Roger here.... Some towns and cities just seem to have that "it" factor. For whatever reason (money, community pride, the foresight of community leaders), the quality of life in those places excel. They are places where you wonder what it would be like to live there. Vacaville had an "it" factor. Twentynine Palms did not. After three nights in Redding, California, we can now add that city to the short list of municipalities that seem to have things together.
After looking at the weather forecasts, we picked the best day for taking the dogs on a five-and-a-half mile hike on part of Redding's extensive hike/bike trails.
We started at the Sundial Bridge. This unique structure crosses the Sacramento River. It leads to a hiking trail along the river that is 42 miles long. The deck of the bridge is glass. Yes, glass! You can see the river below and the infrastructure of the bridge by looking at your feet as you walk along.
Bandido looked at his feet (paws). He looked at them a lot. He was petrified. Look at the position of his head and how his legs are spread far apart. It took quite a bit of coaxing and tugging to keep him moving. His natural inclination was to freeze. He earned quite a few chuckles from passersby, and from us. Poor Bandido! (I made sure Tequila was just in front of him the whole time so he could see that she was not afraid at all, but it didn't help. -- D.)
When we weren't urging Bandido to move forward, we enjoyed the magnificent view of the Sacramento River and the mountains in the distance.
The tall spire is actually a working sundial.
When the bridge was completed in 2004, it anchored a community center on one side of the river to a museum, cafe, gift shop, and extensive garden on the other side.
Dianne could not resist a picture of the California poppies in the formal garden. We used to plant them in our Indiana garden every summer.
The paved pathway along the river was easy to find. The scenery varied as we wandered through forests, picnic areas, and public parks.
The turquoise, rapidly-flowing river was always nearby.
We shared the path with other hikers, many with dogs, as well as the bicyclists who zipped by. We were on alert so as not to be run over by a bicycle or by the occasional guitar-playing unicyclist.
Lots of turtles in the turtle pond. Dianne was able to get a close-up of this interesting guy below.
At one point we became aware of the increasing sound of moving water. We soon arrived at this waterfall-like structure that spanned the river. We did not know what it was at the time (probably a hydroelectric structure), but enjoyed watching the turbulent water.
A ramp led the way to the water level so that we could watch through a glass window.
Bandido here.... This is a shot of me explaining to Mom and Dad that chinook salmon can be seen here during the spawning season. I explained that hundreds of them can be seen through this window as they jump up water ladders. Mom and Dad were disappointed that they were not swimming there now. I patiently explained (again) that they would have to come back again in the fall during the spawning season.
After getting such good information from my dog, I just had to share it with one of the locals.
Before retracing our steps, we found a picnic table at one of the many parks and enjoyed the picnic lunch that Dianne packed. We listened to the sounds of children playing in a playground while we ate.
Back at the Sundial Bridge, the shadow confirmed that it was 1:15 p.m. Enough time left in the day for Dianne to get her hair cut.
We will close this post with pictures of the amazing sunset from the night before.
The pet picture of the day is a shot of Bandido as he gingerly recrosses the Sundial Bridge. Our next post will be from Oregon.