November 23, 2004

It Helps to Pay Attention

So I just got back from one of my frequent trips to Torrance to see the chiropractor. For you non Southern Californians, Torrance is about 45 minutes in no traffic from Anaheim. It's a pretty straight shot from Torrance to Anaheim--the 110 North a few miles to the 91 East all the way there.

Well, there's this freeway called the 405 which is a major Orange County artery, and whose exit also appears off of the 110 just before the 91 exit. You can see where this is going...

So I'm cruising down the 110 in light traffic driving pretty much on Autopilot. Prior to moving to Anaheim, just about everywhere I went in Orange County I took the 405, so it was not completely unreasonable that I exited there this time too. Oops. I realized my mistake on the ramp, but thought "Okay, this is salvageable. I can just hop on the 710 North or 605 North and hook back up with the 91. No problem!"

And then I looked around, and it hit me. Not only was I on the wrong freeway, I was going the wrong direction. And the 405 was packed. And of course the first exit was a good 5 miles in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic. So I have to get off the freeway, wait for the light, cross under the freeway, wait for the light, go up the ramp, wait for the light, and skillfully merge into the 4,000 cars all trying to merge too.

I crept along on the 405 for a few minutes before I hit the 110, traffic, then the 91, traffic, where I should have been a good 15 minutes ago. And did I mention the traffic?

Then I thought you know, at least I'm in Southern California where I have a variety of options. Had this happened in Springfield, MO, I would have been stuck on the freeway for at least 10 miles before another exit with an onramp. But then again, if I were in Springfield there would only be one freeway so I couldn't be on the wrong one even if I tried. Okay, I'm not being entirely fair. There are two freeways in Springfield.

Posted by Shelby at November 23, 2004 06:00 PM