During the 1960s, young people from all over the country flooded into a small village tucked behind the Oakland hills amidst a grove of towering redwoods. Some of them just came to party, but many sought to build an alternative to what they saw as the violence and reckless consumerism of mainstream society. In the forest, they built psychedelic cabins out of scavenged materials and taught each other how to garden, sew, raise chickens and goats, play music, bake bread, and much more.
By the end of the decade, this hippie enclave faced several major threats: a crackdown by local government agencies and – even more terrifying – a catastrophic explosion that killed a man and left several of the town’s most important structures in smoldering ruins.
This episode explores Canyon’s fight for survival… and why it was worth saving. Featuring interviews with: Christina Bernard, Ed Johnson, Karen Pickett, Deva Rajan, Vicki Saputo, Esperanza Pratt Surls, and also an archival interview with George Menge, conducted about two decades ago by Roberta Llewellyn. Big thank you to Digital Roots Studio for digitizing the audio cassette. (If you missed part 1 of this mini-series, here’s a link to the first episode.)
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