Monday, February 25, 2013

Going from Pontiac to Muskegon, Wilbo travels by train to Kalamazoo, by bus to Grand Rapids and by bus to his home in Muskegon, @PureMichigan


Maybe the ride with Mr. Bovee was worth the thirty five dollars

On Sun, Feb 24, 2013 at 5:36 AM, Wandering Wilbo wrote:

I decided on the 5:45 PM run of Amtrak from Pontiac, Michigan to Kalamazoo, Michigan. That run would give me more than five hours to enjoy visiting spots around downtown Kalamazoo. Couldn't expect Bell's Brewery or the Art Institute to open before noon on a Sunday. I called the hotel desk and they said they could get me a lift to the station, but the ride would cost me thirty-five dollars. I said that was absolutely ludicrous, but I would take as it had some assurance of a guaranteed ride. I had to wait more than a hour for a cab ride from the Comfort Inn to the Downtown Pontiac Smart Bus connection back in January, so I said fuck it and agreed to the ride.

My train leaves at 5:45 AM, and it has pulled back into place to accept passengers. I had despaired that the station wouldn't open for waiting passengers, but I have been inside the new interior for twenty minutes.

44 minutes to make the connection for the bus to Muskegon, and we have crossed the Rabbit River and continue heading north under a blue, high sky, the sun shining radiantly.

On Sun, Feb 24, 2013 at 4:27 PM,  Wandering Wilbo wrote:

It's a drag to miss a connection. I also have to buy a ticket for the last leg. The clarity is so good I can see office buildings on US-6, the southern beltline of Grand Rapids. I am betting I will have at least 25 minutes to buy a ticket and wait for Sergeant Greyhound's line up to proceed. Arnie's stands at 54th Street and we have just passed that. The fix is in for serving up walking papers to this winter and part of me regrets it. I saw two ice ovals plowed into a small lake's snow covering, and I see the ice has been torn up by motorcycle tires with studs. That fun is all wrapped up for today and probably for the season. The warmer afternoon will make slush of all that ice scratched with studs.

"This is Grand Rapids!" announces the bus driver over the PA system, and he speaks in a lazy, cozy microphone voice, asking us to stay seated and look around for our stuff. Hitch hiker is working the corner of the bridge off the Interstate. Mother sitting in the seat before me is cajoling her drowsy child to wake up. Twenty seven minutes to buy and board the Greyhound to Muskegon.

Security is called on a frustrated man at the ticket window, Rapid Station, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

On Sun, Feb 24, 2013 at 5:25 PM, Wandering Wilbo wrote:

A man was shouting into a cellphone near the Rapid Station ticket window. All of the awaiting passengers stared at him, wondering if he would do more than shout. Over the loudspeaker we heard a request in a snarky voice: "If we could have a security guard at the ticket window, that would be awesome!" The security guard didn't take the man away. The man kept shouting into his cell phone. The man had missed all the departing Indian Trails buses. I couldn't make out what he was shouting into the cell phone, but it seemed he was twenty dollars short of collecting his ticket. The guard just watched the man, keeping him away from the ticket window.

Five people including myself boarded into the Muskegon run, which left the depot six minutes late. All the passengers that had been heading to St Ignace or Kalamazoo or Chicago had made their bus seats, clearing the terminal.

A boy with a father had asked me when I got off my bus, "Excuse me sir. Did that bus come from Chicago?" I believe it hadn't and I told him so. I think the bus from Chicago had to pass through Benton Harbor and Holland. I hope he found the passengers for whom he had been waiting.

I didn't line up with the five passengers who lined up for Muskegon. I stood up from my bench and walked over when Sargent Greyhound took the fourth passenger's ticket. He ignored me and walk over to the ticket office. When he came back, he accepted my ticket, tore off the live part and instructed. "You did that last time. Get in line next time. When we gotta load, we got to load. I didn't say a thing and got on. One peep and I could have been denied boarding.

I am loving the sunshine and blue skies as we pass Coopersville. It's going to be a beautiful sunset. Next week, Friday starts the first of March.
Photography Credit, image from Wikipedia, photograph taken by Dori.

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