Bus travel seems simple enough, right? You get on the bus for a certain number of hours. Maybe you transfer in Boston. You bring a pillow and sleep most of the ride, especially if it’s a late bus. You read. Maybe pull out your laptop to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. You get to stare wistfully out the window as you drive through different states. And a couple times throughout the trip, you get the opportunity to stretch your legs during a ten minute pit stop.
Sometimes the bus leaves you there.
Yeah, I thought my travel stories were over too. But no. All we wanted to do was use a real bathroom and maybe buy a soda. And a candy bar. That’s all we wanted!
It’s not really a long or complicated story. An hour outside of our destination in Waterville the driver announced we’d be taking a ten minute break at the gas station. Roddy and I were pretty desperate to stretch our legs and get something to drink, so we left my laptop and his phone on the seat, I grabbed my purse, and we headed inside. We used the bathroom, chose our beverages, and as I was paying we noticed that our lovely, giant, state of the art Greyhound bus was nowhere to be seen. I thought he was joking, but no. It was gone; along with our luggage and electronics, displayed out in the open for all the crazy bus-folk to see.
The man working at this gas station/bus stop was right on the case, calling up the Bangor station and alerting them to the problem. Of course, there was no way to actually get a hold of the driver to let him know that maybe he should rethink his career as a man who drives people to and from destinations, instead of stranding them in bumfuck Maine where a man with a ill-fitting toupee and pajama pants sits in his giant truck, fondling his eagle-head cane and stares at them while he eats his gas station pizza. Maybe he should have followed his dream of being a tap dancer.
We were not the only ones left behind. Among us was an elderly gentleman who went by the name of Warren. Warren was inexplicably covered in blood. Lots of it. All over his shirt and pants. (I wish I was making this up). We didn’t ask why, it seemed best to leave it alone.
So, we called my dad and let him know the situation. He was already in Bangor, so he left immediately to come find us. Only about 45 minutes away. Warren joined forces with us, and we didn’t object because, like I said, he was COVERED IN BLOOD. We agreed to take him to Bangor, and he called his friend who was waiting for him and we were able to tell her everything we had on the bus so she could make sure it all got off alright.
Then we waited. It wasn’t a bad wait. There was a small mix-up with what exit we were actually off of. The locals swore it was exit 33, but it turned out it was exit 127. (Because that’s the same). But, my dad did eventually find us, and we drove back to Bangor with blood-covered Warren, retrieved our stuff that was all thankfully accounted for, and are currently en route to Bar Harbor as I type this.
Also, we were just given free strawberry shortcake by girls on the side of the road outside of a bank. Welcome to Maine.