Summer bus tours hit the road
Now a longstanding local tradition, the city of Quincy’s Summer Bus Tours kick off this weekend.
The first tour will educate riders on the splendors of the Ancient Lakes area. Geology expert Ken Lacy of Crescent Bar leads the tour, which is an annual favorite on the bus tour schedule. For this tour, participants should meet at the Public Services Building, 115 2nd Ave. S.W., across from city hall.
The tour begins with a 30-minute talk and is followed by up to four hours of driving. Participants will view unique features of the Ancient Lakes that were formed by the ancient lava flows, the Ice Age and massive glacial floods.
The summer bus tours have grown from a unique idea from the city to a much looked forward to annual event. The free Saturday tours started in 2007 with Quincy’s centennial celebration as a way to showcase the town and all that makes it prosperous. Because of the community’s enthusiastic response, the tours have stuck around and become a popular summer activity. The bus tours attract not only newcomers and visitors to the area but also people who have lived here many years.
In the past, the city has taken participants on crop tours and geology tours as well as tours of area businesses that have ranged from an alpaca farm to data centers. Each tour is guided by a volunteer. The city will host seven tour dates this year, with tours being spread out on Saturdays in June, July and August.
The trips planned also include:
June 25: Dell Data Center Tour, led by Matt Kozma. Photo ID is required on this tour and advanced registration with the city recreation department is recommended. No open-toed shoes or heeled shoes or boots are allowed.
July 16: Moses Coulee, led by Lacy. This geology tour begins with a 30-minute discussion and is followed by a two- to four-hour bus ride. Participants should eat lunch before attending.
Aug. 6: Quincy Long Ago Tour, led by volunteers with the Quincy Historical Society & Museum. Participants will hear some fun stories of early Quincy while driving to some of the city’s historic sites.
Aug. 13: Double Diamond Fruit, led by Frank Gonzalez. Get a close-up view of the apple industry with this tour.
Aug. 20: Blakal Packing, led by Zack Reese. Blakal Packing gives participants an inside look at what it takes to grow potatoes and then get them to market.
Aug. 27: Trinity Gardens Lavender Farm in George, led by Julie Putnam. The organic lavender farm is a newcomer to the bus tour schedule and is expected to be popular.
Tours start at 11 a.m. The remaining tours for the summer will begin at the Reiman-Simmons House parking lot, where participants will load an 18-passenger city bus. Participants are encouraged to arrive by 10:30 a.m. to get a seat because seating is limited.
Tours are about three hours long unless otherwise indicated. Tour-goers are asked to bring water and wear comfortable shoes. No food is allowed on the bus.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, email@example.com