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Just checking in.  Looks like this thread is pretty dead--not much traffic.   I am thinking about heading to Salt Lake City.  Anybody live out there?

Some crazy rando on the side of the tracks playing with his nipple piercings in 35 degree weather. 

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I'm planning on going to the NHC this year.   I'm not going to be able to go early, though.  I'll probably get there sometime on the 6th or 7th.


You can never tell what  the NHC is going to be like.  One year it will be great, then the next year it may be a dud.  You just have to show up and see how it goes.

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I am leaving for the National Hobo Convention on August 5th.  The Convention will be held August 9th through 12th , 2018 in Britt, Iowa.


Free camping.  Men's and women's restrooms with showers.  A covered picnic pavilion building, and a cook shack.


The jungle feeds two free meals a day during the Convention, mostly dumpster-dived food brought in by Collinwood Kid.  Collinwood is a Zen-Master-level dumpster diver.  He dumpsters perfectly good food from commercial suppliers, most of it in one-gallon "restaurant sized" cans which have an expiration date which will expire about a month after he finds it in the dumpster.  The commercial suppliers can't take the risk of accidentally selling a customer a bunch of expired cans of beans or corn or whatever, so they cull their shelves of cans about thirty days before the cans' expiration dates.


There are numerous activities during Britt's "Hobo Days" celebration.  It's a lot like a small-town Fourth of July celebration.  They have a parade on Saturday morning with fire engines, VFW color guard, Scout troops, 4-H kids on horseback, antique tractors, hot rods with local Harvest Princesses, high school marching bands and so on.  It's great fun.  The tramps always have a float, and we throw hard candy to the little kids along the parade route.  If you come, bring candy to throw.


There is always a carnival set up on the main street of town, with food booths, vendors, swap meet, etc., etc.


There's too much going on to list everything, but Friday there is a Hobo Memorial Service at the cemetery for tramps that have passed away, and sometimes an internment or two.  Following the Memorial Service there is the meeting of the Hobo Council of TU63, up on the hill in the cemetery.  Saturday after the parade, the election of the King & Queen of Hobos is held at the city's gazebo, behind the Library.  There's music in the jungle, and the kids keep the camp fire burning day and night during the Convention.


If you've never been, you should go at least once.  As Ted Conover said in his book, "Rollin' Nowhere,"  "It ain't real.  But it's still fun."

Edited by KaBar2
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El Jefe Uno, good to hear from you.   I don't always check 12 Oz. every day, mostly because there's been so little traffic on here.  I think that this thread has been here so many years that most of the 12 Oz. regulars who cared to read it have already done so.  I have a couple of Reddit threads that I frequent--/r/Vagabond and /r/Vandwellers.  


It's odd how the same issues that I was coping with in 1970, and that we were discussing on here in 2001 (31 years later), are *still* being discussed on these other tramp-hobo-trainhopper threads today (48 years later.)  Tons of things have changed in those 48 years, but the basics of trainhopping remain more-or-less the same, and the skills necessary to survive as a tramp are still very similar.  What sort of things didn't we have, in 1970?


Cell phones.


Satellite GPS.


iPhones and the internet.


The Crew Change Guide.


Railroad Atlas map books and internet rail maps.


Credit cards and ATM technology at banks.


Advanced technology sleeping bags, bivys and cold weather gear.


And so on.  Catching out has changed so much, but at the same time, it's still basically the same.  It's hard to believe this thread has been running since October of 2001.  And I had other, older threads about tramping before this one, that were lost in the Great 12 Oz. Crash of 2001.



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I sure wish I could go this year, but my wife has health issues that prevent it.  I especially wish I could be there for the memorial service for Frog, Tuck and the other tramps who have caught the westbound.  I sent Jewell a donation for Tuck's funeral expenses.  The Convention starts in three days, but a lot of people are already up there getting the jungle ready.

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