You have spent all your pocket money and you aren’t going to AZ this
year…….. so get over it !

My behaviour has become so bad I guess I will soon be sent to my room. All my toys have been
confiscated and I’m only allowed to watch Dakar during daylight hours. Yes Cabin Fever and a lack of
pocket money are the real culprits here and throwing tantrums because you can’t do what you want to
do, have always done in the past, and what you feel you should do, are not helping anybody.

My first New Year’s wish came true so Wednesday morning over to the Cortez Bus Barn and start the
training cycle with them. All the usual paperwork, some videos and films to watch and then out for a
drive in the snow.  The first film was shall I say “vintage” and I felt like Chevy Chase in Christmas
Vacation when he got trapped in the loft and ended up watching the good old reel to reel clacky film !

I felt like Chevy Chase with the old projector

Vintage yes, but a good film nonetheless

Seems the Cortez buses are mainly manual transmissions with 5 speed boxes so some fun here
with a few goofy changes fom 1st to 4th and so on until I got familiar with the Gate !

The following day another 4 hours of videos and then out for a run on a Dolores bus with me taking
notes as to where the route goes and where all the stops are. A bit like being a World Rally Car navigator, “crest of hill, right County Road S, third house on right, etc etc” and with about 40 stops and
a full bus the note taking was fast and furious.

Fast and furious note taking as co-pilot

Friday morning and try the route in reverse with more note taking in the dark and with this time adding
the times at the stops. I now need to transpose all my notes onto a readable presentation that I can
use while I’m driving which will be the acid test on Monday. Back to the other depot and more videos
and then home for lunch before zipping over to Mancos to drive for them. Sharon, who normally gives
me my schedule, is away and I’m driving her newly washed bus. Almost a shame to take it out as its spotless ! Wes, the Director, fills me in on all their requirements, and with all the Dolores runs, I now
have a pretty full dance card including 3 activity runs on the big tour bus for Mancos.

Variety is certainly the spice of life so a very pleasant afternoon run, and for some reason the kids
were as good as gold, and back to the Brew Pub for a little Happy Hour refreshment to wrap up a very pleasant 3 day working week. Next week I’m working every day which is refreshing starting off driving
the Thursday/ Friday route at o’dark 30 with all my notes, followed by more videos then out again for
the afternoon run. 2 more routes to learn, with more note taking, and wrap up with another Friday pm
drive over at Mancos.

Twelfth Night came and went, decorations packed away once more and lots of whining from Brenda
on how dark it is outside. I wonder how many of those lights will be working next year?  Once again we
won 2nd prize and a lot of town’s folk are annoyed as our’s gets better every year. One would say that if
you have a business in this town then the first year you join in with the lights you automatically win the Chamber of Commerce 1st prize !  There may be some complaints next year.

The 2010 effort with the pre New Year’s 2 foot dump of snow !

So a Saturday spent devising some sort of moving map route display for the bus that is small enough
to sit on the dash and big enough to read with geriatric eyesight. Of course once you have driven the
routes a few times it becomes very familiar but will be a good tool to have if I don’t drive one of the
seven Dolores runs for some time.

My “Rally notes”, Off R, turn left on 33, turn right on P and pick up at 0709,
then turn round, back on 33, find mother and child for 0715 pick up.
Follow 33, turn left on 184, turn page……..

Monday morning at o’crisp hundred and into the pre trip inspection in the dark. We leave at 0635 and
main road it to the start point some 12 miles away to begin the 25 mile pick up run. Some of the county
roads are still snow covered and after a severe overnight frost pretty slick in some areas so the
prudence selector is switched on. Cold little faces poke through the door and are soon on board and enjoying the heater. We make it round the run and another 60+ are delivered to start another week’s
quest for knowledge.

D11, The “Horse” back from my first Dolores morning run

Back to the Barn and I’m off to Cortez to further my knowledge with another dose of videos. The spoilt
brat is learning the ropes and is buckling down to the grindstone!


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