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.
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 >>
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 >>
Haleakala National Park resonates with stories of ancient and modern Hawaiian culture. The park is home to endangered species, some of which exist nowhere else on Earth. Hiking through Haleakala’s stark volcanic landscapes, sub-tropical rainforest, and backcountry will reinvigorate your spirit.Watch 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 >>