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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Heading south....

On Monday, we left Portland and headed south to Medford. We travelled through beautiful farm country, with rich, thick green pastures, lots of cattle and sheep and traditional red barns and other farm buildings. There were so many calves and lambs, and I noticed a number of ewes with twins! I noticed that there were a lot of daffodils growing beside the road on the verges and they were already flowering unlike in Portland where the bulbs were just starting to push green shoots through. We had a short stop in Halsey , a town which has beautiful old buildings.

During our drive we met a number of timber trucks and a number of towns on our journey had timber mills. We even came to a lane of the highway closed off while loggers went in and were getting logs out. Our lunch time stop was in Eugene where there a couple of timber/lumber mills. I took lots of photos of the streets of Eugene, because some of my friends have ties to the town or have relatives there. We ate at a wonderful restaurant in Eugene. It was called La Perla Pizzeria Napoletana, and the food was really good!  (I can be very ‘picky’ about Italian has to be good!)
The highlight of the day for me had to be just near the turnoff for Grants Pass... a covered bridge! The bridge is the last remaining covered bridge in Josephine County and was built in 1920 as part of the pacific highway project. Ever since I saw pictures of these types of bridges years ago, I’ve been fascinated by them...they are certainly something from an era long gone and as far as I am aware, there are none in Australia. When we drove on the bridge, the play of light and shadows was magical...I loved it! ( years ago my interest in the bridges was re-awakened when I saw a movie about a young couple who bought a their first house together but on the drive to the house, a covered bridge collapsed and the rest of the movie is about the 2 being ghosts and haunting the house!!!)

Today we drove through different country and it was extremely cold and snow was certainly in abundance. We crossed into California once again and stopped at a town called Weed for lunch; it was named after a local senator and timber baron, Abner Weed who died in 1917. The diner we ate in was again how I imagined traditional diners would be. The food was pretty good and the cup of coffee was ‘bottomless’. Overlooking the town of Weed is a mountain called Shasti which at the moment is covered with snow. A smaller mountain about a mile away is known as Shastina. The town had snow on the footpaths and in people’s yards and on roofs and it was very cold walking down the main street. The man in the souvenir shop recognised our accents and said he had a friend who now lives in Sydney. We asked this guy whether it had snowed during the night and he said it was snow from about 4 nights ago!

The snow was still on the trees

The name of this road caught my eye!

 This old truck was for sale in Weed

 The cafe in Weed where we had lunch

Mount Shastina

Mt Shasta
Before we got to Redding, our stop for tonight we came across a motel/small resort which had trains in its yard; both locos and carriages. It was cold wet and muddy though!  We then continued on to redding.
After we booked into our hotel we did a bit of exploring  and in particular we visited the Sundial Bridge which spans the Sacramento River which just happens to be flooding at the moment. The current was just soooo fast! The bridge is very is a footbridge and it has panels of glass that are walked on. In summer these panels can heat up to 150 degrees F! And there are warnings to wear shoes and if walking dogs be aware it can get hot! We couldn’t see the actual shadow part as it was flooded! The bridge cost $24 million dollars and is 720 ft long and 23 feet wide. It is lit by 219 lights (most in the deck under the glass) and has 2245 glass panels in the deck, each 10 square feet.

 The decking of the bridge with the glass panels with lights underneath
 The part that throws the shadow and also where the cables are stretched from
The flooding of the path beside the river

The part of the sundial where the shadow would normally form is under water at the moment


Jennifer said...

Maria thanks for your lovely descriptive text. I felt like I was taking the journey with you. You have made it sound so interesting.
I have always wanted to see the American countryside not the cities just the country.

Claud said...

There are a lot of beautiful places here; I'm glad you have the chance to see a few of them.

Claud :-)

Maria said...

Thank you Jennifer for your kind words. We are getting closer to having to 'tackle' the bigger cities again, but it has been lovely going through the more rural areas.
Claud, yes you certainly have a beautiful country, very diverse landscapes. I'm only sorry we won't get to North Carolina.