Hubby and I took the Amtrak train north to Paso Robles, CA in hopes of a little R&R and to fulfill a long held 'bucket list' item for me to ride the train over Cuesta Grade. There are series of tunnels that the train travels through. As a little girl, I was awed by the long long freight trains that worked their way over the grade stretched out so far that the cars were going through multiple tunnels all at the same time. I would think, 'Someday, I'm going to ride a train up there to see what that is like.' Sadly, that 'someday' may never come.
Our original train was on time leaving the station. We changed trains in Los Angeles and that train was just over an hour late leaving the depot. About an hour into the trip, the unthinkable happened - our train hit a pedestrian! A teenager who was walking too close to the track and did not respond to the warning horns. Luck was on his/her side though and the accident was not a fatality. (We found a newspaper article that stated the victim was still hospitalized in serious condition) But the accident further delayed our journey by more than an hour an a half making it impossible for us to stay on the train to Paso Robles.
You see we had planned on renting a car to then drive to a neighboring city for our accommodations, but the late arrival meant that we could not get their before (or anywhere near) closing of the rental office. Instead we just hopped off in the city we were staying in and made arrangements to pick up a car in that city the next day.
No worries - the chance to ride over that grade would still be possible on the return trip. I did get a couple of nice photos of coastline that are only seen via the train.
I do love that 'wall of fog'.
While we were on the central coast we got to go to the Mid State Fair - The Biggest Little Fair Anywhere. What a nostalgic tour for us - I had not attended for 25 years and the last time for Hubby, well, we were on a date! We also went to Farmers Market in San Luis Obispo.
Then came the time for the train ride home on Friday. We dropped off our rental car and walked the few blocks to the train depot with about an hour to wait for departure. That's when I got the email from Amtrak that the train was running late . . . about 2 hours late. That would have left us sitting in depot for a minimum of three hours. By car we could be halfway home by then. So back to the car rental agency we went. We re-rented our same car and headed home. No Cuesta Grade tunnels.
We did have a nice bag of carrots, sugar snap peas, green beans, plums and apricots from Farmers Market. So we stopped in Santa Barbara for a little picnic and a walk on the pier.
I pulled out the camera again -
This van was drawing a LOT of attention in a nearby parking lot.
This just seemed like a funny collection of sights.
I am always mesmerized by kelp.
Back on land, this fella was offering lessons in walking a rope.
And this fella was a willing student.
A crowd gathered. Just as he was about to make his first step, some little kid shouted, "He's going to fall." He didn't fall, but he did jump down. Still I give bonus points for trying. We headed back to the rental car. We got home about the time our train would have arrived in Los Angeles . . . if it had been on time.
Whatever adventures may come in August, they will come without the aid of public transport.