Up The Road

Wednesdays at 6:44 p.m. and Thursdays at 7:45 a.m.
  • Hosted by Kim Weir

A production of NSPR

Hosted by Kim Weir, produced by Sarah Bohannon

If you’ve always assumed travel is simply a matter of putting one foot—or hoof or ski or paddle or wheel or axle—ahead of another, then Up the Road host Kim Weir suggests you think again. Travel matters. Here in Northern California as elsewhere around the world, responsible travel means appreciating and conserving natural resources, preserving cultural and historic sites, and supporting local and regional economies in healthy ways.

Each week Kim Weir will take you Up the Road, pointing out things to do and places to go while exploring history, natural history, and other aspects of “place” that create the ecology of home.

Host 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. 

Photo by A. Maleki

We head up the road this week to Angel’s Camp, where—in a sense—Mark Twain got his start as a writer and humorist.

Rojer

This week we head up the road to 1967 and San Francisco, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, when Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Janis Joplin and Big Brother, and the Grateful Dead rocked the known world, which was, until then, uptight, far from outta sight.

Up The Road: To Honor Water And The God Of The Dark North

Apr 26, 2017
Bok Kai Temple

This week we head Up the Road to appreciate the power of water. Even here in the north, where most of California’s water comes to ground, we tend to take it for granted. Turn on the kitchen or garden faucet, out it comes—and there better be enough to meet our needs, at a comfortable price. We also expect it to stay where we put it, inside the lines that represent flowing water, on maps, and behind the dams we’ve built to stop that flow, to store water and to play in it.

Photo courtesy Gold Nugget Museum

This week we head Up the Road to celebrate the hometown parade. There’s nothing quite like it. If it’s your town, you know everyone on parade, as well as the folks lining both sides of the street. Despite that, every year it’s all new and exciting. A community on parade creates its own celebrities, not even counting the queen and her court, or the bigwigs riding upfront in the bright, shiny convertible. And not counting all the marching bands, the Boy Scout troops, the Brownies, the classic cars, the fluffy floats. And the horses!

Nico Aguilera

 

Today let’s consider journalists and snow. To hear some people talk, plain old journalism isn’t worth the paper it used to be printed on, and journalists matter even less—clearly ridiculous. Journalists do valuable work, passing along useful info, day after day. The big leaguers are more than useful, busy as they are writing one after another “first draft of history,“ a phrase used as early as 1905. What’s news today is history tomorrow, yet another truth that’s self-evident.

Photo by Craig Howell

This week we take one last big-picture look at California’s gold country, where the original gold rush of 1849 got the state off to a rip-roaring start. There are other areas in the state where gold was discovered and mined, later, so the story goes on and on. There’s so much story, in fact, that even in 1849’s Sierra Nevada gold country we’ll have to come back to some of these places again and again. So, consider this the end of the introduction.

We continue exploring California’s historic “gold country” this week, meaning those areas of the Sierra Nevada foothills that were well trod by the 1849ers, the first wave of gold seekers. This week we peek into historic hotels in storied gold rush towns. You could easily stay a weekend—or longer—at any of these establishments, given that there’s plenty to do and see nearby, and thus gradually work your way through California’s gold rush. If you tend to be cheap, camp somewhere and then stop by the hotel’s restaurant or bar to drink in the ambience, and thus support the local economy.

Photo by Kent Kanouse

Last time we talked about California’s contemporary creation story, the fictional tale that helped create the richest state in the United States. Native American stories about how this world came to be were much better, stunningly mystical, and more poetic. But a 16th-century Spanish novel about the island paradise of California, a land of gold, precious gems, and beautiful black women ruled by the great Queen Calafia, was the fantady that fired up European imaginations and inspired explorer Hernan Cortes’ crew to name this place California.

This week we head up the road in search of California’s creation story. Just how did the Golden State come to be?

Photo by J. Maughn

We’re heading up the road this week to get acquainted with bats at Pinnacles National Park, just south of the Bay Area—a place you’ll want to visit now and in to spring—and also in Yolo County quite close by, where summer is the time to go batty.

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