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.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>