It has been about 20 or more years since I traveled this highway. Even longer by bus. In 2018, the only intercity human transportation and one of the few shipping centers in Prince George shut down with little forewarning. At least it caught me unaware. Greyhound. Wasn’t too fond of people in general, refused to comply with Transport Canada’s emerging Accessibility standards for intercity transportation of people.
Why did I not use Greyhound more? They had a route for a very long time, connecting not only Northern BC to the nation and beyond, they brought that beyond to Northern BC and beyond that way. That is a question I would ask another who spent that time apart from a family. Particularly if at a basic level, this service was available.
No excuse, I had a hard life. My Multiple Sclerosis arriving in 2000, expected to put me in a wheelchair within 5 years. Within days of diagnosis, my father died. Within two 2 years, my mental health condition was apparent and diagnosed with MS treatments, new at that time. Medical support denied me as I was using Marihuana. No vehicle. My legs decided I would lead a pedestrian life, avoiding vehicles. ‘Disabled Income. I’ll say no more.
By 5 years, I had given up my car as my right leg could not move from the gas to the brake pedal fast enough. I also quit smoking tobacco, which put me in alternative places within my community. Greyhound would not accept me as I was disabled and invalid in their minds, which is the basic reason, and I had no vehicle. My medical support accepted me back, as they could not deny me. I feel they were forced.
I have no fond memories of Greyhound anyway, who did not mind tobacco and alcohol as long as people were on board when doors shut and wheels moving when I last rode. They left many people behind. Alcohol was still forgiven, but Canada forced tobacco out. No Cannabis allowed, but to be fair, Canada called it Marihuana, which came straight from hell. Onward to 2023. Side note: Cannabis is legal now but still can not be consumed on board.
I arrived at the stop for multiple buses running for my city. Northern BC just got away with BC Bus North, and now at 8:16 am, we wait. Soon, it’ll arrive. 8:17 now… Hurry up and wait. Well, en route now past city limits at 843 am… Ebus underway!
Well, we’re all on board by 8:25, Mike does the welcome aboard speech. This Ebus is not accessible. No, it does not have a ramp. This bus has 7 stairs. I saw that it has to be requested in advance 48 hrs minimum for access. They bring a unique bus to the pickup location. Scooters always go under one bus design, and another bus can take a fair-sized power chair, untested with a scooter. Washrooms in the back. Meh. Lots better than Greyhound. Not quite as good as Northern or another Health Authority’s Connection Busses. Coincidently, A division of Ebus company manages the medical transportation I learned. There is a price difference lol.
Stops announced Williams Lk, 70 Mile House. Shouldn’t that be 112.7 Km House here in Canada? Hmmmm. Stay tuned. This ride is much smoother than Greyhound, and seatbelts are mandatory. 9:47, just entering Quesnel.
Well, 1135 and the stop at Williams Lk was another memory to behold. A single bathroom satisfied my 3 hrs travel to find it, but I didn’t feel like the ‘back of the bus’ bathroom was close enough. Well, onward after Mike, the driver, does a headcount. Onward to the next stop and stretch. Time to charge and enjoy the puff. Lol, This stop by a liquor store… Iconic memories of being left here, with Greyhound… Onward.
We stopped for lunch at 112.7 km house. I’ll bring lunch on my return, just saying. A bathroom break to wash my hands, puff and consume some truck-stop-packaged something. It’s time to huff a vape puff and get on board.
My impression of Kamloops by Transit any of the modes is great. Ample wide open nature parks, accessible and ‘walknrollablable’ by City Transit. They built sidewalks for community health. All built on hills, busses struggle to climb. No wonder it’s considered the ‘City of Tournaments‘. My morning walk was a walk to the 7-11, a block by sidewalk but 20 meters above my sister’s place. Meh. A surprisingly meagre amount of benches and garbage collection areas exist on the sidewalks. But again, the city was clean along those sidewalks. I noticed very few mobility devices in use. Had I brought mine, I would’ve seen more, I imagine. I was told Tranist, HandyDART services, and private vehicles are the standard modes of Kamloops’ mobility. Walking is done mainly in those parks, so common with benches and garbage cans. People rarely walk to the park, I was told.
As it is Aboriginal Day in Canada, while I traveled back, I respected these lands I traveled upon. I am traveling between the TKemlups and Lheidli T’enneh territories. Such beautiful territories they’ve managed since a time before time was recorded. As we travel, my thoughts are of ancient trade routes and past explorers to this part of Canada. I called PG Taxi along the road and booked a taxi for my arrival at around 830pm. Back home.