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Rails, Tales and Trails

George initially set out to produce a documentary travelogue on the old Central Pacific Railroad’s most historic sights from Sacramento to Reno. The former KCRA 3 reporter accomplished that a couple of years ago with the release of the documentary film “The Hidden Wonder of the World, the Transcontinental Railroad from Sacramento to Donner Summit.” The professional sheen from George’s 14 years in the TV news business, including time with Sacramento’s KCRA 3, gave the production enough gloss to earn repeat airings on Sacto’s PBS affiliate KVIE, and an Award of Excellence from the Sacramento Historical Association.
As it turned out, George was far from done with the concept of sharing the sometimes-hidden-but-ever-so-fascinating world of the old Central Pacific Railroad. Spurred by encouragement fromTom Granache, the California State RailroadMuseum gift shop manager, George set out to transfer some of the excitement he generated from the screen onto the printed page.

Over the Sierra

The result of his work is an epic travelogue that starts in Old Town Sacramento and then wends its way over the Sierra as the book follows the route of the Central Pacific (now Union Pacific) through not only Auburn, but lesser known and visited locations such as Dutch Flat, Big Bend and Giant Gap.
Along the way, George’s accessible prose provides glimpses into secrets of history (directions to the abandoned but still walkable Tunnel Zero in the Applegate area), where to find some comfort food in Truckee (onion rings, fries and burgers at Jax at the Tracks diner) and what made the major historical players in building the railroad tick (Schuyler Colfax is more than just the political insider the city of Colfax gets its name from).
George walked or drove the route to come up with a superb first-person-based guide to areas of the county to explore in person. It was a voyage of discovery that took him to places within an hour’s drive of his home that he had never been to before in the quarter century he had lived and worked in the area. Now he’s sharing those places — and how to get to them — in “Rails, Tales and Trails.”

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