Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Another Greyhound Adventure

After spending my last night on the bike trip, my host drove me and my boxed up bike to the Greyhound station around 7:30am, since she had to work around 8:00. I knew the bus wasn't supposed to leave for several hours, so I checked in my box and waited. The bike box actually weighed in at 53 pounds, over the limit, but the station attendant let it slide, which probably saved $40 in overweight charges.

Then the fun began. The bus coming in to Roswell was more than two hours later, coming from El Paso. According to the driver it was due to icy roads, but that doesn't really account for all the time. Then, leaving Roswell we were traveling around 30mph down an absolutely clear highway. Finally one of the passengers complained and the driver said there was engine trouble, and it was smoking, so we pulled off the side of the road for her to check something.

When we pulled back on the road the smoking had stopped, but we were still only doing around 30mph, even with the pedal all the way down. The driver announced over the PA that we could either limp along the highway towards Amarillo, or wait for a bus to catch us from El Paso. The Amarillo option was faster, so that is what she was going for.

When we got to the next town the dispatch called her and told her to stop the bus there, and they would send another bus from Amarillo, which would take about 3 hours. Fortunately there was a McDonalds close by, and a Dollar General.

When we finally got to Amarillo we were 8 hours late, so they had to reroute everyone. They did give complementary meal tickets, but they were for the in-station restaurant, which was typical really bad food. When I finally got rerouted they sent me through St. Louis and Cleveland, instead of through Memphis, and I would have to wait about 5 hours for the next bus.

The positive side of the reroute was that from there on out I was on the newer style of bus, including electric outlets and wireless. Also, for some reason the baggage handling policy was different on that schedule, so the handlers would actually move my bike box over to the new bus for me. Usually you have to move it yourself.

The really bad part of the reroute was that instead of getting in around 10:30am in Rochester, I would be getting in at 8:00pm, well after dark. Originally I was planning on riding all the way to my parents house that day (~20 miles), but the darkness changed that around.

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