Where's Huell? From Kelp Beds to Gold Country to the Very Center of California

What's a week without the continued adventures of KCET's Golden State-trotting hero, Huell Howser? It's like springtime without poppies, that's what. This week, Huell crisscrosses the state, from kelp beds to gold country to very center of California. (And no, it's not L.A.)

Monday -- May 14, 7:30 PM: San Luis Obispo Train

The citizens of San Luis Obispo celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first-ever arrival of a steam train with a re-creation of the event. And you can bet that Huell was there to watch as SLO transformed from the bustling metropolis it is today back into the sleepy, isolated town it once was.

Watch a video clip of the steam train's passage back into town:

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Tuesday -- May 15, 7:30 PM: Kelp

Any nature-minded Californian will be quick to point out that no, it's not garbage floating near the surface of the water. It's the top edge of the California coast's vast kelp forest -- one of the state's most beautiful marvels of nature and also one that's basically impossible to see. Nothing escapes the steely gaze of Huell Howser, though, and he travels from Monterey to San Diego to see how kelp grows.

Make like Huell and explore a kelp bed:

Wednesday -- May 16, 7:30 PM: The Center of California

Believe it or not, California isn't centered around Los Angeles. Neither is Sacramento, San Jose or San Francisco. The most widely agreed-upon center, geographically speaking, is a spot of unincorporated land in Madera County near the community of North Fork. Watch Huell hike into the Sierra Nevada foothills to see what he can see.

Watch a preview of Huell arriving at the state's creamy middle:

Thursday -- May 17, 7:30 PM: McCloud

Where's McCloud? Near Mt. Shasta. Why would you go there? All the typical "California's Gold" motivations: quaintness, history and that off-the-beaten-path tourism that Huell is famous for. And is there a train involved? Oh yes. Yes indeed. See below.

Watch a clip of McCloud's famous train:

Friday -- May 18, 7:30 PM: Wood Boats on Lake Tahoe

You can bet if there's any Californian celebration of "the way things once were," Huell will be there. That's likely how Huell ended up reported on Lake Tahoe's Concours d'Elegance, an annual get-together for vintage wooden boat owners to get together and prove their classic vessels are still lake-worthy. (The event is still ongoing, by the way, and this year's installment is scheduled for August 10 and 11, 2012.)

See the boats in action:

Saturday -- May 19, 5:00 PM: In-N-Out Burger

Huell Howser. At In-N-Out. You couldn't have a better mingling of two entities emblematic of our state even if a California quail had a baby with a Monterey Bay sea otter. But you can't think about a hypothetical quail-otter right now, but because you need to get excited that is Huell exploring the origins of the best burger chain in the state, which began in Baldwin Park in 1948 and which had never allowed video cameras into its headquarters. It's so much California-ness, in fact, that the episode plays for a full hour.

Watch a preview:

Sunday -- May 20, 7:00 PM: Mother Lode

When Huell Howser declares "This is one of the best road trips I have ever been on," that means something. Maybe it's especially appropriate that Huell would make this pronouncement upon visiting Tuolumne County, California's gold country. And where else would Huell feel at home? Guest stars include a jackass named Mollie.

Watch a preview:

About the Author

Drew Mackie, associate producer of new media, liked shows about old British people before it became fashionable. He also says silly things on Twitter.
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