Friday, January 19, 2007

Happy MLK Day!

Martin Luther King Day is a great holiday for transit fans, assuming you get it off; enough people still have to work that tourists are scarce even in the City, and transit systems run their full weekday schedules.

This year we rode the Freedom Train on CalTrain to San Francisco. A few years ago, we did this, and got to march down Market Street as part of a parade. This year, it turns out there was no parade--we were directed to chartered MUNI busses that took us to a rally at the Civic Center, but this really wasn't what we'd come for, so we decided to play tourists for the day.

After lunch at a 50's-themed diner on Powell (which fit into our diet surprisingly well) we walked back to Market and were astounded to find no line for the cable cars. Changing our plans on the spur of the moment, we hopped on the next car leaving, which was on the Powell/Mason.

Mr. Thinks-Very-Seriously-About-Transit 295Bus caught brazenly foaming

The family enjoyed the ride too!

At the end of the line we bought some cheap fleeces from a touristy stand--the pocket zipper promptly broke on mine, trapping my camera and phone, until we eventually discombobulated the pocket with a needle, keys, and other random objects pressed into service as tools.

We rode the F Line back to Market, where our serendipitous adventures continued. After alighting we discovered that a pair of gloves had been left on the trolley, and I ran, caught it, and retrieved them. I can take some credit for this save for the fact that I've been getting in shape, but have to give thanks to a helpful motorman and fellow passengers, plus an odd quirk of the F line routing (at the foot of Market it makes an odd U--look at the orange line at the very right edge of this map if you're curious) which us MUNI fans have long puzzled over, but which in this one case was quite handy since it let me outpace a PCC on foot by taking a more direct route.

As soon as I caught my breath we ducked down into the subway, and hopped on an outbound J. The MUNI Metro may be less scenic than the F, but it's nostalgic for me, and a treat for my budding transit-fan daughter. We rode to Dolores Park, a favorite in the City, where there is a decent playground featuring and old boat, and met up with Grandma (to me, Mom!). We tried a few geocaches--one just led to litter and unmentionable smells, the other we were more successful with, finding the tiniest cache we've ever seen a stone's-throw from the "serpentine right-of-way":

By the "Golden Fireplug"

With a lift from Mom back to 4th & King (much appreciated, because we were zonked by this point) we were back on CalTrain and heading home.

The weather's warming up, and I see more transit adventures coming up in the near future.

Happly MLK Day, everybody!

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