Podcast 354

The Napa Valley. As our time in California comes to a close, the Napa Valley is a perfect place to say goodbye. Whether it is Napa, Sonoma, Calistoga, finally ending up in Nevada City the Golden State is a seductive place. The so called ‘warm and dry end’ of the Napa Valley was the destination for the parties of pioneers, of which the infamous Donner Party was part of. This valley is where many of them settled, and prospered after that fateful winter of 1866. Calistoga was also the adopted home of Robert Louis Stevenson, a fact they would much rather talk about than the fate of the Donner Party. Some highlights of the Donner Party story, and an interview with Al Derrick, who minds the Sharpsteen Museum in Calistoga. What does this tragic story in the history of settling California tell us about decision making and democracy? This is the only subtly political moment in this podcast. In the end, its seems tawdry to taint a Road Trip podcast with the grease of political pontification. (Editor’s Note: It must be pointed out, however, that the Hillary Clinton ‘inevitable’ presidential campaign has apparently borrowed the idea of hitting the road, going to real places and talking to real people, but not in a repurposed ambulance! Whether she is actually in the creeper van which headed for Iowa or not is another question.) Wine country is an impressive, pastoral location. It wasn’t always wine country tho. At one time this valley also produced Walnuts, prunes and other agricultural products on smaller farms. Today, vineyards are everywhere — and they are perfect. Finally, a surprise in the mountains as we come upon a Bikram Yoga studio in the middle of nowhere! Sponsored by Baklund R&D.