Kim Weir

Host, Up the Road

Kim Weir, a former NSPR news reporter, is editor and founder of Up the Road, a nonprofit public-interest journalism project dedicated to sustaining the Northern California story. She is also an active member of the Society of American Travel Writers. North State Public Radio’s Up the Road program is jointly produced by Up the Road.

Axel.Foley

By now you’re probably in the holiday thick of it, with unholy visions of Monster High dolls, Trolls, and Star Wars Stormtroopers dancing in your heads.

Photo courtesy Nevada City Chamber of Commerce

Lately we’ve been exploring the notion of harvest, which the turnings of fall bring to mind. With any luck you’ve managed to follow the advice of garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence. “Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.” Amen, sister.

Because, by the time the leaves have turned and fallen to earth, the holidays are upon us. No time for lollygagging now.

Photo by Ian Sane

Lately we’ve been talking about fall, which puts us in mind of harvest—the season we like to think we’re reaping what we’ve sown, at least if things go well with us.

Photo by Doniree Walker

We’ve been exploring the notion of harvest, a wonderful metaphor for Fall. As Langston Hughes said of the Civil War and the official end of slavery, “Harriet Tubman lived to see the harvest.”

Photo by Dace Kirspile

It’s fall, finally. There’s something about fall that reminds us of our connection to the earth and its endless harvests, all those intertwined cycles of mortality. There’s something about fall that inspires metaphor. Such as: “How can we expect a harvest of thought who have not had the seed time of character?” from Henry David Thoreau. And, from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “We are reformers in the spring and summer, but in autumn we stand by the old.

buffdawgus / David Cross / Flickr

This week, we’re heading up the road to go for gold.

Mark Twain wryly observed that “a gold mine is a hole in the ground with a liar at the entrance.” There were, and are, lots of gold mines dotting the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, California’s gold country. But there’s other gold too, including countless cultural riches. This time of year even leaves turn gold, if not russet and red. Particularly colorful in all regards are the neighboring gold-country towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley.

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