I love the bus. I really, really do. There are things I wish PSTA did differently and I hate that it isn’t always the easiest way to travel, but in all, I love the bus.
I love it even more after a five-hour trip to Cassadaga, which, unfortunately, was not on a bus.
Let me back up. I write a monthly piece for the Gabber Newspaper called Detours & Diversions, whereby I write about some lessor-known Florida destination. I thought Cassadaga, an historic spiritualist camp just north or the state’s center, would be a neat trip. Two of my friends also wanted to go, so, under the guise of “we’re carpooling, so it’s OK to take the car,” we three climbed into my Rabbit and headed for the psychics.
We opted to avoid the interstate and instead take the back roads a noble and time-honored way to see the state. All went well along SR 50, where we bought lunch from a roadside trailer (Texas burgers and pork, hooray Florida food!) but when we hit the Orlando detritus, it all went to hell. See, there are no longer any “backroads” in Orlando. I lived there as an undergrad, well before GPS and texted traffic updates, and it was a nightmare then. Because this is Florida, of course, a couple decades have failed to improve the situation. Think rush-hour, construction-era I-4. With stoplights. And kittens on the road. Playful kittens with malice in their eyes.
Ah, back to my point: traffic was a mess along 17, which made a two-hour trip last five hours. Yes, five hours. I shit thee not. All the while, I kept thinking how much this wouldn’t bother me on a bus. I also arrived at Cassadaga in a pissy mood. Apparently the psychics knew this, because it was like a – pardon the pun – ghost town.
There’s no grand point to the story here, except to say after riding a couple of buses last week and then plunging headlong into Orlando’s snarled mess of traffic, I wonder why everyone out there doesn’t take a bus. Because unless I’m on a road trip – this one doesn’t count – more and more, driving kind of… sucks.