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.
As far back as 1795, Paso Robles has been spoken of, and written about, as California’s oldest place to go for springs and mud baths. Simon visits a number of its downtown establishments, including the Vinoteca wine bar with its weekly winemaker gatherings and tastings. Overall, Paso Robles boasts more than 100 wineries. E.O.S., whoseWatch Now >>
The grandeur of Mt. Rainier, still an active volcano, is overwhelming. Hear the crunch beneath your boots as you hike the area’s challenging trailheads. Replenish your soul as you walk amongst ancient forests, and behold the wondrous splendor of Mt. Rainier’s glorious sub-alpine wildflower meadows.Watch Now >>