Posting from the Potlatch hotel and the world’s crankiest wireless connection.
Rain and mist settled on a bank beside the highway and the sun came out just enough to create a rainbow that flowed down the slope onto the road and followed us for a hundred yards.
We stayed in Redding at the Best Western Hilltop Inn which was extremely pleasant. Whoever wrote their Appetite Stimulus Menu had a good time writing it and a great sense of humor. Sample:
Gas Price Fries 4.99 4.09 3.99 3.09 2.99
Who knows what the price will be today… take a chance!
Obligatory statement of non-conflict of interest: No commercial fees were paid for this review.
The desk clerk at the Hilltop Inn was the fount of all knowledge; she told us how to get to the Sundial Bridge by a route that avoided a heap of construction, which I thoroughly appreciated. The bridge is definitely worth a visit. A pedestrian bridge with a pathway of translucent glass, it crosses the Sacramento River and its riffles, ducks, and egrets. The gnomen soars up into the sky and the supporting cables slice down to the bridge surface.
On the far bank, bollards with brass plaques mark the time where the shadow of the gnomen will fall. (You have to make adjustments for the time of hear.) We were there pretty early (early for me; I don’t do mornings generally speaking) and I was a tiny bit disappointed that the time plaques didn’t reach back early enough to see the shadow on the time. Still, it’s a lovely piece of architecture.
We drove on south, getting deeper and deeper into spring, passing olive groves and almond orchards, including a row of successively younger almond orchard patches, from full-grown trees just beginning to bud out, to saplings, to little pencil-sized sticks in the ground, and finally to a field where if I’d had my field glasses surely I would have been able to see the tiny little almonds sticking out of the ground getting ready to sprout.
As we headed for the Blood Alley cutoff (the first time I ever drove 505 it was a two-lane road with everybody driving 80 mph, one of the most terrifying drives I ever made), we passed the groves of eucalyptus trees planted in the late 19th/early 20th centuries to sustain the famous N. California koala herds, raised in the Sacramento Valley and driven to the famous zoo auction by hardy koalapunchers.
I-80: I sure hope some of the stimulus package goes to infrastructure (Rachel Maddow isn’t the only person in the country who thinks it’s important — go Rachel!), because I felt actively sorry for this road. It looked like a patchwork quilt. Driving it was like driving on a cheese grater.
*But it isn’t gonna happen this trip, because on the way back we travelled 400 miles through a monsoon and 50 miles through fog. (When we hit the Oregon border, the sun came out.) At least I got us through it alive, which is something.
You can find The Moon and the Sun at Book View Cafe, where Chapter 15 was featured on Sunday. A Basement Full of Books Blog Special offers a free Star Trek paperback by Vonda N. McIntyre with each hardback book purchase, for a limited time.