Hearst Castle buses in operation again
–The buses are rolling again at Hearst Castle. The colorful, 56-passenger buses stopped running when the Arizona company which bought Silverado Stage Lines declared bankruptcy in late December. The buses stood silently in a pack at the west end of the Visitors Center Parking lot while Laz Parking of Southern California ran visitors up to the hilltop in smaller, white buses. The smaller capacity limited the size of some tours, and the visitors did not get the recorded narrative and ground rules provided by Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek, but those buses kept the Hearst Castle State Historical Monument operating.
Late last week, the state executed a contract assignment with Lux Bus, which is operating the larger, highly-decorated buses. Mechanics checked out the Silverado buses, which had been idle since around Christmas. The first bus rolled up the steep, curvy road to La Cuesta Encantada Friday morning.
A driver said, “Getting into the old buses was like getting back into the saddle of a familiar horse. It’s great to have them back in operation.”
The buses are back. The hills surrounding San Simeon are bright green. And the weather is delightful; It’s a great time to visit Hearst Castle State Historical Monument.