Day 7 - Chico
|Friday, April 8, 2016: We were happily surprised to see Mt. Shasta visible from our hotel room when we awoke.
|We ate our leftover Mexican food and hit the road. We were California-bound, baby!
|We drove through flat farmland, ...
|... and more flat farmland, with Mt. Shasta getting larger and larger.
|We drove through lovely Klamath National Forest, ...
|... passing Grass Lake.
|Five minutes later, we were at a scenic turn in, just perfect for viewing Mt. Shasta in the perfectly clear, sunny sky.
|Of course, Debbie took a photo.
|Here it is.
|A map there showed us where we were relative to where we had started out.
|Next, we drove through Weed, California, ...
|... and then stopped to see Lake Siskiyou, just outside the town of Mt. Shasta. We weren't sure where the trail was going to take us, ...
|... but we got lucky and happened across this view.
|Let's look at it for a moment, ...
|... like Debbie did.
|We drove a little further down and got a photo of the larger part of the lake, ...
|... then caught a photo of the other side of that cool bridge as we headed back into town.
|Further south, we followed Shasta Lake for a while, ...
|... then crossed over it via the VFW Memorial Bridge.
|Our next stop was the Sundial Bridge in Redding.
|First, we went down to the river to photograph the bridge and to admire the eagle's nest on the lesser bridge to the west.
|Then we headed up to the Sundial Bridge for a closer look.
|Look how cool this thing is!
|The glass is a little disconcerting, but it sure is pretty, plus it's cool to have a glimpse at the river beneath you.
|It's quite a structure.
|This plaque notes that the bridge was built in 2004. It also says some other stuff.
|By now, we were hungry, so we were happy to find that Redding had an In-N-Out Burger, so off we went in search of it.
|We ordered off the menu like the out-of-towners we were, ...
|... but it was delicious, even if we didn't order it animal style.
|Then we headed out of town, a little reluctant to leave beautiful Redding behind.
|We drove past orchard after orchard of fruit and nut trees.
|Finally, we reached Chico, our destination for the evening, but we didn't stop there.
|We drove through Butte Creek Canyon to Honey Run Bridge, built in 1894.
|Here it is from the front, ...
|... from the river below, ...
|... and from the inside.
|We peeked through one of the windows at the river below. The bridge is no longer used as a bridge, but is used as a venue for parties.
|We took our time driving back through the canyon and stopped by the water further down, ...
|... plus got a closer shot of some of the poppies we'd seen since Portland.
|We checked into Hotel Diamond, located in the center of town and housed in a renovated historic building.
|Here's our small but lovely room, ...
|... and a glimpse at the very large bathroom.
|Next, we had dinner with friends Ben and Sandy. They picked us up at the hotel and we headed to Sierra Nevada Brewery, which was founded in Chico.
|They have a very large indoor restaurant and tasting room, ...
|... and a lovely patio where we were seated. Our table was underneath an arbor with wisteria growing on it.
|Of course, we had to have a sampler.
|When dinner was over, our server was nice enough to get a photo of all of us.
|Every once in a while, a wisteria blossom would fall from the arbor above us onto the table.
|This tiny one landed in our empty glass of Oktoberfest.
|Next, we went to the gift shop, ...
|... where we salivated at all the beer we couldn't have, ...
|... and bought all the things we could have, including socks, Porter Spice soap, Pale Ale mustard, and a Sierra Nevada Chico bag. It absolutely blew our minds to learn that Chico bags were from Chico, California. We've been fans for many years and never really questioned their name.
|We peeked into the brewery, ...
|... and walked around the open area used for parties and events, ...
|... and peered down at the beautiful copper brewing kettles.
|There are several cases of historic bottles, featuring Sierra Nevada and many other brands.
|Here's a closeup view. That's Mt. Shasta Beer from the long defunct United States Brewing Corp in the center.
|Looking down from the second floor, we saw a tour group ending their tour with a beer tasting.
|As we drove away, we passed a small patch of farmland where rows and rows of different types of hops were being grown.
|Next, Ben and Sandy took us on a tour of Chico and its surroundings. We visited Upper Bidwell Park, with its pretty pond, ...
|... and wide open spaces for playing, hiking, and cave exploring.
|Then we drove through Lower Bidwell Park which winds through town for miles and features trails along Big Chico Creek.
|This section of the creek has been turned into an official swimming hole, with rigid banks, ladders to get in and out, and lifeguard chairs.
|We stopped briely to take a photo of the lovely Bidwell Mansion, which is now open to the public for tours.
|Finally, we drove through the Cal State - Chico campus, where Ben used to work in the medical laboratory before retiring in 2014. He and Debbie had become friends over the years when he came to Indianapolis for training on the software that Debbie develops, and Debbie finally took him up on his invitation to come out and visit sometime.
At the end of the evening, we said our goodbyes outside of the hotel and called it a night.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy