A Harrowing Journey Home

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

Below is a story I meant to post about a little over a week ago. The snow was so bad that KAI closed early and Emily wasn’t sure the bus from Cheney would be running the next day. She asked to stay the night at our house so that she’d already be in town the next day, so she and I left work at around 1 P.M. to catch the bus up the South Hill. Here’s what happened:

We caught the 1:20 bus, which promptly got stuck on Stevens between 1st and 2nd. It took the STA mechanic 45 minutes to arrive and another 10 to 15 to get us moving again. I doubted our ability to make it up the hill, but our bus driver didn’t want to take the chains that the mechanic offered.

Everything was going well, although the traffic downtown was terrible and it took us a long time to get past Division. After that, it was pretty smooth sailing until we got to the bottom of the hill at Perry. The bus driver asked if anyone needed to get off between there and 18th, and no one did, so she started up the hill.

The bus was climbing well, but a van was sitting at the stop sign at Perry and 18th. The bus driver started honking the horn like mad, knowing that if she had to stop the bus, we’d be stuck. The van didn’t move, so the bus driver turned into the oncoming traffic lane to pass him. As we passed, we could see that the guy was talking on his mobile phone.

I don’t know about you, but if a bus is coming up behind me honking its horn, I’m going to move out of the way, even if it’s inconvenient for me.

The bus slowed to a crawl as we reached the steepest part of the hill, but it was still making progress. And then, all of a sudden, it wasn’t. The wheels were spinning, but the bus wasn’t going forward. It slid over into the curb and came to a stop. Our bus driver loudly exclaimed, “shit.”

As soon we were stuck, the asshole in the van turned right and drove away.

Despite the bus driver’s best efforts, we were stuck again. She called for another STA mechanic to come and we sat, waiting. After about 30 minutes, the next bus came, made it up the hill, and picked us all up.

After spending over two and a half hours on 2 different buses – which, not including Greyhounds and charters, is the longest I’ve ever spent on a bus – Emily and I finally made it to our stop and back home.

Thankfully, the buses were running this morning.

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