Nestled in the mountains of West Virginia, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park offers excursions that transport you back in time and let you relive an era when steam-driven locomotives were an essential part of everyday life. Trips to Cass are filled with rich histories of the past, unparalleled views of a vast wilderness area, and close-up encounters with the sights and sounds of original steam-driven locomotives. The town of Cass remains relatively unchanged. The restored company houses add to the charm and atmosphere of the town. From the company store and museum to the train depot, you'll find an abundance of things to do prior to your departure on the historic Cass Railroad. The Cass Scenic Railroad is the same line built in 1901 to haul lumber to the mill in Cass. The locomotives are the same Shay locomotives used in Cass, and in the rain forests of British Columbia for more than a half-century. The passenger cars are old logging flat-cars refurbished and made into passenger cars. Once you board the train, the real excitement begins! The great pistons of the carefully restored Shay locomotive will start pulsing, driven by hundreds of pounds of steam pressure. The shaft begins turning, the wheels find traction, and the locomotive begins to move. With thick, black smoke belching from its stack, the train pulls away from the station, passing the old water tower from which the locomotive tanks are filled. As the train rounds the curve up Leatherbark Creek, you'll pass the Cass Shop, where the locomotives are serviced and repaired, and a graveyard of antiquated, but fascinating equipment on sidetracks. As the pressure builds, the locomotive is driven at full steam, and the laborious journey up the mountain toward the two switchbacks begin. The loud huff of the stack, the clanking of gears and pistons, the furious scream of the whistle at the crossings, and the ever present clackety-clack of the rails will indeed make you feel as if you have been transported back i
Take in Canada’s great outdoors aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. This fleet of 60 railcars offers passengers a choice of 4 breathtaking routes: 3 train routes through British Columbia to Alberta, Banff or Jasper and a fourth from Vancouver to Whistler. In 2013, a new route connects Seattle to the Canadian Rockies -- all aboard for the Coastal Passage!
These soft pink knee-length bridesmaid dresses show off the boot the girls are wearing for a perfect match to the country style. The bride lifts her lace skirt to show her matching shoes. White hydrangea and baby's breath bridesmaid bouquets and the soft pink roses in the bride's flowers create a soft counter to their dresses.
Anna and Bryant Reese were married on August 12, 2012, surrounded by friends, family and an enchanting woodsy setting. "I wanted something different, and we're just woodsy people," says Anna. "We love going to the mountains, and Bryant even proposed to me at the fork outside of Cades Cove (in the Smoky Mountains)."
This town in central Alaska advertises its ZIP code (99705) as "Santa's ZIP Code." And why not? After all, it's got the right name -- even if the reason for it is more about economics than holiday spirit. When a development company bought the area in 1952, it decided to call it North Pole in the hopes of attracting a toy manufacturer or theme-park developer to the area. While that didn't pan out the way the developers had hoped, the town does lay claim to the Santa Claus House, the "official" home of the jolly gift-giver. A 42-foot tall, 900-pound Santa statue welcomes visitors to the sprawling store, which, predictably, specializes in Christmas-related merchandise and collectibles.
This picturesque spring wedding was held at the Allandale Mansion barn in Kingsport, Tenn. "Kingsport is a small, quaint town with few outdoor venues," explains the bride. "We knew we wanted a rustic vibe, so when we visited Allandale, we fell in love with its beautiful weeping willow trees and big, open barn."