I arrived in Cleveland and my new friend had to catch a transfer so I was on my own again. For some reason, we had to sit in the Cleveland bus station for an hour (probably for driver switch and gas up). It was an interesting Bus station. Very Art Deco in feel. I looked at getting some food but there was no way I was going to pay 10 dollars for a cheeseburger from a shady cafe.
Lesson #2: The Greyhound has a captive audience and don't care about it. They will charge what they want. I should have brought food but I did not. Good thing I have strong stomach.
We then loaded the same bus for our next leg to Pittsburgh. I don't remember much of that drive because I tried to sleep. The bus was pretty thin so I could spread out. That didn't last long because we then stopped at the Pittsburgh station (which was by far the nicest one of the trip). But again, we had to stop and wait for another hour. Sigh. I just wished they would travel. Lesson #3: Sleep on a bus is awfully hard to come by.
Once I got back on the bus, I tried to sleep until we reach the end of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. As a aside, I'm glad most of my trip was on a Turnpike because that minimized the stops made. Maybe that was why the one hour stops were made too to give the driver a break. I don't know but it was a very confusing part of my travel. Eventually, we stopped at a non greyhound stop on the Penn Turnpike where they had a Starbucks and a Cinnabon. If I was going to pay high prices on anything, it was going to be on something good. I was expecting to get something of a breakfast meal but that didn't happen. I did stock up on some Sun Chips, peanuts and beef jerky at the Shell station there so I could hope to avoid paying the high prices of food in the Greyhound stations.
As we continued on, we stopped at the Hagerstown, MD stop. This was on of the worst stops of the trip since the Greyhound station was a basically a shed with a McDonald's across the parking lot that I didn't have time to go to. Oh the tease! The Frederick station looked nice though I didn't get off.
By this time, I notice a trend among the people that traveled on Greyhound. They are predominantly lower income and mostly nonwhite single people using the bus. I did see a few families try traveling but I can see why more do not do it. I couldn't tell for what reasons people were traveling but it was a different class of people then what I'm use to. I'd try to make conversation but many of them quickly poo pooed the conversation.
One of the benefits of the trip was it got me out of my comfort zone. I would recommend any one who feels superior to any one else, take a trip on a Greyhound. It would expand your view of the world. Most of the time, Greyhound stations are in downtown portion of towns. Often times, you drive into areas you wouldn't go through normally. The trip from Silver Springs, MD to D.C. was especially enlightening. I got to see a side of D.C. that I would never see on a tour bus. Very eye opening.
But more on my D.C. exchange tomorrow.