Under California | KCET
Trace the lives of two men whose unique dreams in the early part of the century helped them to create two of our state's most amazing buried treasures. First, we visit the Underground Gardens of Baldasare Forestiere, an incredible labyrinth of tunnels, courtyards and vines. Next, we visit the Burro Schmidt Tunnel, where for 50 years an early pioneer of the Mojave dug a 2,000 foot tunnel through a mountain.
Huell visits the Kern River Preserve with its natural beauty, wildflowers and turkey vultures.
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.
They've been a part of the California landscape for hundreds of years, helping to build our canals and highways and railroads, hauling our freight, our silver bullion and, of course, playing a major role during the gold rush era. However, many people are under the false impression that they're stubborn, while others tend to overlook them in favor of the more glamorous horse.
Will Rogers has got to be one of the all-time great American characters. Often called the "Cowboy Philosopher," he kept America laughing through some of its toughest years. Will was a radio commentator, newspaper columnist and motion picture star. In 1922, Will bought property above Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades and built a summer cottage. The family loved the place so much that Will had a proper ranch built and the family moved there in 1928. In 1944, after the death of Mrs. Rogers, the property became Will Rogers State Historic Park and is now a well loved tourist destination.
Visit Allensworth, now a state historic park, California's only community founded, financed and governed by African Americans during the early 1900s. Tour old and new Kernville as area residents recount their experiences; and go whitewater rafting down the wild and scenic Kern River, one of the fastest flowing rivers in the nation.
Travel down to where the streets have no name and see the world's tallest, oldest and one of the most peculiar-looking Joshua Trees in an episode devoted to this remarkable desert plant which has come to symbolize the Mojave Desert. Then meet a man, who as a child, lived on a ranch in the seclusion of what is now the Monument.
Walter Scott is one of the great characters of California history, and Huell travels to Death Valley to learn what his legacy is all about. Huell tours the amazing castle that now bears Scotty's name and walks through the dry desert that Scotty loved so much. Get an intimate portrait of this California original from those who knew and loved him.
Ever been to a real-life ghost town? Well, this episode explores one of the last remnants of the Wild West. Now a state historic park, Bodie is regarded as one of the largest and best preserved examples of an authentic ghost town.
It appears on the southern slope of the San Bernardino Mountains. Over the years it has been the subject of a host of Indian legends. In fact, no other natural landmark in those mountains has been regarded with such awe and wonder. We're referring to the "Arrowhead," a near-perfect natural 7 1/2 acre arrowhead-shaped landmark formed by the contrast of light and dark vegetation which has been clearly visible for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years.
When most people think of Shasta Lake, they imagine themselves on a houseboat enjoying California's largest manmade reservoir. With 365 miles of shoreline it is a boaters paradise. What most people don't think about is the massive structure that is responsible for holding back the water that creates Shasta Lake. We're talking about Shasta Dam which, is a perfect example of "California's Gold". Construction of the dam started in 1938 and ended in 1945. It's 602 feet high, 883 feet thick at the bottom, 30 feet thick at the top, and 3,460 feet long.
Huell travels to the 2002 National SPAAMFAA Winter Convention in San Bernardino. SPAAMFAA stands for "Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America." This get-together was a wonderful place to get glimpse of our state's fire-fighting history. There were all kinds of apparatus from small hand pumpers to elaborate steam driven engines from the turn of the century. The highlight of the day was Dave Hubert's lovingly restored rig, the "Reno #1," which served the city of Reno, Nevada from 1902 to 1922.
Huell travels to the Tehachapi Mountains to visit The Cesar Chavez Foundation. Set on 187 acres, the buildings where once home to a tuberculosis hospital and then it's where Cesar lived and labored during his last quarter century as he fought for better rights for migrant workers. Now the Center is a carrying on Cesar's dream and welcomes visitors to learn about this important chapter in our states history. Huell gets a very special and personal tour of the Center from Cesar's son Paul.