Trip late 2015

In the fall of 2015 we took a bus tour to Red River Gorge.  Red River Gorge is a rugged wilderness area about 65 miles southeast of Lexington, Kentucky.  The area contains many hiking trails and a large number of stone arches.  These natural bridges are spectacular!

The trip was memorable for reasons other than the scenery.  We left Louisville on a bus with no heat.  When we arrived in Lexington, the driver finally managed to get the heat working.  The weather was still cold and overcast when we arrived.  We took a chairlift to the top.  We were told that we could either ride the lift back or hike back.  We decide to hike back down the hill.

Unfortunately, it took longer than we expected.  We could see the bus pulling away with us about 15 minutes away.  With the help of a couple strangers, we managed to catch up to bus in time for lunch.

After lunch we toured the area and the driver attempted to take a 12'3" bus through a 12' tunnel.  To be fair, a couple of passengers assured the driver they had been on this tour before and successfully transited the tunnel.  Crunch!  It was an extremely tight fit.  Instead of backing out, we proceeded forward.  The bus was a "kneeling" bus.  By repeatedly lowering the bus and inching forward we made it through the tunnel.  When we stopped down in the valley we got a chance to examine the bus.  Sheet metal on the top was peeled back, giving me some doubts that we could make it back at interstate speeds

We proceeded on through the park.  The roads are quite narrow and the bus was using all of the space to make it around the bends.  Most of the traffic patiently waited for the bus to maneuver.  One woman decided to assert her place on the road and came down the hill, ran out room and collided with the side of the bus.

We all voted to cut our trip short and return home. THIS WAS A BRAND-NEW BUS!  I expect this was the driver's last trip.