I’m writing about a topic that is near and dear today…
WHAT IS A RECREATIONAL SHUTTLE?
A shuttle is very simple concept, that can be extremely confusing! Oh the logistics! Recreational shuttles are easily understood by the river community. River’s only flow in one direction, so after exiting it is necessary to get a ride back to your vehicle at the start, or deliver your vehicle to the exit. Shuttles are less necessary for other activities, because you can always backtrack or do a loop and end up at the same location. However, shuttles are convenient, allow you to see more, and go longer distances!
On the other hand there are scores of people that have never heard of a shuttle. You mean an airport shuttle? Yes I have heard of that. Uhhh No! Let’s drop some knowledge bombs and get YOU in the KNOW!
Outdoor Enthusiasts need shuttles for a couple key reasons:
- Travel in one direction without back tracking; floating, hiking, biking
- Travel in one direction for long distances, like hundreds of miles
- Save time! Including hours to days placing vehicles at exit points
- Traveling with only one vehicle, you need 2 for a shuttle
- Traveling without a vehicle
- Traveling to isolated areas, where it is hard to hitchhike or call out
Bing defines a shuttle as “a form of transportation that travels regularly between two places” this is commonly understood by the non-recreational lay person as an airport shuttle between the Hilton Garden Inn and Salt Lake City International Airport, or the 5am commuter shuttle from Alpine to Jackson Hole.
I would suggest this definition “a recreational shuttle is a people or vehicle transfer between Point A and Point B or a pick-up at Point B returning to Point A, typically between boat ramps, trailheads, or other recreational locations”.
In my mind there are 4 types of recreational shuttles which I will layout here:
VEHICLE-SHUTTLE or TRANSFER
Customer parks at Point A and Hikes to Point B. GOTCO picks-up the customer vehicle and drives it to Point B. This method requires, what I like to refer to as the chase vehicle or pace car in NASCAR terms. The chase car meets the customer vehicle with 2 drivers, 1 to drive the chase car, the 2nd to drive the customer vehicle. After parking the customer vehicle, the chase car returns both drivers to the base of operations. This is the most magical shuttle, because “VIOLA” your vehicle magically appears at the exit trailhead waiting for you!
Pro’s = You get on the trail right-away, you save time, and your vehicle is waiting
Con’s = Car may not be there if you have to turn back, someone else is driving your car
Customer drives vehicle to Point B and parks, GOTCO picks-up the customer, and drives to Point A, customer hikes back to vehicle at Point B.
Pro’s = Your vehicle is waiting for you, no one else is driving your car
Con’s = Time lost driving back to Point A, takes time at the start of the trip
Customer parks at Point A and Hikes to Point B. GOTCO picks-up the customers and shuttles them back to Point A.
Pro’s = You get on the trail right-away, no one else is driving your car
Con’s = Time lost driving back to Point A, may have difficulty contacting outside world if you are not on time
POINT TO POINT SHUTTLE
The Customer flies into a regional airport. GOTCO picks-up the customer and shuttles them to Pinedale, then to Point A. Customer hikes to Point B. GOTCO picks-up the customer and shuttles them to the Airport.
Pro’s = You don’t have worry about driving, directions, or parking!
Con’s = You have to be on time to the exit and exit at the planned location.If not, you may have difficulty contacting outside world if you are late or early, or came out at a different location.