Teaching Travels-The Sundial Bridge, Redding, Ca
Sometimes my travels to teach and lecture take me to new places. Travel is a major reason why I love to teach and lecture. It’s just plain fun to meet people from different places. I hope to be traveling internationally at some point but for now, I am excited to visit locales in the western US.
Last week I traveled to Redding, Ca, located in the northernmost part of the central valley of the state. This was my first visit to Redding and about all I knew (before I did my research) was that it was HOT! Redding is at the 40th parallel, the same parallel as the border between Nebraska and Kansas, but its avg daily temp in July runs right around 100 degrees.
Redding is situated at the terminal end of the San Joaquin Valley, surrounded on three sides by mountains. The mountains trap the valley heat, making for one hot city!
The drive up from Sacramento takes about 2 1/2 hours and it was unexpectedly beautiful. Much of the drive was lined with mile upon mile of blooming oleanders-gorgeous!
Okay, maybe not everyone sees beauty in this, but I do. There were lots of grain elevators, outbuildings and barns along the drive with wide open vistas making for an understated beauty.
And by the way, my new car has an “automatic pilot system” of sorts that allows for hands-free driving. I cautiously engaged it when there were no cars around which allowed me to take photos while driving. Don’t chastise me!
But wait a minute, doesn’t this totally look Midwestern? If it weren’t for the olive trees, the Coastal Range and the Oleanders, it could have been!
I revel in this scene. There was a stiff wind which made for “amber waves of grain”. This fills my soul.
I actually think it may be illegal to drive I-5 through northern California without stopping at The Olive Pit. They have just a few choices for olives, oil and other goodies! Hubby received a nice little surprise when I returned home.
I had heard and read about the Sundial Bridge and I had to see it! I planned my trip to allow for a few hours to poke around before my evening lecture. I was not disappointed.
It is a pedestrian bridge, striking in size, with a glass walkway. Some people were a little freaked out to walk across the span. It is one of the largest working sundials in the world.
It’s hard to convey what it feels like to walk across the glass walkway. The Sacramento River runs below the bridge and there was a swift current the day I visited.
If you stand under the sundial, this is the imposing shadow you’ll see.
Because the shadow is so huge, it is only reports time from 11AM-4PM each day. And of course, it’s only truly accurate on the Summer Solstice.
When I visited this spot it was 2:12PM on June 7th so I was not too far from visiting on the perfect day.
You get a spectacular view of Mount Shasta from the bridge!
The bridge is located in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park with an arboretum and an extensive river trail system. Unfortunately I did not have time to explore the rest of the park.
I had to put my toes in the river and as expected, the water was bracingly cold from the snow melt. Besides it was time to get ready for my lecture and class the next day. I had a great visit with the Quilters Sew-Ciety of Redding. A full house of excited quilters worked and played with their Daisy Table Toppers, making for another great day of teaching.
NOTE: Ever since I’ve had this newer format on my site/blog (maybe 2 yrs?), I’ve been disappointed that my photos could only be shown at their reduced size. Silly me-I just discovered that I was loading them wrong, so I corrected that. Now when you click on a photo, you will see it full sized.
Please let me know if it takes a long time to load my photos when you click on them. Technology is so humbling….
Ardis Bucy says
Glorious photos. Nice introduction to the area, if one has not been there. It is oon my home to Oregon when I visit California. Yes, your photos are full page size – BIG and perfect. So enjoy your blog. Ardis in Rogue River
Thank you for the feedback Ardis! It’s a beautiful drive through northern Ca to Oregon.
A sundial bridge. Who knew? I love those amber waves of grain.
Can’t take the Midwestern out of the girl I guess! It really is cool to see this huuuuge sundial.
Sally Morris says
17 seconds from click to full picture. I suspect each person’s internet speed has control over this You didn’t mention the designer of the bridge was Santiago Calatravva, the famous Spanish architect. He also did the Milwaukee, WI Museum which is a must see for anyone getting to Chicago or closer. It is situated overlooking Lake Michigan, with huge wing span like arms that go up every morning and down every evening, like a bird about to take off to fly over the lake. This was Calatravva’s first finished work in the USA, and encompassed two of his most favorite things to design: bridges and moving parts on buildings. Inside is full of Chiuly because he got his start in glass at the U of Wis. There is a lot of impressive European art work as well, Along with barns and grasses, (and barn quits!) it is a Midwestern must-see.
I want to see the Milwaukee museum!! Thank you for letting me know about the load time.
It didn’t take any time at all for your pictures to load. I have been to and through Redding a million times, but I have never seen the sundial bridge. What a cool thing, and especially nice because the river is fuller than it has been for the past few years.
I really enjoyed your road trip–thanks for taking the time to share it with us!
You should make it a day trip, or more. It really is cool and there is a whole lot more to explore there.
Really enjoyed seeing this bridge again. M y brother showed it to me when I visited him. Unfortunately he is no longer with us so it brought back some very pleasant memories for me.
the pics loaded with no problem for me.
Oh sorry to hear about your brother but isn’t it nice when you run into good memories? Thank you for your comment Ruth. It is a cool experience to walk the bridge.
Linda McLaughlin says
Lucky you the sun was shining, when I visited the bridge during a teaching trip it was raining. My dog wouldn’t walk across it, the glass must have freaked him out.
Oh yes it was a gorgeous day! I hope you get a chance to see it again on a pretty day.