Re: Bus Tour

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Posted by David A. Wright on December 24, 2001 at 11:14:23:

In Reply to: Bus Tour posted by Sam on December 21, 2001 at 20:26:01:

I've not been on a bus tour of Death Valley, so cannot comment on its plus/deltas. I've been on bus tours of New York City and such places, so am familiar with bus tours in general. While comfortable (to a point), they isolate one from the sights one came to see.

Working in Trona, on one of the major bus routes into the valley, I see on working days quite a few busses coming and going bound for the valley and returning. It amazes me that in the summer a big bus full of people, AC running on high, can climb those grades into and out of the valley without any problems.

When I'm in the valley, I see these big busses rumbling through and they seem to stop only at the park visitor center and the Furnace Creek Ranch complex. I have no idea if they do (or if they can) get into some of the scenic sites and sights of the valley. A bus ride to Furnace Creek only, with them dumping you out only to sample high priced cafe food and buy "authentic" Indian jewelry and other trinkets made in Taiwan and China, isn't my idea of visiting Death Valley.

Being that I've been on bus tours, my main impression of them is that they whisk you in/out and leave little time for really getting to know the area. And you might as well forget trying to videotape or photograph from a bus; sort of like that new Kodak commercial where the two girls ride with the speeding tour guide in the old jalopy - one using the new Kodak film and the other the old - bad photos result.

If you've always wanted to come to Death Valley and can only do so on a bus, then I would think that a bus ride would be an acceptible way to do so, as a way of introduction to the region. After you do so, if the region appeals to you, then the preferred way to do so is on your own terms and transportation you control.

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