In college I had a friend who was very much into hopping freight trains. So much so that he wrote his thesis for his Cultural Anthropology major on the hobo lifestyle… (and if I remember it right, he was the editor of a popular ‘zine for hobos.)
I learned one really valuable lesson from this friend on my first “ride” down the California coast: He showed me how to get off a moving train. You have to wait until it slows down to about 20 mph or slower and then slowly navigate down one of the ladders on the side of a grainer (or any or freight car) until you can “run” along the ground flintstone-style. If you try to just jump off a moving freight train, bad things can happen! But if you first run along the train, then you can get some grip on the ground and run along the train until you can safely let go of the ladder.
I start my 2012 blogging off with this story because for much of 2011, I felt like I was on one hell of a fast moving freight train and there was no chance to safely jump off. Now that 2012 is here, I’m thinking it’s time to take a deep breath, climb down that ladder, get some grip on the ground and welcome in a new year.
With that said, some great things happened in 2011… I traveled more than any other time in my life, starting dating an amazing woman, moved into a new place only blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, started a full-time gig with the most interesting startup in Southern California, and created some crazy good memories with my kids.
Suffice to say 2011 will not be forgotten any time soon.
I also think I’m ready to get back into blogging regularly. Over the past few days, I’ve been helping Wendy set up her new blog (brandWendy) and watching her get excited about publishing, I can’t help but want to join in the fun. It reminds me of when blogging used to be so much fun. And while blogging has changed dramatically since I started writing back in 2005, I think I’m ready to dive back in… even if it’s just to share odd stories about hopping freight trains in college.
[Also, thanks to thecoug for the great creative commons photo. It brought back some great memories of catching the trains up to Davenport!]