. be careful in big cities. I used to drink too and quit ovee three years ago
 

Jerrell

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There's pros and cons to each path. I joined the military at 20 and was full time for five years and part time for five years. I was halfway through an Associates degree when I turned 30 and was Reservist. All my friends were smoking weed, partying, fucking enjoying their lives and, even though I drank and went to some parties, I was definitely envious of their freedom. It wasn't just that some things were illegal and career ending, it was that I represented the armed forces in my college friends eyes. I was kind of expected to be more responsible and somewhat stoic.

Now that I'm 43 and didn't get to retire because my mind and body were too busted up (I was pushed out versus medically retired. Less paperwork.), which at 30 was my main reason for staying on contract (hell, I was halfway to 20!)....I would 100% tell my 30 year old self to walk away from that government contract. You enjoyed it, you learned a lot and you were privileged enough to see some amazing places, but go live your life. Be happy.

However, I wonder what a 43 year old me that DID get to retire would say. lol

I guess my advice would be to go full time with the NPS or step away. Trying to hold two women is going to tear you apart man. Damn, the more I read your plight, the more I hear that old Oak Ridge Boys song, "Trying to Love Two Women" because it fits. haha
 
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Coywolf

Coywolf

Mastering the Art of Houselessness
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You're kinda like me at this point. Social media reached its limits and it's hard to even strike up a conversation. I was taught how to find my way out of whatever depression safely and effectively and even taught myself what my other options are. Whatever options you don't have now, you might find some on the open road. Drink all you want, but just don't give up hope. Be safe.
Ya, I'm starting to see the dangers of drinking, as it relates to extreme dopamine fluctuations and depression.

we have some in common. fuck man you worked at crater? that's dope i went as often as i could when i stayed near there; i think i went 12 times in one summer

riddle me this, why don't you take the promotion and rock it for like 5 years, with a meditation sort of thing to keep practicing music in yr free time? then take all of that cash and go on the road permanently doing freelance arborist type things if applicable? would that eliminate the extra money from the 401K?
Ya I was at Crater for one season. Lived in Bend for a while recently. I have considered diving into the career for a bit and then going back to traveling, however, as I am getting older, I am seeing that it keeps getting harder to travel. I could get some tenure with the GOV and then take off for a bit. But this is why I like the seasonal jobs. Cause I get to travel in the off time. The arborist work is always an option. It's also becoming harder to keep myself disciplined enough to hold down the more complicated responsibilities of my job without just saying "fuck it".

There's pros and cons to each path. I joined the military at 20 and was full time for five years and part time for five years. I was halfway through an Associates degree when I turned 30 and was Reservist. All my friends were smoking weed, partying, fucking enjoying their lives and, even though I drank and went to some parties, I was definitely envious of their freedom. It wasn't just that some things were illegal and career ending, it was that I represented the armed forces in my college friends eyes. I was kind of expected to be more responsible and somewhat stoic.

Now that I'm 43 and didn't get to retire because my mind and body were too busted up (I was pushed out versus medically retired. Less paperwork.), which at 30 was my main reason for staying on contract (hell, I was halfway to 20!)....I would 100% tell my 30 year old self to walk away from that government contract. You enjoyed it, you learned a lot and you were privileged enough to see some amazing places, but go live your life. Be happy.

However, I wonder what a 43 year old me that DID get to retire would say. lol

I guess my advice would be to go full time with the NPS or step away. Trying to hold two women is going to tear you apart man. Damn, the more I read your plight, the more I hear that old Oak Ridge Boys song, "Trying to Love Two Women" because it fits. haha
True that. You nailed it. I am just going to have to make a decision. Just had to get this shit out, ya know?
 

coltsfoot

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Hey there, i really appreciate your post. Its a tough spot to be in and the tension between security and freedom resonates with me. I left my job as a firefighter (structure) because i needed the freedom to move. For the past couple years now I've been lowkey homesteading and working jobs seasonally but am able to be on the road for like 3-6 months out of the year which is apretty ideal amount for me right now since I'm doing shit i love when im off the road. I'm ultimately a lot happier and more fulfilled but it was a tough decision considering how much i put into getting there and how happy i was with the work. Now i like to joke about becoming a ff again once i retire.

Do you ever work with tarot? Something i like to do when im figuring out these big life decisions or situations is read or have my tarot read. Even if you dont believe in the spiritual side of things it can be really great to help figure this kind of shit out.
 

roughdraft

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Do you ever work with tarot? Something i like to do when im figuring out these big life decisions or situations is read or have my tarot read. Even if you dont believe in the spiritual side of things it can be really great to help figure this kind of shit out.
regarding this subject, how do you go about casing someone's authenticity in tarot?

i had one person i traveled with do a great job with it but this was years ago and i cannot recall too much of the content.

i want to have it read again but haven't come across anyone that my intuition has drawn me to
 

coltsfoot

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regarding this subject, how do you go about casing someone's authenticity in tarot?

i had one person i traveled with do a great job with it but this was years ago and i cannot recall too much of the content.

i want to have it read again but haven't come across anyone that my intuition has drawn me to
Yeah i hear you. For me it really is all about having that connection with the the person and how they read. Personally I'm less likely to be drawn to showing up at the neon light psychic kinda spot and more into having a reading with someone who is really passionate about tarot that i might meet or hear about through friends. But you'll never know if it's legit for you until you sit down with them and see if the reading really resonates or not.
 
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Coywolf

Coywolf

Mastering the Art of Houselessness
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Hey there, i really appreciate your post. Its a tough spot to be in and the tension between security and freedom resonates with me. I left my job as a firefighter (structure) because i needed the freedom to move. For the past couple years now I've been lowkey homesteading and working jobs seasonally but am able to be on the road for like 3-6 months out of the year which is apretty ideal amount for me right now since I'm doing shit i love when im off the road. I'm ultimately a lot happier and more fulfilled but it was a tough decision considering how much i put into getting there and how happy i was with the work. Now i like to joke about becoming a ff again once i retire.

Do you ever work with tarot? Something i like to do when im figuring out these big life decisions or situations is read or have my tarot read. Even if you dont believe in the spiritual side of things it can be really great to help figure this kind of shit out.
You worked structure fire? Nice! I do wildland as a part of my job.

Ya I've never tried tarot, but I do the horoscope thing alot.

Might be worth looking into.

I am also very happy with what I do while I'm off the road. I just think the loneliness factor is double being remote at work, and a loner on the road. I'm sure the universe will give me a clue of what my fate will be!
 

junkpolecat99

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It's encouraging to see somebody go from being really poor to having a good job that they like and are around the same age as me. Well, you've been doing it for 8 years, so you're way better off than me. Umm, but as long as you have some money saved up then there's no risk in changing careers.

Maybe take the promotion for a few years to get the experience and then step back down to seasonal? Will there be enough variety in your prestigious career to keep yourself stay interested year round to replace the boring hippy lifestyle of doing nearly the same thing with the same people all of the time? Drinking beer, smoking weed, whatever, that's why I'm here on this website - to get ideas for new experiences and be intelligent and focused about it.
 

junkpolecat99

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I'm poor and lonely and will be on probation for a year. My job is lonely but I just deliver food for UberEats basically, it's up and down and I rarely get motivated or dedicated enough to save any money. I spend it all on weed and wax (aka weed crack)
 
D

Deleted member 2626

I deleted myself
May be take the job for a year? and stack some money and then bounce or buy land or something and just be okay with your odd jobs. Future? I think "monetary seCurity" is a set up, trap. I get where you come from in a way though. I work for the two man family business at times when I am back around "home", paid great and it is outdoor home remodeling, but working full time I could never do again, any job really. I'd rather have less money, sometimes almost none, cheap land to hide away and odd work if I really need it. Learn to really live with less and I believe retirement money becomes even more of a scam, work now, be free later?
As well, if money comes heavier drinking for some of us it seems. Another plus on less money, sober more and healthy. I enjoy partying as well, but deep down know cutting it out, mostly, altogether is better than common use. I bet you imbibe more, like myself, when bored, or restless or feeling stuck. . .?
 

wokofshame

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Yeah fuck it, I just quit a job paying 40.52$/hour with a one-year ride to full union journeyman status. For different reasons- the boss was a d-bag, an ass-clown, a nincompoop, and a twit, and there was an insane family sitcom situation going on there, but it is still relevant.
i have a good friend who was a journeyman union electrician and quit, he didn't like the idea of doing the same thing for the rest of his life.
Most people ignore that the real valuable commodity is your time and contentment, not money. They gauge their success in job bennies and not if they are using their time wisely. Fuck the NPS, do your thang and tell them to go suck a bag of dicks
 

severin

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it's good to break the dice for a change of pace. we all need it time and again. do what you want, be safe, and just remember; all things in moderation. I've never been a "train kid", even though I've spent countless nights getting drunk with the lot, eating at feeds, bullshitting, rolling down the steel.. I've always thought of these excursions like you might a long hike into the mountains or a river rafting trip. You go for a few weeks, a few months, commune with yourself and then head back. There's nothing wrong with having one foot in society and the other in the river. I think it works fine. all things in moderation.. and variety is the spice of life.
 
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You seem to be in a similar situation to me.
Although i dont have the travelling experience that you do.
I've got a government job that pays 80k AUD a year and has great benefits. I am, in normal society, winning. I have more money than my friends and to be honest i dont do much at work.
The problem is i want to throw in the towel and pack a bag and head to either USA or europe and just roam around lost living like a bum.
Im scared to commit to either option incase its the worst one and i regret not taking the other.
Ive always told myself if i didnt have this job id be bumming it in america somewhere.
Sorry i know this didnt give any advice,
Just my situation
 

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