Pack up your family and do a little time-travel in Yellowstone this summer!
What, you say, time travel?
Yup. Last summer, Yellowstone refurbished and reintroduced eight White Motor Company model 706 touring vehicles to the park after an absence of more than 40 years. Visitors can now book a full or partial day guided tour and experience Yellowstone National park just like people did in the past.
And the park’s past simmers with adventure. In 1880 and lasting until 1916 you could take a five day tour of some of the most pristine back country in the world, complete with a trained guide, overnight camping and prepared meals for just $40.00.
During those years, 307,000 visitors to Yellowstone National Park were escorted by one hundred sixty five Yellowstone Wagons pulled by teams of four or six horses. For example, the 4-Horse Yellowstone Observation Wagon, Yellowstone Park Company “39” featured a wooden body with a passenger compartment for three forward facing passengers and a driver’s box in front with a seat for the driver on the right side.
Later, the White Motor Company of Cleveland manufactured the majority of motorized vehicles operating in early Yellowstone with offerings like the 1917 eleven-passenger TEB open touring bus, Y.P.T. Co. 1. with a 4-cylinder engine, Prest-o-Lite acetylene lighting system, and eight doors.
Yellowstone historic vehicle collection now includes thirty horse-drawn and motorized vehicles and is located at The Heritage and Research Center, 200 Old Yellowstone Trail in historic Gardiner, Montana. Tours in the model 706 bus are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am, May through September: Call (307) 344-2664 to confirm.
Yellowstone eventually became a park where most of us drive our own vehicles from Tower Falls to Old Faithful to Grant Village checking out hydrothermal features along the way and enjoying the park from the seclusion of our cars. This year, why not do things a little differently? Camp, for reasonable money, in one of the most beautiful settings in the world ~ then hop on an old touring bus ~ and spend an afternoon dabbling in the past.