A 3-day Getaway trip that’s all about the journey
You’ve gotta love Scenic-Route trains. Or maybe you don’t, if you’re some sort of a lumpy impassive immovable home-bound sedentary stick-in-the-mud grump and bless your heart. But I simply love trains.
Salt ponds with coastal mountains & the City receding at the start of the journey south
It began, therefore, as a bucket-list trip on the Amtrak Coast Starlight from San Francisco to San Diego. Fourteen hours’ worth of California the beautiful: Bay marshes, salt ponds, golden hills, picture-perfect rows of vegetables and vineyards, tunnels through rugged mountains and finally the indigo grandeur of the Pacific Ocean, right there where it’s always been — albeit still on the wrong side of the street for this East Coast native.
Vineyards near Paso Robles
Late fall colors, the passing scene
All that should, truthfully, have been enough. Get on the train, restore the soul, fly home — and that was the original Plan. But it grew exponentially, transportationally-speaking, into a couple of addenda that are worth mentioning.
For starters, the ferry. Maybe there’s one near you. If not, just come on to San Francisco. From Gate G at the Ferry Building, catch the 4:30 eastbound to Jack London Square in Oakland. On a late autumn afternoon, this features a receding view of the sun setting behind the cityscape. Whew.
Ferry view of San Francisco
After the ferry, after the train, it’s likely you will add in a taxi ride or two or (in my case, because something was interrupting the train tracks between Los Angeles and San Diego) a FlixBus, a few cars driven by friends, a couple of hotel rooms and a good bit of old-fashioned walking. I was also treated to a trolley cart of some sort that careened us for what seemed at least a half a mile from train stop to actual station in L.A. — but that was a vehicle not worth a photo.
At the end, fully restored, there’s no place like home.
An end-of-trip Pacific sunset, this one from above San Francisco