How the landscapes of America's three great mountain ranges challenged the westward push of the early pioneers.
Program 1: Mountains
Ray begins his westward journey in the Appalachian Mountains where he explores how their timbered slopes fuelled the lumber industry and provided the fuel and building material for the emerging nation. Native Appalachian Barbara Woodall and lumberjack Joe Currie share their family history with him, and he gets to grips with the rare “hellbender” salamander. Further west, in the high jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Ray goes mule trekking with modern day mountain man Stu Sorenson and he has close encounters with beaver, elk and black bear. Finally in the desert mountains of the Sierra Nevada he explores the tragic story of the Donner Party wagon train whose members... More »