Mile 172


Mile 149, George, Washington.

172 map double

Heading to Butte with Suzanne. The passenger seat. 2011.

My sister and I spent our summers travelling about Eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Often a portion of our journey took place on Greyhound buses with our parents or grandparents joining us later. The bus travelling from Seattle to Spokane always stopped at the Martha Inn at George, Washington. Our worst and I think our first solo trip happened while were still in grade school heading to Spokane to stay with our grandparents. When we stopped in George, Mo and I got out and used the bathroom at the Martha Inn. When we returned to the bus the paper grocery bag containing our snacks and all our money for the summer had been stolen. Mo and I searched all over but couldn’t find our bag, we were both scared because we thought we would get in trouble for losing our money. We finally told the bus driver who was furious. I thought he was mad at us but now I realize he was probably angry on our behalf. It’s pretty low to steal from little kids. The driver tore the bus apart, the bag had to be in the cabin because the lower luggage area had been opened and closed before we got off. The driver finally found our bag shoved behind someone else’s stuff on the hand luggage shelf at the back of the bus. I think at this point I remember being brought into the cafe and sitting at the counter while the waitresses gave us pie. The person who had the seat where our stuff was stashed claimed it was his bag and that we were lying. The driver came in and asked us exactly what was in the bag and we were able to answer exactly, money and I think sandwiches, fig newtons and maybe an Archie comic book.

I don’t know what happened to the thief, but he was still on the bus when we left, I think he finally claimed that he had mistaken our bag for his and the driver probably couldn’t really do anything. I remember being totally scared to use the bathroom and go past his seat. I held it in for the entire 4 hours left of the trip.

When we finally got to Spokane our Grandpa picked us up and took us straight to The Pop Shop, which cleared away all my upset. It was a couple of years before Mo and I did a long interstate stretch on Greyhound, they kept it to small regional trips. I think the only reason we did this trip alone was because our Dad was taking a photography course in Indiana and our Mom worked all the time so we needed to go to stay with our Grandma and Grandpa.

It is entirely possible I have this all backwards and were coming from Spokane with a bag full of Grandma’s cookies and spending money and a couple of Chirps or Pop Shop Pop’s. And were picked up by our parents at the creepy Greyhound station in Seattle. And went home to eat Seaweed balls and Carob chip cookies. No Pop Shop for us in Seattle.