School bus driver Hans Hall battles hairpin curves and 50-foot riverbanks during his daily three-hour commute on the Gunflint Trail—Cook County School District 166’s toughest school bus route. And then there are the living, breathing obstacles: lumbering 2,500-pound moose that are almost invisible in the predawn darkness.
“I had to dodge moose this morning,” says Hall. “A lot of times they get down on their knees to lick the salt off the road. I take it nice and slow, because you never know what’s around the corner.” But Hall doesn’t let these formidable obstacles distract him. “There’s a lot of pride involved,” he says when asked about the responsibility of transporting students across such white-knuckle terrain. “It’s my job to get these kids to school safely.”
What’s your toughest route? Transporting kids is a tough job. Driving them safely across challenging terrain in poor driving conditions is even tougher. Tell us about your longest, coldest or tightest bus route on Facebook and we’ll share your story in an upcoming issue of Route.