Up The Road

Wednesdays at 4:44 and 6:44 p.m. and Thursdays at 6:45 and 7:45 a.m.
  • Hosted by Kim Weir

A production of NSPR

Produced by Matt Fidler 

About Up the Road

If you travel mostly to escape the daily drudge, Up the Road host Kim Weir suggests you think again. Travel matters, every bit as much as other choices you make every day. Which is why Up the Road encourages everyone to travel responsibly. Here in California as elsewhere around the world, responsible travel means appreciating nature, valuing natural resources, respecting and preserving culture and history, and supporting local economies in healthy ways.

Up the Road is dedicated to responsible California travel—to sustaining the California story by deepening your connection to this unusual and surprising place. Each week Up the Road shares stories about the land, its natural history, and its people, the lives they have lived, the stories they have told over the centuries, and the stories they are creating right now. The stories that keep us all here, that create California’s unique ecology of home.

Host Kim Weir is editor and founder of Up the Road, a nonprofit public-interest journalism project dedicated to sustaining the California story. She is also a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, and author of all of the original California “handbooks” put out by Moon Publications, now Avalon Travel. Weir lives in Paradise, California.

Up the Road is a joint production of Up the Road and North State Public Radio, initially produced by Sarah Bohannon. The show is now produced by Matt Fidler and distributed by PRX. Up the Road’s theme song was written and produced by Kirk Williams.

 

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.

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.”

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