Chicago Part I: The Megabus
Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 by Austin Gerth
This weekend marked a second annual trip to Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival for myself and a few friends. This year my Concordia room mate, Alex, came along, as he is not only acquainted with me through college, but with one of my high school friends, Will, who did much of the planning for the trip. As this was probably the biggest event of my summer, I should warn you I will be milking it for several posts. This first one will center on our mode of transportation to the city, a Megabus.
The Megabus is, as you can hopefully guess, a large (two-decker!) bus that you pay to take you places. In order to avoid paying for a hotel, we travelled by night and slept on the bus both ways. Our bus to Chicago left from Minneapolis at 11:45pm on Saturday, we arrived in Chicago at around 7:30 or 8:00 the next morning, spent the day wandering the streets and then the festival, and boarded our bus back at 11:05 Sunday evening. It’s a young, poor person’s way of traveling, since sleeping accomodations aren’t perfect and you’re on foot the whole time you’re not on a bus.
“Alright alrighty alright alright alright alright,” said our first driver as a preface to his briefing on the rules and customs of bus behavior, more enthusiastic in that moment than at any other point in the address to follow. The rules of the bus were not complicated: don’t carry on loud cellular conversations; don’t wake the second driver; use headphones; and woe unto the fool who comes down the front stairs to use the restroom in the back.
If you’ve ever slept on any sort of coach bus, that’s pretty much what it’s like on a Megabus: your legs get really achey, and you sleep only to be awakened at 3am to use a gas station in Wisconsin while the bus switches drivers, refuels, or whatever. If you’re lucky, as we were, the rest stop at which you, uh, stop will be conjoined to a Wendy’s, and you and your companions will be able to buy frosties, which we did both ways to from Chicago. They were Alex’s idea. They were 99¢. They were perfect: