Can you safely jump off a moving freight train?

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.

[Also, thanks to thecoug for the great creative commons photo. It brought back some great memories of catching the trains up to Davenport!]

4 responses

  1. Wow! Dustin is blogging again – it’s been too long. I hear you about being busy. I got married this year, got my managing brokers license and still managed to have my best year in real estate yet. Looking forward to hearing from you again on a more regular basis.

    1. Too very cool! Congrats on the marriage! And the best year in real estate yet! Good stuff all around.

  2. 2011 was a the building block year for the amazing future that I know we will share together. It was quite a ride. Thanks for sharing it with me. So happy to see you start to write and blog again. You are a great story teller. 😉

    1. Ahh… thank you! I do like spinning a tale from time to time! 🙂

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