It seems like I have been driving through Redding, California forever— traveling back and forth between Southern Oregon and Northern California, heading into the beautiful Trinity Alps on backpacking adventures, and once, even starting a seven-day canoe trek down the Sacramento River from the town. I often stop for food or gas, but I have never considered Redding a destination.
That has changed.
In March, Peggy and I met our friends Ken and Leslie there to begin a week of wandering. We didn’t have anywhere we needed to be, so we decided to spend a day exploring the town and area, which Ken knows well. Our explorations led us to Turtle Bay Park and the incredibly beautiful Sundial Bridge. In addition to its architectural beauty, the bridge happens to be exactly what its name suggests, a sundial. In fact it is one of the largest sundials in the world.
The bridge, completed in 2004, spans the Sacramento River with a 700-foot deck that is made up of 200 tons of granite and glass. Graceful cables connect the deck with the bridge’s 217-foot tall sundial/pylon and provide suspension. The renowned Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, designed the bridge. Known for his work on bridges in Europe and numerous other structures around the world, the project was his first freestanding bridge in the United States.
Walkers, bicyclists, runners and one very large group of children on a school field trip were crossing the bridge when we arrived. Peggy, Leslie, Ken and I joined the crowd. I took out my camera and went to work while the others waited patiently. I think you will agree with me on just how spectacular the bridge is.