I'm somewhere along in the last 24 hours of my complete Greyhound experience. I'm in Wiscosin, but we haven't reached Milwaukee yet. There is not much to report, or even show you. We've spent the night driving across Montana and North Dakota. I arrived in Minneapolis by lunch time, for a 2 hour lay over. I spent the extra time, took a stroll through the city, and got something to eat at Arby's. It felt great to walk around; my ankles have become inflamed from all of the sitting. For now, I have straight up kankles. They don't hurt, I've heard it just can happen when you sit for too long. I love Minneapolis by the way. The last time I was here in '08, the Metro-dome was decked out for the Twins, now they've got their own stadium, and the Vikings have redecorated the old one.
Life on the bus is going just fine. I've done long car trips before, of the 8, 12, 17 hour variety. In those cases I could feel my patience evaporate at times. Even occasionally on the three and half hour treks to Athens from my childhood home, or vice versa. Now I find myself, having spent at least 39 of the last 43 hours, on charter buses, mentally un-phased.
As one can imagine, I'm probably in the best physical shape of my life from that bike ride, but I also find the mental benefits to be serendipitous. All of those hours of sustained silence, in nature, or some extension of it, have exercised my inner patience. The Buddhists or Hindus would refer to it as an "inner peace". I don't want to say I'm less likely to be argumentative or more likely to compromise, it's different than that; plus, when I saw the news at one of the bus stations, I confirmed that I'm still as irritated as ever with the media (most of them don't have a clue, neither does the government).
I could really just keep riding and riding. I don't know why. I guess it could be an "inner-peace", a sub-conscience development of tolerance to account for a limited range of motion. I suppose it would best serve those in captivity, or extreme isolation (think Tom Hanks in Cast Away). Only time will tell how long it would take me to slip. I'm not saying I'm ready to apply to be the next Dalai Lama. But I do think I could slide right into a long haul truck driving position and not bat an eye-lash.
I'm due in Cleveland sometime tomorrow morning. It will complete the 56 hour marathon that has been Seattle to Cleveland. As you might be able to tell, I do not regret taking the Greyhound (and the various other companies they subcontract). It saved me over $200. I would not recommend it for everyone. It just so happened that I was in a rare position in life where I had the time to spare (no obligations until the day after Labor Day), and I benefited financially from the affordable transportation of my bike. If you are unable to sit next to a wide variety of people from different walks of life, the Greyhound is not for you. I will say though, it's an experience anyone can benefit from, regardless of their predisposition.
I'm thinking I'll write a wrap up, the awards for the most, worst, best, et cetera. After that I'm done. I've really enjoyed writing daily over the past couple months. I'll miss it to some degree. I've heard it said before that you should write every day, even just a little. As someone who's never kept a journal, or written beyond the requirements of an English paper, I'd say it's good advice. But don't just take my word for it...