The bus ride from Kilgore, Texas to Omaha, Nebraska went well. Nothing on it compared to the indescribable beauty of the sky-scraping Sears Tower in Chicago, but then nothing compared to the hideous awfulness of travel in the American South, either. All in all a fair trip. It also was quite social, with Rob driving me from Nacogdoches to Kilgore.
But before some neat pictures and regular travel commentary, a word on “Steve.” Steve (Me: “What’s your last name?” Him: “You don’t need to know.”) was my terrible, terrible bus driver from Kansas City to Omaha. I have no idea if “Steve” is a real name or a nom de autobus, but whatever that creature is legally known is he was the driver of Jefferson Lines JL-0502 on between roughly 8 AM and 12 PM, Friday, July 28, 2006.
My friendly encounter with Steve began as follows
Steve: That (pointing to my second carry-on bag) is not coming on the bus.
Me: Why not? What is the problem?
Steve: Don’t get smart with me. That’s not coming on the bus. It needs to be checked.
Me: It’s been carried on nine trips so far this journey. It is the correct size and weight for a carry-on.
Steve: Listen, that’s not coming on the bus.
Me: I’ll go over to the Information Desk, and ask them if there is a problem with my carry-on.
Steve: Do you want me to call the police? I’ll have you escorted out of here. When you work for Jefferson Line for twenty-five years, you can tell me about their Standard Operating Procedure.
Steve’s general build and his hilarious use of military terminology (from his quixotic, personal “SOP” to his hilarious use of the word “tarmac” to refer to “parking lot”) imply a background in the United States Air Force. His personality does not. I am fortunate enough to count several Air Force officers among my first friends. The way these men conduct themselves — their combination of warmth and seriousness — always impresses me. Military service, to any country, is a serious business, and I am always impressed by how patriotism and true manliness bring out the best in each other.
Clearly, Steve was an exception.
That rant over, let’s begin the photo tour!
Kilgore, Texas (a town that always brings to mind an extremely embarrassing moment from a 2000 Campaign, when Vice President Gore attempted levity with a woman from that town) is an oil town. Oil rigs were everywhere.
Compared to rainy Houston, Dallas was gorgeous. Even pictures took from inside the book looked great. This is undoubtedly the best interior shot I took the entire trip.
Nighttime went relatively quickly. A huge gentleman across and behind me snored worse than I thought possible, but once he got off in Topeka I was able to sleep for a few hours. I awoke in Kansas City, Kansas, and took this picture as arrived near the bus station in that city’s Missouri-state twin.
Finally, back in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers’ Memorial Stadium and downtown greet travelers.
There may be a “best off” photo collection or two, but this concludes the real-time photoblogging of my trip to Indiana and Texas. I hope it hasn’t been a waste of your time.