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.
Amador County is in the very heart of California’s Gold Country, where prospectors flocked to find their fortunes 150 years ago. Simon talks to folklorist Robert Richards about the area’s history, visits the Montevina Winery, and checks out the local accommodations and attractions. In Sutter Creek, it is always 1898 in the Monteverde Store MuseumWatch Now >>
The Mojave and Colorado Deserts meld together in the vast wilderness that is Joshua Tree National Park. Here is a land that is home to a vast array of plants, animals, and beautiful geologic features that have been sculpted over time by the rare, but strong, deluges of rain and strong winds.Watch Now >>
When Mark Twain first saw Lake Tahoe, he described it as “surely the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” Host Simon Kane shows us the beauty of the region and the wealth of accommodations, restaurants, and activities available around its seventy-two-mile shoreline. Share the invigorating pure experience of hang-gliding over Tahoe. Dine at the BlackWatch Now >>