I took the Orange bus earlier when I had to get to the bus transfer station, and from there to the train station.
Well, this time I rode it early Saturday morning. I thought, it’s probably going to be on time! No one is out and about Saturday morning. Streets are empty.
Instead, compared to it coming about 10 minutes late like last time I rode it, this time it came at 10:24! And it’s supposed to come at 10:07 or something. I mean, this is pushing things even for a small-town bus system. To give some credit, the bus was pretty full.
Well, turns out they have a trick for situations like this. We rode the bus up Church Street. And then came the fork in the road when the bus is supposed to veer right, make a big loop around the mall, and then come back and slide into the transfer station. This bus didn’t have time to do that, clearly, so instead, there was a little shuttle bus at the stop just before the fork in the road. Anyone who wanted to get to the mall got off and switched to the shuttle bus, while I guess the Orange bus went direct to the transfer station. It was a nice little work-around, and it goes to show: this isn’t the first time this has happened! They know the drill.
I myself was going to the mall, and by the time I was getting ready to leave, the Orange bus, weary and belabored as it was, had ceased to run altogether. It wasn’t because the bus finally just gave up, it was because the Christmas parade had commandeered all of Church Street, and that’s pretty much the Orange bus’ route. So, I walked back! And it wasn’t too bad at all. From the mall, right where the Staples is, I crossed the somewhat busy road to get to the hospital grounds. Now the key is: just walk through the hospital campus. This will save you from walking alongside Hwy 601, which is very busy, loud, and has no sidewalk.
By the time you come out the other side from the hospital (passing by some nice green lawns, swan statues, and pineapple fountains on your way, and finally shoving through some bushes), you will emerge on Church Street, and completely unscathed and unharmed by the bluster of Hwy 601. Church Street at this point also has no sidewalk, but you can just walk on the broad parking lots of the store fronts, it is pretty much the same thing as a sidewalk.
After walking about 10 minutes in this fashion, the Church Street sidewalk appears, and just take that all the way back to Downtown. I pretty much walked the entire parade route an hour before the parade itself! It took about 45 minutes. And think about it, the bus, even when it’s running, only comes by every hour. So if you just missed it, you might as well walk, you’ll get to where you’re going quicker.