Amtrak Will Have Full Moon In July


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Featuring decades worth of full moons, the 32nd annual “Moon Amtrak” event has been scheduled for July 9, 2011 to take place near the Mugs Away Salon in Laguna Niguel.  Although there is an “official website” for the event ( http://www.moonamtrak.org/ ), no one claims to be the creator of the website or the organizer of the event. 

The history of this odd and no longer little event is obscured by the fog of time.  The best explanation I have seen is that the birth of the Mooning tradition refer sto the Sunday July 11, 1999 edition of The Orange County (California) Register newspaper, and the article headlined as, “Full moon over Amtrak keeps Laguna Niguel tradition alive”, as follows:

Twenty years ago (1979), at The Mugs Away Saloon, a K.T.Smith told his buddies he’d buy a drink for all who would run outside to the rail road tracks and “moon” the next train, which many did. The mooning tradition has prevailed, but there is no longer a volunteer to buy free drinks for thousands of “Mooners”.

Last year thousands of people attend the day long festivities that draw folks from all over SoCal.  Tolerant Sheriff’s Deputies have had to turn away folks in the past when some of the participants were having more fun that the law allows.  Those wishing to attend are asked not to drive to the area but to find alternative means of transportation because of extremely limited parking in the area. In addition, those wishing to attend are given the following disclaimer:

Attending this event may be hazardous due to the large concentration of silly people, cars, motorcycles, motorhomes, concrete vehicle wheel-stops, potholes & cracks in the road & parking-lots and dangerous pets. Everyone present is responsible for their own actions. If you trip on something, or hurt yourself, you alone are responsible. There is no one to sue. No one either promotes this nor charges admission. If you do come, act safely! If you’re accident prone, please don’t come, go somewhere else where you’ll be safer. Neither Mugs Away Saloon, The City of Laguna Niguel nor Amtrak, nor Metrolink are responsible for this event, nor for assuring your safety. The City & the railroad would rather you didn’t bother coming to this event. No one is carrying public liability insurance for this. Besides, would any insurance underwriter insure an event called, “Mooning Amtrak”?

Those wishing to attend are given the following directions:

In Orange County, California, Interstate-5, Exit “AVERY PKWY”. Turn West at the end of the off-ramp (Right if you were South-bound on I-5). Short block street ends at “T” intersection, Turn North (Right) on Camino Capistrano. The train tracks will then be on your Left. 1.2 Miles to Mugs Away Saloon, crowds of people, cars, camper trucks, motor homes, busses and motor cycles all over. This road ends another mile to the North. Please don’t park next to the chain link fence next to the train tracks. That’s where the “mooning” happens.  Latitude 33° 33.917´ North, Longitude 117° 40.435´ West.


About Geoff Willis