[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/15/art.teaparty.gi.jpg caption ="CNN’s Shannon Travis perched himself in the ‘sidekick’ seat of a Tea Party Express bus."]
Washington (CNN) - It was one of those behind-the-scenes moments that a reporter covering the Tea Party rarely gets to witness.
About 1:35 a.m. Thursday, a man ran up to a Tea Party Express bus, approaching from the left, waving his arms and shouting something that none of us on the bus could understand.
I was sitting in the "sidekick seat," a leather perch near the driver with a clear view.
The three-bus caravan had just rolled into Washington, hours ahead of the final rally of the "Just Vote them Out" tour - the movement's third national event since coming together a little over a year ago. The bus I was on carried about 14 weary travelers: Tea Party leaders and activists, journalists and Casey the dog, a small girl with floppy ears belonging to Tea Party Express Chairman Mark Williams.
We had just arrived after a grueling trip from Boston, Massachusetts, where Sarah Palin rallied a crowd of thousands on Boston Common, and were blocks away from our destination.
The bus was hard to miss, wrapped full-on in a Tea Party advertisement.
Apparently, just the sight of it made the man angry. As he rushed us, shouting all the way, the bus driver cautiously slid open his window.