Sep

17

My first train ride from the Golden Spike in Ogden, UT to San Francisco made a pivot in my life. In the Feather River Canyon, CA, I jumped blindly into a boxcar with the two bad actors with short trousers on the outer borders of the photo. They glared at me like wolves for an hour, and began to move in. Suddenly, the train stopped, and the other two men in the center of the photo climbed in. The initial two were yegs [sometimes spelled "yeggs"], or outlaws of the road, apparently newly released from prison. The other two were bona fide hobos, and became my mentors, teaching me to survive on the rails by using a RR spike for protection, and catching pigeons to eat under bridges in a wicker basket. I jumped out in San Francisco, the first of about 300 freight rides.

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