Posts Tagged ‘Redding’

What a glorious feeling — I’m happy again!

December 24, 2012

Monday, Christmas eve, 2012

The day dawned bright and clear, the first time since we’ve been here. Nice! We can see Shasta from our second-floor window, even the dim shadow of Shastina to its left.

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After another great breakfast, we crossed the river and headed upstream. We’ll try to go at least to Keswick dam, and if there is time, perhaps some distance on beyond, toward Shasta dam.

Nice day. Fisherfolk in the river, a TuVu overhead, hoping to find something dead.

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Very pretty trail. Paved all the way to the ribbon bridge, which is within sight of Keswick dam. Lots of walkers, runners, cyclists, everyone enjoying a break from work, a break from the rain.

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At the ribbon bridge, we took the FB trail (no idea what FB means), up the hill to Keswick dam road, then down the road to the dam.

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A lot of power gets generated here!

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We walked across the dam, checking out as much of its mechanism as we could see. There are four spillway gates, suspended on mammoth bicycle chains!

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Looking down from one of the gates.

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To see the face of the dam, we have to peer through chain-link fence. The spillway gates are to the right, the generator house at the left.

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We went no further; Jacky wanted to finish some Christmas cards to our Canadian friends, and get to the post office to mail them before the posties closed for the holiday.

The trail was pretty enough on our outward walk, but even better on the return.

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We found one interesting mushroom, and a half-shredded pine cone, awaiting the squirrel’s return visit.

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Jacky finished her Christmas cards on the back deck, in the sun, over a brew or two. We walked out and found the post office. Then we wandered around looking for a restaurant. Not the best of days to find an open place, however. Lots of restaurants closing early and probably remaining closed through tomorrow as well.

We were reduced to going back to the B&B and picking up the car. We thought it would be good to find a Thai restaurant, but anything better than fast food would be okay, and fast food would be better than starving.

But of course as soon as we started out, we drove past a Japanese restaurant that claimed to be open. By the time I changed lanes and parked, we were opposite a taqueria. Mex? Well, no: the taqueria was just at the point of closing. But the Kobe restaurant had sushi and pad thai, and we celebrated the conclusion of a terrific day outdoors in beautiful scenery.

Redding for Christmas

December 22, 2012

Friday, 21 December 2012

We were offered a brochure on Redding trails at some kind of street fair last summer. Looked interesting, and our only previous involvement with this town at the north end of California’s central valley was during our tandem bicycle tour of northern California some years ago. So we booked five nights over Christmas. If the weather is unsatisfactory, we’ll read and seek out museums and such.

The weather certainly started out unsatisfactorily enough. There was a severe storm over the north bay over Thursday night, moving slowly south and east Friday morning. We left home reasonably early, hoping to at least get out of the metropolitan area before the heavy rain set in.

Success. It was rainy, but not all that bad. I5 was closed to semis north of Redding because of snow, and autos were required to have chains. Because we were only going to Redding, there were no restrictions, although the bit of slush that was starting to accumulate on the road required attention.

We had good directions to the Bridge House B&B, right on the river. We had phoned from a Starbucks in Woodland and predicted noon arrival, and so it was. We unloaded massive piles of junk from the car — when we’re not flying, we can indulge ourselves — and went out to find some lunch.

Our hostess Janelle suggested some restaurants, the nearest of which was ¬†Clearie’s. Busy but good. As we departed, we stopped in the shelter of the building to don our rain gear, and noticed a brochymena. The first small animal of the trip, surprising at this time of year and in this weather, and very welcome.

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Today is expected to be the end of the world, depending on whom you believe. Not a whole lot of people are taking it seriously…

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When it was time to dine, we went out again, still in the cold rain. Ended up at Shameless O’Leery’s [sic!] pub. More crowd and more noise than we really care for, and far too many TVs, but the food and the beer were okay, and the weather didn’t encourage a long process of exploration.

Saturday, 22 December

The world did not come to an end yesterday.

The morning dawned without rain, without snow. There was even a bit of blue in the sky. During a great breakfast, we got recommendations for hiking trails. Janelle thought we would need to drive to get anywhere useful (other than the river trails: but we intend to save them for Monday, when the weather may improve enough for a serious hike of some distance).

But we like to walk, and it appeared that we could at least follow the route of the bike map to the Churn creek trails, maybe 2.5 miles away as the crow flies. We started by crossing the river and walking downstream along the trail on the far side.

The first landmark was of course the sundial bridge. Very impressive, a glass deck, and it really is a sundial. Among its impressive features is the fact that its final cost was about 8x the first estimate. Just as an example, we read that the architect was adamant that all exposed concrete be tiled over… not his money, after all. Foundations and taxpayers.

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We climbed the hill to Hilltop drive, which crosses over I5 and goes into what was a major shopping center area. Just about the time we reached Old Alturas road, whence we could go east again to the Churn creek area, the skies opened up. Hard rain, small hail, even thunder and lightning. We decided to declare victory and abandon the field!

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Of course, by the time we had retreated a little way, the storm blew over and the day turned bright and sunny again. That’s fine.

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We walked down Churn creek road to Mistletoe, then over to the southern extension of Hilltop, which parallels I5. Turned west again at Cypress, which would lead us into the neighborhood of the library, where we thought we might spend a little time.

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The civic center has a goodly collection of topiary and strange sculpture.

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I liked especially the windows of this building against the dark of the sky.

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And in the library, what looks rather like a Mark Twain, although there was no sign that said so.

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We walked back toward the B&B as it got dark, stopped at a pub for a brew and enough to eat that we won’t bother going out again later.