Tag Archives: bus

Travel in Your Own City

What is so fun about waking up in a foreign city with a guidebook, a wide open day ahead, lots to see, time for an ice cream, and a few select adventures on the agenda?  It’s hard to put your finger on it but, it’s fun and educational and family-bonding, and even relaxing … all in one.  Why not do it at home?  Dig out the guidebook you keep for guests (or invest in an up-to-date guidebook) pick a part of the city you rarely visit (maybe a spot with a cultural theme?), identify something interesting or odd or toursity to do there, pick a museum you’ve never visited on the other side of town, and scan the restaurant reviews for something quintessential but not too spendy (and where Read more »

Sociology on the Denali Bus

Where would be better to study sociology than on the Denali National Park bus?  You could write an entire PhD dissertation by observing interactions among bus passengers and perhaps get a masters degree in family counseling while you’re at it.  Each of our buses appeared to have at least 5 countries represented and lots of large multi-generational family groups.  After a few hours of listening to Grandma, Mother, and Grandson, you sure know a lot about how that family works.  There was the Dad in the big camouflage jacket who kept clapping his son on the back and saying “ya know, if we’re gonna start hunting, we gotta get you some better gear.”  Though the son smiled back there was nothing in any of his body language or replies that suggested he had even the slightest interest in getting a Read more »

Get Off the Bus

We arrived at Denali National Park after a 6hr drive from Seward.  We then had the choice of booking a 6-hr bus-ride, an 8-hr bus-ride, or an 11-hr bus-ride.  They all sounded dreadful.  A scan of the 3-D map and the available start times (for example, booking a bus ride for 6am was out of the question) left us with only one serious option … an 8-hr bus ride leaving at 9am the next day.  Still sounds miserable and, note, the day after the bus ride we have a 4.5 hr drive and a 3.5 hr plane ride. Who planned this trip?

The bus driver introduced himself as Scott Richardson.  You should write that down because if you ever go to Denali, it would be worth the trouble to try to get on Scott’s bus.  He loves that park and he is everything you might want in a bus driver (almost – it would have been swell if he could have fixed the leaky coolant) and more.  He talked about the plants, ecology, history, the moose by the side of the road (cool!).  He’s not an official guide; he’s “just” a bus driver so he can only answer questions but he encourages so many questions and he answers them so well that you might be confused about whether or not you are on a guided bus ride.  Eventually, we also rode with Barr, Cindy, and Kat.  They all loved the park and provided information, helped us spot wildlife, etc.  But I guess you never get over your first bus driver.

You can hop on and off the bus anywhere in Denali National Park (except where it is Read more »