Intrigue on the Greyhound bus
I hadn’t ridden the Greyhound bus since grade 8. My mom and sister moved from Toronto to London, Ontario after Christmas and I stayed with my grandmother to finish up the school year. Most Fridays I would take the subway down to the Dundas station and walk to the bus depot. Once I found the correct pole in the large terminal, I remember waiting while fumes irritated my lungs and the cold seeped through the soles of my shoes. I was too cool to wear boots at that point.
Sleeping on the bus was always a precarious activity as I worried about snoring, leaning on my neighbour and drooling on his or her shoulder, or missing my stop entirely and ending up in Sarnia or some other unknown place.
I got to know the halfway point and that, if there was going to be bad weather, it would probably happen around Woodstock. Visits were brief but at least my grandmother had a break from my teenaged angst. It’s funny, I don’t remember too much about the weekends, but the bus rides stuck in my brain.
Fast forward thirty-eight years and I was on the bus again, going to Kelowna. By way of Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Golden, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Vernon and a few other communities along the way. I’ve mentioned that I’m cheap and didn’t want to spend over $200 for a one-way flight. There is no train service from Calgary and the Greyhound was $80, so I went with that. I chose to look at it as kind of an adventure (I was retrieving my van), instead of a ten-hour slog.
It was a mix of people, most travelling alone so window seats were nabbed and bags placed on the seat beside to protect from the droolers and snorers, or the perhaps the cheery morning people who might like to share their life story (the bus left at 7:30 am).
In Canmore, it was -15C; a young man was strolling down the street in shorts. Banff and the hoodie guy who was staring at me in the station in Calgary moved up from the back of the bus and sat in the seat across the aisle. His reading material was a cannabis magazine. The lady who was sleeping in front of me was replaced by a young woman intent on taking as many mountain photos as she possibly could. I get that, but my phone battery dies quickly these days so I conserved. By the time I realised there was a plug, the windows were too dirty and it was getting dark, oh well…
It was a beautiful morning. At 11 am, the sun was barely peeking over the mountain tops and there was a rainbow coloured halo around it – called a sundog. There are homes in mountain communities that never get direct sunlight in the winter. That would be hard.
Bus windows make an interesting frame for pictures. There’s the hoodie guy again. He just kept to himself in the end and got off in Revelstoke. Sorry, that’s the extent of the intrigue. 😉
For those who are wondering, I did fall asleep with my mouth hanging open and, judging by the expression of the older gentleman across the aisle, probably snored loudly.
Riding the bus made me think of some of the things in my life that aren’t going how I’d like them to. Not that life isn’t pretty good right now, but I am always looking for ways to learn new things and improve myself. New Year’s resolutions are not something I typically make (my birthday always seems like a better time to do this), but I think I will pick out a small list of areas on which to focus and start earlier in the year. First on the list: find a volunteer opportunity which allows me to work with people!
Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great week!