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 Parker…Watch Now >>
Host Simon Kane is your guide to Calistoga’s picturesque hillside wineries, natural hot springs, accomodations, dining, and breathtaking scenic attractions. Sample the wines and chat with the owners of Graeser Winery and Storybrook Mountain Vineyards. Indulge yourself at the luxury spa resort, Calistoga Ranch, with its thermal pools and mud spas. Get a feel for…Watch Now >>
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 Museum…Watch Now >>
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., whose…Watch Now >>