Waking up in a tiny town east of Denver, I’m feeling the after-effects of some potent whiskey. This is okay, though. The other traveler wakes up shortly after me and we head off towards the McDonalds for some coffee and bullshitting. After a few hours of talking about this and that, politics, space, girls, and travel routes, I hit the road with a sign.
One side said “KANSAS”
When I caught someone’s eye I would flip it to “PLEASE”
It got some laughs and I was having a good time, but a ride would’ve been nice. After an hour or two I noticed some storm clouds heading my way. Well this should be an interesting day to say the least. Maybe this will help with a ride! Or maybe just get me wet! Either way it should be interesting.
I was shocked when a fella came seemingly out of nowhere, hand forward, saying “Hey there my name’s Adam! I could use a hand with some work out at this old farm equipment junkyard, care to help me out?”
I didn’t even hesitate. A buddy of his pulled up and I got in their car.
It was a pretty strange ride, though. There was religious, opera-like music playing very lightly. Crosses and religious symbols littering the entire vehicle. A purse laying on the backseat floorboard, and a sleeping bag covering some O’Douls bottles. It was a pretty strange circumstance.
Adam introduced me to his friend, Adam. There was good vibes all inside the car, much laughing and jokes abound. Adam 1 was apparently a traveler type, too. While Adam 2 was working to get ordained in his church to be a pastor or father or some figurehead. As we headed further and further out into the middle of nowhere I grew more concerned.
“You guys aren’t planning on killing me out here are ya?”
“Damn, he’s onto us.”
I jumped out of the car and rolled into a ditch.
Just kidding, we had a good laugh and I figured a religious man and a traveler wouldn’t be no harm. We got to the junkyard and its exactly what they said it would be. A giant hole in the ground filled with all sorts of dead farm equipment and scrap metal. So we load it up on a trailer.
The fun part begins when some mexicans come by and we help them load their trailer. For some god aweful reason they want to get the rolled up barb wire. So we lift these hundreds of pounds of rolled barb wire for about an hour onto this truck until we have a couple ton and the pile is well over our heads. I don’t really notice the battlewounds until after the Great Barbwire Conflict of 2012. A good amount of scratches and punctures all up and down my arms, hands, parts of my torso, and somehow my legs.
Adam 1: You ever have a tetanus shot?
Me: I think a few years back. One of the school required shots.
Adam 2: Doesn’t matter, I learned the other day it only costs about 20 bucks for one down at the clinic.
Well alrighty then.
The great thing about working on a junkyard is the pace. You work as fast as you want. Get bored of what you’re doing? That’s fine, there’s about 4 other projects that could use your attention. Tired? Take a break. Take a nap. Take the day off. No big deal.
We lived by space and space alone. Time was not something considered. The sun would rise and we would work. The sun would beat the hell out of us and we would rest. Night would fall and we would have a fire. We lived in this little lean to made of half a tent and a wooden platform. Adam 2 had a home nearby that he went to and left us on our own.
After a few days Adam 1 decided it was time to get some lovin’. He had a lady friend a couple towns down he wanted to go and see. Welfare mamma he said, she got 5 kids. Well thats all fine and dandy to me. Off we go. Walking. For miles. That is until a fella gave us a ride to the nearby town and we met up with the mexicans. They wanted to do a load first, though! Aaagghhh I hate barb wire.
Well lucky for us the tire on their truck got somethin’ in it and was releasing air pretty fast. We didn’t have to load up and we still got a ride to ladypant’s house! She was a pretty 30-something year old lady with a clan of kids. They were surprisingly well behaved, too. Sometimes a little crazy but usually listen and play together well. I had to give it to her, she was a good mamma. Teressa was her name. Tur-Ess-Ah. Not Ter-ee-sah. I thought it was strange but I liked the uniqueness.
Somehow she had gotten a hold of a full park set. The big jungle system ones complete with bridge, monkey bars, and climbing chains. I don’t know how she got it but it was sure fun to set up. We did a bunch more work around the house, and Adam adopted one of the many dogs that ran the house.
Adam was convinced he had this girl’s heart. He was wrong, and it was fun to watch him attempt to woo her. She tried and tried again to make it clear but he kept pushing. I’m sure he could’ve had his way had she not had her heart set on a fella from her past getting out of jail soon.
Teressa told me an interesting little fact though that turned my world upside down. We were on the topic of hitchhiking and she drops a tiny little atom bomb detailing how druggies, hookers, and hitchhikers have been found on the side of the road missing their heads. For the past 10 years. No news coverage. No police leads. Just bodies.
Well there’s my problem. And I sure as hell didn’t feel up to hitchhiking around this neighborhood anymore. I need to find an out. And as I’m sitting there thinking about alternative routes, I hear my answer just a short distance away.
A freight train passes. Whistle blows. Coal car after coal car pass me by. This is my ride. Obviously not this particular one, its going way too fast. I need to go to Denver. Find the train station. Get on an eastbound train. And figure it out from there.
Well that’s exactly what I do. I get back to Denver. I walk hours but finally find the train station. I walk down some tracks heading east and I hear behind me a train blowing its whistle. I sneak off, wait for the engineer locomotive to pass, and stand staring at these gigantic 200-ton steel moving bowls of coal. I gather up all the courage I could muster, run along side and jump and…
I Didn’t quite run fast enough. So I try again, jump, ladder-grab, foot position, pull up, crawl in. Simple as that. I did it. I’m on a freight train. I’m tucked away on this little metal platform right between the wheels. It’s pretty loud and very dirty. Off we go…