2:09am 10/2/17 BNSF
I got on this train around 9pm in Kansas City, Kansas. Two friends were already on it, they got on in Ft Madison, Iowa. They told me it was a short train & they were 6 cars up from the last one & that 3 cars up from the last one was another ride, that's the one I got on. The train pulled up about half a mile further than normal because of how short it was, which meant I had to run through the yard to get on. It wasn't a far run & luckily an eastbound GM was rolling on the other tracks providing cover. It's been pretty smooth. I'm currently sided on a trestle over a river in El Dorado, Kansas. I'm under a UPS trailer & behind me is a UPS intermodal container (single stack) on a flat car, I traced it & it said this is do to NBAY on the 4th 10:48am, perfect. I'll be getting off in Bakersfield, California. 2:22am, we aired up & I put my earplugs in expecting to start rolling again but we just sat there. Now I hear the horn of another train, not sure if it's headed our way or passing us going opposite but that's clearly why we're sided. Hmm it didn't pass us, 3 minutes after we aired up we suddenly jolted forward & we're off again. Time to take off my glasses & turn my…oh there it is, passing us going opposite way, turning phone off now til next entry.
3:27am 10/2/17 BNSF
We're sided once more for another train, in Wellington, Kansas. Getting closer to Oklahoma. I keep falling asleep & waking up from being too hot in my sleeping bag. Gonna keep trying to sleep. 3:35am I just looked at the moon & it's so beautiful tonight. Also noticed I'm along a highway. (Pic me in sleeping bag with bivy over it)
8:10am 10/2/17 BNSF
Woke up, maps isn't loading where we are but it's somewhere in Oklahoma really close to the Texas border. Pretty sure Amarillo is our next crew change.
9:43am 10/2/17 BNSF
In Pampa, Texas steadily approaching Amarillo. My actual cellphone is at 14% & I lost my micro usb so I can't use my battery pack to charge it. Luckily for me my iPhone maps load even without service & I still have a cord for it. I texted Alex & she said she's gonna run back to my car when we stop in Amarillo since that's her stop anyways. She's headed to Denver, Colorado. She's riding with some guy I don't know but will meet in Amarillo I guess. It's pretty chilly out so I'm sitting inside my sleeping bag, I'll put it away once we start to creep into the yard. (Sleeping bag without the bivy, bivy is a water resistant cover for when it rains, I use it to block wind on trains)
10:27am 10/2/17 BNSF
I'm in the outskirts of Amarillo, Texas. Put my sleeping bag away & put some thermal bottoms on. Note to self, get new bottoms, the knees on these have huge holes. (Started to see lots of train traffic the closer we got to Amarillo, wasn't trying to get caught there because a few years ago I got caught stealing a sandwich and was let off with a warning that next time they ran my name I would go to jail for sure, it was smooth tho)
10:51am 10/2/17 BNSF
Stopped in Amarillo. Alex & friend got off. They walked over to my car & we talked shop. They gave me two warnings, Clovis, New Mexico is really cold & Belen, New Mexico has workers on atv's doing brake check so I should hide. Clovis apparently also has someone checking from above but I'll be fine under this trailer. Looks like we crew changed & we've started leaving Amarillo. (I forgot to take a picture for this one so have this creepy selfie lol)
1:14pm 10/2/17 BNSF
This train is not high priority, we keep stopping for every other IM that's passing by. I'm in West Texico on the New Mexico side of the border I think. I saw a mile marker that said it. My maps aren't loading all that great. It's getting hotter but I'm getting sleepy. I'm along a highway but idk which.
2:47pm 10/2/17 BNSF
We were sided forever, like 7 trains passed us. It must have been just under 2 hours. I'm glad I grew up in the desert & know how to not drink all my water fast because it was so hot & boring. I ate some trail mix, read the ingredients on some of my food, put antibiotics on my tattoos…oh yeah I got my toes tattooed a few days ago along with a touch up of my nose tattoo. I passed an electric box that said West Clovis so I wonder if part of that 2 hour siding was a crew change. I'm just glad we're moving again. Whipped out my binoculars & am enjoying the view. (I forgot to take pics for the next few entries)
10:00pm 10/2/17 BNSF
Jesus Christ we sat in the hot yard for ever. I rolled into Belen, New Mexico at 8:30pm & just left. Like 7 atv's drove past me, 3 trucks, a train being built right next to me stopped right at my car & a worker walked by. We kept airing up then just sitting there. If I wasn't so close to the rear I'd think we broke air & I just didn't hear it because how loud that yard was. But I could hear the freddy 2 cars back sounding off. Winslow, Arizona is the next crew change, I really hope we roll into Barstow, California at night. I'm also curious if we'll stop in Flagstaff or Williams, Arizona. That's gonna be so cold. I've spent a lot of time in Flagstaff & it's always freezing at night. (I didn't take a picture for this one because I wasn't about to take one in the middle of that yard.)
10/3/17 3:08pm NOTHING
I got off the train at like 7am to switch rides then decided I'll just wait here til later so I can roll into Barstow at night. I'm currently in Needles, California. It's boring as hell, I charged my phone a bit at McDonald's then got kicked out & moved on over to the Dollar General. Hung out there for a while then decided to walk back to the hop out, I nearly fainted I was so exhausted. I've been here a while now, a combination of hanging out & studying trains. Nothing going west (geo north) has come thru tho. I ate some canned macaroni & beef to get some energy but I think I'm just going to nap for a bit. I'm aiming to catch something out of here around 6pm or after. I'm gonna dump my 32oz of water & just keep my gallon. I just don't need this much water for 2 more crew changes, especially since I'm getting off at the second one. I also have a fallback plan if I get pulled from the train in Barstow, I looked it up & a Greyhound from there to Mojave, CA is 22$. I'll just do that if things get hairy. Hopefully they don't ticket me, a warrant in California would suck. (A pic from the first camp I had in Needles)
10/3/17 5:03pm NOTHING
Two westbound trains pulled in within minutes of each other, one with perfect rides right in front of me & the other with one ride in sight like about 8 cars up. I'm checking if there's more down the tracks, 9 cars down to my right I see a string of about 6 cars of good rides. Unfortunately neither of these are my trains, I'm trying to go Bakersfield CA which means I need something going to Stockton, Sacramento, North Bay. The first train is going to Long Beach & the second one to Los Angeles. Anything going my way from now is a safe bet it'll most likely arrive in Barstow at night, also I think I'm only gonna ride a well. Seems like my best chance of not getting caught. (And the view from my second camp)
10/3/17 8:36pm BNSF
My phone died so I just got on the next IM that stopped, there's a 75% this is going to LA. I'm hoping I can bail in either Mojave or San Bernardino. Idk if this will even go through Mojave but if it does I can catch the bus from there. If not I'm pretty sure it'll stop in San Bernardino by the Amtrak station where I can bail & then catch a bus to Colton switch to UP & then catch a train to Bakersfield. Which might even stop in my hometown on the way to Bakersfield, it's 50% it'll stop there for clearance. EDIT: just looked at a map & there's no way it'd go through Mojave, looks like it'll be San Ber after all.
10/4/17 5:50am BNSF
I bailed from the train in Barstow, I checked the fly sheets and they said LA. The train sided outside the yard for clearance & I peered off the side & saw a fence but it ended a few feet further up. Then once off I saw there was an opening in the fence literally right in front of me. I'm taking the bus, it's just easier. (Bye I ended up missing the only bus, once a day to Mojave by 20 minutes so now I'm in a Starbucks charging my phone waiting for my brother to get out of school so he can pick me up, I'm only 67 miles away from my hometown) (pic view from where I slept after getting off in Barstow) that's the end of this journey, Kansas City, Kansas to Barstow, California
Glad to see you're doing okay, also I like this journal style of posting.
Ride safe, Kid. It's nice to have you here.
I highly approve of your hat.>>4588
Flagstaff isn't the worst place to get stuck in. The nights are shockingly cold, but the locals are fairly sympathetic. Just hang out around downtown and you should be fine.
I've been living in Kansas City MO for a while, in the west bottoms really close to both a BNSF yard and a UP yard. BNSF is within walking distance, I have to take the bus for the UP one since it's about 3 miles away. I've just been rail fanning a lot, I have a spot with some other locals where we watch trains. There's also a model railroad store one block over from me there.
I've been in Flagstaff a few times before, and yeah the locals are pretty nice. Last I was there was winter 2 years ago and this lady let me stay at her house for a week, 3 days where she wasn't even home. I just met her in the cafe. My tag, my little hobo signature can be found in that park near downtown. It's xH(A)PPYX with a wifi symbol underneath, there's also a tag from a now retired rider there named Candlemass, his moniker is exactly what his name suggests. You'll also find smaller tags (candles and mine are in spray paint) done with markers from a kid named Coyote and a man who has since passed named Roach. They're in that weird concrete structure there.