Buses: Why I don’t ride them anymore

It was in 2003 when I traveled to Wyoming from St. Cloud on a bus, and it was one of the most miserable times of my life.
I had a couple of friends working out at a resort at the Grand Tetons and being bored and whacked out on too many Jack Kerouac novels, I decided to act out my “On The Road” fantasy.
This was quite the adventure as a whole, but I only have time and space here for the nightmare of the bus.
There are many characters on these kind of bus travels, and most of them are the definition of weird.
For me, my trip was started with a woman who was feeding her crying infant water. When someone asked her why she didn’t feed the baby milk, she said water and milk were the same thing.
That quote still makes my brain hurt.
Then there were the drunk, loud teenagers who rifled through people’s belongings when someone went to the bathroom.
They would be loud at all times, screaming and hollering and trying out their white kid gangsta rap that only suburban kids know of the troubles of a hard knock life.
Then there was my favorite, a twenty-something hippie dude who giggled non-stop and stared at his finger nails ever 20 seconds.
Why is he my favorite? Here is a story.
Our bus breaks down in Billings, Mont. In between his maniacal giggles, he kept saying he was heading to Missoula.
So there we are, downtown Billings, waiting for another bus and here is giggles McGee wandering around, staring at vending machines that he found just insanely funny.
Here is the kicker: The new bus arrives and everyone gets back on, except for this laughing maniac. When the bus driver told him Missoula was one of the next stops, the man laughed and wandered off into the alleys of Billings. His stuff was still on the bus.
After this, we end up in Butte and put into the shadiest motel I’ve ever seen, and that includes film and TV. It was at the Butte stop I met the punk rock guy. He was actually a nice guy.
Him and I had to share a room at first, but due to my cunning, I convinced him to share with some foreign exchange student so I could have some alone time.
At about midnight, these two knock on my door to see if I want to get some food. I declined, but we promised to meet up again at the bus station.
I never saw those two again. I arrive at the bus station and they are not there. But the bus was filled with kindly Quakers, who I at first mistook as Amish. It was a bit too surreal to have to see at 5:30 in the morning.
It is here I came across the insane bus driver. I say this because he must have stopped at every gas station between Butte and Idaho Falls, Idaho.
If that wasn’t enough, my buddy who was suppose to pick me up wasn’t there at first and as I went to find a pay phone, my friend did show up and asked if I had already left the bus station. The bus driver said I was never on his bus.
As to the chaos that followed, that’s another story. Oh, and on the way back to St. Cloud, they mistakenly put my luggage on the right bus and me on the wrong bus.

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