Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beating Tropicana train a little triumph

You take your triumphs wherever you can in life.

Like beating the Tropicana train to work.

Not easy to do on weekday mornings about 9:15 a.m. when it seems like our favorite orange juice company's train has traffic tied up daily at U.S. 301 south of 13th Avenue.

I know it does at other times during the day, too, but mornings are when I run into it.

It's part of living here.

Well, this recent morning I was rounding U.S. 301 near Red Barn and there was the train, guard rails down, flashing lights, the works.

There wasn't much northbound traffic to hem me in, and no police, so I took a chance.

I drove over the median onto southbound U.S. 301, turned right into 17th
Avenue West and took another right onto Ninth Street West past McKechnie Field.

Heading toward downtown, I checked for the train off to my right.

It was already across Ninth Avenue West, as expected.

Continuing north, I saw guardrails down and traffic stopped on Martin Luther King.

Getting green lights all the way along Ninth Street, I crossed Sixth Avenue and Manatee Avenue West where the guard rails were just coming down.

Nothing doing.

Finally, I had to turn right at Third Avenue West.

What luck.

No traffic. And the guardrails were still up.

Speeding up a little, I drove over the tracks unimpeded, pumping my fist just as the red lights began flashing and the guardrails started coming down.


I'd done it.

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