The Greyhound Bus – American Tales

Whilst living and travelling America, I have been lucky enough to visit 21 States so far… not bad for a British tourist. Getting around this many states usually entails a lot of very long journeys driving, flying or the taking advantage of the cheaper alternative, public transport. Since the rail networks in the United States and most other western countries are so expensive, this usually leave the good old Greyhound bus.

And oh my goodness do I have some stories about the Greyhound bus…

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I swear getting on one of those busses is like playing the lottery, you never know what to expect (kindof like dorm rooms), it may be a peaceful quiet journey, a screaming child, a wacky neighbour, a couple having sex on the backseat… anything is possible! Have you ever seen the movie road trip? where the guys tries to lick the girls feet on the Greyhound – A great satire on the complexities of these crazy bus journeys…

The 2 wandering memories that spring to mind concerning the Greyhound bus are:

  • The six hour journey from LA to San Francisco

San Fran - LA

Who decides to sit next to me, but a member of a local gang – The ‘something Locos’. Granted I wasn’t aware of his gang affiliations when he boarded and chose the seat opposite me. Conversation started when he asked for a cigarette. Hearing my blatant English accent he then decided to quiz me about my travels. I must admit I was nervous to start with, but we got chatting and he was alright. He told me of his brothers (who I stupidly thought were his actual brothers) and how they ‘rolled’ in the city next to San Francisco Oakland. I liked him, he was interesting, he had many tales of crazy parties and experiences I couldn’t fathom at the age of 23.

I noticed the Ink on his hands, and soon we were talking Tattoos, he was coated, not head to food, but enough. I had always wanted a few more tattoos, even after the disaster of the Chinese symbol on my back. He continued to show me his favourites, and upon lifting the back of his shirt up, it all clicked. No I am not talking about his gang tattoo that coated his back; I am talking about the pistol that protruded from his jeans.

It all clicked, the tattoos, the stories and of course the fucking gun he was carrying! He didn’t care; to him it was a way of life.

It felt like a lifetime but we reached Oakland and my new friend was off, that’s not before giving me a handshake you’d expect from a cool kid and handing me his number. The parting line was something like ‘give us a call if you’re in Oakland, I’ll hook you up!’

Granted I never called, but in my defence I was never in Oakland!

  • The 9 hour journey from Denver to Salt Lake

SLC to Denver

This is a bit over exaggerated, as we had to change buses in Grand Junction and it as here the problems started. As our first bus departed for Vegas, we waited for our transfer. Upon the bus pulling up we were asked to place any valuables in the overhead compartments. Strange…! We were then informed that there was a vagrant on-board who was currently living underneath the seats. I shit you not… They had only been made aware of him when a lady complained another passenger had stolen some food out of her bag!

Rumour had it that he hoped on the bus without anyone seeing a few cities back, and thus far they couldn’t catch him as he was literally squirming his way under the seats, biting, clawing and scratching when they attempted to move him. The driver told us that when they reached Salt Lake they would take care of it, but as such he was confined to the back of the bus by security and had not harmed anyone they had left him there.

Luckily we didn’t have any issues with the guy, only seeing him twice at the back of the bus. But sitting there with your legs dangling on the floor knowing that there is someone under your seats is a real experience – and not a good one at that! Didn’t sleep for the whole journey…

I don’t know why these experiences just seem to always happen to us! Ha… But what great Wandering Memories – More to come so stay tuned!

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Photo credit -photo credit: Bus broke down in the desert via photopin (license)


38 thoughts on “The Greyhound Bus – American Tales

    1. Ha – yes its like roulette you never know what your going to get with a Greyhound trip. I don’t mind it though, quick and easy way to get from place to place if you cant fly… Always an adventure though…

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      1. Ha yes – I have lived in USA twice – Colorado and Utah, Vancouver in Canada, Sydney in Australia, Panama for a few weeks and Dusseldorf in Germany. I have been very lucky… Really want to buy my uncles place in South Africa… its so beautiful..

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  1. I have to admit – we have Greyhound here in Canada and I’ve had some of the worst experiences travelling. I used to take it from Toronto and Ottawa during my university days – and after being verbally assaulted by a staff member I vowed never to use the company again. So far I’m 5 years strong!

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      1. I’ll get to posting up the answers as soon as I get better internet connection here lol it’s a bit difficult to nominate others and even find your questions. Everything loads ten times slower 😞

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      1. The only foreign country I’ve been in was British Guiana, now Guyana in the early ’60’s. Of course I visited many Caribbean islands and have fun memories there. I was between 12-14 then. I love photography so I go out often to take pics. As far as traveling the way you are, I never have. I’m 66 now and if I had the chance to do life over I surely would. Most of my adventure now entails family research and going to old homesteads and graveyards looking for my ancestors and their stories.

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      2. That’s pretty cool though. Love history and the mystery behind it. I too love photography as you may see with some of my wildlife posts. What camera do you have? 66? That’s you still have an age and can always still jump on a plane… Europe? Central America? Where abouts are you based?

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      3. I have a Canon T3. I had an older Nikon F4, but it broke and would cost more to fix than it was worth. I don’t post often but my photo blog is andyoldhamphotography.wordpress.com. I don’t post often. Unfortunately, even tho I am only 66, I’m a disabled veteran. I have two plates and screws in my ankle and leg. This limits my ability to do a lot of walking on uneven terrain. I hate that! I live in Madison, Mississippi. It’s a small town about 6 miles north of the capital of Jackson. Have you traveled thru MS?

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      4. Ah I have the Canon 6d and just got a new Macro lens for Christmas which was always a bonus. Ah thats understandable then – I thank you for your service to the world. We support the armed forces accross the globe although we are not American. We live in a small village on the outskirts of London England https://awanderingmemory.com/2015/11/18/home/ unfortunately I ran ourt of storage space so had to remove the images but its beautiful. Have you ever tried a cruise? they are great way of seeing many places without walking very far? Not yet visited Mississippi but its on the list in USA, lots of history down in the south and we would be thrilled to visit one day.

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