The first slide of the slide show, showing a freight pulling north out of Ballmer (Interbay) Yards in Seattle.
Doug and Chris walking towards the catch out spot near Woodinville back when the Northern Pacific ran daily freights from Auburn to Sumas, WA and back. Looking generally north.
Catching out in the spring of 1965 on our way to Sumas for a day's outing.
sumas65dougrolling north from Woodinville, 13 March 1965
rolling north from Woodinville, 13 March 1965
enjoying the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in the early spring. Riding on a lumber car is not considered safe however.
During the 1960s the rolling stock was still constructed such that one could cross from car to car and climb to the top of each car. Here we are climbing up to sit on top of the catwalk which ran the length of the boxcars at that time. I believe the lake at the right is Big Lake or Clear Lake.
Doug and Chris admiring a view of Mount Baker in the vicinity of Acme.
As featured on our posters for the high school slide show, our “live Canadian hobo”. We rode to the border with him as he regaled us with his crimes in San Francisco, mugging homosexuals for the cash on them among other things. He seemed no real danger to us as we were a group of three. It was interesting that when we arrived at Sumas, the border patrol, after IDing us all, promptly arrested him. I remember that he flashed a box cutter as his protection.
Another trip with Steve in 1965, in the vicinity of Sumas.
Standing in "downtown" Sumas in 1965. The US-Canadian border is visible in the distance, a clear cut swath with snow in it on the ridge above the head of the switchman that I was conversing with.
Waiting for the southbound freight to be made up in Sumas, taking photos. In those days the workers "let you ride", i.e. they were much more blase about riders.
riding on top as the train pulls up the grade toward the Stevens Pass Cascade tunnel. This photograph was also published in Co-Evolution Quarterly and The Freighthopper's Manual for North America.
changing cars to get to a “good ride” while the train was underway. Again, this cannot be done these days, and was in any event not the safest behavior. Being 17 years old at the time is my excuse.
Steve in an empty car carrier, coming into Wenatchee in the spring of 1965
Oroville, WA in 1965 where I spent a month thinning apples with a couple of friends from High School, our cabin in the foreground.
Hanging out at the orchard after work with "Red" from Arkansas.
On the east side of the pass along the Wenatchee River, riding in a chip car.
riding on a chip car heading over Stevens Pass. The chips make great cushioning and in a pinch can provide a good hiding place if you don't mind finding a few chips in your clothes for the next few days.
in the chip car on the west side of the Pass.
wen65one of the more interesting bridges on the western side of the pass.
one of the more interesting bridges on the western side of the pass.
wen65-2entering the western portal of the Cascade Tunnel (going uphill= more smoke)
entering the western portal of the Cascade Tunnel (going uphill= more smoke)
Coming out of the 8 mile Cascade tunnel heading back toward Seattle. I had to wait about 15 or 20 minutes to get this photo, going about 30 MPH.
Another trip on the "highline" riding in some jeeps that were no doubt heading for Viet Nam. In 1966 I rode sitting in a jeep and waved at many passing motorists, who universally found my mode of transportation amusing.
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Under the Dravus Street bridge in December 1968, Steve and some travelers monikers.
DEC TRIP W STEVE 69.jpg
Waiting to leave Interbay (Balmer) Yards in December 1968. Did I mention how cold it was?
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Steve in the boxcar, a trip from Seattle to Bellingham in late December of 1968. The weather was close to zero (Fahrenheit). I remember waiting for hours in Everett. I now have more sense that traveling by freights in this kind of weather.
A posed photo taken on a string that was not moving, although I know a number of fools (including myself, invariably teenagers as well) who have done this back in the days before kicks could be had by merely smoking something. I am told that tight pants are about to come back in style...
ottumwa66a cold rainy day rolling from Savanna, Illinois to Kansas City, Missouri in the spring of 1966
a cold rainy day rolling from Savanna, Illinois to Kansas City, Missouri in the spring of 1966
down&outa photo from an old textbook, perhaps U.S. History, or Economics, associating poverty and old age with the hobo
a photo from an old textbook, perhaps U.S. History, or Economics, associating poverty and old age with the hobo
The last slide in our official Railroad Club slideshow, a "crummy" (caboose) heading for Bellingham on a train that we missed by minutes.