Thursday, August 22, 2013


As I said, I forgot my camera!  Grrr!!  However my faithful wife did bring hers and we have been using it.  I'll start with one from Craters of the Moon from way back on the 12th. 
This is some of the hard lava.  There must be square miles like this.  All the walks are paved because it lava is actually quite fragile. 

We finally made it to Glacier.  Apgar Village is just a disaster.  Way too many tourists, little parking & not much except trash and trinkets to be seen but I guess you have to check these places out.  On the Friday we took a horseback ride!  I haven't been on a horse in probably 50 years and haven't really wanted to try it again but my wife loves horses.  We were pretty disappointed not to be doing it in the park but their rides were all full.  Happily our horses were pretty calm and the route through the forest fairly level.  It did kick our asses though and we were feeling it the next day as well.

We checked out the park a bit on our own but the highlight was really taking the Red Bus tour across the Going to the Sun Road.  I don't like driving on roads with no guard rail or shoulder so taking the tour was a no-brainer.  Here would be a few photos starting with our bus.

These buses were built by White Motor Co.  for all the parks.  Most of the other parks got rid of theirs but Glacier managed to get Ford Motor Co. to fix theirs.  They took the body off the running gear and put it back on a modern Ford truck chassis.  So you have a propane powered Ford truck with the old, restored body on it.  This was done in 1999 and our driver said Ford ponied up about $250K per vehicle to do the update.  I must admit to being pretty happy about having big disk brakes under us when coming down the mountain. 

The fun part is that the roof is canvas and can be rolled back.  The driver stopped at the hotel so we could check that out and he could roll the roof back.  It made it pretty chilly riding along in the cool morning but there were benefits!
We rode in the last row of the bus.  The seat was really close to the floor but we had more leg room.  Since we weren't full, my wife and I got the last row to ourselves.  That was fun.  It was also cool because we couldn't see the road at all, only the mountains.  The other rows had three people per row; intended to be four if the trip was full.  There are only doors on the passenger side so you have to slide across the seat to enter & exit.  Because of wildfires over in Idaho we had quite a lot of haze.  Most of our mountain photos are pretty crappy because of haze.

This is a photo of a bus that was ahead of us going up the hill.  This west side road was built in 1928 and it is really just carved out of the side of the mountain.  The east side was done a couple years later.  Some places, like this, they had to just build a place for the road.  You go through two tunnels on the trip.  We were told that one had to be dug by hand without using dynamite because they were afraid of taking the whole section of the mountain down. 

At $80 (plus tip) each for the all day tour we thought it was a pretty good value.  Lunch at the hotel at Many Glaciers, a bit farther north in the park, wasn't such a great deal.  $14 overcooked hamburgers just aren't that wonderful.  The view was pretty spectacular. 
The hotel was built on the side of a beautiful lake with a great view of this fan-like mountain ridge on the other side. 

My internet connection is pretty crappy here so I'm stopping now.  There will be a few more photos of Glacier and on later.  Have a good one!

1 comment:

JoeinVegas said...

nice bus