Friday, July 4, 2008

Greyhound Graveyard

The next stop was supposed to be LA, but I didn't know how I was going to get there. My new friends were going back to San Francisco because they have normal lives and jobs to return to, but I was hoping to find new friends at Big Sur that were headed further south. However, Sykes Hot Springs had about 10 people at it and all of them were from San Francisco, none even thinking about going to LA. So what to do?

I've always thought the idea of hitchhiking sounded crazy, but in the past few weeks of meeting people randomly or on the internet and driving with them, the idea now seemed almost ordinary. So far what I've done has worked out so well that even if this doesn't work out as well, it could still be a lot worse and not that bad at all. I also started getting the feeling that somehow hitchhiking would connect me more closely with the roots of my travel ancestry. The ones who came before me, before the internet, craigslist, hostels, and the like. Those who only had a bag and a thumb. Somehow if I did it maybe I would understand a little bit more about what they went through, maybe I'd find out a little bit more about myself, and maybe, just maybe I'd be better off for having done it. Well I'm here to tell you that I did learn something about myself and something about the hitchhikers that came before me. They didn't just have a bag and a thumb, they had guts too. I instead used my "brains" and decided that going back to San Francisco and taking the Greayhound would be the safest, and best decision for me to not end up dead on the side of the road.

What I learned is that any choice that isn't Grayhound is a good choice. An hour and a half after leaving San Fran on the "express" bus to LA the bus started to shake. We pulled over in the middle of Nowheresville, CA to realize the 9 of the 10 lug nuts on the bus's front right tire had popped off. Yup, we were one lug nut, or seconds away from losing a tire going 65 miles per hour on highway 5. I appreciated the irony that I chose this mode of transportation for its safety and reliability as I sun tanned on the side of the highway in my Greyhound Graveyard.

After three quick hours in the mild 100 degree heat in the middle of the pleasant wasteland we were pleasantly surprised with a second bus that would drive us the rest of the way to LA only 5 hours later than we were expected. We got into the bus and drove NO FURTHER than 10 minutes down the road and took our regularly scheduled "Burger King" 45 minute lunch break. are the class of the travel business. The next time I want to be stranded in the middle of no where on a defective machine for hours only to be saved to eat at Burger King, you better believe I'll think once more about putting my damn thumb up on the side of the road.Thank you Greyhound...

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