On Friday, Kate came across three kids panhandling in the Loop, and invited them to the 'nidge to crash. Nate, Paul and Kesia(sp?) turned out to be awesome (self-described) hobos. They were freight-hopping, and left on Saturday morning to jump a train to Florida.
They really reminded me of my cousin's friends, from back when we were roommates in NYC--extremely good natured, and a lot of fun. I've been reading about train hopping for a while, now, and it was great to meet folks who are actually doing it! Like everyone else, they had horror stories (their's involved a drunk friend of a friend who fell through the slats of a boxcar and lost both legs) but they said that in general it wasn't terribly difficult to do.
It makes me incredibly happy to live in a house with enough room to just invite random people over, and to be living with such awesome folks who are willing to do so!