Jammin to the Sun - Brett Bouda
In Jammin'-to-the-Sun, photographer Bret Bouda has captured the glamour of the Red Buses against the backdrop of the grandeur of the park. Bouda's other books, Glacier Classics, Glacier Park Wide, and his multipark work The Magnificent Seven, share the natural park experience. Here Bouda celebrates the encounter of the mechanical with the natural.
It is hoped that this book will honor the memory of the White Motor Company and bus designer Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, the Ford Motor Company that graciously restored and enhanced the buses, the careful stewardship of the National Park Service and its partner Glacier Park Inc., and the legions of drivers that for over seven decades have safely driven, educated, and entertained their guests. But the true purpose of Jammin' is the preservation of a visitor's memory of the Red Buses of Glacier National Park.
The historic (1936-1939) Red Buses are both a symbol of Glacier National Park and a reminder of a time when adventurous travel was done with style and grace. Locals call drivers of these vintage touring coaches Jammers. The name dates back to the days when the buses had standard transmis?ªsions and the drivers could be heard 'jammin"' the gears as they drove up and down the rugged mountainous highway.
The 25-foot-long coaches were originally built of oak and covered with an aluminum and steel skin. Safety inspections in 1999 revealed signs of metal fatigue in some of the buses' frames. This forced the withdrawal from service of the carrying coaches that have served as the park's major transportation system since 1936.
Glacier's 33 tour buses were completely renovated in 2002, at a cost of $250,000 each, enabling the Reds to continue serving the park's visitors. The buses are thought to be the largest and oldest continually operating fleet of White touring coaches remaining. In the 1930s, the White Com?ªpany built 500 of these unique vehicles for Glacier, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Mount Rainier, and Rocky Mountain national parks. The production run was considered fairly large at the time; most of the other parks retired their buses from service in the 1950s.