Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nearly Stranded at Santa Ana Amtrak

The journey began at approximately 1:30pm when I arrived at the Santa Ana Amtrak Station, LA-bound. From there I was to take the Metrorail Gold Line to Pasadena and then head to Morro Bay for a weekend of camping adventures.

As I'm waiting on what I believed to be Track 1, I couldn't help but wonder why I was the only passenger venturing north while so many others were on Track 2. Quite peculiar since I didn't remember a southbound train coming soon. That should have been my first clue.
Ever-confident, I continue reading my book and feel the twinge of excitement when the approaching train roars its engine in the distance. I gather up my bags, prepare myself for my seemingly solo journey to Union Station when, to my utter horror, the train pulls up on the other side of the tracks.

"Oh Crap, Oh Crap!", I scream in my head. The train slows to a stop and I have a quick decision to make. Admit my stupidity (along with defeat) and wait another hour for the next ride or run like a mad bag lady and try to make it up, over and down the bridge in the blink of an eye.

Never one to go down without a fight, I didn't have to weigh my options for long. Faster than you can say "All Aboard", I grabbed my suitcase, backpack and cooler and b-lined it up the four flights of stairs (thank goodness I've been going to my trainer!). About halfway across the bridge, panic sets in and I am certain the train is going to leave me stranded. Determination is pumping through my veins, however, and I begin my descent without the smallest pang of guilt when I bump into the oblivious few ascending the same steps. Don't they see I'm about to miss my train???

Shocked that the train is still waiting (did the conductor see me and have pity?), I close in and leap onto the platform not a millisecond before the doors close and the wheels start turning. Ahhhh, I made it! The Amtrak gods were on my side today. Now all I have to do is catch my breath before I faint!

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