Gone are the small, clean, cheap motels and public spaces where anyone can find a place to nurse a cup of coffee. Yet the camaraderie of the Greyhound is hanging on.

I recently completed the road trip of a lifetime. I struck out from Napanee, Ontario, to Los Angeles, California – a 2,800-mile trip that I had been planning since before Covid times. I wanted to take this time to think deeply about our overreliance on cars and our love affair with the open road.

There was a catch: as a non-driver, I would be crossing the country by Greyhound bus. It would have the advantage of getting me closer to the people I wanted to talk to, and the issues I knew I’d witness.

When I headed from Detroit towards Los Angeles, I knew I would encounter ecological catastrophe. I expected the poisoning of rivers, the desecration of desert ecosystems and feedlots heaving with antibiotic-infused cattle.

What I found was more complex, nuanced and intimate.

Historically, chroniclers of the road have travelled by car – intrepid individuals in charge of their destinies. They also tend to be male. The only book I could find by […]

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