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Adventurer and photographer Mike Ranta spent five months riding freight trains through the American West and documenting what he saw.

Adventurer and photographer Mike Ranta spent five months riding freight trains through the American West and documenting what he saw.

a Hobo hopping a freight train in 1935.  My grandfather hopped a train in Oklahoma by himself as a child to come to California for work.  He was 12 years old and only had 2 nickels.

a Hobo hopping a freight train in 1935. My grandfather hopped a train in Oklahoma by himself as a child to come to California for work. He was 12 years old and only had 2 nickels.

During the Great Depression, more than a quarter of a million teenagers left their homes and hopped freight trains looking for work or adventure.

During the Great Depression, more than a quarter of a million teenagers left their homes and hopped freight trains looking for work or adventure.

Train hopping: Why do hobos risk their lives to ride the rails ...

Train hopping: Why do hobos risk their lives to ride the rails ...

we waited for the blues and greens of the country to give way to the grey shades and shadows of the city and when the colors became clear, we found ourselves in red instead. (lg)

we waited for the blues and greens of the country to give way to the grey shades and shadows of the city and when the colors became clear, we found ourselves in red instead. (lg)

"You're asking us to get off the train to safety when we just got on it?!" "Yes I am. We're all the others have. If we don't stay... they'll die. So if we don't want to get caught, we have to get off NOW." {o.c.}

"You're asking us to get off the train to safety when we just got on it?!" "Yes I am. We're all the others have. If we don't stay... they'll die. So if we don't want to get caught, we have to get off NOW." {o.c.}

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