71 Days

What I did during my summer vacation…

Day 52 – Bus Trip to Nowhere

Not nowhere, really, but Wal-Mart. But does that really count as somewhere? I think not. But there is a Wild Wings and Kohl’s nearby, so it was my destination today.

I enjoyed a very tranquil and enjoyable (and cool – that’s saying something) ride from the Robert Ashley Boat Landing of McClellanville to the Wal-Mart of Mount Pleasant. I caught the 10:15 bus with Mr. Dave and was the first and only rider until we picked up Ms. Liza near Buck Hall. Before that, I was able to have a nice conversation with Mr. Dave of Ohio (but he seems much nicer than most Ohio folks, really) about his many careers including fast food management and teaching. His retirement job is driving the bus, and he knew everybody’s name when he picked them up, although I suspect Ms. Liza is his favorite, and vice versa! Dave did tell me that the bus route he drives in the morning (starting at 5:00 a.m.) has increased 25% each month for the past 2 years. Sounds like the McClellanville route is safe from cutbacks and that is great. At least one thing is safe!

The ride was no more than an hour, but I didn’t think to check the time. At many of the stops, there was no one, so we just cruised through. I didn’t realize until I looked at the routes that Tri-County Link is a Flag Stop system meaning that if you’re anywhere on the route, the bus will pull over if you flag it down in a safe location. So if you can walk to Pinckney Street, Highway 17, or Seewee Road, you can catch a bus, and get to the world even past Wal-Mart with a transfer to the CARTA route (maybe I’ll try that on a Saturday.) I was very impressed with the service, and looked forward to my ride home when we arrived at Wal-Mart.

I had two hours to kill and didn’t have to drive anywhere. So I cruised through Wal-Mart, bought some craft supplies which were light and small. I had brought one of my foldable shopping bags thinking ahead to transporting purchases. I don’t care who you are or how young, rich or cute you are, you cannot look attractive carrying a Wal-Mart plastic bag. I had my tasteful green foldable shopping bag and I was prepared, baby! So off I went to see what was at Kohl’s. My friend Jamie was going to meet me for lunch, but I still had 30 minutes or so to kill. I crossed the vast desert/parking lot that separates Wal-Mart from everywhere and in the moderate noon-day 99 degree heat, I was only sweating a little bit (not).

Kohl’s was a bargain mecca and I soon had an armful of bargains for back-to-school. It did enter my head, thought, that I should not purchase more than I wanted to carry across the desert/Wal-Mart parking lot to ride the bus home, so I asked a cashier to hold my items in hopes that I’d be back this weekend to pick up.

Lunch with Jamie and kids was yummy and I was also able to imbibe in some alcoholic libations since I WASN’T DRIVING! Ginger wings and Corona Light, yum…Jamie gave me a ride back to my stop in time for the 1:47 return. However, as I look at my route I saved on the i-phone, I see it was 1:27 return. So, guess what? I missed my ride home. Jamie was great and the kids were beginning to doze off, so she was my ride home. I so should have given her the $2.25 fare for a great ride with pleasant conversation.

Bottom Line: Know the bus route/times, and have a backup plan (like fantastic friends near where you’re going), but I would definitely recommend the LINK bus for anyone else. It also had WiFi so you don’t have to chat with Mr. Dave if you’d like to tune out and smart phone your ride away. I enjoyed the chat, but that’s me. I’m so excited I took this adventure — it’s not bungee jumping, but who else has ridden?

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