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A Trip to San Clemente 7/11/2013

by Chris Guenzler

Caroline, a friend of mine who lives in San Clemente, and I decided we would do some hiking along the beach and I could do some of my railroad photography as we spent time together. We had chosen Tuesday but I came down with some stomach pains Monday night so we moved it to Thursday.

I drove down to the Santa Ana station seeing the message signs flashing and parked the car in the parking structure. I bought my roundtrip Metrolink ticket to San Clemente then went out to the platform. Here the signs said Train 600 would be ten to fifteen minutes late, then twenty to thirty late and then forty to fifty-five minutes late. I called Caroline and told her I would call her once I was on the train and at San Juan Capistrano. I heard the crossing gates and prepared for a few photographs.

My first train of the day was the 34 minute late Pacific Surfliner 564 heading to San Diego. The assistant conductor told me about a dead Metrolink train at Buena Park which was causing a major delay this morning.

Next was the two minute late Pacific Surfliner 565 for Los Angeles.

Metrolink 687 for Los Angeles came through next.

Metrolink 800 for San Bernardino came through Santa Ana next.

Finally Metrolink 600 arrived, 55 minutes late, and I boarded for San Clemente. I called Caroline after we passed Pacific Surfliner 567, the only train that could have delayed us north of Laguna Niguel and gave her an estimated time of arrival of 10:21 AM at San Clemente. We arrived and I detrained, finding a waiting Caroline with her three very nice dogs. After a stop at the water store, we went to her house to drop off the car and the dogs. From here we took off on our hike this morning which took us first to the Trestles.

Pacific Surfliner 768 crossed the Trestles.

Views of San Mateo Creek at Trestles. We continued south along the surf until we reached San Mateo Point where we walked down to the dirt road under the San Onofre Creek bridge, then up the road to the hill that overlooks that fantastic view. A call to Julie for Amtrak times was used due to the late running trains running this morning.

The 30 minutes late running Pacific Surfliner 573 heading to Los Angeles.

View of the Pacific Ocean's surf from San Mateo Point. From here we walked north of the Life Guard station there.

The four minute late running Pacific Surfliner 572 for San Diego.

A State Park sign with information about Trestles Beach. From here we hiked back to Caroline's home. With train time close for San Juan Capistrano, I decided to gain five minutes by having her take me to Laguna Niguel. She had me there in plenty of time and I sat on a bench and waited for my train home.

Metrolink 802 for Riverside came into Laguna Niguel and I boarded for the quick trip back to Santa Ana.

Metrolink 802 for Riverside leaves Santa Ana and I drove home. A special thank you to Caroline for spending some time with me today.