New Beginning: Journey to Nevada
by Jim Lantern
Posted 2:20 p.m. CT Monday 20 April 2015 – Countdown 12 Days to Departure
Norman Oklahoma to Reno Nevada
Trip Time and Distance
1 day, 20 hours, 35 minutes.
From Central Time Zone to Pacific Time Zone.
Total trip miles: 2160.
Actual distance in miles from Norman to Reno: 1262.
Distance in additional miles via Greyhound Bus: 898.
Includes 3 transfers. Passengers are required to move their luggage from one bus to another during transfers, and to keep all luggage with them while waiting in stations for transfers.
Dallas is the first transfer and longest wait. I lived and worked in Austin during the first half of 1998, then in Dallas during the second half of 1998. The affordable place I lived at in Dallas, which I considered returning to, has been torn down.
The loss of affordable housing across the U.S. is now the number one cause of homelessness, including families, and “working homeless” who have jobs but not enough income to pay for a place to live. That’s one of the reasons why I’m leaving Norman. I considered Largo in Florida, and discovered the same problem there.
Further, even most affordable apartments in cities across the U.S. now have a minimum income requirement of 3 times the rent – as much as $2000 minimum net income per month – shutting out low-wage workers, part-time workers, retired seniors whose only income is Social Security, and people on disability benefits. The idea was to reduce crime in high-density housing, under the belief that people whose incomes are higher are less likely to engage in crime. Unintended consequences, good people who have low-income are being razed.
The place I’ve lived at for 7 years here in Norman has been sold and is scheduled to be razed in August for a new massive high-rise apartment building with a parking garage for much higher rent – mainly for OU students and employees. The nearest apartments complex I could move to, where the rent is less than what I’ve been paying for the past 7 years, has the new minimum income requirement of 3 times the rent, so I’m not allowed to live there.
I was forced to expand my search to other cities and other states. Just in case my plan were to go wrong after arriving at a potential destination, I had to eliminate cities where it is now a crime to be homeless. Also, cities where there are an excessive number of homeless people – overloading shelters – charities. Single men like me with no children are the lowest priority. I’ve been homeless twice before, so I knew what to expect. Both times it was the result of a major decline in physical health, denied effective health care, and no longer being able to work. Now in Norman, most of the doctors (MD) here are dumping their Medicare patients, so I have coverage but no longer a doctor willing to accept it and me. I have a better chance of finding a doctor still accepting new patients covered by Medicare in Reno, and the waiting time to get in to see a doctor there should not be as bad as other cities. Restoring my health care is another reason for moving. I’m presently suffering from painful bleeding stomach ulcers. “Old home remedies” and nonprescription meds are helping to keep me alive until I can find a new doctor to treat me. Two doctors here told me the damage to my stomach (and esophagus) can no longer be repaired, but I now suspect that has more to do with coverage and money than with effective treatment.
A tip from a USA Today journalist helped me to find a place in Reno – several options to choose from. I’ve been in contact with one manager via email. I now expect to get a small kitchenette (includes refrigerator and MW oven), furnished like a studio apartment, includes all utilities, plus free cable TV with HBO, and free Wi-Fi. $575 per month, plus one-time $75 deposit (for cleaning after move-out).
The second transfer location during the trip is the Denver station. Long ago, I vacationed in Colorado Springs, and visited friends of family (all deceased now) in Denver.
The third and final transfer location is the Salt Lake City station. I’ve never been to Utah.
I’ve never been to the Pacific Time Zone.
Saturday May 2nd:
(START) – NORMAN, OK 01:15 PM Central Time Zone – GLI 7327
DALLAS, TX 04:25 PM Central Time Zone – (TRANSFER) – GLI 7327 -2 hours 35 minutes at Dallas station…
(TRANSFER) – DALLAS, TX 07:00 PM – GLI 7308
FT WORTH, TX 07:40 PM 07:50 PM :10 – GLI 7308
RS FLYING J, TX 09:40 PM 09:55 PM :15 – GLI 7308
WICHITA FALLS, TX 10:00 PM 10:05 PM :05 – GLI 7308
VERNON, TX 10:50 PM 10:50 PM – GLI 7308
CHILDRESS, TX 11:50 PM 11:50 PM – GLI 7308
Sunday May 3rd:
AMARILLO, TX 01:50 AM 03:05 AM 1:15 – GLI 7308
DUMAS, TX 03:55 AM 03:55 AM – GLI 7308
CLAYTON, NM 04:40 AM Mountain Time Zone 04:40 AM – GLI 7308
RATON, NM 06:10 AM 06:10 AM – GLI 7308
TRINIDAD, CO 06:35 AM 07:05 AM :30 – GLI 7308
PUEBLO, CO 08:35 AM 08:40 AM :05 – GLI 7308
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 09:25 AM 09:35 AM :10 – GLI 7308
DENVER, CO 11:05 AM Mountain Time Zone – (TRANSFER) – GLI 7308 – 1 hour at Denver station…
(TRANSFER) – DENVER, CO 12:05 PM – GLI 1343
DENVER AMTRAK STA, CO 12:10 PM 12:10 PM – GLI 1343
FT COLLINS (E), CO 01:10 PM 01:10 PM – GLI 1343
CHEYENNE, WY 01:55 PM Mountain Time Zone 02:05 PM :10 – GLI 1343
LARAMIE, WY 03:00 PM 03:15 PM :15 – GLI 1343
RAWLINS (E), WY 04:55 PM 04:55 PM – GLI 1343
ROCK SPRINGS, WY 06:50 PM 07:20 PM :30 – GLI 1343
EVANSTON, WY 09:00 PM 09:10 PM :10 – GLI 1343
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 10:40 PM Mountain Time (TRANSFER) – GLI 1343 – 35 minutes at Salt Lake City station…
(TRANSFER) – SALT LAKE CITY, UT 11:15 PM – GLI 1347
Monday May 4th:
WENDOVER (E), NV 01:15 AM Pacific Time Zone 01:30 AM :15 – GLI 1347
ELKO, NV 02:25 AM 02:30 AM :05 – GLI 1347
BATTLE MOUNTAIN, NV 03:45 AM 04:00 AM :15 – GLI 1347
WINNEMUCCA, NV 04:55 AM 05:00 AM :05 – GLI 1347
LOVELOCK, NV 06:15 AM 06:15 AM – GLI 1347
(END) – RENO, NV 07:50 AM Pacific Time Zone (END) – GLI 1347
…End of Trip Schedule.
The Greyhound Bus ticket was purchased 21 days in advance on Thursday April 9th in order to get the best discount for the scheduled departure date Saturday May 2nd. It cost me $121.00 plus a $2.50 fee for $123.50 total.
Greyhound no longer has a bus station here in Norman like it did when I moved here 7 years ago on Saturday 3 May 2008. The bus now stops at the Phillips 66 station at 506 North Porter Avenue, about one and a quarter miles from my apartment. When I bought the ticket April 9th, I went over there on my bicycle, but walked next to my bicycle on the way back home. It took 30 minutes in my weak physical condition, bad physical health. When I walk over there on Saturday May 2nd, I’ll be pulling a 34 pounds suitcase – the kind on the little wheels with the telescoping handle, and carrying a 17 pounds shoulder-strap travel bag. Allowing 45 minutes, I’ll leave at noon to make sure I get there by 12:45 p.m. CT – 30 minutes before the 1:15 p.m. CT departure. Greyhound shows that bus coming from my former home city of Wichita in Kansas (where I was born 5 March 1956), then stopping in Oklahoma City, with the arrival and departure time being the same 1:15 p.m. CT here in Norman. Just long enough to pick me up. So I don’t want to take the risk of a taxicab or city bus making me late, or to trust a ride from a friend or neighbor who could make me late. It’s a one-way non-refundable ticket. The only thing that can prevent my scheduled departure is bad health, or death.
Greyhound allows one free suitcase (checked) and one free small bag (carry-on). The checked luggage limit is 50 pounds. Mine is 34 pounds. I did a practice packing and weighed it on bathroom scales at home. The size limit is 62 inches = length + width + height. Mine is 25 + 16 + 9.5 = 50.5 total. The carry-on weight limit is 25 pounds. Mine is 17 pounds. The carry-on must be small enough to fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment – of which the maximum is 9 x 16 x 20 inches. Mine is 9 x 12 x 18 inches, so it should fit. It’s not just the Greyhound weight limits, but also how much I can physically handle – walking about 1.25 miles to get to the station, then walking about a mile to my new home after arriving – unless I use a taxicab if too tired when I get there. As is, in my weak physical condition, the weight feels double what it actually is. Not just physically weak, but concern about pain in my back for the shoulder-strap travel bag. I will not need to be in a hurry when I get there. The management office for the place I’m moving to will not open until 8:00 a.m. PT. Arrival is scheduled for 7:50 a.m. PT. If on schedule, I should be out of the station by 8:00 a.m. CT, and reach my new home by 8:45 a.m. PT if walking over there.
Greyhound has a much longer list of banned items now than it did 7 years ago when I previously traveled by bus. It is because of the increased concern for terrorism. Almost as strict as air travel. Some items I can carry on me, some in my carry-on bag, and other items in my checked suitcase. Some items I would take, but can’t take because they are on the banned list displayed at the Greyhound website – Prohibited Items List. Even so, as it turned out, because of my own weight limits, I had to eliminate some of the banned items anyway. Further, some allowed items turned out to be too heavy for me to be able to handle – such as any books for example. The only exception I’ve made for books is an original paperback copy of my science fiction novel, and a copy of the printed bound manuscript.
When my destination changed from Florida to Nevada, I had to make other changes for what I’m taking with me. I had previously packed mainly summer clothing for Florida. Even during summer, nights are cool to cold in Nevada, where I’m going, while the days are warm to hot. I’ve added a coat and a jacket, a couple of long-sleeve shirts, and a sweatshirt I can wear over other shirts. Also, more jeans than summer shorts, which increased the weight while reducing the total number of items I can take – can handle due to the weight.
I’m leaving behind 7 years of accumulated possessions I can’t take with me, most of which is not worth the trouble to try to sell. Most of it I couldn’t even give away. Easier to start over with purchase of some new items in Reno than to pay for the cost of shipping any of it to get it there. Most of the loss is not important to me.
Reno, Nevada – Population is 233,294 (2013 estimate). Compared to Norman, Oklahoma – Population is 118,197 (2013 estimate).
A couple of other comparisons from Sperling’s Best Places:
|Avg. July High||95||91||86.5|
|Avg. Jan. Low||26.8||20.5||20.5|
|Comfort Index (higher=better)||27||75||44|
|Air Quality (100=best)||88.3||82||93.9|
|Water Quality (100=best)||47||40||55|
|Superfund Sites (100=best)||91||91||71|
|Physicians per Cap.||182||282||261|
More at Sperling’s Best Places for Reno.
My schedule after arrival…
May 4 – Monday
Local weather forecast:
7:50 a.m. Pacific Time Zone – arriving destination via Greyhound.
8:30/9:00 a.m. PT – meet with new landlord, pay rent to June 3, complete move-in.
Take short nap. Adjust to Pacific Time Zone.
Get meal somewhere. Find nearest affordable fast-food restaurants.
Shopping for kitchenette apartment – food and general supplies. Find nearest affordable grocery store and a general supplies store (like Dollar General). Or try to reach nearest Walmart.
Use Wi-Fi to update my WordPress sites, Facebook, and Twitter.
Check local TV schedule for Reno in Pacific Time Zone.
May 5 – Tuesday
Open new bank account in Reno.
Transfer SSD benefits direct deposits to new bank account.
Get Nevada ID.
Register to vote (for new home address).
May 6 – Wednesday
Apply for local medical coverage (Medicaid or whatever) used with Medicare coverage. Begin search for a local doctor (MD) who is still accepting new patients covered by Medicare.
May 7 – Thursday
Buy new bicycle at Walmart there for my local transportation, if enough money in May budget to do so.
May 8 – Friday
Get to know city. Visit river?
A new adventure is just beginning!
an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
daring and exciting activity calling for enterprise and enthusiasm.
engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.
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