This Twin-Engined Sky-Riding Bus Was Taxpayer Money Spent Well

Welcome to the Magic Mile at Timberline Lodge! Please mind the gap and step aboard our twin-engined sky-riding bus. As you'll find, it glides through the air while seating 36 plus their gear in great comfort.

Built in the late 1930s, Timberline Lodge is a mountain lodge on the south side of Mount Hood in Oregon. This is what President Franklin D. Roosevelt had to say about it during the dedication ceremony:

This Timberline Lodge marks a venture that was made possible by W.P.A., emergency relief work, in order that we may test the workability of recreational facilities installed by the Government itself and operated under its complete control. Here, to Mount Hood, will come thousands and thousands of visitors in the coming years. Looking east toward eastern Oregon with its great livestock raising areas, these visitors are going to visualize the relationship between the cattle ranches and the summer ranges in the forests.

Looking westward and northward toward Portland and the Columbia River, with their great lumber and other wood using industries, they will understand the part which National Forest timber will play in the support of this important element of northwestern prosperity.

Those who will follow us to Timberline Lodge on their holidays and vacations will represent the enjoyment of new opportunities for play in every season of the year. I mention specially every season of the year because we, as a nation, I think, are coming to realize that the summer is not the only time for play. I look forward to the day when many, many people from this region of the Nation are going to come here for skiing and tobogganing and various other forms of winter sports.

You might remember it from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. But the movie came thirty years after the most spectacular display of government-fueled developments, the sky-riding bus highway.

This Twin-Engined Sky-Riding Bus Was Taxpayer Money Spent WellS

According to the 1950 November edition of Popular Mechanics (which you can also read online), the sky bus was powered by two 185 horsepower engines taking passengers from 3,800 feet all the way up to 6,000 feet, completing the more than 3 mile journey above tree level in less than 10 minutes supported by 38 steel towers up to 72 feet tall.

As cool as it was (especially for dogs), this unique system was replaced by a new chairlift in 1962 due to high maintenance costs.

Hat tip to $kaycog!