When we planned our trip to the Canadian Rockies, we heard from others and from tourist information that we could experience the mountains up close by driving over them on the Going-To-The-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, in northern Montana. We learned that the road is narrow, has few guard rails, and steep drop-offs. We got the impression it would be too difficult and risky for us to drive by ourselves and we would not be able to enjoy the views. Although it could still be scary, it would be better for us to take a bus tour where there is a trained professional doing the driving. (Our driver was a college kid who had only been driving the bus that summer, but she was good.) Also we would both be able to enjoy the scenic view the entire time.
We took the Red Bus tour starting at St. Mary, Montana (4551’), traveling up the mountains, stopping in Logan’s Pass (6646’), crossing the continental divide, driving down the mountain to Lake McDonald, and returning to St. Mary, about 50 miles each way. The views were great and riding the bus was well worth it. The bus is basically a large truck that was made into a convertible. You could see much better up the mountains and didn’t have to worry about looking down. It was not as scary of a ride as we were led to believe. [Note: these Red Busses were built in Cleveland, Ohio, by the White Motor Company in the late 1930’s. They were later refurbished by the Ford Motor Company and are still in use.]
As expected, we saw several snow covered mountains, some glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. We were at such a high altitude that there was snow just off the road. And on one stop we were able to see several mountain goats up close and personal.
All in all a good retirement experience. (7/9/18)
(If you cannot see the photographs below, click on the blog link: https://937experiences.wordpress.com/ )
(not my picture, but shows the drop off)
(Not my picture, but shows how we could ‘prairie dog’ in the bus)