Traveling by Megabus is as close as you can get to being in a covered wagon. Much faster, but there is the fun, slightly dangerous feeling that the bus might tip over. Sitting in the very front seat of the front row transforms how you can see; through a combination of height, late-afternoon light quality and the way eyes are good at compressing moving views, the lurching Jersey Turnpike gets to be a 180-degree novelty landscape.
It’s not all exhilarations, though − would-be pioneers like me might regret eating their whole Philly cheesesteak in Philly and not saving any for the bus. Also, even if the air conditioning is turned up way too high, none of the passengers are allowed to talk to the driver.