The Mooning of the Amtrak
Give a Cheer When People Show Thier Rear
When the Amtrack passes the Mugs Away saloon, the moon comes out, even in daylight.
Whomever can be credited with creating crazy spectacles such as the Mooning of the Amtrak – is this even its formal name? – is to be commended. Celebrated. Cheered.
At the very least, be given some type of Party Plaque. (Legend has it a man by the name of K.T. Smith deserves the honor.)
The sheriff and Laguna Nigel City Council, however, don't think so and are trying to shut down this fun, harmless adventure. For 30 years it's been on the second Saturday in July (which would put it on July 13 in 2013). Hopefully the authorities realize it for what it is, and don't do an overkill with police helicopters flying overhead and more cops on the ground than mooners.
People riding on the train – many just for this event – get to howl at the moon.
The Mooning of the Amtra involves hundreds of people dropping their drawers to passing trains And it's one unusual adventure. Held by one of the all-time dive bars in a small automotive-parts store shopping center in Laguna Nigel, CA, it's an all-day and evening adventure that attracts thousands of modern-day moonies.
They line the sides of a two-lane street, fill the parking lot of the adjacent business park and go in and out of a host bar – of course, a bar has to be involved in the mix somewhere – then race out to line up against a fence when one of the Amtrak or Metrolink trains comes down the line.
People prepare to moon as the train approaches the mooning location.
Before the train arrives is a good chance to mingle with your fellow mooners.
"Here comes a train" someone calls out and people turn their rears to the well, rear. As the train passes, the shorts go down and the riders are mooned. And don't think those riders and even train workers don't enjoy it; some take the train specifically on that day to take their "crack" at the show. This even continues past dark where flashlights and lanterns provide light. Talk about a full moon!
The suspected culprit of this affair is the Mug's Away Saloon, though it pretends merely to be an innocent bystander. The Mugs Away – a dive bar if ever there was one – is the centerpiece of activity. Dark, sweaty and stained, it looks misplaced in otherwise pristine Orange County. Until one considers the crowd.
The unofficial host bar is Mug's Away, a dive if ever there was one.
Give this to the Mug's Away: Its bartenders are hot and wild and fun!
Newport Beach it isn't. The Mug's Away – and the entire event, as well – looks more like the infield of a NASCAR race rather than something near the Southern California coast. Or Bike Week in Daytona. People fly flags from large poles from their motorhomes.
They arrive on Harleys, wear black leather jackets and jeans, sport tattoos and beer bellies and enthusiastically gather around girls – not all of whom are exactly fit and fantastic – in hopes they will see some skin. It's a rough 'em-and-cuff-'em looking group but realizing what a great thing they have going, they are as well-behaved as grade school nerds. They're all smiling, swilling their drinks and, of course, mooning. Back in the day, only occassionally did the Sheriff's Department cruise by the place.
Mooners wander in and out of the Mug's Away and crowd its tiny balcony (imported beers are $5, same as two Jell-O shots, cash only, ATM inside) But the real action is outside, in the small business park's parking lot. Tents sell burgers, beer, booze and souvenir t-shirts. A band plays in the doorway of one of the park's businesses. Several hundred people are here, occasionally venturing across the street to join another party or catch the next train for more mooning. The Mug's Away posts mooning – er, train – times on a board at its patio.
While you can't take a drink out of the bar, you can indeed drink outside. In fact, many people arrive pulling coolers filled with their own cocktails.
Since this is not an actual official event, rather more of an annual gathering, there is no official start or finish time. The bar opens in the morning and people do arrive early. Others come late and stay until the last train at about 11 p.m. The peak is between noon-3; afterward the crowd seems to get a bit younger and are a bit more SUV than Hog.
Mooning of the Amtrak Tips & Information
• The event is the second Saturday of July (which is the 13th in 2013) is at the Mug's Away Saloon, 27324 Camino Capistrano in Laguna Nigel, CA. (949) 582-9716.
» Parking is no longer along Camino Capistrano. Try the Amtrak station on Forbes Street at Crown Valley Parkway. It's about a 3/4 mile walk. Part of the fun is this walk to the event.
• Better yet, have a taxi or limo drop you off about a quarter-mile away.
• Coolers are okay to bring, but are not allowed in the bar. Watch for cops, though, who are out to bust people drinking alcohol outside.
• Mooners line up along the fence across the 2-lane from the Mug's Away and train times are posted at the bar.
• Turn the rear as the train approaches and peel down the pants. Feel free to wave, too.
• Bring cash; though drinks are reasonably priced, the bar is cash only.Despite effort to curtail the fun, PubClub says PARTY ON!!!
• For more detials, visit the unoffical event's unofficial website.
Mooning of the Amtrak Photos
Here comes the train! Here comes the train!
Getting in the proper mood to moon is part of the participation preparation.
There's usually a line to get into Mug's Away Saloon.
Eventually, the bartenders get you your beer, but don't hurry, girls!
Between moons, it's time to get to know other Mug's Away patrons.
The female mooners take a break from the action by the tracks.