Old Wood | KCET
Huell travels the state in search of "old wood." His first stop is the Petrified Forest in Calistoga which has trees that date back three million years. Tourists have been enjoying this geologic miracle for over a hundred years. The next stop is the beautiful Knights Ferry covered bridge which is the longest and one of the oldest authentic covered bridges west of the Mississippi River and has spanned the Stanislaus River since 1863.
Huell goes straight to the TOP! Finished in 1874, California's Capitol Building is a stunning neoclassical gem. With all great buildings of this size, there are lots of steps. Some steps are very obvious, like the set that leads up to the front entrance, but this building has lots of "step" stories and even a few that are very scary to climb.
There is a reason that old lighthouses could send a beam of light for miles. Most lighthouses used a Fresnel lens, which looks like a beehive made of glass. These lenses are works of art and the one that graced Point Fermin Lighthouse is no exception. In this adventure, Huell learns the history of the lens, which was removed from Point Fermin and changed hands many times.
They're one of the most famous air squadrons in the world -- serving as positive role models and goodwill ambassadors not only for our Navy, but for our country. We're talking about the Blue Angels who, since first formed in 1946, have been demonstrating their flying skills and maneuvers to literally millions of spectators each year. And for over 30 years the Blue Angels have been a part of "California's Gold." Since 1967 the squadron has spent the winter at Naval Air Facility, El Centro, training pilots and new crew members.
California has a rich maritime history and has been at the forefront of naval warfare since the beginning. In this special one-hour adventure, Huell visits two aircraft carriers that are now museums in the waters of California. First it's off to San Diego to visit the USS Midway, which has steamed through a 47-year career of service. Imagine a carrier that was commissioned in 1945 and served as a flagship in Desert Storm in 1991. No other carrier served as long as the USS Midway. She opened in 2004 as a naval aviation museum and is now the pride of San Diego's waterfront.
The Kings Highway - or El Camino Real has long been a part of California's rich history. From its humble beginnings as a dusty trail, it quickly became California's first "super highway" connecting all 21 Missions.
Join Huell Howser as he learns first hand about the road and its famous bells from author and historian Max Kurillo. Huell also joins up with Cal Trans as they install a new roadside bell, and even recreates a walk with a Padre and burro along an original
dirt section of el Camino Real at La Purisima Mission in Lompoc.
Huell travels to Central California to visit the 80 acre Masumoto Family Farm. Huell's host is David "Mas" Masumoto and his family who have a deep connection to the land. Mas is an award winning author of such books as "Epitaph for a Peach" and "Wisdom of the Last Farmer, Harvesting Legacies from the Land".
It wasn't always pretty, and it didn't always work, but the "doctors" of the Gold Rush did the best they could to take care of the throngs of immigrants who came to California in search of fame and fortune. Sacramento's Sutter's Fort is the backdrop of this adventure. Huell hears the story of how the Fort was chosen as the site of the first hospital in Sacramento that housed doctors, midwifes, Chinese herbalists certainly some charlatans with plenty of snake oil to sell. With the help of docents and some real doctors, it's sure to be an education.
California's most recognized landmark takes center stage in an episode which focuses on its history (including rare footage of its construction) its beauty, and the incredible maintenance work that goes on daily to keep this towering structure in mint condition.
Huell travels north to the Yosemite Valley to meet up with Michael Adams. Michael is the son of Ansel Adams, arguably our countries most famous photographer. They travel through the valley and learn about why this place was so important to Ansel. Huell gets some very personal insight into the mind of Ansel and also learns about the family's early history in Yosemite. The backdrop to this adventure is as good as it gets.