Where to Begin?

As Lewis Carroll said, “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.”

As directed by the agent with Jefferson Lines, I left Deming about 9:00 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 5. When the bus came, a little late, the bus driver gave me flack for having a ticket for six hours later; however, he did let me board the bus, which was going to El Paso. I could get my ticket amended there.

El Paso: I had about an hour layover in El Paso, so I stepped into the ticket line as soon as I got off the bus. It took about 45 minutes to get to the agent. At the counter I was told that to change my ticket would cost another $15, which I wasn’t willing to pay, as the change was made by the bus line. I then placed a call to Jefferson Lines and after waiting 10 minutes on hold finally spoke with one of their agents. When I told her about my problem, she checked my ticket, and said that my original schedule had not been changed, and I wouldn’t have to pay any fee to change my ticket, as it was the line’s change. As we were talking, the call to board for Dallas came, so I told her I would call again after I got settled on the bus. So, as I had a ticket for Dallas, I got on the next bus that went there, even if the time was early.

En-route to Dallas: I called Jefferson Lines again, waiting another 10 minutes on hold to speak with the agent, who had gone on break. The agent I spoke with again verified that there was no problem with the original route or schedule, and apologized for the error. I wasn’t going to Minneapolis afterall!!! But now I would have a 10-hour layover in Dallas instead of a six-hour layover.

Dallas: Arrived in Dallas at 3:00 a.m. Watched TV and waited until about 5:30 a.m. to get some breakfast – a very good breakfast burrito – yum! Had a couple of large cups of coffee and did some sudoku puzzles, and just watched the activity in the station. Around noon I boarded the next bus, heading to Oklahoma City.

The rest of the trip to South Dakota took me through several cities I’ve not been in before, such as Oklahoma City (I took some photos, but must have erased them), Tulsa, Oklahoma, and many smaller places along the way (Denton, TX; Norman, OK; Omaha, NE; Sioux City, IA). It was night time for most of these places. The route also went through Kansas City, MO, where I’ve been through a few times in previous travels – no major stops at any of these places, however.

All the buses were pretty full, although I did manage to mostly have a ‘row’ to myself. I had forgotten how little leg space there is between rows, and did my best to stretch out. Amazingly, my back wasn’t too distressed.

I transferred buses in Dallas, Kansas City, and Sioux Falls, SD. From Sioux Falls to Rapid City was the entire day of Oct. 7 – I arrived in Rapid City around 5:30 p.m. and walked the two blocks to my hotel, the Alex Johnson, a historic landmark in the downtown Rapid City historic district.

After checking into my room, even very weary, I decided I needed to shower and take myself to a nice dinner. I arrived at the Firehouse Brewery, around the corner from the hotel, and ordered a wheat beer and a buffalo burger…

To be continued…

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