For the past few years I've combined my love of exploring the American wilderness by foot and by bicycle with my interest in riding trains. All these activities being admittedly slow but they offer the opportunity to find yourself out in the middle of nowhere. Trains venture far away from highways and civilisation, giving the gift of amazing landscapes in the process- ones that have only been rivalled by where my legs take me once off the train. There's a rhythm to it, a beat and a cadence, and I'm all about that when it comes to music too.
I’ve selected an hour's worth of choice hiphop. Within it you'll hear some of the most talented women in the game, I wanted to take you through the pace so many of my adventures have. A slow, head-bopping start (quite literally with some of the U.S.'s trains) from "The Beat Konducta" himself that builds to steady rhythms. But just like switching tracks on the ones and twos, detraining in a new place, on the precipice of adventure brings a new, thumping pace. High key and heavy beats, it gets your legs moving. Mountains don't stand a chance with Beyoncé in your ears. But, for some reason, I'm cursed to always have something go wrong when I'm out there. The unexpected problems can put you in a bad place, but positive vibes accompanied by samples of orchestral swells might just be the pickup you need to make it through. It's not always about finishing the planned route, or making good time, but just making it through safe is enough grounds for celebration. An on-the-nose goodbye, and a thanks for listening, comes from the legend himself, J Dilla.
Next time you take a train somewhere, do yourself a favour and nab that shot out the back window. The receding tracks on the landscape symbolise so much for me, so I'm always trying to get back there. A tip for the U.S. trains that frequently have the sleeper cars (where coach guests aren't allowed, ugh) on the back: Every few hours the trains make a "fresh air" stop for folks to stretch their legs. Find your way to the back end of the train by the time the conductors yell "All aboard!" and they'll be forced to let you on. Head for that back window, and if anyone says anything just say you got lost. Works every time!
Written and selected by Brent Knepper from Everything Will Be Noble.
Discover more about Brent’s travels, and his Route Feminent initiative to support female explorers here: