@ the Kinko's in downtown Seattle.
My first trip (on land) across the west.
- I decided to make the trip to Seattle first, for no good reason really. I think the deciding vote was after talking to Fred and she said .. "I like it there. You should check it out".
- Two and a half day bus ride from Chicago.
The size and nice -ness of a station rarely has any relationship to the city its in.
Chicago's bus station, although relatively modern, is crowded, inconvenient to get to and nastay.
The best stations were the ones in Minneapolis, MN and Spokane, WA.
Someone thought it was because the density of people becomes less the farther one goes west.
But it is true.
It often became necessary to use the bathroom on the BUS while at a rest stop, until the line on the bus itself became too long.
It is an uncomfortable, tiring way to travel. But its not just the sub-Southwest Airlines folk who are travelling. If driving is not an option, people seem to be thinking twice before flying (there are no true deals for flying out there, babies and the lines are long) and the trains are becoming crowded too.
After 4 hours driving through Montana, the new driver says: "We are now leaving Billings, Montana.. the last stop in montana will be St. Regis, which is 703 miles away. We will be there tomorrow morning."
For perspective, the distance between New York and Chicago is 820 miles, which have four large states (Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania) between them.
Looks like Canadian companies are a big part of the economy of those northern border states. You see the Canadain flag almost everywhere, flying side by side with the American flag.
My eyes are burning for sleep right now.
I heard a lot of choruses of "This will be the last time I will ever ride the bus.." until you find out they all said that before they decided to ride it again.
I got into Seattle at 4:30pm Pacific, 7:30 pm Eastern.
My brain is mush, I need a hot shower and a few hours of dreamless sleep.
A few folk have already found out Im too tired to be tactful right now.
Im focused on finding a cheap place for that shower and sleep.
Add that to the fact, with no picture ID on me, that may become a nigh impossible task, never mind if I do actually FIND a place.
At this moment, it aint looking promising.
Sleepless wandering around downtown Seattle looks to be my lot for the night.
Moaning aside, the trip was incredible.
North Dakota isnt as barren as I thought it would be from the descriptions Ive heard and read.
No, there isnt a whole bunch of folk living there (most towns didnt even need a stoplight).
Yes, I can see it being fairly inhospitable during the dead of winter, but as one guy said.. "Yeah, but many years I find myself golfing at Christmas because its warm."
Oh yeah, there are a LOT of golf courses in the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Farming, Rodeo and Golfing is big in the border states. Go figure.
People on the bus were openly conjecturing on the land prices in those states....
Oh yeah, you havent seen surreal until youve seen miles and miles of .... sunflowers. A huge cash crop in the Dakotas and Montana it seems.
I dont know why either.
"Big Sky" doesnt begin to describe the scale of the west.
As the rodeo clown/bullrider told me jokingly, his friend from New Jersey kept staring out the window and kept mumbling..
"When you said "a buncha hills, I didnt know you meant..."
I HAVE to go back with the right equipment and time to capture this.
I simply couldnt out the window of a speeding bus.
I could only capture brief instances.
"Big Sky country' doesnt begin to describe...
Babbling excitement at seeing the Painted Canyons, turned into silent awe at the scale as we saw this countryside mile after mile after mile..
Its been a hot summer, so I saw no snow-capped peaks in the Rockies.
It wasnt quite the same for me after that.
However, the Cascade mountain range kicks much ass.
Especially after you see the volcanic damage the eruptions from their peaks have wrought over the years.
I dont wanna be anywhere near Mt Ranier when (not if) it blows.
Yeah, I need to do this again.