Saturday, September 19, 1998

SAVVY TRAVLER
Greyhound Journey
There we were, just two hours into a daylong Greyhound journey across the Great Plains, and one of my sons, Zach already had a story to tell.

We'd had to take separate seats as the journey began, and it seems that his seatmate, a scruffy man in his 20s, told him about the time an M-80 firecracker blasted a June bug through his shirt.

"He showed me the scar!" Zach said.

Why travel from Minneapolis to Dickinson, N.D., by bus? If not for the tales, then certainly by necessity. For a parent with two children, air fare is outrageously expensive, the only passenger train misses the mark by a full 130 miles, and a rental car? That just seems too unadventurous for a trip to Teddy Roosevelt's beloved Rough Rider Country.

The only remaining choice: Greyhound.

I told myself that since 12-year-old Zach and 10-year-old Kurt had winningly managed several nine-hour car and train trips, a 14-hour bus ride could be manageable and even prove memorable, especially considering the rich mix of people one often encounters on a Greyhound.

I was not disappointed.

Read more here and listen to crackly, early Internet audio.