Justin Franz of the Flathead Beacon reports that under the morning sun, Sherri Camperchioli climbed into bus No. 108, turned the key and awakened seven decades of Glacier National Park history. The engine roared to life as the last passengers climbed aboard the iconic Red Bus for a tour of the Lake McDonald Valley and the North Fork.
As early as June 21, the Red Buses – affectionately called the “rubies on the crown” by drivers and mechanics – will once again be crossing Logan Pass and the Crown of the Continent. Owned by the National Park Service, but operated by Glacier Park, Inc., the “Reds” have been plying the roads of Glacier since the 1930s. Built by the White Motor Company between 1936 and 1939, the Model 706 touring bus was once common in National Parks across the West, but today only the Glacier fleet survives. It is the oldest, intact fleet of passenger vehicles in the United States and each one is valued at $250,000. Camperchioli, who began driving the buses last summer, still can’t get over the price tag.