National Parks Loop-Plus
September 9-23, 1991
On September 9, 30 travelers left on a 15-day trip, the longest ever in the Obsidian Bus Tour schedule, that would cover 3,470 miles over parts of five northwest states and Alberta and B.C., Canada. Weather favored us beyond all expectations: temperatures ranged from the mid 80s to low 30s. However, we had all kinds of weather, including a beautiful rainbow across Yellowstone Lake. Every day was filled to the brim with the beauty of an ever-changing countryside and many interesting and spectacular viewing areas and historic points of interest. Means of travel varied and changed accordingly: elevator up a Tower (627 ft.); air tram down across a gorge (502 ft.); gondola to a mountain top (360 meters); snowmobile onto the glacier 14.75 kilometers); Red buses, 110 miles roundtrip across Glacier; motor launch cruise on St. Mary Lake, and our motor coach (3360 miles). A brief overview will provide the “flavor” of this outstanding trip.
Oregon: Lush mountains, desert, plains; near Ontario, stacked sugar beet ready for market.
Idaho: Malad Gorge, "an enigma of the Idaho desert" … Crater-of-the-Moon, including an 800-ft. cinder cone.
Wyoming: Jackson Hole is “cowboy country” … Grand Teton National Park, with snow-covered peaks … Church of the Transfiguration … Colter Bay Visitor Center … Yellowstone National Park (Old Faithful even erupted twice within the hour).
Montana: Marion River/Hebgen Earthquake Area … Homestead Pass … Berkley Open Pit Copper Mine … Helena, State Capitol … St. Helena Cathedral … “Peroni’s Restaurant” rolled out the red carpet for dinner and breakfast … Great Falls (Charles M. Russell Museum) … Glacier National Park … St. Mary Lake launch cruise … 110-mile round trip across the park in Red Buses … the Tall Cedars Trail … Logan Pass, and the Continental Divide.
The second week was spent in Canada. Alberta: Waterton Lakes National Park … Red Rocks Gorge … Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump … back to the big city — Calgary … Banff National Park … Moraine Lake and Valley of 10 Peaks … Lake Louise … Icefield Parkway … Jasper … Columbia Icefields.
British Columbia: Yoho National Park … Kicking Horse Pass … Glacier National Park … Mount Revelstoke National Park … Fraser Canyon … Vancouver, “jewel of Western Canada”.
Washington: Back in the U.S.A., Seattle was the final overnight stop. On Monday, Sept. 23, after stopping at the Mt. St. Helens new visitor center we continued on through Portland and arrived back at Eugene by 5:15 p.m. I could not have had a more congenial travel group: their cooperative spirit made my job easier, plus everyone stayed healthy.
Travelers included Kay Anderson, Helen Beck, Margaret & Ewart Baldwin, Mary & Dick Bentsen, Jane & John Corliss, Virginia DeMers, Ardis Ebbighausen, Mary & Vaughn Ferguson, Bette Hack, Micki Hutchison, Ray Jensen, Martha & Roland Johnsrud, Virginia Kapsa, Dee Kelley, Helen Knowlton, Bea Lefevre, Frances Newsom, Sally Sandler, Dorothy & Clarence Scherer, Bobbye Sorrels, Betty Jean & Harvey Speck, Ida Williams, and Jan Gund, trip leader. The helpfulness of our driver, Darwin Buschart, was above and beyond my expectations. (Note: There are plans to show slides of the trip early in 1992.)