Portland, Ore., USA – I’ve taken quite a few long bus rides over the past several months: Bariloche to Mendoza, Argentina, 19 hours; Cusco to Lima, Peru, 22 hours; another handful that lasted 14-18 hours; more than I care to count in the eight to 12 hour range. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, so after a string of seven bus-less weeks, I’m coming back for more.
I’m setting out from Portland’s Greyhound station tonight at 11 bound for Cleveland, Ohio, on a trip that will take me through ten states in two days, 14 hours and 25 minutes. Among those, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa will be first-time transits.
Photos of a fleet of sleekly designed, comfortable and wifi-equipped buses figure prominently on the venerable American coach company’s website; I’m banking on the hope that they’ll be a step or two above those that Greyhound used the last time I rode on one – back in 1992 when I traveled from the US-Mexican border at Brownsville, Texas to Athens, Ohio in the Appalachian foothills.
Unfortunately, I won’t have time to stop anywhere along the way. My return to Slovenia has been booked (9 Sep) and I’ve got several family commitments in and around Ohio I’m looking forward to before heading back to Europe.
So why not fly?
Because my intention from the beginning of this trip back in January was to travel exclusively overland. Had I not gotten sick in June, that streak which began in Tierra del Fuego would not have been broken last month when I boarded a plane last in San Jose, Costa Rica for the Pacific Northwest.
So it’ll be all highway, almost all the time. And seedy city centers at 4 am the rest of the time. Looking forward.