A one-day to and from riding the ‘dog’

Top o’ the morning to you! That’s right, morning. Well, speaking of blowing it, I blew it in that I wrote my post on the bus from Beaumont to Houston this morning and forgot to publish it. My memory is shot. Speaking of shot, I am passing by Minute Maid Park in Houston as I write this. Shot being the word because the Houston Astros are about to play its last game as a National League team. Let’s hope the Lastros get a little better next year in its debut season as an American League product, like losses only in the double digits.

Incredible how I made it to this bus. I finished my appointment at the VA in time to take a jam-packed bus to a stop near the Houston Metro Rail line. Then I rode to the Downtown Transit Center, just a couple of blocks from Greyhound. My ticket was for a 6:05 p.m. bus that supposedly gets back to “Beaumont-Vidor” around 8 o’clock. More on Vidor in a moment. But I made it just as the gate locked on the 4 o’clock bus that allegedly arrives at 5:30 p.m. That’s not going to happen with all the stop-n-go with the bus heading toward I-10 at the beginning of rush hour. Hopefully, I will be back a bit earlier than I had planned.

My truck is parked in Rose City. That is a freeway truck stop spot on I-10 just across the Orange County line headed toward Louisiana. That is where the Beaumont Greyhound station is now located, having moved several months ago from its long-time stretch downtown on Magnolia Street. It is considered by Greyhound as the “Beaumont-Vidor” bus station now although its closer to downtown Beaumont than Vidor. I guess downtown “revitalization” is like the weather. People do a lot of talking about it but do nothing. The bus station is but one piece of downtown moved out into the nether lands. First Baptist Church, which takes up a whole city block between Calder and Broadway avenues, is being moved out to the West End. It makes me wonder if the great work the church does for our less fortunate brothers and sisters will be continued once it moves out into the land of milk and honey. I hope so, one never knows when one is going to need that help one day.

Traveling by bus isn’t quite the adventure it was during the days of my youth. I guess that’s a good thing, for me. Why the bus even has electrical outlets and WiFi. And the WiFi works.

Bus stations are certainly fewer and farther in between nowadays. Why I can remember in the old days — time to roll your eyes boys and girls — when every little mud hole and town that was big enough for a city limit sign had a bus station. Of course, there were more bus companies than just Greyhound back then as well. Let’s consider my trip today to the VA hospital in Houston.

The bus route from Beaumont to Houston — a straight shot west on Interstate 10 — now travels to Port Arthur on U.S. 69/96/287 where it stops at some Latino bodega on Gulfway Drive a.k.a. State Highway 87. The bus then picks up Texas 73 to Winnie, which is not named after Winnie the Pooh, or at least I don’t believe that is the case. The route jumps back on I-10 and makes another stop at a convenience store on the north side of the interstate in Baytown before heading downtown to the Houston bus station.

On the bus I’m now riding it is “an express” to Rose City as this puppy’s major destination is New Orleans and, perhaps even Miami, or Cuba.

We just now passed a traffic SNAFU that held us up for awhile. It looks as if three Army trucks were somehow involved. It looked more like a breakdown than an accident. One certainly hopes so. It is already 5:30 and we are at least 30 or so miles from Beaumont. If I make it back by the time I intended to depart Houston I will feel lucky indeed. I really better quit while I’m ahead now. Or as one of my old hippie friends used to say: “Better quit while I’m a head.”


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