As a kid I always had this dream to jump on a freight train just to see where it would take me. I can remember looking out the car window on our way out of the city to go pick peaches when I was a young boy. I would stare out the window once we'd hit the rolling hills of the sunny country side and stare at the trains just wondering where they were headed. This fantasy became a goal of mine when I was 19. I got the opportunity to actually jump on a moving freight train that stopped for just a moment next to where I worked. I told my boss how I had always had the fantasy of jumping on a moving train and he excitedly told me he had that very same dream. My boss then even more excitedly, and a bit vicariously, told me if I went and jumped on the train he would pick me up wherever it stopped next. Without hesitation I took my chance! I ran outside and jumped on the train! My heart was filled with so much joy and so much excitement. I couldn't believe my dream was coming true! My legs were hanging off the ledge, my hands were shaking from the thrill, and I was ready to go on my adventure just the way I had imagined it in my head for so long. Then someone came running out of the building waving their hands at me and my heart dropped. I had to get off the train. My dream was crushed. When I jumped off and walked up to my co-worker he said he was telling me to sit further back on the train so that I wouldn't fall off. By then the train was already moving and I missed my chance. Even though I had only gotten to spend a moment on that train I was hooked and made it a goal to someday do it again.
After that the only train hopping I did was while I traveled around America and various parts of the world. I always bought a ticket and I always appreciated the little cafes or stores that offered food and drink to the passengers, but my goal was always still there. After traveling, the only fix I got with hopping trains was through photo shoots and music videos that my creative agency collaborated on. During one shoot I decided I needed to feel the thrill of being on a moving freight train again so I jumped onto a slow moving one going through downtown Portland. I took the train a few blocks and as it was catching speed I jumped off. After that jump it was a while before I jumped aboard another train. Until I met the team at Cascade Web Development!
After nearly ten years in the creative media industry I decided to shift my skills as a project manager into the tech industry. I took a six month course at a coding bootcamp to learn how coding worked, the verbiage of the industry, and the languages being predominantly used in the tech industry. After my course ended, and through the tech school I attended, I was introduced to Ben McKinley at Cascade Web Development. He was looking for an intern who understood coding but wanted to project manage web development instead. I needed experience and more knowledge about the new industry I was stepping into so it sounded like a perfect fit! Ben invited me to his office so that we could meet in person. I quickly googled Cascade Web Development to see what they were about and to locate their office. And what I found sparked my old fantasy right back up!
Their office is on an old 1950's Milwaukee Parlor Car. Along with three other railcars with separate businesses, Cascade sits on the tracks across from OMSI. Graffitied with glory, Ben collaborated with local graffiti artists to paint murals on the outside of the trains. The view from the outside was almost too good to be true. The color and the art really bring the railyard to life! The moment I stepped foot onto the train my inner child sparked up and the thrill of being on a train was brought right back to me! Of course this train didn't move or go anywhere, but it still scratched that itch to be on a train zipping down the country hills for me. Although the train itself isn't actively mobile, the team on the train is, and they are a hard working crew! After interviewing with Ben I was asked to join the team as an intern. Since then I have been hired on full time! I couldn't have been more excited to accept. I have learned so much working with Cascade Web Development in the last few months and cant wait to see where this train takes me next. We may not be zipping down the country side but the view from the train isn't so bad and the team is going full steam ahead!