If you've ever looked at films like The Doors and Woodstock, wondering why you can't just hop on one of those ancient Bluebird school buses and just go on a wild trip coast to coast...
...you still can. Green Tortoise buses have been going coast to coast from Boston to San Francisco and back since god knows when, but these days they've got full-on, air-conned sleeper coaches that a rock star wouldn't sneeze at rather than converted bench buses. Around $700+food/parks allowance gets you coast to coast in 14 days - maybe slightly more, or slightly less, depending on which way the driver wants to go - and a whole bunch of new experiences. If you're lucky, new friends too (still emailing mine 10 years later).
Pieces of advice, though:
- bring far more shower gel, soap, and deodorant than you'd ever actually need, and don't be too fussy about where you use it. Or who borrows it.
- use electronic devices sparingly, as there's plenty of places to see - and few places to charge up.
- Much as you'd love to trust the free peace and love vibe, keep absolutely everything somewhere you know it should be and lock the important stuff (passport, med insurance, etc) at the bottom of your bag.
- learn to love veggie food if you can. Really. You can get great steaks in San Fran if you need them (and by the end, boy did I need them).
- be open-minded about everything you see and everyone you travel with, and open to new experiences...
- ...just not any mind-altering ones (bear in mind that in some states, if someone is caught possessing drugs on a road vehicle, and can't prove exactly whose it is, they will bust EVERY SINGLE OCCUPANT. Bad karma, dude.)
Green Tortoise Adventure Travel:
Right beside Powell Station on Market there is a little hut selling tickets for the old cable cars. If you buy a one-day or multi-trip MUNI ticket you can ride on the old trams, buses and new trams operated by MUNI. Saves walking up all those hills! I think it was $11 a day but well worth it if you are on foot.
May also be available in nearby shops.
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