Northern California

Nichols, Melburg And Rossetto

Firefighters were on high alert yesterday as thunderstorms and dry lightning struck Northern California. Though conditions didn’t prompt a Pacific Gas & Electric Company public safety power shutdown, concern that one could happen at any time has prompted discussion of setting a dusk to dawn curfew in Chico.


Activists dismissed Police Chief Michael O’Brien’s proposal at a city council meeting August 6th, and the concept seemed to have little support from the council.

The exact amount of money tourism brings to the North State is a hard number to measure, but it’s certainly in the millions of dollars. Last night, the Redding City Council got a presentation from the Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (SCWA), which touted the benefits of tourism and its organization.

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.”

jan zeschky / Flickr, Creative Commons

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

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.”

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: Mt. Shasta Caverns

Aug 24, 2016
Kim Weir

Today we head up the road to one of the Shastas you may have missed, especially if you’re an are-we-making-good-time-yet traveler—ancient Lake Shasta Caverns, a National Natural Landmark located near the lake’s McCloud River arm. Visiting the cave formations is amazing in the summer, when it’s blazing hot outside. Such an indescribable pleasure, with sweat trickling down your neck, when the tour guide opens the cavern door and you feel that first blast of moist, cool, 58-degree underground air. Ahhh.

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.

Up The Road: Sutter's Fort

Jul 20, 2016
Photo by Kent Kanouse / Flickr, Creative Commons

Today we continue to explore the heart of the Sacramento Valley, in many ways the center of early California statehood. The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1849—an event no one could have foreseen—and the international rush of humanity that soon arrived in San Francisco and Sacramento forever changed California and the U.S.