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Archive for May, 2014

Travel the Feather River Canyon by Train

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Have you ever wanted to relive a little bit of history? 

Keddie Train 50'sThis is your chance to join Trains & Travel for an unforgettable experience of riding a private charter train up the scenic Feather River and take part in the fun of the 32nd annual Portola Railroad Days.

 

The special charted train trip starts in Emeryville and will stop to pick-up passengers in Martinez, Davis, Sacramento and Oroville.  Departing eastbound from the Bay Area the train runs on the former Southern Pacific Route along water’s edge of the San Francisco Bay with breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge. After the last pick-up in Oroville the rail line starts the climb in the High Sierra running around Lake Oroville and at one point you will travel over Lake Oroville on the West Branch and then travel through a series of tunnels running under Big Bend Mountain. Once the train reaches the lower region of the Feather River Canyon you will travel 91 miles  through three different regions of the rugged Feather River Canyon.  A number of PG&E hydro dams and powerhouses can be seen from the train. You will pass through a total of 32 tunnels as the train makes it journey from Emeryville to Portola. You will cross the Pulga and Tobin stacked bridges.

Six miles west of Quincy begins a stretch of railroad tracks referred to as the 7 Wonders of the Railroad World.  You will travel over 6 of these wonders between Keddie and Portola.

The first if referred as the “Keddie Wye”.  It is the only railroad wye in the world with two legs on bridges and a closing track in a tunnel.  The next is the Keddie yard, here two trains passing each other in opposite directions are both actually moving eastward.  East of Quincy is “Williams Loop” , the railroad track makes a continuous one mile loop to gain altitude.  The track crosses over itself to gain the necessary elevation required.  Long trains actually cross over themselves.  You will cross the Clio Trestle which is a breathtaking structure at 172 feet in height and 1,005 feet long.

 

You may choose to ride the train one-way or round trip.  This route is basically a freight only line now and seldom sees a passenger train.  It is very possible that this will be the last year that Trains and Travel will be offering this specific train trip due to costs.  The company is offering several different classes of tickets and lengths of trip to meet varying budgets.

 The second day of the trip you can spend at the Portola Railroad Days, starting with the Golden Spike Parade.  The passenger train will depart Portola at 2:00pm for the 40 mile journey down the Feather River Canyon to Keddie where it will turn  around on the famous Keddie Wye and Spanish Creek Bridge.

 Day three you board the train for a return trip down the Feather River Canyon and back to the bay area.

 For  more complete details on pricing, departure times, meals, lodging and transfers please visit Train & Travel’s website.  Train & Travel also offer other excursions all over the world.

 For more details on the Portola Railroad Festival please visit their website.  The Feather River Rail Society was founded in 1983 with a goal to preserve the memories and significant equipment from the 100 year history of the Western Pacific Railroad.

 The Western Pacific Railroad Museum now has one of the best collections of early diesel locomotives in the U.S.  Train rides in cabooses and vista flat cars are available on weekends during the summer and with special arrangements you can even drive a locomotive.  The Railroad Museum can be reached at 530-832-4131 or www.WPLives.org

 

 

Lassen Volcanic National Park Hosting Vehicle Free Weekend

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

May16th- 18th

Lassen Park is inviting you to enjoy the main park road without the noise or hassle of motorized vehicles.

Bike Lassen Park free of motorized vehicles

spring bike ride

Spring Bike Ride – Lassen Volcanic National Park

Highway 89 will open May 16th at 9:00 am for travel between the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and the Loomis Museum Plaza for non- motorized travel.  This is a very special opportunity to enjoy the spectacular scenery along the 30 mile stretch of Hwy 89 within the park boundaries.

The road will be open to bicyclists, hikers, runners and park visitors that would like to walk their dogs along the road.  You have the option of traveling the entire length of the road through Lassen Park or a shorter section.

Please share this information with your friends if you would like to see this become an official event each year at Lassen Park.

Terrain and Weather

summit elevation

Highest Paved Road in the Cascades

Be prepared for cool weather.  Elevation range is from 5,900 feet near Manzanita Lake to 8512 feet at highest point  of the  road near the Lassen Peak parking lot.  This is the highest paved road in the Cascades and part of the 500 mile Volcanic Scenic Byway.   This is a summer photo, be prepared for snow on the side of the road.

Special Ranger-led Programs Saturday May 17th

• 1:00 pm: Are We Alone? Life Outside of Earth, Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center Auditorium, 45 minutes
• 2:30 pm: Inside a Volcano, Sulphur Works, 45 minutes

Weather permitting

Solar scope viewing will also be available throughout the day at Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.

Need More Information

Stop in at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center or the Loomis Ranger station between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm for more detailed information.  You may also visit the park website at:  www.nps.gov/lavo.  Park Rangers can be reached at 530-595-4480.

If you need lodging or food please check with us at St. Bernard Lodge, we would love to see you.