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.
Monterey, California is quite possibly the greatest meeting of land, sea, and sky on the entire planet. This visual feast encompasses breathtaking Pacific coastline, dramatic Big Sur, romantic Carmel, Pacific Grove, the world-famous 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, and Monterey’s very own wine country. Simon visits historic Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, and tastes wine atWatch Now >>
Simon goes beyond San Diego’s most obvious tourist stops to explore the city’s historical, cultural, and culinary attractions. Simon brushes up on area history at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, then proceeds onward to Hillebrecht Avocado Farm, and Chino Farms where he finds the freshest market produce. Simon explores the bustling GaslampWatch Now >>
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 >>