We left the Yosemite area last Thursday and headed north on I-5 to Redding California for two weeks. We are staying at Mountain Gate RV Park about 5 miles north of Redding, on the edge of the Shasta Mountains. This is a nice little park set on the side of the hill just off I-5. We have already met two different couples here and been to lunch with both of them.
One couple – Bruce and Linda – have a Grand Design Reflection which is made by the same manufacturer as ours. They are also full-time RVers and he is a retired preacher. Both in their 70s, they have a you-tube channel called “The Redhead and the Preacher”. We learned that they will be staying at the same RV park in Quartzsite Arizona where we will be staying next January, so we will get to see them again.
The other couple we met – Ray and Angie – actually found us when they saw the kayak rack we have mounted on BAT. They have kayaks and carry them on their Jeep which is their secondary vehicle. Angie is a contract travel nurse currently working in the area. We went to dinner with them the day after we arrived and joined them today for a ride to Whiskeytown Recreational Area to see a waterfall, some ruins and then north to Dunsmuir for an awesome burger lunch at Yaks on the 5. Fun day.
Yesterday, Steve and I picked up a rental car in Redding that we will use for a week to do some sightseeing in the area. After we picked up the car, we had a late breakfast at the nearby Lumberjack’s Café. Great little restaurant with a huge lumberjack statue outside. We took a ride out to Shasta Dam which is the second largest dam in the US by mass. It is the 8th tallest in the US too.
We picked up our free tickets for the 1pm tour and walked out to the dam. After about a 15-minute walk past signs that warned against rattlesnakes and by HUGE trees that were planted back in 1945, we arrived at the entrance to where the tours take place. We were a bit early so we took lots of pictures and chatted up a couple other folks that were also there for the tour.
Upon entering, we were frisked – well actually we just had to go through a metal detector – and then proceeded to take an elevator ride to the bottom of the dam. We emerged from the elevator and then walked the length of a football field down a long green-tiled corridor and exited at the base of the dam. The view looking up gives a great perspective of the mass of this dam. There are five turbines that are used to create energy as the water passes out of the dam and heads downstream. 80% of the water used in California is gathered in the northern part of the state.
We then walked into the power house which contains the huge generators powered by the water turbines below. Massive facility. Steve was all giddy. Our guide was a fellow around 30 years old who did a four-year stint in the Marine Corps serving in Iraq. He had been working there at the dam for four summers and really seemed to enjoy it. We had a great tour.
Today, we picked up Angie and Ray and drove to the Whiskeytown Recreational Area in search of a waterfall. We drove off the main road onto a side road and finally came to a small parking lot. We followed a paved trail about a half mile through some beautiful scenery and finally arrived at the falls. Really pretty with crystal clear water. We saw lots of butterflies and lizards along the trail.
After we left there, we stopped at the ruins of the town of Shasta which was a busy gold town in the mid-1880s. The majority of the town was destroyed by fire and the ruins are now open for visitors to see a glimpse of the past. We wandered around for a bit and worked up an appetite. Angie and Ray told us about a funky hamburger joint about 45 miles north in the town of Dunsmuir, so we jumped back in the car and headed that way.
Our destination was “Yaks on the 5” and it was every bit as funky as they said it was. We arrived around 1pm and were seated quickly. The whole restaurant has a funky artistic vibe with hand painted murals on the walls, cool light fixtures and window coverings made of costume jewelry necklaces. They even had cute bathroom signs. But the main draw was the burger menu – Steve and I each had the Wimpy Lizard Burger with hand cut fries and homemade ketchup. Our waitress brought us a complementary sticky bun to share while we waited for our food. Yum!
We stuffed ourselves and groaned on the long ride back to the RV park. A nap was in order for me while Steve sat out in the sun.
Tomorrow is supposed to be cool and rainy so I plan to finish up some sewing in advance of the Grand Design Oregon rally in a few weeks. Not sure if I mentioned it, but I am coordinating the Craft Show at both the Oregon and Washington rallies so I have to have some products on hand to sell! I already made a bunch of aprons and pillow covers – tomorrow I will finish up a batch of bowl cozies and that will be it for a while.
We have plans for this weekend to visit some caverns, a volcano and will possibly head to Mt. Shasta to cool off. It is supposed to be in the upper 90s here for Memorial Day so cool mountain air sounds great! I hope you all have a safe Memorial Day and remember to honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Later…..