Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Redding and Ashland

The downside of going to Eugene was that we were going to have to put up with 4 days of motorhome repairs (that had already been done once before).  But I must shun the negative Virgo vibe that I have and look at the bright side – our travels would take us through Redding, California and Ashland, Oregon.  You may be thinking that I lost my mind because neither of those towns sounds appealing enough to vacate the busy, vino-laden, foodie world that is Napa Valley.  Well, it just so happened we had friends in both these towns and a few days to cool our heels before checking in for our dreaded repairs.

Rob and I (and Spirit covertly begging)
enjoying dinner. Just so you know, we
did not drink all those bottles of wine that night.
Our friend and neighbor from Tucson, Rob, had settled in Redding for a few months and we were thrilled to have the chance to see him and his adorable dog Dexter again.  Rob was eager to show us his new town and we love playing tourist.

Dexter - Spirits best friend.

The few days in Redding with Rob flew by as we spent our days sightseeing and nights sitting around the campfire eating and laughing.  On our first day, we ventured to the “best breakfast” joint in town (Déjà vu) and then headed downtown to walk off our corned beef hash and croque monsieur's.   Downtown Redding’s famous landmark is the stunning Sundial Bridge which is a gateway for exploring nice hiking and biking trails.  The bridge is a functional work of art that encourages people to cross the marveling mix of steel, glass, and concrete and enjoy the renewed downtown and Turtle Bay Exploration Park

The bridge was designed by world-reknowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava who said the design was inspired by  the local environment. 

The bridge took eleven years to complete from inception to opening in 2004 and cost 24 million dollars.  There are 2,245 glass panels in the bridge deck that span the 720 feet of the bridge above the Sacramento River. 
For our second day, Rob suggested we go to McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park to see the falls and hike amongst the conifers.  This was a great suggestion as we were so happy to hike among the towering strong pines that emit a smell reminding us of winter and the resilience of the natural world.  The park is located at 3,100 feet and the roadside snow piles were a reminder that spring has not sprung yet.

The water cascading down the falls originates at Burney Mountain and flows through an underground network of ancient river channels flowing with water from snow melt. 
The dogs could not have been happier.

The next stop before Eugene was Ashland, Oregon to see my high school friend, Jen, who I have not seen in some 25 years…well before grey hairs, careers, and three kids (for her tally).  It’s so wonderful when you can just pick up where you left off with good friends and reminisce about the old days and continue the laughter into the present.  Jen was game for a good long walk with Spirit, Betsy, and I at the campground and then she took us downtown for lunch and a walk about town.  The bustling downtown is alive with university students, family’s enjoying the city parks on a sunny day, and visitors who make Ashland a destination for the annual eight-month Shakespeare Festival.

It is wonderful to catch up with old friends and meet new towns.  After all, isn’t this what our RV adventure is all about?  Sure is!

And here she is...smiling for the camera.

1 comment:

  1. We just booked reservations next fall (Oct) for Umpqua State Park. Hopefully we can make some day trips into Eugene and see some of the things you highlight. Great photos!


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