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. 

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.

Up The Road: Mountain Towns In Autumn

Oct 12, 2016

We’ve been talking about harvest, such a long, enjoyable season here in the North State. There’s so much harvest to celebrate from here into the holidays, in fact, that we’ll come back to that subject for an extended stay. More fleeting in fall is leaf-peeping season. So this week we mention some wonderful mountain towns where, with any luck at all, you’ll find some stunning fall color, brisk autumn air, and local character.

jan zeschky / Flickr, Creative Commons

This week we head up the road to celebrate the harvest. ‘Tis the season.

Photo courtesy of Redding Pilgrim Congregational Church

This week's story starts with a confession: I am a sucker for a great title, which is how I first got hooked on Oaksong Society for Preservation of Way Cool Music up in Shasta County. I was a huge fan before I ever heard a lick of its way-cool music.

Up The Road: Get-er-done Museums

Sep 23, 2016
J. Stephen Conn / Flickr, Creative Commons

We’re still visiting museums, and considering how to fit them into anyone’s travel plans.

There are classic homes such as Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park and Stansbury House in Chico, with careful collections that introduce a time, and way of life we’d never know otherwise.

David Fulmer / Flickr, Creative Commons

Lately we’ve been visiting museums. People often think of museums as musty buildings filled with dusty memorabilia and fussy art or artifacts. And OK, some are like that. But the definition provided by the International Council of Museums suggests many more possibilities: “A museum is a . . . permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.”

Grace Hudson Museum Collection

Now that school’s started again and autumn is on the way, we’ll visit more indoor destinations—starting with some unique north state museums. Today we head up the road to Mendocino County and Ukiah—easy to remember: haiku spelled backwards—and that little city’s amazing Grace Hudson Museum and Sun House, located in a four-acre park on South Main Street.

Up The Road: Bigfoot

Sep 1, 2016
Photo courtesy of the Humboldt County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Many of you already have plans for Labor Day weekend. If you don’t: Head up the road to Willow Creek, a spot in the road overlooking the Trinity River, two hours west of Redding, for the 56th Annual Bigfoot Days Parade and Festival on Saturday, September 3. Willow Creek is where fog-chilled coast residents go when they need some sun. If you hadn’t already guessed it’s also home to Bigfoot—or at least the idea of Bigfoot, the half human-half ape who has haunted the forests of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest for more than 50 years.

Up The Road: Shasta Lake & Dam

Aug 17, 2016
Bob the Lomond / Flickr, Creative Commons

Today we head up the road to Shasta Lake and Shasta Dam. Which got me thinking about my Chico childhood. 

My family had a huge, and hugely ugly, beat-up green plywood box filled with pots, pans, kerosene lantern, cook stove, matches, marshmallows, and all other camping essentials, always stocked. On Fridays we’d throw the camping box into the station wagon and set out.

Up The Road: Old Sac

Jul 27, 2016
Photo by jnjmoreno / Flickr, Creative Commons

Today we continue exploring the heart of the Sacramento Valley. Comparing it to New York, the Big Apple, some people fondly call Sacramento the Big Tomato—a wry reference to the area’s agricultural wealth. But the California Gold Rush planted that seed. Early California ranching, farming, and other businesses developed to mine the miners, with their almost endless demand for food and supplies. So much more cost-effective to grow it or make it nearby than ship it around South America’s Cape Horn.