Last weekend my mom and I went on a road trip...and I didn't have to drive! I was so excited because I always drive. We took off to visit my daughter April who lives about three hours North of Shafter. She generously bought her grandmother and me tickets to ride the train! It has always been a wish of my mom to ride on the Amtrak and she didn't think she ever would. It's like one of those "bucket list" wishes. Something you want to do before you kick the bucket.
We left Saturday morning at around 8:30 from the Wasco Amtrak station.
Here I am happy and relaxed to be going somewhere I didn't have to drive to.
And here's my mom. You can so tell how excited she is!
It was so much fun. There wasn't a lot to see as the train doesn't take the same route Highway 99 takes, it's kind of on the outskirts so you just see farmland, but it was still nice. I was surprised by how many people ride the Amtrak. We went from Wasco, CA to Modesto, CA. The train stopped in Corcoran, Hanford, Fresno, Denair/Turlock, Merced then Modesto. I think I got the order right.
Fresno station was by far the most interesting. Before we got there we passed by a few little encampments of what I believe were homeless people. They were living under several different bridges and they had tent cities set up. Outside of almost each tent was a couch or some arm chairs and people all sitting around drinking morning coffee. It was surprising for me to see that. We usually see homeless people walking around in Bakersfield with their shopping carts and their other worldly possessions, but I guess I just never stopped to wonder where they go when the sun goes down. I wonder if there are tent cities in Bakersfield that I'm not even aware of. It makes you think, doesn't it? I tried to get a glimpse of them on the way back but I had forgotten exactly where they were.
We arrived safe and sound at the Modesto station where my daughter was waiting to pick us up. Ok...maybe not waiting because she was late :-) but eventually she got there and she took us to breakfast.
One thing to remember when you ride the train...take some snacks. My mom and I didn't on the way up and we got hungry. They do have a food car, but I'm sure you can imagine it was expensive. My mom did purchase some chips and soda's, but on the way back we were well stocked! We had a great time and I'll be sharing some of the things we did in later posts, but I just wanted to share this story of my mom's first time on the Amtrak...I'm glad I was there to share it with her.