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Take The "A" Train ["A" For Amtrak]

2008-11-28 - 1:04 p.m.

Greetings, all. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

Mine was fine...once I got there.

I've made this trek before. In previous years, the 5 freeway would be a nightmare - traffic would be heavy, and there would be many accidents. So I decided to take the 91 east to the 15 south.

It took me over three hours to drive the twenty miles down the 91 to the 15 south.

Read that again.

Three hours to drive twenty miles.

That area of the 91 has some developed areas, but there are areas (mostly the burn zones) where there's nothing. Once you pass the 241 (which is a toll road), you're committed to that route. If I turned around, I'd have to fight my way back down the 91 to the 5 and THAT nightmare.

I called my aunt and gave them the news. My parents, who knew the route I was taking, were aghast. They promised to save me some food and promised they wouldn't worry too much.

Then, I called Brin. She immediately started checking the CHP and CalTrans websites to see what the delay was. Turns out there WAS no delay - the world was on the freeway with me.

I figured it would be easier once I reached the southbound 15 in Corona. I was wrong - it was just as packed and just as slow. Brin started looking for another route on surface streets. While I appreciated the help, I knew it would be futile; again, there's whole swatches where there's nothing but the freeway.

Then, a miracle occurred. Once I got out of Corona, the freeway opened up. I was able to hit 70mph and finally arrived at my aunt's house in San Diego - FIVE HOURS after I left. And Brin stayed on the phone with me all the way down, checking the road ahead and helping me to stay calm.

Once my visit was finished, I got some gasoline and headed home. THIS time, I chose to take the 5. My logic was as follows: the 91 west has only three lanes of OLD concrete, whereas the 5 northbound has four-to-five lanes of NEWER concrete. Also, the transition from the 15N to the 91W is usually extremely busy - only two lanes and packed. And let's face it, I just plain didn't want to look at the 91 again that day. I wound up getting home in TWO hours. I briefly considered going to the Park, but decided I was too wiped out. So I gave Solange some turkey and decompressed.

Since I have the longest drive, my family and I talked about how this could be easier - for me AND for them, so they don't worry about me. The best idea seems to be to have me take the train. So that's the plan for next year - I'll let Amtrak do the driving.

It'll be easier on all of us, including Brin. Thanks for riding shotgun with me, Brinster.


Two things about the gasoline fill-up.

Under the usual circumstances, I can drive to Escondido and back on a quarter-tank of gas. This one-way trip to San Diego (about thirty miles past Escondido) ate just over half the tank.

Second, the Chevron station I used had the lowest gas I've seen in over a year - $1.85.9/gallon.

Yeah. That's what I said.


So today. Black Friday. The busiest shopping day in the year.

Usually I shelter in place. Today, I have some things to take care of that require me to go out into the world. And then tonight, we're filming the band gig for the TV show.

Let the fun begin. Have a good weekend.

Be seeing you.


1 comments so far

Brin aka Bindyree - 2008-11-28 21:11:30 -
Hey, Dave, glad to do it, hon. Thanks for making me feel like I was useful instead of just a lamed-up lump stuck at home! Glad you sorta kinda had a good day.


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