Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday around the lake, the dam and the bridge

We got a fairly early start (for us, that is) today because we wanted to find the Shasta Dam, have lunch, drive into Redding and then try and see some eagles at Packers Bay Marina.

I'm a bit frustrated because all the maps I have with me aren't really helping here.  Even the California Gazetteer has me snarling.  It is huge and new and the pages don't stay open on my lap.  Also, the smaller roads (the ones we're driving on) must be written in invisible ink because I can't see them. Put the reading glasses on, look at the map, take the reading glasses off, put on the prescription sunglasses look out the window, try and read the signs, look down, put the reading glasses on, pick up the d amn map from the floor find the page, too late, we've passed the turn.  Argh!     The unintended consequences of this are not so bad though.   We find ourselves driving on roads (?)  that we would have never gone down otherwise.  No one around to tell us "no", so we're really exploring.

don't follow those tracks Dave!

this can't be Packers Bay Marina!  Where are we?

as we were driving back from the water's edge, we startled this little guy and his friend

We drove on to the Shasta Dam.  The road took us through the small town of Shasta Lake and up into the hills above the Sacramento River.  It was paved, and well marked, but terribly twisty and minus any guardrails.  Why do I do this to myself?   The immediate area of the dam is beautiful and park-like.  A huge, empty parking lot surprised us, no cars, no people, nothing....signs advertising tours on the hour, but no one about.  We tried to get into the Visitor's Center, but it was locked....Then we saw a small sign reminding us that today is Columbus Day and the place is closed....Oh well.  We walked around and a little way out onto the dam.  Back to Shasta Lake for a little lunch.

beautiful view of the dam on the way up

the mountains and Sacramento River below the dam
As I stood on the overlook taking the two pictures above, I heard music!  We were far from anything and no  one was in sight.  Dave heard it too.  We decided that there must be a house nearby with a radio on or something.  As we drove down the steep road, we passed this young man, sitting on the very edge of the drop off, playing his heart made my day.

For lunch we stopped at a very cute looking little place that boasted breakfast all day.  Log cabin, wood booths, wonderful pine tree, mountain, river mural on the back wall and all windows in the front.  Great!, so so.  I ordered the special soup of the day - 15 bean.   As described, it was chocked full of beans, topped with chopped onions and shredded cheese.  It looked wonderful, but with the first spoon, I discovered that my eyes were fooling me,  it had absolutely no taste!  It seemed like someone opened 15 cans of beans, dumped them in a pot, heated them up and served them.  Diet lunch for me!  Dave's eggs and bacon were fine so all was not lost.

Now back on I-5 to Redding to see the famous Sundial Bridge over the Sacramento River adjacent to the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Botanical Gardens.  It was designed by the world renowned architect Santiago Calatrava.   The deck is glass.....good thing is that it has become slightly clouded with time and use so I couldn't actually see the water we were walking over!

The support tower of the bridge is a single mast that points due north, and it functions as a real sundial!

view from the center of the bridge, see the egret on the branch on the bottom?

here he is
We walked through the Botanical Garden awhile and enjoyed seeing the native plants that lined the river and the Sacramento River Trail.

I lose Dave when we walk through nice smelling flowers....Oh Dave...

1 comment:

  1. Wow ...what a beautiful area ...I'll be right over!

    Hey, was that a volleyball sitting on the edge of that little lake...or, what was that?
    Loved the guy playing his cool is that?!! And what a view he had....I could even make music happen looking at that. Well, then again, maybe not....

    To Dave and Sue their dream, each and every day. Love you both!