home > stories > Eugene to Portland (a short ride)

Eugene to Portland (a short ride)

 

When me and my partner arrived in Eugene we went to find my friends who we just left in Sacto. They had traveled up to Eugene a week or so before us. My partner and I had gotten a ride with friend from Sacto to Eugene on a late August summer morning. We walked up to Troy and Mary's house where my friend Justus said he was staying. When the door opened it was a surprise, my friend Shad and his girlfriend were in town also. We all hung out for a couple days, got drunk, talked of our times past. We then all came to the decision to head to Portland and then catch the highline over to Minneapolis.

When the day came to leave we said goodbyes to Troy and Mary, who were nice enough to put up with a drunken Michigan crowd for days and days. We were on the other side of town of the yard so it was a VERY LONG walk. We would have taken the bus except the fact that the LTD (bus system) doesn't allow dogs on it. So after about 3 hours, alot of breaks, and some drinking in the park we made it to the yard. We were about 1 mile from the hop out spot. I was just glad to see trains and that made me feel good knowing we were getting closer. We finally got to the hop out spot (the bridge) and took cover under it. We could see everything going on in the yard and around us. We sat there admiring the "tags" and stupid stories etched into the I beam supporting the road above.

At this time Shad told us that the train would be here in 5 hours, it was only 6:45 pm. "Why did we come here so early then if the train won't be here forever?", my partner asked. This would be her first and only train ride, not to mention she never really traveled at all. I knew her from back home so I decided to take her with me other then her go out on her own. Shad replied, "I like to get here early and rest for a while before getting on a train". So we sat there listening to music while a few of the group of six feel asleep. Me and Justus were the only ones still awake when our train pulled up shortly after midnight.

My partner ran down the hill first, "STOP" I yelled, "wait a few minutes 'til they stop". I guess the excitement was rushing through her. When the train stopped we made our way up to the train and ran up and down it looking for a car to ride. We found two grainers back to back so these were our cars. My partner jumped on the back and me and Justus jumped on the other one (dirtyface). So the train took off headed for Portland. I was wondering about Shad and his lady and her dog if they made it.

Once on the train I opened a can of green beans I had acquired from the food boxes in Eugene. Not the greatest midnight snack but whatever. Me and Justus shared the beans and then he passed out. I sat up the whole ride, not many things to look at when its dark out. About half way into the ride we got rained on for a few minutes, nothing bad though. So we pull up to a river and I wake up everyone and tell them we're almost to Portland. It was about 4:30 am now and it was still dark out just like when we left Eugene. I noticed the golf course (hop out spot going south) and told everybody we're here. We pulled up and stopped to get clearance to pull through or at least into the yard. This is when we got off and get outta the yard. We were in Brooklyn yard and I knew it is a hot yard having hopped outta there many times before. So this was a good decision.

We then walked away from the train noticing the graffiti on the side of the car we were riding. It said "COP KILLA" I though how great that would be if a bull pulled us off of that car. Then we made our way to the road and started our long journey into downtown. About halfway I said "I'm stopping here and sleeping for a few hours". I hadn't slept the whole trip as everyone else did. I was tired as shit. Justus and my partner went to find cardboard to sleep on. When they got back I was out on this shitty ass piece of cement area.

I awoke to the sound of cars and trucks driving by. I woke everyone up and we made our way into downtown for our great (horrible) visit to Portland. A couple days passed and we found out that our friends didn't get on our train in Eugene and that they had been asleep when we left. They caught the next train a few hours later and made it to Portland ok. The highline idea never happened for my partner and Justus and I. We decided to go back to Eugene and make other plans later about heading east. We ended up hitching back to Eugene in one ride. As for my other friends they made it outta Portland on the highline train but got pulled off in Spokane.