Daily mileage: 9.34 Segment 206.8 Total 709.0
Route: Ride the bike from the hotel to the Memphis bus station, Greyhound bus back to the car.
My free ride didn’t work out, so my ‘back to the car’ option is Greyhound bus from Memphis to Fordyce, AR. It turns out that the bus from Memphis to Fordyce leaves at 03:05 a.m. Hotel checkout is 11:00 a.m. I probably should have just travelled from the I-55 bridge crossing to the bus station and not checked into the hotel. I was told that the bus station was on Main Street in the Northern part of downtown Memphis. Research on the web gave me departure times and the updated address, near the airport. I got my bike and gear together, checked out of the hotel, and rode to the Greyhound station on Airways Blvd. Right when I rolled out of the hotel property, it started to rain. I didn’t need to be in any hurry, but I went straight from the hotel to the bus station. I bought a ticket, and was told that my bike needed to be in a box; the shipping department around the corner would help me. I had all the time in the world, so I took my time and packaged the bike as well as I could with the resources available from the shipping department – a box for $10 and all the packing tape I could handle. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about the driver rejecting me or my bike after waiting all day for the dang bus.
I then waited in the bus station for 14.5 hours until my bus arrived at 03:05 a.m. I was a bit taken aback at the slice of society that I observed in the bus station. The station was never empty but yet never really all that crowded, as buses arrived and departed from various destinations. I figured that I might be able to catch an earlier bus to Little Rock, where I had to change buses anyway, and do some of my wait time there instead of Memphis, but the few buses going there were all full or nearly full. I ended up waiting the full time in Memphis. My bus arrived about 30 minutes late, departed almost full about 60 minutes late, and I was concerned that after waiting the majority of the hours in a day, I might miss one of my connections in Little Rock and/or Malvern. But connections were there and the SCAT bus in Malvern was waiting for us. It was a 12 passenger bus with 7 of us on board. I was tired, and hadn’t slept, but I somewhat enjoyed the trip back to Fordyce on the roller coaster road. The bus driver dropped me about a half mile from where the car was and I had all gear loaded in the car about 10:30 after some creative cargo movement. I had breakfast at the hotel restaurant and I was on my way. The trip was done.