My First Hop (Where My Real Travels Began) Part 3


Dec 21, 2018
Current Location
With a spectacularly loud crash the train began it's slow, steady movement toward Los Angeles. We laid low though the remainder of Bakersfield. Eventually the landscape changed into a somewhat hilly and barren countryside. Squirt said it was time to pull out the sleeping bags and crash. He was in his bag and asleep before I could unpack the top portion of my stupid pickle bag, pull out my huge brown sleeping bag and stuff the other contents of my bag back in. The breeze was chilly but not unbearable. Keeping my boots on I got my dog to go into my bag with some physical encouragement.

Of course, I didn't sleep a wink. The moon was high and nearly full, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Lying on my side I watched the cow and produce country drift by. My whole body was shaking with excitement and I could feel the big silly grin on my face for hours. Finally, I had done it.

A few hours into the ride I felt my dog panting, I reached down and felt hot breath pouring from his mouth. He had a thick triple layer coat, thick even for his breed. Feeling like a dick I unzipped the bottom of my bag just enough for him to stick out his snout and breath in the cool night air, I didn't give him much more leeway than that because I didn't want him to get out and start fumbling around on a moving train. This was his first hop too of course. If my bag would have been wide enough I would've brought him up and spooned him with his head out my side of the bag. Not long after that I reached down outside the bag and felt his nose, it was very cold. So I threw my jacket over his face thinking at least that was better than having his face in my zero degree bag. After some thought I decided if I were going to ride the rails more I would just get him his own bag, a lightweight, light-duty children's bag.

After staying up nearly all night I passed out momentarily (literally for about a minute just as the sun rose fully) only to be woken by the sound of, "Where's my bag?!" (You guessed it folks, he left it on the rock in our haste).

With a wry grin on my face I said, "What do you mean dude? You left it on that rock, remember? I was so proud when I looked back and it was still there." Yes I sorta sabotaged him on purpose.

"WHAT?! No no nonono.. NO!"

"Yeah dude, I was so proud" I said with a devilish smile and a fake, father like tear.

It wouldn't have been so bad but we were also out of tobacco! Luckily we had water, so I made him drink some and tried to take his mind off of his shit bag. He wasn't kicking yet by any means so we enjoyed the scenery a little and told some funny stories.

We blew through parts unknown to me, I wasn't paying attention to where we were, I was just happy to be there. We went through big towns and dense desert and rocky hills. It was a hot day for sure but the breeze from the train was perfect. We packed up our bags, ate some of my trail mix and talked about our plans to go to Vegas, who he would visit, who I would visit. Then I pulled out my harmonica and started playing, badly. It was bad enough that Squirt picked up his guitar and started playing loudly over me. Didn't upset me though, it was fun to watch! Down there is the only surviving picture from that trip.

When Squirt played guitar he forgot all about heroin. It was a beautiful thing..

14606303_1099425030153602_2754262012838768483_n-jpg.48619_My First Hop (Where My Real Travels Began) Part 3_Travel Stories_Squat the Planet_5:55 PM

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Last edited:
Dec 25, 2008
Current Location
outside omaha
I knew he’d end up leaving the bag behind, at least he didn’t blame you for not telling him he left it. Or is that in the next part of the story?

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