California's Gold Previous Broadcasts

Pyramid (Episode #3004)

KQED Life: Fri, Nov 30, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Set against the San Francisco skyline, The Transamerica Building is one of the most distinctive structures on the globe. With its 48 stories and 212-foot spire, the Pyramid is San Francisco's tallest building, and is considered the most photographed building in the world. With 18 elevators, 3678 windows, approximately 16,000 cubic yards of concrete and more than 15,000 people working inside, it is truly a spectacle. Join Huell as he learns about the sometimes-controversial history of this California landmark and gets a very special tour, including a vertigo-inducing trip to the very top if the spire.

Clear Lake (Episode #3001)

KQED Life: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Clear Lake is located at the base of fabled Mt. Konocti and is California's largest natural lake. Much of the terrain around the 4200-foot Mt. Konocti was formed by lava flows and folding of the earth's crust. The lake has a rich history; evidence of human habitation dates back at least 10,000 years. More than 120,000 visitors each year enjoy picnicking, boating, camping and nature walks. Huell travels to this natural wonder and gets a very special tour including Anderson Marsh State Historic Park, which has a rich history itself. The Park contains 1065 acres of oak woodland, grass covered hills and tule marsh at the southeast end of Clear Lake. It has a rich Native American history and the original Anderson family home is open to the public for tours. Huell travels the marsh and lake by boat and learns about the rich natural and human history that makes Clear Lake such a wonderful example of California's Gold.

Dune Buggy (Episode #3002)

KQED Life: Wed, Nov 28, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Back in a Southern California garage in 1963 something amazing was happening. 36-year-old Bruce Meyers was building a car that would become an icon, the Meyers Manx... better known as the Dune Buggy. This simple car really springboarded "off-road" racing into the huge sport it is today, cutting more than 5 hours of the pervious Baja 1000 record in its first try. This, in turn, caught the eye of Hollywood: Elvis, Lucy & Desi, Scooby-Doo all jumped in for a spin. To quote Road and Track from 1976, "The Manx has to rank as one of the most significant and influential cars of all time. It started more fads, attracted more imitators... and was recognized as a genuine sculpture, a "piece of art." Join Huell as he gets many smiles per mile with Bruce Meyers, and a bunch of Meyers Manx owners as they trek through the So. Cal. landscape.

Emperor and the President (Episode #2013)

KQED Life: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Like other states, the hierarchy of California's government begins with our Governor and weaves its way down through offices such as Secretary of State, Attorney General and Senator. What is surprising about California, is that we once had an Emperor and a President.
California's President William Ide emerged during the 24 days of the Bear Flag revolt of 1846. Ide posted a proclamation in Sonoma declaring liberty for California settlers, which set the stage for California's statehood. In admiration of his bravery and leadership, his fellow Bear Flaggers and other pioneers dubbed him President.
Later in the 19th Century, a wealthy businessman who had lost a huge fortune, walked into the office of the San Francisco Bulletin and proclaimed himself Emperor of the US and Protector of Mexico. From 1859 until his death in 1880, the eccentric Emperor Norton continued to issue proclamations, circulate his own currency and roam the streets of San Francisco dressed in aCivil War uniform. Residents and business owners humored the loveable character by paying him "taxes," providing him with meals and transpo rtation, and saluting him.
Although their titles are unofficial, Huell discovers that the legacy of our Emperor and President continues as he visits the locales frequented by Emperor Norton in San Francisco, Sonoma and the popular adobe named for President Ide in Red Bluff. Huell also pays tribute at both of their gravesites, permanent reminders of their contribution to California.

Monarchs (Episode #2012)

KQED Life: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Have you ever wondered what 100,000 Monarch Butterflies look like? Well here's your chance. Huell travels to Pismo State Beach to visit the largest overwintering site for Monarch butterflies in the U.S. More people visit this site than any another butterfly site in the world. Last year they had 50,000 visitors! Every year, hundreds of thousands of Monarchs fly as much as 2,000 miles to reach safe overwintering sites along California's central coast. They can fly up to 100 miles a day at an altitude of up to 10,000 feet. What's amazing is that none of the butterflies that make this amazing journey have ever been there before. The butterflies have nothing but instinct to guide them. Huell gets a special tour of this wonderful site from a Park Ranger, docents and a class from Cal Poly that studies the Monarchs. It's a feast for the eyes.

Under Lake Arrowhead (Episode #2011)

KQED Life: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Lake Arrowhead is one of Southern California's beautiful areas. This private lake is perfect for fishing, water skiing and just enjoying. The people that own the lake cherish it as a recreational heaven. Originally built as a reservoir to feed the citrus groves of San Bernardino through a series of flumes and tunnels this engineering marvel fell apart. For legal reasons, the project never worked and the reservoir became a recreational area. What most people don't know is that there is a whole world under the lake. Huell takes a hundred-foot ride down in an elevator that was built in the late 1800s to explore this underwater marvel. Believe it or not there is a 3000 foot tunnel that runs under the lake and lots of wonderful old equipment, including pumps, engines and valves originally built for irrigation purposes that is hidden away. It's a world that few people have ever seen and a wonderful bit of California's Gold.

State Library Treasures (Episode #2010)

KQED Life: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Founded along with the State of California itself, the California State Library houses precious artifacts from California's infancy. Huell gets a private tour of this rare collection which includes California's first newspaper, mirror images of the gold country from the 1850s, a 17th Century map of California and John Marshall's own hand-drawn map and sketch of gold discovery.

Historic Chickens (Episode #2009)

KQED Life: Wed, Nov 21, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

A 1916 brochure called the town of Petaluma "The largest poultry center in the world" and up until the 1960s, Petaluma was a major player in the world of chickens. In 1915, Petaluma shipped 11,681,134 dozen eggs. Huell travels to Petaluma to attend the annual Butter and Egg Days celebration, which ran from 1916 to 1928 and was brought back in the early 1980s. Petaluma pulls out all the stops in this wonderful small town gathering. You won't want to miss the Cutest Chick costume contest.
Continuing our look at Historic Chickens, the Petaluma Historical Society takes Huell to one of original chicken farms that once lined the hills of this town. Beautiful moss covered chicken coups are slowly decaying, but are an integral part of Petaluma's landscape. Several of the original farmers come back to spend a day reminiscing about their lives on these farms. Some of these folks come from a long line of farmers who have called Petaluma home for many generations.

San Francisco Cemeteries (Episode #2008)

KQED Life: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

San Francisco is a city of many distinctions, but few are as intriguing as the history of its cemeteries. As the 19th century came to a close in San Francisco, a movement - some say a real estate scheme - began to remove all buried remains from within the city. After many ordinances, acts and decrees, cemeteries were carefully relocated to nearby towns, while headstones were recycled as breakwaters and paving material. Only three cemeteries and their inhabitants were left within the boundaries of San Francisco. Join Huell as he discovers the sacred grounds that still exist today at San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores) and the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio. He also enters the neoclassical San Francisco Columbarium where the ash remains of many notable San Francisco family members rest within the beauty of an architectural gem.

Nixon's Boyhood Home (Episode #2007)

KQED Life: Mon, Nov 19, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Join Huell as he looks at a fascinating page in California's presidential history.
On January 9, 1913, Richard Nixon was born in a little Yorba Linda Farmhouse. His father, Frank Nixon, built this house just a year earlier from a catalogue kit in an old orange grove. The Birthplace has been restored with attention to historical detail, on the exact spot where President Nixon's father built it. Most of the furnishings, including the bed where the President was born and the piano he learned to play are original.
As we all know, Richard Nixon went on to become our nation's 37th president, but he always called California "home." In this episode, Huell gets a very special and personal tour of the house from Nixon's youngest daughter, Julie Nixon Eisenhower. Julie shares some wonderful stories and insights into her fathers California boyhood. The Nixon house is on the grounds of the Nixon Library, which is a world class museum in itself.

Aztec Wigwam (Episode #8002)

KQED Plus: Sat, Nov 17, 2012 -- 5:30 PM

Huell travels back to a bygone era when he tours the Aztec Hotel and the Wig Wam Motel, two popular attractions along "The Main Street of America," Route 66.

Petroglyphs (Episode #10012)

KQED Life: Wed, Nov 14, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Huell travels to the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake to see some rock art that is arguably the largest concentration within the Western Hemisphere, and can number 6000 images just in one small canyon area of 1.5 miles alone. Though an accurate dating technique is still being sought, it is thought that certain petroglyphs date as much as 16,000 years old, with others made as recently as 1800. This rock art is so important to our cultural heritage and our knowledge of the desert's past that in 1964 the sites were listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Important Places (Episode #604)

KQED Life: Tue, Nov 13, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Huell travels to two significant but little-known places. First, he gets a tour of the fields of Camp Pendelton near San Diego, where for a period of time in the mid-1970s thousands of Vietnamese refugees lived in a large tent city - their first stop after fleeing their war-torn homeland. Next, Huell visits the Sherman Institute High School, an off-reservation boarding house for Native Americans that has educated students for almost a century.

California's State Parks (Episode #505)

KQED Life: Mon, Nov 12, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Explore two of California's most interesting State Parks: the Providence Mountain State Recreation Area, located in the Eastern Mojave Desert, to see the famous Mitchell Caverns Nature Reserve; and the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park in the Sierra Nevadas, where we see a Miwok Indian legacy, in a vast rock covered with thousands of grinding pits.

Hot Creek (Episode #2006)

KQED Life: Fri, Nov 9, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

If you love to soak in really hot water and love the out of doors, you have to watch this show. Huell travels to the Eastern Sierras in search of a good place to have a soak. Hot Creek Geological Site is nestled in the Inyo National Forest close to the town of Mammoth Lakes. He takes a ride out to the site with Debbie Nelson, Recreation Specialist for the forest. Huell gets a first hand look at this beautiful spot with water boiling up from the ground which mixes with the cool water of Hot Creek and makes for some very nice swimming, and meets some die-hard soakers who come from all over California to enjoy the therapeutic water.

Mudpots (Episode #2005)

KQED Life: Thu, Nov 8, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

In this muddy adventure, Huell travels to some very remote areas to take an up close and personal look at "mudpots." Mudpots only occur three places in the US and one of them is right here in California. The first stop is the Imperial Wildlife Area. Huell and a member of the Fish and Game take a look at huge mounds of bubbling, oozing, popping and exploding mudpots. This is a public area that is open to mud lovers one and all. Next, it's off to some privately owned land, which has some extraordinary mudpots. Photographer Jack Hobart has made some amazing images with still and video cameras over the years of this secret spot, which he shares with Huell.

Bird Rock (Episode #2004)

KQED Life: Wed, Nov 7, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your very own island? What about an island off the southern coast of California? Join Huell and the family that owns this special island as they return to their little slice of California. It takes three separate boat rides to get there and your feet might get wet, but it is well worth the trip.

First Theater (Episode #2001)

KQED Life: Tue, Nov 6, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Huell goes in search of California's "First Theater." As usual, nothing is simple in California because there are actually two first theaters. From Monterey to Sacramento we uncover California's theater history. Huell starts his search in Monterey at "California's First Theater." An English sailor by the name of Jack Swan completed his saloon/ boarding house in 1847 and very quickly US soldiers stationed in Monterey where putting on shows in his building. The building went through many incarnations over the years until 1937 when it was re-opened as a theater. The Troupers of the Gold Coast (the oldest continually performing theatrical company in the world) have been entertaining audiences ever since. Huell gets a tour and sees a performance in California's first first theater. Next, it's off to Sacramento to California's second first theater, the Eagle Theater. Mr. Zadock Hubbard and Mr. Gates Brown, owners of the Round Tent Saloon located on J Street near the corner of Front Street, financed the construction of the Eagle Theater in 1849, to provide entertainment for the hordes of miners and emigrants coming to Sacramento during the Gold Rush. Construction began in July and the building was completed by September 1849. Huell gets a wonderful tour and again we get to see a performance on a very historic stage.

Swallows (Episode #2003)

KQED Life: Mon, Nov 5, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

The miracle of the "Swallows" of Capistrano takes place each year at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, on March 19th, St. Joseph's Day. Legend says the swallows, seeking sanctuary from an innkeeper who destroyed their nests, took up residence at the old Mission. They return to the site each year to nest, knowing their young can be safe within the Mission walls. As the little birds wing their way back to the Mission, the village of San Juan Capistrano takes on a fiesta air and visitors from all parts of the world, and all walks of life, gather in great numbers to witness the "miracle" of the return of the swallows. In this episode, Huell travels to the old Mission to visit this truly Californian phenomenon. There will be all sorts of surprises including a special version of the song, "When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano". It's a celebration you don't want to miss.

FDR's Boat (Episode #15001)

KQED Plus: Sat, Nov 3, 2012 -- 5:30 PM

Huell takes an inspirational voyage upon Franklin D. Roosevelt's Presidential Yacht, the USS Potomac. Now stationed at Jack London Square in Oakland, the ship is operated by a staff of volunteers and is now open for public tours.

Abalone (Episode #1012)

KQED Life: Fri, Nov 2, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

They were once a mainstay on menus throughout California. You could go to the beach at low tide and pluck them from the rocks. Kids would have parties on the beach and roast them by the dozen. Abalone has gone from a California tradition to near extinction. In this episode, CG takes a close look at the history of Abalone in California. The Native Americans who once lived up and down the coast of California were the original abalone eaters. Not only did they use the flesh for food; they used the mother of pearl shells for their crafts. Huell visits a very early midden pile in Pt. Lobos State Reserve and learns about its history. The Japanese were the firsts to harvest Abalone commercially in California and were diving for them as early as the turn of the century. Huell visits the site of one of the early Japanese Abalone canneries. As a special treat, we go into Monterey Bay to watch as one of the original divers go for a dive in an authentic 1930s suit. We couldn't do a show about Abalone without a taste, so Huell joins a group of school kids as they pound, cook and eat a little piece of California's Gold.

Devil's Postpile (Episode #1011)

KQED Life: Thu, Nov 1, 2012 -- 10:00 AM

Surreal, awesome, unbelievable, weird - these are just some of the words that come out of your mouth when you view the Devil's Postpile. Located in the Eastern Sierras, this formation is one of nature's true masterpieces. Towering 60 feet over the San Joaquin River the postpile looks like a huge cathedral pipe organ built entirely of stone. It is actually composed of thousands of columns of fine-grained, black basalt. 100,000 years ago cooling molten rock contracted, creating perfect cracks. As gravity pulled on the face it created thousands of columns and the postpile was born. At 900 feet long and 200 feet wide, it is truly an awesome site.

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