It’s Not Easy Being Green

DART rail station, Dallas Texas, on the way to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick’s Day

I wasn’t going to the parade... or any other drunken St. Patrick’s day stuff. I wanted to go downtown to meet my friends at Klyde Warren Park for a Writer’s Marathon downtown in the Art Museum. My intention was to ride the DART train downtown with my bicycle and then ride home (with the strong south wind at my back) afterward.

There would be big crowds though, so I intended to go early. Unfortunately, I had a late night, so I didn’t get up and around on time and didn’t leave the house until eight thirty AM or so. To save time, I decided to drive to a train station instead of leaving home on my bike. When I pulled into the Forest Lane Dart Station (the Cottonwood bike trail goes through there, so I could ride back) I saw the parking lot almost full and a thick crowd up on the elevated platform. Most of them were hauling coolers, bags of food, and folding chairs So I knew I wouldn’t be able to get on that train with my bike.

I walked up there, a little disappointed, and waited in line at the ticket machines to get my day transit pass. It took forever – the folks in front of me were not experienced train riders and they had a terrible time figuring out the ticket machines… plus a lot of them seemed to be drinking already, at nine-thirty in the morning. When I finally had my pass in hand (I checked, it took me less than thirty seconds to buy mine) I waited in the growing crowd for a train.

The next two trains came through the station and when the doors opened we were presented with the hellish vision of a compressed cube of green covered humanity. The cars were literally packed full. Not a single person from our station could get on the trains.

So I bailed. There was surprisingly little traffic on the highway and I was able to get down to one of my “secret” free parking spots in Deep Ellum. I could ride my bike over to Klyde Warren from there – won’t be able to get very many miles of exercise in and I’d have to make sure and get back to my car by sundown (I didn’t want to risk these streets after dark on a bicycle with all the celebrants driving).

Now, next year I want to go to the parade with my good camera. I am disappointed that I wasn’t at the opening door on the DART train with my camera ready – that was quite something to look at.