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Bi-weekly podcast

Cowboy Culture, Highway One, Bikes and Hikes LA

Learn about cattle-driving in the Central Coast, foodie adventures along the Pacific, and car-less journeys around Los Angeles

When you think of oak woodlands, cowboys on horses, cattle driving, and sleeping under the stars, what comes to mind? For us, it’s California. On this episode of the California Now Podcast, Soterios Johnson welcomes cattle rancher John Varian to talk about the “cowboy” side of the Golden State. Varian owns the V6 Ranch in Parkfield, a Central Coast cattle farm where visitors can accompany ranch hands for a weekend of cattle-driving across an idyllic countryside. Parkfield (pop. 18) is a hidden gem along the Central Coast, located just outside Paso Robles and halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. As Johnson discovers, it’s an ideal spot to experience rejuvenating fresh air and adventure.

Johnson is next joined by food/travel expert Aida Mollenkamp. The Food Network host describes her ideal road trip down Highway One, hitting special spots at every stop. From San Francisco south to Cambria, she gives recommendations on everything from the best fresh fish restaurants to farmers' markets, beaches, and even a special “bee” experience. She also shares a few special tips for enhancing the journey. (Hint: Make sure you don't run low on gas!)

The episode also features a conversation with Bikes & Hikes LA tour guide Elizabeth Conway, who reveals that people in Los Angeles. drive an average of 40 million miles per day. But there are other ways—healthier, more sustainable ways—to navigate the urban sprawl. Conway takes listeners on a virtual hike up Mt. Hollywood and then describes what it’s like to cycle around town, with stops in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Venice.



Cattle Rancher John Varian, who runs the V6 Ranch, reveals how his little corner of California can provide an adventure for anyone—even those “city slickers.”

Food Network host and travel expert Aida Mollenkamp shares some of the hidden gems she has found along Highway One.

Tour guide Elizabeth Conway of Bikes & Hikes LA details some of the best ways to get around Los Angeles without a car.

About the Host

Soterios Johnson, formerly the local host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on radio station WNYC, moved from New York City to Davis, Calif., in 2016 and is just getting to know his surroundings. By combining his journalistic instincts with his personal curiosity, Johnson will use the California Now platform to develop a deeper understanding of his adopted home.