Wild West Sunday on KLRU Q 7/24

Join us this week on KLRU Q for three back-to-back features on America.

Wild West with Ray MearsDeserts‘ – airs at 6:05 pm
Ray Mears looks at how the landscapes of America’s five great deserts challenged the westward push of the early pioneers. As Ray travels through the cold high mountain Great Basin desert, and the hot Sonora desert of Southern Arizona, he discovers how their hostile geography and rich geology shaped the stories of fortune-hunting and lawlessness in the Wild West, and were the setting for the last wars between the US Army and the Apache warrior tribes. His journey ends with the story of Geronimo’s surrender which marked the end of the Indian Wars, and of the Old West.

Klondike Gold Rushairs at 7 pm
The Klondike Gold Rush is renowned as the richest gold strike in North American mining history. Hailing from 1896 to 1899 set off a “stampede” of more than 100,000 people on a colossal journey from Alaska to the gold fields of Canada’s Yukon Territory. Award-winning author Charlotte Gray and historians Terrence Cole and Michael Gates bring new insights and perspective to the event. Excerpts from Tappan Adney’s celebrated book The Klondike Stampede (1900) bring the Harper’s Weekly correspondent to life. Present-day characters reveal that the Klondike still resonates with the frontier spirit.

Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid: American Experience airs at 8 pm
Long before Paul Newman and Robert Redford immortalized them on screen, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid captivated Americans from coast to coast. In the 1890s, their exploits robbing banks and trains in the West — and then seemingly vanishing into thin air — became national news and the basis of rumors and myth. But who were Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh? How did they come together to form the Wild Bunch gang? And how did they manage to pull off the longest string of successful holdups in history while eluding the Pinkertons, the nation’s most feared detective force? Separating fact from fiction, this program explores the last pair of outlaws to flee on horseback into a setting sun.

KLRUQ Sunday Highlights 7/10

How did America make its way toward becoming one of the greatest nations on the planet? This Sunday on KLRUQ, find out how American made its way to the top through its landscapes, highways and the journey of Lewis and Clark.

Wild West with Ray MearsMountains‘ – airs at 6:05 pm
Ray begins his westward journey in the Appalachian Mountains where he explores how their timbered slopes fuelled the lumber industry and provided the fuel and building material for the emerging nation. Native Appalachian Barbara Woodall and lumberjack Joe Currie share their family history with him, and he gets to grips with the rare “hellbender” salamander. Further west, in the high jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Ray goes mule trekking with modern day mountain man Stu Sorenson and he has close encounters with beaver, elk and black bear. His journey ends as he pans for gold with modern day gold prospector John Gurney, and explores the boom and bust story of ghost town, Bodie.

Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery airs at 7 pm
In 1801, when President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon, he doubled the country’s size. The sudden western expansion of the United States–and rumors of a Northwest Passage that would link the Atlantic with the Pacific–motivated Jefferson to find the great byway to the West. He appropriated $2,500 for the journey and commissioned his secretary, Meriwether Lewis, to the task of revealing the West. Lewis asked his old friend, William Clark, and a group of rough frontiersmen to join the expedition, now called the Corps of Discovery. This Ken Burns documentary chronicles the challenges, frustrations and anxiety that faced the Corps of Discovery — their encounters with Native Americans, the new animals and plant life they discovered, their historic pairing with Sacagawea, and their crossing of the Continental Divide.

Paving The Way: The National Park-To-Park Highwayairs at 9 pm
At a time when train travel to the National Parks was only for the wealthy, this program follows the convergence of U.S. Land being set aside for all people, the development of the “autos for the everyman” and the need to escape the drone of WWI and the 1918 flu pandemic. With this need for release, 12 intrepid motorists embark upon the 1920 inaugural tour of the National Park-to-Park Highway. Traveling 5, 000 miles over 76 days to promote the need for good roads, these individuals also explore the idea of what it means to ‘See America First’ while touring in the western United States, instead of visiting their ancestry in war torn Europe.