We all know yesterday we had some rain… a bit of relief from the searing heat, especially here in the Desert.
And today, Monday’s commute was OK. Thank God!
Here are some snaps of this morning’s commute:
Heading onto the Summit
At the Summit
At the base
I can see clearly now…
Not bad for an August 4th.
It was a few minutes before five o’clock yesterday at work when we had a power outage. I was on the phone talking to my co-worker about prices when the last one we heard from each other was a scream. We were both surprised at the sudden void of light.
By the time this gets fixed, it will be time to go home, I figured. So I decided to go.
Looking at my watch – 5:02PM, I can catch the subway at 5:05PM and still make it to the Metrolink Express Train to San Bernardino! Yipee!
Delighted at the thought of it, I couldn’t sit still in the train. I was already thinking how surprised my family would be when they see me with still some daylight left.
But it didn’t last long. By the time, I saw the sign when I got onto the freeway and it read: BEAR VALLEY RD -70mins, I thought, Uh-oh something’s up!
I exited at Sierra Ave and went onto Glen Helen Parkway, parallel to the 15 fwy., then went back onto the I-15N.
This is what awaited me! A long line of traffic!
Suddenly my feet were feeling hot, so I took my shoes off, and always keeping a pair of flip flops with me in the car, I put them on instead.
A little after the Kenwood exit…..
I saw a couple of CHP (California Highway Patrol) cars on the shoulder and a couple of fire trucks as well.
Pretty soon after, traffic cleared until just before the Summit. Then it slowed again.
There’s someone old and wise who once said, “Nothing cures the blues than a nice slice of cake.”
Left work early day before yesterday to meet a close friend from college who’s visiting from the Philippines.
We then agreed to meet at LA Live! because it’s close to my workplace and because I haven’t been there myself, it may be a place worth seeing.
Upon recommendation of a co-worker, my friend and I agreed to meet at Lucky Strike. It’s a bowling lane AND a restaurant. I don’t bowl (not really). In my almost 38years of life, as far as I recall, I’ve probably bowled three times! Once probably during my elementary days as I recall my Dad likes to bowl with my teachers. There is a BIG probability that I played at least once (though I do not remember). Second was during my hubby’s birthday (this I know for sure). Third, when my son pined for bowling. First time he tried it, he liked it.
As far as my friend’s bowling frequencies go, I am pretty sure she doesn’t bowl that often either. I chose the place because it has an activity we can choose to play later on, PLUS I was told they have good food (read: chicken wings).
Upon leaving work, I head down to the subway train on Pershing Square. Instead of heading home to Union Station, I ventured to the opposite side to 7th St/Metro Center which was the next stop. Two lines travel on this rail up to Wilshire/Vermont St. Beyond this is where they separate ways. Purple Line goes all the way to Wilshire/Western. Red Line goes to North Hollywood.
Since both lines stop at 7th St/Metro Center, I do not care which line I get on to. It’s just the next stop anyway. How hard could that be?
Walked up the stairs to 7th St/Figueroa where I saw the Bank of America on my left. Walked straight along Figueroa for about 3-4 blocks. I haven’t walked these roads in a looong time. I used to know them for I have lived in Koreatown in Los Angeles for about 10years and also when I used to go to the Public Library here too.
Anyways, so we met! She was with her boyfriend and her sister. Last time we saw each other was 2010 when she last visited the US.
It was Happy Hour at Lucky Strike but I wasn’t really up for alcoholic drinks. I have a massive headache for two days now and it just won’t leave me alone. But I cast it aside, who wants a headache anyway when you have a friend from the Philippines visiting?
We ordered then we took pictures and caught up with each other’s lives.
Ordered food – completely forgetting the chicken wings!!!!
By the time I realized I should be getting home, it was almost 5:30PM. I thought I’d get on the 6:20pm train, I think I still got time to chat.
After Lucky Strike (we didn’t bowl), we went outside to explore and take pictures.
Austin Mahone is here!
No I don’t know him. But a million tweens do!
Soon, it was time to go. They walked with me back to the train station and bade goodbye.
Til we see each other again, my friend!
And so my journey continues. Got on the subway to Union Station at 6:14pm with only 6minutes to spare. Got off Union Station and ran to the platform. Too late. Doors closed and was getting ready to leave. 😦 Next one is at 7:20pm.
While we were back at LA Live, my phone had died. So now with an hour to spare and no phone to distract me, I took out my diary and began to write.
Train came and was able to charge my phone again. Yipee! Seemed like a long time. Without checking my phone and letting hubby know I’ll be late felt like I sinned.
Got off at my stop. Got in my car and was on my way to meet CP (Cajon Pass). My friend reminded me of my crush in college whom we’ve nicknamed, CP. Short for Chess Plaza, a place where we always SPOT him. Now I have a new love?
Ahh! The journey home felt like a prelude to what winter’s commute will bring. Glanced at the time, 9:10pm. It was already dark, with 2 LEFT LANES CLOSED and everybody trying to change lanes while avoiding getting stuck staring at a truck’s behind.
I dread when winter comes. With snow coloring the picture, God forgive me for all the French words I’ll be uttering!
I am a particularly energetic person. Nothing can wear me down. I remember when I was 18, my friend and I danced til morning – literally. Yeah, I forgot I was 18 then!
Fast forward almost 20 years later, a trip to the grocery with kids tagging along feels like I’ve just climbed Mount Everest. Juggling a pizza box while carrying a two-year-old and carrying the groceries from the garage into the house is a struggle. Wait, that was my hubby last night! But I know how that feels like. Your arms suddenly went jelly.
My whole body was jelly! After what seemed like a long drive yesterday from the traffic on the Cajon Pass, I just want to go to sleep. And I did. After typing up my entry yesterday in the train to work, I slept. After staring into a lot of cars and the road of stillness, I am exhausted. The best way to revive me is sleep. Zzzzz
If you were in today’s commute down the Cajon Pass, you know what I’m talking about.
I knew these dark, gloomy, gray clouds had something in store for me this morning.
I got in the I-15S freeway. Saw the sign, WORKERS AHEAD. CHP ON PATROL. MAX ENFORCEMENT.
Is this a threat? Or a warning? Or merely a sign that says so?
There’s still an uneasy feeling… driving past the Ranchero Bridge that seem to have recovered from the fire, another sign loom ahead just at the summit. ACCIDENT AHEAD. I-15/I-215 SPLIT. EXPECT DELAYS.
I knew it! But wait, is this sign updated or from yesterday’s? Guess I’ll find out…
I haven’t even gotten to the bottom and traffic had halted. Why, I guess the sign was updated after all.
From 138 all the way… it was painfully slow.
Saw the sign again, WORKERS AHEAD. CHP ON PATROL. MAX ENFORCEMENT.
No worries, CHP. We’re not even moving past 20mph now.
Clocked in at the I-15/I-215 split. Didn’t see any accidents. There were just the slowed traffic flow, a few raindrops?, around five or six motorcycles making its way around the stopped cars and many, many trucks. The most important thing I saw was, by this time, my train had long gone and the sun breaking out as soon as traffic eased at the split.
With three to four open lanes, I’ve always stayed on the lane next to the passing lane (fast lane) either driving up or down the Cajon Pass.
For some reason, I drove on the lane next to the truck lane going down the Pass. Didn’t like to drive next to trucks but something tells me I should. And so I did. It was a smoother drive than the other one I normally go on. Not for long.
I witnessed cars zoom by while I (guiltily) went at 70mph already. Then the unimaginable happened. This white SUV was driving fast on the passing lane (maybe 80 or 90 even), then a construction truck starts rolling (within the construction zone) — with water spewing out into the fast lane doing what it’s supposed to. But this SUV suddenly changed lanes to the next one. Because it was abrupt and a car will hit it, suddenly moved lanes again to mine! Whoa! Next thing I know the SUV was in front of me. By this time I had already slowed down a bit to 65.
I knew there was a reason why I drove on this lane. My little guardian angel is not asleep after all.
I don’t know if it’s just me but I’ve noticed that cars seem to even go faster than usual nowadays on the Cajon Pass, especially that construction is underway. Why is it so?
Maybe because it’s summer? A lot of our teenagers learnt to drive and now driving with ants in their pants in newfound freedom of theirs? Maybe there are really more cars on a road trip this summer? I don’t really know.
With fewer and not to mention squished lanes, cars need to drive slower.
Both for the public and the workers’ safety.
Let’s hope for the best and safety of everyone. Patience is a virtue. We all need to call upon it – til 2016 when the projected construction’s done.
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As the day lasts longer, the higher the number of motorcycles on the road.
Yes, summer days are just around the corner.
In my early teenage years, we had our Honda Trendy. Here’s a picture of me:
Vrooming the streets, dodging dogs (with the imminent danger of them taking a bite out of your foot or wheel) chasing your tail was easy because you’re going faster. Feeling the wind blowing on your face. Adrenaline rushing. The sweet taste of freedom with every new place explored. Go wherever your heart desires. The smell of your next adventure calling, luring, taunting…
The exhilaration of driving fast. Euphoric. Sometimes maybe too fast you lose control of your bike.
I have had my share of accidents. Both as the passenger and/or the driver. No bones were broken (just my pride). One time, my leg was pressed onto the motor and I felt something like stickers stuck on it so I started peeling them off. Then I looked down at my leg, I was actually taking my own skin off! Yikes!
Consider me lucky. Well, my moped (motorized bicycle) does not go any faster than 30mph!
What about those who weren’t as lucky? Can’t say they were speeding. But why buy a bike that can go so fast without testing it?
Looking at the San Bernardino Coroner’s press releases from April to May alone, there have been more than 10 cases of motorcycle fatalities. Not bad. I actually expected a bigger number. I am no expert on motorcycle riding but I noticed that those who are at highest risk of losing control and/or death are either the young (aged 18-25 years old) and not-so-old (50 and up).
Remember that accident in Cajon Pass involving a 23 year old, Justin Tranter who lost control of his bike and hit a big rig (or was hit by a big rig?) the night of May 29th that caused major traffic back up because of lane closures combined with ongoing freeway construction? I know one who got home at around 3AM that night (or day?).
Could these accidents be brought on by lack of experience on the young and overconfidence on the latter? Wait, that sounds like the motorcyclist’s at fault. It may or may not be the case.
Yet, according to the California Motorcyclist Safety Program or CMSP:
Another conspicuous trend involves the number of motorcyclist fatalities and age. Several groups of riders are over represented, compared to their presence within the motorcycle riding population. For example, a small percentage of the motorcycle operators are riders aged 15-19 (4 percent) and 20-24 (6 percent), yet represent nearly twice that percentage of fatalities (11-13 percent). A second group of riders over represented according to their presence in the population is riders aged 25-54. It should also be noted that 90 percent of the fatal victims are male.
The primary cause for 59 percent of the motorcycle collisions were attributed to three factors: unsafe speed, improper turning, and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Lastly, 65 percent of the fatal and 56 percent of the injury motorcycle-involved collisions were the fault of the motorcyclist.
In response to increased safety and responsibility issues, the California’s Department of Motor Vehicles requiring all motorcycle applicants under 21 years of age to complete a motorcycle safety training course before receiving a motorcycle instruction permit, and motorcycle applicants 21 years of age and older are encouraged to enroll in the motorcycle safety training course.
Also, The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is implementing a 12-month traffic safety grant to reduce motorcycle-involved collisions on popular roadways and mountain range areas throughout California. To maximize enforcement efforts, each CHP Division has identified and is concentrating on problematic locations on routes within their respective Areas, where motorcycle-involved collisions are the highest. Grant activities include enhanced enforcement, a public awareness and educational campaign, and a paid media campaign has been launched to show “share the road” Public Service Announcements. The project ends September 30, 2014. The grant is being disseminated throughout CHP field Divisions between October 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014.
So please do LOOK TWICE for motorcycle riders out there.
My son had just learned to ride his bike. Being a nervous mom as I am, of course, he’s got all the protective gear from my skating days (helmet, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads too)
I’m sure at one point in his life later he’ll want to ride a motorcycle too.
But for now, I’ll savor my heart racing juuust a lil bit.
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orteM (Metro spelled backwards)
Writing and posting after a long-winded, deathly commute!
A week after the burning and collapse of the Ranchero Bridge and, nolens volens, closing of the I-15 fwy, I am relieved it is finally open again.
Though the fwy is wide open, every time I see the bridge, I feel sad for all the hard work the workers have put in. Construction was coming along nicely, traffic was flowing smoothly, even during construction, and just like that – it’s gone.
According to the reports I’ve read, bridge could not be salvaged and ’twas a total loss 😦
But, that’s life! With every setback comes renewed strength and willpower. One just comes back stronger.
Not me. I was soo ready to call it quits after the I-15 fwy was shut down. After many years of commuting up and down the Cajon Pass and traveling about 85 miles (85 x 1.6 = 136.8 kms) everyday, 5 days a week, it just wear me down – to the bone.
After much thought and after a revived inspiration from an unlikely, serendipitous source, I was back again. This time even catching the earlier train.
With BNSF’s derailment yesterday, Metrolink trains are 5-10 minutes delayed. I can deal with that.
Meanwhile, let me enjoy my cucumber to refresh me in the morning.
Good day to everyone!
Another experience to file under ‘Resiliency”