Treacherous and beautiful… infamous and magnificent. These words describe the 8,000-foot, wind-swept, snow-covered summit of Donner’s Pass in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Named after the ill-fated party of immigrants that lost over half of its number in their tragic attempt to cross it, Donner’s Pass was every bit as resistant to the Central Pacific Railroad’s efforts to build a transcontinental rail line back in 1863. It took six years and an army of almost 10,000 men using only hand tools to carve a safe passage through the mountains. Today, this 140-mile stretch of double-tracked mainline rail operations is still one of the most difficult climbs in American railroading. Steep grades, sharp curves, and cruel weather place staggering obstacles in the path of trains that have been making the difficult trek for the last 130 years.
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 >>
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 forWatch Now >>
Sonoma County is one of the world’s top wine-growing regions. It is also a year-round haven for fine-dining, lodging, spas, and a flourishing arts community. Fifty-eight miles of Sonoma coast offer a magnificent display of natural beauty and wildlife. Stop in Bodega Bay, where Alfred Hitchcock filmed “The Birds,” and go behind the scenes ofWatch Now >>