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. 

Plumas Ski Club

Right about now you might be wondering when winter will end. Maybe you miss the sun, and want to miss the cold. Not to mention all this rain-the very same rain we've all been praying for, in desperation, for years. Californians, so fickle. Time to buck up, buckaroos, and embrace winter-all of it-cold, wet feet and all. Get out there and enjoy yourself. In that great Western tradition, go find some adventure.

Photo by meridican

This week we're heading Up the Road to the Red Bluff Bull & Gelding Sale, "where the best in the west meet and compete." It started out as the Red Bluff Bull Sale but these days could be called the Red Bluff Bull, Heifer, Feeder, Gelding & Stock Dog Sale, with Trade & Art Show Plus Bull Riding. Yep, that's quite a mouthful-even before downing a few beers at the Buyer & Consignor Dinner out at the fairgrounds-and not all that poetic either. So most people, still, simply say "bull sale."

Photo by Kyle Magnuson

You might find yourself in Monterey because you set out to watch whales along the coast. While you’re in town, you decide to see what’s new at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. But don’t leave after that. There’s so much story to this town, a tale started long before California became a state in 1850.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr: http://bit.ly/1WCKTfR

In his novel by the same name, local boy John Steinbeck described Cannery Row along Monterey Bay as “a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tune, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream,” and also as a corrugated collection of sardine canneries, restaurants, honky-tonks, whorehouses, and waterfront laboratories.

Sam Beebe

This week we seek out the California, Western, or Pacific gray whale, one of the mightiest migrants of them all. A close-up view of the gray whale, California’s official (and largest) mammal, is a life-changing experience. When those massive, dark, white-barnacled heads shoot up out of the ocean to breathe, saltwater spray with the force of a firehose blasts up from their blowholes. That spouting is how you’ll first spot them all along the California coast—whether from whale vistas on land, or from onboard boat or kayak tours.

Photo by Amit Patel

We’re celebrating more “good migrations” this week, this time in California’s heartland. As if in Kansas, early immigrants to California's great valley gazed out on green waves of vegetation washed clean by March rains but burnished to a golden brown by August. The shallow lakes and marshes rippled with birdsong, and ancient rivers meandered through jungles of deciduous forest, riverside thickets home to the valley's most complex web of wildlife. Prairies of perennial grasses buzzed with life, and stretched to distant foothills on every horizon.

Ian Sanderson / Flickr: http://bit.ly/1WCKTfR

We’re strolling California beaches this week, to appreciate the northern elephant seal, another seasonal migrant.

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.

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