A Bus Through the Desert

This post is late, like 3 weeks late. I’m sorry. Trying to get you all caught up on my journey!

The trip has been intense in wonderful ways since I hopped on the bus from Los Angeles to Phoenix.

Video of leaving Los Angeles Greyhound Station https://instagram.com/p/6Ju5B_QsMo/

My Greyhound Bus Blythe CA on way to Phoenix
My Greyhound Bus Blythe CA on way to Phoenix

When I had the first thoughts of taking this trip, I did some research on taking the train. Honestly, the train tickets for the trip I originally planned would have been over $700 and that did not include a way to get back to NoHo. That was beyond the budget I wanted to spend on the actual mode of transport. So, when I saw that the whole trip would only cost $600, including a flight home, if I took buses the whole way, I planned a cross-country bus journey.

Blythe CA on way to Phoenix
Blythe CA on way to Phoenix

What was interesting was to find that hardly anyone was documenting a bus journey anywhere in the United States. Bus travel has a stigma. The legend: it’s cramped, dirty, smelly, full of rude people, bathrooms are disgusting(yah..more on that below).

In the real world, those things *can* be true. There are certain part of the U.S. where buses are a bit sketchy and admittedly, fellow passengers are not always shiny happy people. However, my past and present experiences on buses have been lovely and I have met really fun and interesting folks.

Video of California Desert: https://instagram.com/p/6JuxCAwsMb/

Sunset on Back of Truck on route to Phoenix in AZ Desert

On the trip, which is nearly 8 hours, from LA to Phoenix the guy in the seat behind me was an Irish man(I will call him James) in his mid 50s(ish). He was, by admission, a bit of a vagabond at this point in his life. Going from place to place, just getting by. On this journey he was going all the way to Pensacola, Florida to investigate a friend’s disappearance.

                                                        My Seat Neighbor ‘James’

Friend with Story on his way to Florida
My Seat Neighbor James

James was fun to talk to and had tons of interesting stories. He told me that he has this friend who he had a phone and email connection with. They were dear close buddies. He had been planning to ride bike/walk the Appalachian trail while he was still young enough to do so. So, he reached out to his buddy in FL to see if they could meet in person. He could not reach him, then one day received a text message from an unfamiliar phone number. “Hi, I am Tom’s caregiver while he is sick. This is not his phone number.” That…was all.

James and another friend texted and called that phone to no avail. So, James decided to get on the Greyhound and trek down to Pensacola and start with the Police, then go from there, to try to track down his friend. He knew his bud lived in a trailer park, but no other details.

I sit here 4 weeks later wondering if James found his friend. I have James’ email. Maybe I will drop him a note.

Meeting James made the 8 hour trip go by very quickly and we had lots to talk about. I had my seat to myself and aside from the one woman who stayed on her cell phone talking to people the entire time, there was no other real annoyance the whole ride.

                                        In Which Van Hunt Tweets Me

In Which Van Hunt Tweets me

                                                               Bus Bathrooms

I did NOT use the bathroom on this bus. Bus bathrooms really do gross me out. In fact, this may be TMI but on a later bus journey from Phoenix to Rochester, NY I did not poop for 3 days. I think my system slowed down processing the food I ate because psychologically I willed it. I wonder if others who travel a lot by bus or train have similar things happen.

Arizona Desert Clouds
Arizona Desert Clouds

On this journey, I have decided that bus and train travel are so easy to do and that I have enjoy them so much(especially the train) that I plan to travel by bus at least every 3 months to someplace. San Francisco and Vegas are on my list for a Winter trip. Maybe for a few days each. I was hermitting for years in my little apartment and pining for travel. What was I thinking? I commit to hoping on more multi-wheeled vehicles and spreading my wings more when I return to North Hollywood.

Have you traveled much by bus? Where, when and what was your experience?

More photos and videos here on Instagram: https://instagram.com/iheartnoho/

2 thoughts on “A Bus Through the Desert

  1. I rode the bus from Tacoma, Washington to Clearwater, Florida when I got out of the Army back in 1990. I remember going through Los Angelos and seeing skid row. It was definitely an eye opener for me at that time. I also remember going through Arizona and was awed by it’s beauty. I always meant to go back but never did.I remember thinking we were never going to get out of Texas…lol. I love the idea of traveling across the country in a bus. Now my minds churning with possible plans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Melissa. Thanks for sharing. I would love to watch your bus journey unfold if you decide to do it. 🙂

      I have also taking a train on this trip. We just drove to Tampa from Mass and I will take the Southwest Chief on Amtrak across the country back to LA in October.


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