Rolling Dreams Press


Welcome to ROLLING DREAMS PRESS ~ and Northwest photojournalist D. C. Jesse Burkhardt’s visual tour of North America’s railroads …

ROLLING DREAMS PRESS is a visual and written celebration of life, travel under the stars, and the magic of North American railroads … Burkhardt’s books are dedicated to the spirit of boxcars rolling through the star-filled night … the sweet scent of woodchips and creosote pulled along in the wake of a passing train … the sound of a distant locomotive’s air horn reaching across the open land … sunlight shining off the sides of swaying freight cars … the distant, emerald twinkle of a signal light miles away through the darkness …

Confirmed and coming up soon ~ D. C. Jesse Burkhardt will be at the “Great Train Expo” event December 8-9, 2012, in Portland, Oregon. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days, Burkhardt will be signing copies of THE CROWBAR HOTEL, TRAVELOGUE FROM AN UNRULY YOUTH, RAILROADS OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, THE ANN ARBOR RAILROAD, and FREIGHT WEATHER. Those who want Burkhardt to sign previously-purchased books can bring them in for signing. Happy to do it!

Also, there’s a PORTLAND SPECIAL: Burkhardt will be offering copies of TRAVELOGUE for just $5 (instead of $15) on this weekend ~ or FREE with the purchase of any other of Burkhardt’s books. We are overstocked on this one title and are trying to create some added Christmas cheer. So here’s a good way to get a new, signed book to give as a Christmas gift ~ in effect, you’ll get two books for the price of one. Can’t beat it, son.

Train time in Newberg ~ November 2012


September 25, 2011 ~ NEWS UPDATES: D. C. Jesse Burkhardt’s latest travel-adventure, WESTBOUND TRACKS, is described as a deft blend of short stories, essays, vignettes, journal writings, and even a bit of travel-based sci-fi narrative. It is NOW AVAILABLE on Kindle… and Kindle only.


WESTBOUND TRACKS, from Rolling Dreams Press … now arriving. Tickets to climb aboard via Kindle cost $8.50 … And worth every dime.

The ROLLING DREAMS PRESS page is now up on FACEBOOK … check it out.

Note: new e-mail:

“Wire to Wire” author Scott Sparling and Rolling Dreams Press launch collaboration: In a “trailer” for his first work of fiction, “Wire to Wire,” author Scott Sparling says he “was good at” riding freights. He was. Sparling paid his dues through many railroad nights and sleeping under stars from Michigan to British Columbia and a hell of a lot of stations in between.

Sparling knows what he’s writing about, and we’ve got the proof: His youthful alter ego as “The Spider Rider” is spotlighted in two travel-adventures from D. C. Jesse Burkhardt and ROLLING DREAMS PRESS: “Travelogue From an Unruly Youth” (winner of the Washington Press Association’s “best non-fiction books” award for 2008) and “The Crowbar Hotel.” We recommend you read “Wire to Wire,” a wildly fictionalized take into the world of steel wheel traveling … and then see how it really went down in Burkhardt’s narratives.

In the words of Roddy Piper, “Take a look!”

Wire to Wire: The Trailer | Tin House



So here’s a tequila toast to those lonesome boxcars rolling …


~ D. C. Jesse Burkhardt



BACKWOODS RAILROADS: Branchlines & Shortlines of Western Oregon (1994) Hardbound/168 pages/includes 16 pages of color/8.5″ x 11″/$45  NOTE: THIS BOOK IS NOW OUT OF PRINT Washington State University Press: 1-800-354-7360

ROLLING DREAMS: Portraits of the Northwest’s Railroad Heritage (1997) Softcover/88 pages/78 color, 12 B&W photos/8.5″ x 10.5″/$38 NOTE: OUT OF PRINT
Rolling Dreams Press


FREIGHT WEATHER: The Art of Stalking Trains (2001) Hardbound/120 pages/126 color photos/8.5″ x 11″/$45

Rolling Dreams Press. NOTE: As of March 2012, there are only 10 copies of this title remaining in our warehouse ~ as Janis Joplin once said, “get it while you can.”


RAILROADS OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE (2004) Softcover/128 pages/187 B&W photos/6″ x 9″/$21.99

Arcadia Publishing: 1-888-313-2665 ~

THE ANN ARBOR RAILROAD (2005) Softcover/128 pages/185 B&W photos/images/6″ x 9″/$21.99
Arcadia Publishing: 1-888-313-2665 ~

TRAVELOGUE FROM AN UNRULY YOUTH (2007) Softcover/176 pages/4 color photos (cover/back cover), 1 B&W photo/8.5″ x 5.5″/$15
Rolling Dreams Press


THE CROWBAR HOTEL: By Freight Train Across Canada (2009) Softcover/208 pages/3 color photos (cover/back cover), 35 B&W photos/includes maps/9″ x 6″/$15
Rolling Dreams Press


In the Ann Arbor Railroad’s Owosso freight yard, 1974.

ANN ARBOR CONNECTIONS: A night with Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band in Portland: On Feb. 17, 2007, after a day of selling books at the Portland Expo Center, SegerFile exec Scott Sparling got us excellent floor tickets to the show ~ and after more than two hours of hot music from the Midwest Heartland where we were born, Scott, Marie, and I ~ all veterans of life in southern Michigan ~ were among a handful of fortunate ones with backstage passes to meet with the band members. Somehow Scott and I ended up at a table with Alto Reed ~ who, along with Seger himself, is truly a focal point of the band’s music and energy. A passage in Travelogue singles Reed out for his heroic, inspiring sax solo in Martin, Michigan, in July 1977 ~ delivered from a hot air balloon!

I had brought one signed copy of Travelogue with me to the concert, hoping to get it to Seger, as the power of his music is one of the threads running through the narrative. In the end, it was Alto who walked out of the Rose Garden with a copy of my book in his hand, and that was a powerful vision for a writer.


Burkhardt offers a glimpse into a vanished world as he describes touring North America in the 1970s. Many of the tracks and trains he rode no longer exist, and those experiences can never be repeated. Look no further than Travelogue (, Chapter 6 ~ “In the Belly of Chief Wawatam.