The Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon stand as a major obstacle to the Union Pacific Railroad’s northwest crossing. The 200 hard miles of railroad track cross valleys, rivers, and creeks, then climb the crests of three summits, encountering the toughest grades on any of UP’s mainline routes. Massive horsepower is needed in order to overcome these engine-straining grades, and Union Pacific puts its faith in two of their newest mountain-busting locomotives: the GE-840C, and EMD-SD60 Wide Cabs. These trains haul up to 14,000 tons, so UP uses a lot of muscle to get the job done, putting seven to eight units on the head to power over the mountains. Follow heavy trains and Amtrak Zephyrs that tackle Burnt River Canyon, Lookout Mountain, North Powder River, Antelope Canyon, and the Osman Horseshoe Curve at Pritchard Creek. There is even an accident between a garbage truck and an Amtrak train that requires a UP diesel to play tow-truck to the stricken Amtrak. There is a lot of action and power on display, and all of it plays out beneath the majestic Elkhorn Mountains.
Explore a region affectionately known as “The American Riviera.” Filmed here, the Oscar-nominated film “Sideways” has invigorated interest in this thriving wine region. Host Simon Kane savors all the flavors of Santa Barbara, with its vibrant art scene, farmers markets, and specialty shops. A highlight of your visit here is meeting the legendary Fess ParkerWatch Now >>
Mark Twain made this Gold Rush town famous with his 1865 short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” but the county’s treasures were discovered long before that. Join Simon as he seeks out this region’s “perfect places,” and basks in its awesome scenery. Marvel at Big Trees State Park, experience the thrills, chills,Watch Now >>
Sonoma County is one of the world’s top wine-growing regions. It is also a year-round haven for fine-dining, lodging, spas, and a flourishing arts community. Fifty-eight miles of Sonoma coast offer a magnificent display of natural beauty and wildlife. Stop in Bodega Bay, where Alfred Hitchcock filmed “The Birds,” and go behind the scenes ofWatch Now >>