Up The Road

Wednesdays at 4:44 and 6:44 p.m. and Thursdays at 6:45 and 7:45 a.m.

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.

 

Up The Road: Patrick Ranch Threshing Bee

Jun 8, 2016
TS Lane / Creative Commons

If you ask the kids you know where bread comes from, do they say “the store”? Or maybe, “the farmers’ market” or “co-op?" If so, consider this a teachable moment. It’s time for a field trip to the Patrick Ranch on the Midway, just south of Chico, halfway to Durham. Together this historic home and surrounding farmstead are becoming a fine regional agricultural history center and museum, thanks to the efforts of the Far West Heritage Association.

Up The Road: Turtle Bay

Jun 1, 2016
Photo used courtesy of Turtle Bay Exploration Park

  The Maidu explain the world differently than most of us do. Turtle has a starring role in one version of the Maidu creation story, greatly abbreviated here:

“In the beginning there was no sun, no moon, no stars. All was dark, and everywhere there was only water. A raft came floating on the water. It came from the north, and in it were two persons—Turtle and Father-of-the-Secret-Society. The stream flowed very rapidly. Then from the sky a rope of feathers was let down, and down it came Earth-Initiate. When he reached the end of the rope, he tied it to the bow of the raft, and stepped in. His face was covered and was never seen, but his body shone like the sun.” 

Up The Road: Lava Beds National Monument

May 25, 2016
Photo used courtesy of National Park Service

Native peoples called the high Modoc Plateau area "the smiles of God," a strangely fitting name for this lonely remnant of the Old West. One good reason to visit the remote Modoc Plateau is to study now obscure California history. The lava caves and craggy volcanic outcroppings at Lava Beds National Monument enabled charismatic “Captain Jack” and his Modoc band to hold out against hundreds of U.S. Army troops, with superior arms, for more than three months before being starved into defeat in 1873.

Up The Road: McCloud Mushroom Festival

May 18, 2016
Ian Grant / Flickr, Creative Commons

McCloud, onetime mill town in the shadow of Mount Shasta, is famous for its wild spring mushrooms. Buyers show up every May to gather in the best of what local fungus hunters have found, then quickly pack and ship the fresh mushroom crop to appreciative chefs as far away as New York. What better theme could McCloud choose for its Memorial Day weekend party? 

Up The Road: Redding Rodeo

May 11, 2016
Photo used courtesy of the Redding Rodeo

This is rodeo country. About half of pro rodeos in California are held in or very near the Central Valley, which makes sense if you think of roping, riding, racing, and wrangling as fundamentally rural.

But historians say that’s not quite right. Rodeos arose after the Civil War. They evolved in part from competitive cowboy R-and-R after long, hard cattle drives. Impromptu skill contests offered good, clean, social fun, after eating all that dust on lonely trails, delivering beef on the hoof to hungry eastern markets. Rodeos also took up elements of wildly popular outdoor urban entertainment based on the romance of a Wild West that started to disappear almost as soon as it galloped into the American imagination. Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane, and other stars of traveling rodeos and exhibitions created job opportunities that kept cowboys employed well into the 20th century.

Up The Road: Sutter Buttes

Apr 27, 2016
Ken Schneider / Flickr, Creative Commons

You’re driving home up 99, feeling as road worn as an old tire. As the landscape opens before you and the sky expands, the freeway stress starts rolling away. But it’s not until you reach the Sutter Buttes that you fully relax and breathe, deep. It’s not until you reach the Sutter Buttes that you know you’re almost home.

Up The Road: Wildflower Century

Apr 20, 2016
Photo used courtesy of Chico Velo

When John Muir wandered west out of the Sierra Nevada in the late 1800s, he was overwhelmed by California's great central valley. “When California was wild,” he wrote, “it was one sweet bee garden throughout its entire length . . . so marvelously rich that, in walking from one end of it to the other, a distance of more than four hundred miles, your foot would press about a hundred flowers at every step.”

Up The Road: Wild Horse Sanctuary

Apr 13, 2016
Katey Barrett / Photo courtesy of the Wild Horse Sanctuary

Horses originated here in North America. Prehistoric ancestors of today’s equines migrated to Europe, Asia, and Africa but were frozen out here by the last ice age. Then horses came back: The thundering herds of old Westerns first escaped from Spanish explorers and soldiers.

Up The Road: Why Travel Matters In Northern California

Apr 6, 2016
rubengarciajrphotography / Flickr: http://bit.ly/1PKK2mI

Most of us don’t think of “travel” as history. We probably don’t think much about travel at all. When it’s time to take a break from the dailiness of life, we line up some time off, grab the credit card, and go.

But travel is history, and that history suggests that how we travel matters.

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