Lost wallet in Sacto. Get to the Bay Area using only checks?
June 29, 2010 7:47 PM   Subscribe

Within the last two hours, I lost my wallet in Sacramento while biking along the American River Parkway. A four-part question about getting home to the Bay Area using only a checkbook: 1. What's the easiest way to turn personal checks into cash, ideally in downtown Sacto? 2. Has anyone successfully used a check at Greyhound or Amtrak?

3. Does anyone have a better idea? (I have hitchiked in my younger days.)

4. For the true experts (and the psychics): where is the most likely place for this wallet to be turned in if found by a good Samaritan at this hour?

It was lost between Old Town and the 5-mile mark. In addition to
my checkbook, I have business cards and a facebook profile with my name and pic, and that's it. I can leave my bike here at the office if I can't take it on whatever form of transportation I find.

Many thanks!
posted by slidell to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you a regular customer at any nearby stores or restaurants? They might cash a check for you. Does your office keep a petty cash stash? Anyone around who can loan you some cash (co-worker, security guard, guy you recognize from the elevator)?
posted by carmicha at 8:09 PM on June 29, 2010

Honestly, if it was me, I would be making calls to the Bay Area that started with, "Dude, I need a BIIIIIIG favor..."

If a friend can't come, you could take a cab and pay when you get home (assuming you have cash at home, or you could have him drop you at a friend's house)... not cheap, but beats the hell out of hitchhiking.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:23 PM on June 29, 2010

Best answer: Or, do they sell train or bus tickets online? If so, call a friend and get their credit card number, buy a ticket, pay them back later.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:25 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I have left messages and texts for Sacto friends. Unreachable or live far away.

One Bay Area friend has offered a ride, so that is now my backup plan. But I haven't given up on getting on that 9:40 train.

The pay online by credit card idea is what I will try next!
posted by slidell at 8:30 PM on June 29, 2010

Best answer: I live in midtown Sac and if you still need cash, give a call (i'll mefi mail you my phone#).

As for Amtrak, if you have to go to the counter to buy, they will ask for your id.
posted by gyroscope at 8:41 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Wow, gyroscope, thank you!! Luckily, I have now made it on the 9:10 train. A friend lent me their credit card, and I bought a ticket online. Picking it up at the station was harder. As gyroscope predicted, Woman #1 turned me down flat due to no photo ID. Apparently, they have a no exceptions policy, which would mean they have tougher boarding standards than the airlines! The auto-print machine was no help without a credit card. Guy #2 had since arrived at the counter, agreed that my panoply of documents (mail, checkbook, biz cards) was no help, but then gave in when I looked despondently west and plaintively explained that I had no other way to get home. Thank goodness! And thanks to all of you!
posted by slidell at 9:19 PM on June 29, 2010

I lost my wallet recently and got it back the next morning. Apparently I'd left my own business cards in there, and the person who picked it up called me to arrange a spot to return it to me. So if you have your contact info in there, there's some chance that you'll get it back!
posted by tantivy at 11:29 PM on June 29, 2010

Response by poster: Hey, follow up: the park authority found my wallet! They sent me a letter at home that I received about five days after I lost it.
posted by slidell at 8:25 PM on July 30, 2010

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