Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Greyhound helps solve problem

"Sitting in a Greyhound station, with a ticket to my destination . . . . "

Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound” lyrics (although it was a railway station) sum up the thinking for a lot of people in such a situation.

Just last week, for the first time since 1967, I found myself riding a Greyhound bus. The previous occasion was one ordered by the United States government. I was headed for basic training in the army.

The trip started in Hattiesburg, MS and ended in Fort Campbell, KY.

My more recent experience was at the end of a nine-day vacation.

We go camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year, and our 2000 Chevy van usually tows our popup camper on the some 1200-mile round trip.

But not this year. The van is showing its wear and earlier there seemed to be a problem with the transmission, so, not wanting to take a chance, we decided on another option.

That included renting a pickup truck with towing capabilities from Enterprise in a town about 65 miles away. That was the closest available location.

My brother took me over to get the truck on the first day of our vacation. 

But returning the vehicle, I decided to not put anyone out and see how I could do this on my own.

So the morning after arriving back home, I headed in the pickup back to Mobile and made it in just a little over an hour and turned it in.

Earlier I had used Mapquest to find out where the Greyhound station was located, and heading back home the day before, we detoured to make sure it was there and operating.

It was.

I had to traverse some four miles of city that had a lot of sidewalks, but then, in some places, my journey appeared somewhat dangerous with vehicles whizzing by.

It took me about three hours to make the trek. I purchased my ticket for the ride to Biloxi where I would use the local transit system to get home.

Other than the fact that it was a 10-hour day, I felt that things went well, under the circumstances. A bit better planning and I probably could have made the round-tripper in about 5 hours.

The Greyhound ride was only about 68 miles and I slept about half the way.

It gets  a little getting use to, having to sit higher above the road and feel the sway of the bus. When awake, I kept an eye on the driver and found that he anticipated traffic issues and made adjustments for them in a safe manner.

I don’t know if I would like to travel a lot on such a bus, but having to this one time, I now know the local schedules and am prepared for a much better experience.

Next post: Oct. 24, 2017

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