It's hard to believe that a week ago I returned from the Donner 2006 bus tour. I looked forward to it for a long time, enjoyed it thoroughly while it lasted, and now it's over. Sigh.
It was a great experience -- an interesting group of people, lots to see, lots to learn. For some it was pilgrimage, visiting sites read about but never actually seen; others had been on one of the previous tours in 1998 and 2000. But whatever the case, it was fun to spend time with folks who share your obsession and can talk intelligently about it.
The tour itself was well managed, with comfortable lodgings and good meals. Frankye Craig, the organizer, did a great job making the arrangements and keeping us us on schedule without being tyrannical about it. For instance, in the greater Kansas City area, where approximating the Oregon Trail meant taking our enormous tour bus down narrow residential streets, she insisted we go around the block so we could come back and stop at a child's lemonade stand, much to his, and the neighborhood's, amazement.
Eric, our driver, put up with a lot on this trip, yet remained unnaturally goodhumored. I don't know what they're paying him, but he deserves a raise. Or hazardous duty pay.