Completed in 1911, the Woodland Branch is a 16-mile stretch of railway that connects West Sacramento with Woodland, California. At the branch's peak, passenger trains were running eight times a day, nine times on leap-days, but it all came to an end in 1940 with the start of World War II. The tracks were still used for freight, but it would be more than 60 years before passengers began using the railway again with any frequency. When the scenic stretch of rail was absorbed by the Sierra Railroad Company in 2003, it wasn't long before it took the name Sacramento RiverTrain and began running luxury coaches complete with rattan furniture, wood paneling, and state-of-the-art sound systems. Today, passengers board these trains to savor Sunday brunch, murder-mystery dinners, and other events while train tracks softly clack in the background.
Sierra Repertory Theatre is a non-profit professional theatre in the Sierra Foothills. We present 10 shows annually ranging from Broadway musicals, comedy, classics, drama and farces at two locations: East Sonora Theatre and Historic Fallon House in Columbia State Historic Park.
O.A.R.S.'s three-hour tours through the gushing environs of Yellowstone Lake invite explorers to mount up for a close encounter with the park's natural splendor and geothermal pyrotechnics on the lake’s West Thumb. Sliding past Lakeshore Geyser, kayakers will explore local hot springs and mud pots as O.A.R.S.'s geologists lead a discussion on the region’s unique makeup. Led by experienced guides who know the lake’s West Thumb like the back of their own west thumb, half-day-trippers typically team up in pairs on one of O.A.R.S.'s two-seater sea kayaks, though singles are available on request for fitness fiends and mysterious loners.
For 29 years, the friendly and knowledgeable rafting staff of River Journey has outfitted visitors with the equipment and know-how to navigate the meandering waters of the picturesque Stanislaus River. Departing from Knights Ferry, guided and self-guided groups in fitted lifejackets bob under the longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi in their inflated rafts or kayaks, paddling with provided paddles or hiring a flock of unemployed ducks to do the grunt work. Adventurers then splash through Class 2 Russian Rapids—where their pictures will be snapped for optional purchase at the end of their trip—before floating between Two Bluffs, marked on each side by towering basalt cliffs where swallows and blue heron nest. Rafts continue toward Lovers Leap, a sheer rock wall with a uniquely shaped peak, and through the Throw Rapid after a sharp right bend in the river. Through Horseshoe Park and along to slow, calm swimming holes, three- to five-hour trips draw to a close at Orange Blossom Park after conquering 8 miles of the dynamic waterway and performing celebratory run-ashore dances.
The blues can spawn from many different things. A life full of regrets. A failed relationship with a former sweetheart. A favorite Cheers episode interrupted by the Public Broadcasting System. With the blues, there's always a story in between the notes of every chord progression. At some point, however, all of that melancholy comes full circle, and the music transforms into a raucous celebration of life. That's certainly the case at the Blues and Bones Festival, where crowds gather to hear regional blues artists, from soulful singers to lightening-fast guitarists, share their euphonious stories to cheering crowds.
Though the expressive performances of these artists certainly shake attendees right down to their bones, the "bones" in the event title actually refers to the remnants of slow-smoked BBQ. In addition to the music, the outdoor festival culls a melange of food vendors who add their own signature seasonings to pork, chicken, and beef in hopes of taking home prizes.