Category Archives: The Bus

Driving around in my bus

Prelude To The 4th

Man what a crazy day around here. Thousands of Concert Heads in town for the Targhee Music Festival, and every thing else going on this weekend. Big buses are all over the place, moving people up and down the hill.

Folks are saying it looks like Woodstock up there. From the people I saw this morning at our local store parking lot, I believe it. They all have this perfected scruffy look.

I pulled up to the Community Center to drop my last rides of the day off, and hundreds of people rushed my bus thinking I was a concert shuttle.

Here’s a couple of shots taken from the bus. There’s a Classic Car show here, so there’s some cool cars around, and somebody got air-lifted out of here.

Tomorrow brings forth many new categories, adventures, and photos…

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Plow Bolt

I learned what a Plow Bolt is today, the hard way. I found a flat tire on one of my inner rear duels this morning, during my vehicle pre-trip. I grabbed a spare out of the stack at our base, just in case the tire didn’t survive the drive to the dealer.

The tire guy came into the lobby shortly after, and handed me the culprit. As you can see in the photos, it was pretty nasty. Thus started my quest to find out what this thing was.

The first person I asked was an old valley guy named Garl. He said it looked like a plow bolt, but he wasn’t sure. The rest of the people I asked during the day, had no idea.

Finally I went to Ace Hardware, looking for the smart hardware guy, he would know! Greer was at lunch but a seasoned looking valley girl took one look at it and said, “That’s a really old smashed up plow bolt”.

She explained that plow bolts are used to attach plowshares, and then led me to the bin and gave me one as a present.

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I was driving along Ski Hill Road this morning, when I felt something hit my arm. I looked over at my door and saw something laying in the little indent.

When I stopped, I saw a beautiful dragonfly starting to stir from being knocked out.
As soon as I post this video I’ll make sure she’s out of there…

Click ↑ for Video

• Update: I’d left the door open, and she was gone when I returned :-)

Here’s some more raw footage I shot, prior to the above video:

Click ↑ for Video
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Kent The Frog

This little guy used to accompany me as I made my rounds on the Shopper Shuttle bus system in Kent, WA. The routes used to be called The Frog Bus.

He’s now sitting on my fare box, greeting folks as they board my bus.

Here’s the original Frog Bus:

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Halloween Treats

Steph whipped up a bunch of treats, in a Halloween motif, and put them in a cardboard box for me to give out to the kids. We’ve been doing this for a few years now, with Easter and Christmas as the primary events.

My Victor Community School kids were more then willing to dig into the box today.

They were just Hershey’s Kisses, but it’s the presentation that counts :-)

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Ducky The Goose

I have a customer living out in the Tetonia sticks, that I’ve been transporting for years. She’s part of a great family and they have the typical menagerie of animals on their nice spread of land. A horse, dogs, a cat I think, and a goose named Ducky.

The younger daughter Molly found an abandoned bird on the Teton River this spring, at the Packsaddle bridge. It was yellow and scruffy, and they brought it home of course. Mom called it Ducky because it, well, looked like a duck.

As it grew older it started becoming too homely to be a duck, and it turned out to be a goose (of unknown sex…) that is now a member of the family. Pretty cool :-)

SlideShow (Ducky)
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Mystery Man

I was parked in the Driggs Mormon Church parking lot yesterday (a regular hangout), at 1500, waiting to pick up Carol and the Gang, and then call it a day.

It was cold, snowing, and the kids were making their way home from school. I spotted this guy hanging out in the park across from the church, walking around a tree trying to stay warm. I was concerned so I took this picture from a window on my bus.

What looked like a backpack from a distance, turned out to have a wheel on it. Maybe there was a good reason for this guy to be there, but in case there wasn’t, I called the sheriffs department and gave them a heads-up.

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The Thing

I was leaving the base today, driving on 5th, heading to Little Ave. At the stop I looked right, then left, then right again (my ritual). On the second look right, I spotted this thing on the corner. I checked my rear, put the bus in park, and grabbed my camera.

I honestly have no idea what this contraption is. It seems to have sprung up overnight, or maybe I’ve missed it while looking right. If anyone knows, leave a comment!

SlideShow (The Thing)

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Studs and Dents

Just got four new studded snow tires mounted on the duals of our backup bus. When that fresh foot of snow hits, we’re ready! It’s not 4-wheel drive, but it’s close…

In the meantime, stupid granola head frumpy Driggs housewives are out vandalizing my main ride. I was laying on my horn the entire time this one was backing out of a parking spot, straight into my bumper, at the elementary school.

I guess hearing loss is an attribute I can now add to Stupid Granola Head!

Update: Steph thinks I was pretty hard on GH’s in general. She’s right, there’s a whole bunch of them here that I’m very fond of… Sorry girls, just pissed off.

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Local Gifts

Giving Christmas gifts to the kids I transport has become a tradition, and this year I have 15 boys and 5 girls. But, thanks to my crafty partner, it’s extending to the adults.

The box below is going to six guys from a group home in Victor, called The Gang. I’ve been driving them around the valley for five years now, and they’ve become friends of mine.

These candles are going to the moms and therapists on my route.
These are scarves for my kids, in bags for the boys, purses for the girls.
SlideShow (Local Gifts)
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Gifts Given

I made my 15:00 run to the Victor Community School today, armed with bags, purses, scarves and candles. In the front seat, wearing a Christmas hat, was Steph.

As the kids entered the bus she began constructing and handing out presents based on gender. There were kids coming on board that only ride once in a while, so supplies were dwindling fast.

The regular kids, whose mothers I’ve gotten to know, were getting candles stuffed into their backpacks for mom.

Teachers, hearing about the Christmas party happening on the TRPTA bus, came on-board to enjoy the event.

A great time! I thought about snapping a picture, but privacy matters here.

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Blowing Snow

The nice thing about living here is that you can stop your vehicle, lay down in the middle of the road, and try to get a shot of blowing snow. Without getting run over…

This was taken today on Packsaddle Rd, heading east toward Hwy 33.

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I’m getting concerned. This feeling of just going through the motions while driving here is growing stronger. This is my sixth winter operating a bus on icy, snow covered treacherous roads, and lately it just doesn’t faze me. I have this attitude that it is what it is and I find myself driving in the zone. My defensive driving functions are working well, it’s just that I have no passion for it.

I’m also experiencing a permeating sense of operational futility. It’s the same old stuff, different day, different month, different year. The company expects us to follow the route presented by our on-board computers, but most of the time it’s nonsense so we just do what needs to be done and move on to the next day. Requests to dispatch for corrections are arduous and ineffectual, so now we don’t even bother.

As a seasoned professional driver for many years now, and a former transit supervisor, I’m well aware of the dangers of complacency while driving. That’s not what I’m suffering from as I care very much for the safety of my passengers. It’s just called going through the motions…

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Snow Blocked

I was driving the Stud today but there was just too much snow on the road! I know if I’d tried to drive through this I probably would have gotten stuck…

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Snow Blower

I was heading out of the Broulims parking lot today when I spotted this cool snow blower clearing out the build-up, so I snapped a quick shot from my window.

I then moved around to the other side to try and capture it.
So, it scoops up the snow…
And then blasts it into the sky!
Here’s a quick little video to give you a feel for the action!
SlideShow (Snow Blower)
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