I hopped freights, hitched, bicycled and squated North America for 6 years, now I am off the road and living in ATX. (1 Viewer) Featured 

jaws

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I've been wanting to do this for some time now, I used this site a lot to help me during traveling. I've been off the road for a few years now but I've been busy attempting to re-assimilate into society. I am finally getting around to writing about my travels.

I did the college thing, I come from a good home with parents that love me, I had job opportunities and I have always been addiction free {aside from porn, that shit is like crack for young men) but generally I felt like I had way too many questions to answer. Why do we do what we do? What's beyond the human routine? What if there is more to life? etc.

I found this site back in 2014 and it helped me a lot. In college I was "coping" but felt that I was an alien. Even my girlfriend at the time made me feel that way. We split apart eventually and even though I felt alone when I was with her, it still broke my heart and this kind of started a snowball effect. Kind of like "that's fucking it, I am tired of this shit" feeling. After spending some down time with my parents, getting over the break up, I quit my job, I withdrew from college and I decided to pack my bags and hit the road.

Houston to NOLA, freight hop: 2014
My first trip, I made it to downtown Houston at the freight yard. I found a couch with heroin needles laying around underneath a bridge. I decided to sleep there for the night until a train was heading east. I woke up in the middle of the night soaring through the air and hitting the dirt. Three men in mask were standing there, each holding a pistol pointed at me. I stood up and looked at each of them, one of them cocked his pistol and told me to stay still. Between feeling like an alien my whole life, and the recent break up I had, I was kind of ready to die. I remember feeling pretty calm while they stood there aiming their pistols at me. We stood there for a brief moment in silence, then they turned and ran away. It was then I noticed they took EVERYTHING. My bag, my gear, my clothes, my spare cash, gone. I found a CD laying in the dirt, it was "Life is too short" by Too Short. I sat at the freight yard and decided that I still wanted to continue. I hopped my first train as it left the yard with the clothes I was wearing and a jug of water.

The train ride was awesome, it was a feeling of accomplishment and attacking life from a new angle. I slept on top of oil pipes in a open top hopper while the train made it's way through the forest at night. The moon and stars were amazing and the train rocked me to sleep. With all of my depression, anger, confusion, it was the best night of sleep I got in years and it took thousands of pounds of moving steel and breaking the law to accomplish it. I squated in an abandoned hotel in Beaumont and hopped again to Avery Island where they make Tabasco. From there I finished making it to NOLA by hitch hiking. NOLA is awesome, it is the capitol of train hoppers and street kids, I made a shit load of friends. People called me Shaggy because I am tall, lanky and I have scruffy facial hair. I slept in an abandoned bank, a couple roof tops and underneath the docs. I stayed for two months during the summer and it was possibly one of the most personal growth summers I have ever had.

Austin to Monterey, Mexico, Bicycling and freight hopping: 2015
After Nola, I made my way back to Austin, TX and met up with a group of people called "bicycles across borders" or BXB. They build bikes out of donated parts and reassemble them to new working bikes. They work with the community and make a trip once a year to Monterey Mexico to donate bikes. It was a lot of fun and they smoke hella weed on the way. This was the only group trip I have ever done. After the group disbanded in Monterey, I went rock climbing with a solo adventurer I met in Potrero Chico. From there I hopped a freight train back to the USA and got pulled off by border patrol on the Mexican side. I slept in a horse stall and smoked weed with a fellow train rider that was attempting to make it across the border. In the morning he was gone and I made it through to the American side but had to run because they started calling after me as I walked through the gate. I jumped another train to San Antonio and then hitched with a trucker to Houston.

Route 66 to Chicago, Hitch hiking: 2016
I hopped freight from Houston to College Station. Got a job doing demolition and then paid for a bus ticket to Oklahoma City so I could get to Route 66. I hitch hiked all the way to St. Louis and squated in an abandoned warehouse. One day I was laying in my sleeping bag and a beautiful girl walked in. She told me she was filming herself hula hooping for her social media account. We made friends and she came to visit me often in my warehouse. She gave me a ride halfway to Chicago and kissed me goodbye. I was stupid for letting her go although I continued to Chicago and got a job framing houses. It was kind of funny because I was getting paid $100 cash a day. The Union keeps labor work respected in Chicago and the workers get paid well. I was with a contractor that was paying me less than union workers but to me it was a ton of money. I ate at 5 star restaurants although I was sleeping on the lake shore in a bird sanctuary. It was my own personal joke. I had a gym membership and lived life to it's fullest. Eventually I got a job waxing yachts on the docks, I was making $300 a yacht and at this point I was taking friends out to eat.

The Great Eclipse, Hopkinsville, hitch hiking: 2017
After chilling in Chicago for a while and I had some travel money saved up, I made my way back south to Kentucky on a greyhound. The great solar eclipse of 2017 was at it's fullest in Hopkinsville. I hitch hiked the rest of the way and made a hitch hiking buddy once I got there. I got butt naked during the eclipse, I wanted my body to be completely enveloped in the eclipse. At the time it made sense. The hitching buddy I made slipped into a cave and had a concussion one night while we were making our way through the woods on federal land, I had to get him an ambulance. Instead of being nice to me, having a friend who was in serious harm, the police questioned me like I was a criminal. I showed them where he and I were camping out and they wrote me a ticket. They said I had to stick around for going to court, at least they wanted me to...

West Virginia, my birth state, Hitch hiking: 2017-18
I hitched to the Appalachians. West Virginia is full of people that are stuck in 1950 but they will give the clothes off their back to keep you warm. I stayed in a town called Fayetteville, famous for bungee jumpers diving off the New River Gorge bridge. The dude that I hitch hiked with kept one hand on his gun the entire ride but then he dropped me off at his friends land where we fished, drank and became friends. It was good getting to my roots, the people of my birth state and making friends that genuinely say what they mean and mean what they say. I met some river guides and we went white water rafting.

Texas to Alaska, hitch hiking: 2019-20
I was about to turn 30 and I wanted to do something big. I bought a bus ticket to California from Houston, Texas. From California, I hitchiked to Seattle and got a job with this awesome lady who is a landscape architect. We built rock walls in peoples yards, her daughter was 4 and cute as ever. She played with bugs while her mom and I designed landscapes for people. After working with her for a while, I left and headed east to Montana. I crossed the border illegally through Grizzly Mountain, Northeast of Eureka. It's the only location with a Grizzly population known in the lower 48 states. It took me two days of hiking through the mountains to get across into Canada. At night I slept underneath a fallen tree to shield myself from grizzlies. I ran into a bear, but it was a black bear thankfully, I banged on my water jug and it ran. The rest of the way I drank from springs and finally made it to the road again. From there I met with some Natives, I helped them install an irrigation system on their farm and they dropped me off at a local gas station with a chocolate chip cookie. Canadians are the kindest people I have ever met in my life. I hitch hiked the Al-Can in less than a week but when I had to camp on the side of the road I did things to stay as safe from bears as possible, one time I slept in a tractor plow. I saw wolves, bears, fox (what's the plural of fox?), porcupines, moose, bison, etc. I got picked up by a Iditarod competitor (dog mushing) and he let me sleep in a cabin on his land with his team of racing huskies. I finally made it to Alaska and was let it without any identification. The border patrol took my name and birthdate but generously let me cross. I was scared I was going to have to cross illegally into Alaska (which is much harder to get lost than crossing into Canada). I went to Denali, Anchorage and Fairbanks. I even went a bit further to North Pole Alaska and met a man who's full time job is to dress as Santa Clause. I thought about staying in Alaska and getting my pilot's license to be a bush pilot, I even got my Alaskan State i.d. and became an Alaskan citizen. However I missed my family, I was feeling accomplished (for now) and decided to start finding a place to stay and plant roots.

Texas to Florida Keys to East Coast: Van Dwelling: 2020
My grandpa passed away and I inherited a GMC envoy from him, it was the last car he drove. Before I planted roots I wanted to check out one more location, Asheville, NC. However I had a friend getting married in Florida so I decided to make an excursion out of it. I posted on here and picked up Goulash, my first STP member meet up. I picked her up and spent a few days riding with her and car camping during some heavy storms. Once we got to mid Florida I dropped her off with her brother and I continued to the keys. Florida is dope and has over 700 natural springs to swim in. I went to a few of these on my way to my friends wedding. After a few months in Florida I went North to Savannah and New Brunswick GA. I stayed at a low key hostel called Hostel in the forest. After a few months in Savannah I pushed on to Asheville, NC and got a job doing Timber framing. I loved Asheville so much I almost decided to stay but I missed being close to my family and decided to move back to Austin.

I live in Austin currently, I swim most days at Barton Springs. I am going back to school, I adopted a puppy, I have a place to stay and I welcome any travelers to crash at my place. STP was a huge help when it came to learning how to hop trains and make friends on the road.

I barely have any pictures, I was superstitious about smartphones and picture shy, I used payphones or mailed letters for most of my adventures. What pictures I have were taken by other people and most of those were lost years ago. Here are two I have left

Bicycling to Mexico (me sitting on the bike, was barefoot most of the way lol)
bxb 2015 2.jpg



Hitch hiking into Alaska
alaska.jpg


I tried to trace the route I took over 6 years, it's far from accurate but this is a doodle of it.
route map.jpg


edit: I know it's a lot to read already but I attempted fitting 6 years into one post. You can AMA, I've been through quite a bit. Many abandoned building/house squats, scrapping with meth heads, avoiding getting raped, sketchy hitch hiking rides/good hitch hiking rides, good police officers, bad police officers, train hopping, dumpster diving, wilderness survival etc.
 
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We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

IanIam

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Damn you are a fast reader, and thanks for sticking through it, I tried to cram 6 years into one post, I know it's a lot.
Oh you're welcome bro I read a lot and very frequently, I actually wish your post was longer especially the parts about west Virginia as that's where my grandparents were from but I digress.
 

jaws

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Oh you're welcome bro I read a lot and very frequently, I actually wish your post was longer especially the parts about west Virginia as that's where my grandparents were from but I digress.
West Virginia is awesome man. It was the last state to get covid outbreaks if that gives you an idea of how secluded it is. Sadly it is the highest per capita opioid drug addiction state that there is. Lots of fiends up there mixed with some of the most genuine people you will meet in America. Most folks I met wanted me to stay with them and help me get on my feet. I even got offered a cabin to myself free of rent if I decided to stay. I wanted to make it there because I was born in Clarksburg because of my dad being in the oil business, we got moved around a lot. The landscape is gorgeous and some of the windiest roads I have ever seen. I took a job building shelves and got paid decent although it's hard to find work up there, the economy is pretty scarce due to the coal industry plummeting, which is why I think there is so much opioid abuse. You can still go urban exploring in the abandoned coal conveyers which I did a good bit of. Nuttallburg - https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/nuttallburg
I'm definitely going back one day.
Best of wishes
 

IanIam

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West Virginia is awesome man. It was the last state to get covid outbreaks if that gives you an idea of how secluded it is. Sadly it is the highest per capita opioid drug addiction state that there is. Lots of fiends up there mixed with some of the most genuine people you will meet in America. Most folks I met wanted me to stay with them and help me get on my feet. I even got offered a cabin to myself free of rent if I decided to stay. I wanted to make it there because I was born in Clarksburg because of my dad being in the oil business, we got moved around a lot. The landscape is gorgeous and some of the windiest roads I have ever seen. I took a job building shelves and got paid decent although it's hard to find work up there, the economy is pretty scarce due to the coal industry plummeting, which is why I think there is so much opioid abuse. You can still go urban exploring in the abandoned coal conveyers which I did a good bit of. Nuttallburg - https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/nuttallburg
I'm definitely going back one day.
Best of wishes
Hell yeah, other than the opiate issue it sounds like a wonderful place, my grandpa was from coalwood and worked the norfolk railroad up until the early forties when he heard tell of a lot of ship construction jobs out west in sf. I've always wanted to go visit but just never did. Thanks again for the awesome post, and good luck to ya!
 

Matt Derrick

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i'm in austin as well if you wanna meet up at some point!

i really like seeing a story that spans multiple trips over several years, gives an interesting perspective. if you don't mind, i'd like to add this to our 'best of' section!
 

jaws

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i'm in austin as well if you wanna meet up at some point!

i really like seeing a story that spans multiple trips over several years, gives an interesting perspective. if you don't mind, i'd like to add this to our 'best of' section!
Matt for sure!
I know Austin fairly well but I have zero train hopper friends I've met yet. Would like to get introduced to the community if there is one here.

And sure! I wish I had more pictures to add to the story but please do.
 

mrose

standing in the rain
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I've been wanting to do this for some time now, I used this site a lot to help me during traveling. I've been off the road for a few years now but I've been busy attempting to re-assimilate into society. I am finally getting around to writing about my travels.

I did the college thing, I come from a good home with parents that love me, I had job opportunities and I have always been addiction free {aside from porn, that shit is like crack for young men) but generally I felt like I had way too many questions to answer. Why do we do what we do? What's beyond the human routine? What if there is more to life? etc.

I found this site back in 2014 and it helped me a lot. In college I was "coping" but felt that I was an alien. Even my girlfriend at the time made me feel that way. We split apart eventually and even though I felt alone when I was with her, it still broke my heart and this kind of started a snowball effect. Kind of like "that's fucking it, I am tired of this shit" feeling. After spending some down time with my parents, getting over the break up, I quit my job, I withdrew from college and I decided to pack my bags and hit the road.

Houston to NOLA, freight hop: 2014
My first trip, I made it to downtown Houston at the freight yard. I found a couch with heroin needles laying around underneath a bridge. I decided to sleep there for the night until a train was heading east. I woke up in the middle of the night soaring through the air and hitting the dirt. Three men in mask were standing there, each holding a pistol pointed at me. I stood up and looked at each of them, one of them cocked his pistol and told me to stay still. Between feeling like an alien my whole life, and the recent break up I had, I was kind of ready to die. I remember feeling pretty calm while they stood there aiming their pistols at me. We stood there for a brief moment in silence, then they turned and ran away. It was then I noticed they took EVERYTHING. My bag, my gear, my clothes, my spare cash, gone. I found a CD laying in the dirt, it was "Life is too short" by Too Short. I sat at the freight yard and decided that I still wanted to continue. I hopped my first train as it left the yard with the clothes I was wearing and a jug of water.

The train ride was awesome, it was a feeling of accomplishment and attacking life from a new angle. I slept on top of oil pipes in a open top hopper while the train made it's way through the forest at night. The moon and stars were amazing and the train rocked me to sleep. With all of my depression, anger, confusion, it was the best night of sleep I got in years and it took thousands of pounds of moving steel and breaking the law to accomplish it. I squated in an abandoned hotel in Beaumont and hopped again to Avery Island where they make Tabasco. From there I finished making it to NOLA by hitch hiking. NOLA is awesome, it is the capitol of train hoppers and street kids, I made a shit load of friends. People called me Shaggy because I am tall, lanky and I have scruffy facial hair. I slept in an abandoned bank, a couple roof tops and underneath the docs. I stayed for two months during the summer and it was possibly one of the most personal growth summers I have ever had.

Austin to Monterey, Mexico, Bicycling and freight hopping: 2015
After Nola, I made my way back to Austin, TX and met up with a group of people called "bicycles across borders" or BXB. They build bikes out of donated parts and reassemble them to new working bikes. They work with the community and make a trip once a year to Monterey Mexico to donate bikes. It was a lot of fun and they smoke hella weed on the way. This was the only group trip I have ever done. After the group disbanded in Monterey, I went rock climbing with a solo adventurer I met in Potrero Chico. From there I hopped a freight train back to the USA and got pulled off by border patrol on the Mexican side. I slept in a horse stall and smoked weed with a fellow train rider that was attempting to make it across the border. In the morning he was gone and I made it through to the American side but had to run because they started calling after me as I walked through the gate. I jumped another train to San Antonio and then hitched with a trucker to Houston.

Route 66 to Chicago, Hitch hiking: 2016
I hopped freight from Houston to College Station. Got a job doing demolition and then paid for a bus ticket to Oklahoma City so I could get to Route 66. I hitch hiked all the way to St. Louis and squated in an abandoned warehouse. One day I was laying in my sleeping bag and a beautiful girl walked in. She told me she was filming herself hula hooping for her social media account. We made friends and she came to visit me often in my warehouse. She gave me a ride halfway to Chicago and kissed me goodbye. I was stupid for letting her go although I continued to Chicago and got a job framing houses. It was kind of funny because I was getting paid $100 cash a day. The Union keeps labor work respected in Chicago and the workers get paid well. I was with a contractor that was paying me less than union workers but to me it was a ton of money. I ate at 5 star restaurants although I was sleeping on the lake shore in a bird sanctuary. It was my own personal joke. I had a gym membership and lived life to it's fullest. Eventually I got a job waxing yachts on the docks, I was making $300 a yacht and at this point I was taking friends out to eat.

The Great Eclipse, Hopkinsville, hitch hiking: 2017
After chilling in Chicago for a while and I had some travel money saved up, I made my way back south to Kentucky on a greyhound. The great solar eclipse of 2017 was at it's fullest in Hopkinsville. I hitch hiked the rest of the way and made a hitch hiking buddy once I got there. I got butt naked during the eclipse, I wanted my body to be completely enveloped in the eclipse. At the time it made sense. The hitching buddy I made slipped into a cave and had a concussion one night while we were making our way through the woods on federal land, I had to get him an ambulance. Instead of being nice to me, having a friend who was in serious harm, the police questioned me like I was a criminal. I showed them where he and I were camping out and they wrote me a ticket. They said I had to stick around for going to court, at least they wanted me to...

West Virginia, my birth state, Hitch hiking: 2017-18
I hitched to the Appalachians. West Virginia is full of people that are stuck in 1950 but they will give the clothes off their back to keep you warm. I stayed in a town called Fayetteville, famous for bungee jumpers diving off the New River Gorge bridge. The dude that I hitch hiked with kept one hand on his gun the entire ride but then he dropped me off at his friends land where we fished, drank and became friends. It was good getting to my roots, the people of my birth state and making friends that genuinely say what they mean and mean what they say. I met some river guides and we went white water rafting.

Texas to Alaska, hitch hiking: 2019-20
I was about to turn 30 and I wanted to do something big. I bought a bus ticket to California from Houston, Texas. From California, I hitchiked to Seattle and got a job with this awesome lady who is a landscape architect. We built rock walls in peoples yards, her daughter was 4 and cute as ever. She played with bugs while her mom and I designed landscapes for people. After working with her for a while, I left and headed east to Montana. I crossed the border illegally through Grizzly Mountain, Northeast of Eureka. It's the only location with a Grizzly population known in the lower 48 states. It took me two days of hiking through the mountains to get across into Canada. At night I slept underneath a fallen tree to shield myself from grizzlies. I ran into a bear, but it was a black bear thankfully, I banged on my water jug and it ran. The rest of the way I drank from springs and finally made it to the road again. From there I met with some Natives, I helped them install an irrigation system on their farm and they dropped me off at a local gas station with a chocolate chip cookie. Canadians are the kindest people I have ever met in my life. I hitch hiked the Al-Can in less than a week but when I had to camp on the side of the road I did things to stay as safe from bears as possible, one time I slept in a tractor plow. I saw wolves, bears, fox (what's the plural of fox?), porcupines, moose, bison, etc. I got picked up by a Iditarod competitor (dog mushing) and he let me sleep in a cabin on his land with his team of racing huskies. I finally made it to Alaska and was let it without any identification. The border patrol took my name and birthdate but generously let me cross. I was scared I was going to have to cross illegally into Alaska (which is much harder to get lost than crossing into Canada). I went to Denali, Anchorage and Fairbanks. I even went a bit further to North Pole Alaska and met a man who's full time job is to dress as Santa Clause. I thought about staying in Alaska and getting my pilot's license to be a bush pilot, I even got my Alaskan State i.d. and became an Alaskan citizen. However I missed my family, I was feeling accomplished (for now) and decided to start finding a place to stay and plant roots.

Texas to Florida Keys to East Coast: Van Dwelling: 2020
My grandpa passed away and I inherited a GMC envoy from him, it was the last car he drove. Before I planted roots I wanted to check out one more location, Asheville, NC. However I had a friend getting married in Florida so I decided to make an excursion out of it. I posted on here and picked up Goulash, my first STP member meet up. I picked her up and spent a few days riding with her and car camping during some heavy storms. Once we got to mid Florida I dropped her off with her brother and I continued to the keys. Florida is dope and has over 700 natural springs to swim in. I went to a few of these on my way to my friends wedding. After a few months in Florida I went North to Savannah and New Brunswick GA. I stayed at a low key hostel called Hostel in the forest. After a few months in Savannah I pushed on to Asheville, NC and got a job doing Timber framing. I loved Asheville so much I almost decided to stay but I missed being close to my family and decided to move back to Austin.

I live in Austin currently, I swim most days at Barton Springs. I am going back to school, I adopted a puppy, I have a place to stay and I welcome any travelers to crash at my place. STP was a huge help when it came to learning how to hop trains and make friends on the road.

I barely have any pictures, I was superstitious about smartphones and picture shy, I used payphones or mailed letters for most of my adventures. What pictures I have were taken by other people and most of those were lost years ago. Here are two I have left

Bicycling to Mexico (me sitting on the bike, was barefoot most of the way lol)
View attachment 66006


Hitch hiking into Alaska
View attachment 66005

I tried to trace the route I took over 6 years, it's far from accurate but this is a doodle of it.
View attachment 66008

edit: I know it's a lot to read already but I attempted fitting 6 years into one post. You can AMA, I've been through quite a bit. Many abandoned building/house squats, scrapping with meth heads, avoiding getting raped, sketchy hitch hiking rides/good hitch hiking rides, good police officers, bad police officers, train hopping, dumpster diving, wilderness survival etc.
Thanks for sharing your story :) hiking through grizzly country I don’t think I would be brave enough to do that alone, so cool you did that though and made it to Alaska ♥️
 
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I've been wanting to do this for some time now, I used this site a lot to help me during traveling. I've been off the road for a few years now but I've been busy attempting to re-assimilate into society. I am finally getting around to writing about my travels.

I did the college thing, I come from a good home with parents that love me, I had job opportunities and I have always been addiction free {aside from porn, that shit is like crack for young men) but generally I felt like I had way too many questions to answer. Why do we do what we do? What's beyond the human routine? What if there is more to life? etc.

I found this site back in 2014 and it helped me a lot. In college I was "coping" but felt that I was an alien. Even my girlfriend at the time made me feel that way. We split apart eventually and even though I felt alone when I was with her, it still broke my heart and this kind of started a snowball effect. Kind of like "that's fucking it, I am tired of this shit" feeling. After spending some down time with my parents, getting over the break up, I quit my job, I withdrew from college and I decided to pack my bags and hit the road.

Houston to NOLA, freight hop: 2014
My first trip, I made it to downtown Houston at the freight yard. I found a couch with heroin needles laying around underneath a bridge. I decided to sleep there for the night until a train was heading east. I woke up in the middle of the night soaring through the air and hitting the dirt. Three men in mask were standing there, each holding a pistol pointed at me. I stood up and looked at each of them, one of them cocked his pistol and told me to stay still. Between feeling like an alien my whole life, and the recent break up I had, I was kind of ready to die. I remember feeling pretty calm while they stood there aiming their pistols at me. We stood there for a brief moment in silence, then they turned and ran away. It was then I noticed they took EVERYTHING. My bag, my gear, my clothes, my spare cash, gone. I found a CD laying in the dirt, it was "Life is too short" by Too Short. I sat at the freight yard and decided that I still wanted to continue. I hopped my first train as it left the yard with the clothes I was wearing and a jug of water.

The train ride was awesome, it was a feeling of accomplishment and attacking life from a new angle. I slept on top of oil pipes in a open top hopper while the train made it's way through the forest at night. The moon and stars were amazing and the train rocked me to sleep. With all of my depression, anger, confusion, it was the best night of sleep I got in years and it took thousands of pounds of moving steel and breaking the law to accomplish it. I squated in an abandoned hotel in Beaumont and hopped again to Avery Island where they make Tabasco. From there I finished making it to NOLA by hitch hiking. NOLA is awesome, it is the capitol of train hoppers and street kids, I made a shit load of friends. People called me Shaggy because I am tall, lanky and I have scruffy facial hair. I slept in an abandoned bank, a couple roof tops and underneath the docs. I stayed for two months during the summer and it was possibly one of the most personal growth summers I have ever had.

Austin to Monterey, Mexico, Bicycling and freight hopping: 2015
After Nola, I made my way back to Austin, TX and met up with a group of people called "bicycles across borders" or BXB. They build bikes out of donated parts and reassemble them to new working bikes. They work with the community and make a trip once a year to Monterey Mexico to donate bikes. It was a lot of fun and they smoke hella weed on the way. This was the only group trip I have ever done. After the group disbanded in Monterey, I went rock climbing with a solo adventurer I met in Potrero Chico. From there I hopped a freight train back to the USA and got pulled off by border patrol on the Mexican side. I slept in a horse stall and smoked weed with a fellow train rider that was attempting to make it across the border. In the morning he was gone and I made it through to the American side but had to run because they started calling after me as I walked through the gate. I jumped another train to San Antonio and then hitched with a trucker to Houston.

Route 66 to Chicago, Hitch hiking: 2016
I hopped freight from Houston to College Station. Got a job doing demolition and then paid for a bus ticket to Oklahoma City so I could get to Route 66. I hitch hiked all the way to St. Louis and squated in an abandoned warehouse. One day I was laying in my sleeping bag and a beautiful girl walked in. She told me she was filming herself hula hooping for her social media account. We made friends and she came to visit me often in my warehouse. She gave me a ride halfway to Chicago and kissed me goodbye. I was stupid for letting her go although I continued to Chicago and got a job framing houses. It was kind of funny because I was getting paid $100 cash a day. The Union keeps labor work respected in Chicago and the workers get paid well. I was with a contractor that was paying me less than union workers but to me it was a ton of money. I ate at 5 star restaurants although I was sleeping on the lake shore in a bird sanctuary. It was my own personal joke. I had a gym membership and lived life to it's fullest. Eventually I got a job waxing yachts on the docks, I was making $300 a yacht and at this point I was taking friends out to eat.

The Great Eclipse, Hopkinsville, hitch hiking: 2017
After chilling in Chicago for a while and I had some travel money saved up, I made my way back south to Kentucky on a greyhound. The great solar eclipse of 2017 was at it's fullest in Hopkinsville. I hitch hiked the rest of the way and made a hitch hiking buddy once I got there. I got butt naked during the eclipse, I wanted my body to be completely enveloped in the eclipse. At the time it made sense. The hitching buddy I made slipped into a cave and had a concussion one night while we were making our way through the woods on federal land, I had to get him an ambulance. Instead of being nice to me, having a friend who was in serious harm, the police questioned me like I was a criminal. I showed them where he and I were camping out and they wrote me a ticket. They said I had to stick around for going to court, at least they wanted me to...

West Virginia, my birth state, Hitch hiking: 2017-18
I hitched to the Appalachians. West Virginia is full of people that are stuck in 1950 but they will give the clothes off their back to keep you warm. I stayed in a town called Fayetteville, famous for bungee jumpers diving off the New River Gorge bridge. The dude that I hitch hiked with kept one hand on his gun the entire ride but then he dropped me off at his friends land where we fished, drank and became friends. It was good getting to my roots, the people of my birth state and making friends that genuinely say what they mean and mean what they say. I met some river guides and we went white water rafting.

Texas to Alaska, hitch hiking: 2019-20
I was about to turn 30 and I wanted to do something big. I bought a bus ticket to California from Houston, Texas. From California, I hitchiked to Seattle and got a job with this awesome lady who is a landscape architect. We built rock walls in peoples yards, her daughter was 4 and cute as ever. She played with bugs while her mom and I designed landscapes for people. After working with her for a while, I left and headed east to Montana. I crossed the border illegally through Grizzly Mountain, Northeast of Eureka. It's the only location with a Grizzly population known in the lower 48 states. It took me two days of hiking through the mountains to get across into Canada. At night I slept underneath a fallen tree to shield myself from grizzlies. I ran into a bear, but it was a black bear thankfully, I banged on my water jug and it ran. The rest of the way I drank from springs and finally made it to the road again. From there I met with some Natives, I helped them install an irrigation system on their farm and they dropped me off at a local gas station with a chocolate chip cookie. Canadians are the kindest people I have ever met in my life. I hitch hiked the Al-Can in less than a week but when I had to camp on the side of the road I did things to stay as safe from bears as possible, one time I slept in a tractor plow. I saw wolves, bears, fox (what's the plural of fox?), porcupines, moose, bison, etc. I got picked up by a Iditarod competitor (dog mushing) and he let me sleep in a cabin on his land with his team of racing huskies. I finally made it to Alaska and was let it without any identification. The border patrol took my name and birthdate but generously let me cross. I was scared I was going to have to cross illegally into Alaska (which is much harder to get lost than crossing into Canada). I went to Denali, Anchorage and Fairbanks. I even went a bit further to North Pole Alaska and met a man who's full time job is to dress as Santa Clause. I thought about staying in Alaska and getting my pilot's license to be a bush pilot, I even got my Alaskan State i.d. and became an Alaskan citizen. However I missed my family, I was feeling accomplished (for now) and decided to start finding a place to stay and plant roots.

Texas to Florida Keys to East Coast: Van Dwelling: 2020
My grandpa passed away and I inherited a GMC envoy from him, it was the last car he drove. Before I planted roots I wanted to check out one more location, Asheville, NC. However I had a friend getting married in Florida so I decided to make an excursion out of it. I posted on here and picked up Goulash, my first STP member meet up. I picked her up and spent a few days riding with her and car camping during some heavy storms. Once we got to mid Florida I dropped her off with her brother and I continued to the keys. Florida is dope and has over 700 natural springs to swim in. I went to a few of these on my way to my friends wedding. After a few months in Florida I went North to Savannah and New Brunswick GA. I stayed at a low key hostel called Hostel in the forest. After a few months in Savannah I pushed on to Asheville, NC and got a job doing Timber framing. I loved Asheville so much I almost decided to stay but I missed being close to my family and decided to move back to Austin.

I live in Austin currently, I swim most days at Barton Springs. I am going back to school, I adopted a puppy, I have a place to stay and I welcome any travelers to crash at my place. STP was a huge help when it came to learning how to hop trains and make friends on the road.

I barely have any pictures, I was superstitious about smartphones and picture shy, I used payphones or mailed letters for most of my adventures. What pictures I have were taken by other people and most of those were lost years ago. Here are two I have left

Bicycling to Mexico (me sitting on the bike, was barefoot most of the way lol)
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Hitch hiking into Alaska
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I tried to trace the route I took over 6 years, it's far from accurate but this is a doodle of it.
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edit: I know it's a lot to read already but I attempted fitting 6 years into one post. You can AMA, I've been through quite a bit. Many abandoned building/house squats, scrapping with meth heads, avoiding getting raped, sketchy hitch hiking rides/good hitch hiking rides, good police officers, bad police officers, train hopping, dumpster diving, wilderness survival etc.
amazing stories, amazing life. I'd be interested to read any more that you have. have you considered writing fiction (or in your case, more autofiction)? short stories? if you need an editor, hit me up
 

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