Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thunder Road, Stop 2: The Sundial Bridge

After our amazing dinner at Jack's Grill, and because it was too early to head to our cheap motel room at the Stardust, we decided to try to find world-class Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava's amazing Sundial Bridge, a gorgeous feat of artistic engineering that spans the Sacramento River and is a part of the impressive Turtle Bay Exploration Park, a combination arboretum, museum and exhibition park that serves as the entrance to Redding's extensive Sacramento River Trail system.

The bridge is suspended above the river by a single pylon that soars to a point at one end and has cables suspended from it, not unlike a harp. The deck of this walking bridge is lit from below, giving it a weightless appearance as it floats above the river. And it appears to be a huge public success. The night we were there, people ranging in age from toddlers to high school kids to elders with walkers were standing and walking and talking all along its span, holding the thick cables as they vibrated with the motion of the water and the breeze.

This is a place to visit if you're ever on the road down south, and would be a great place to stop for a walk on the bridge and lunch at the Turtle Bay cafe, which sits at one end. It's certainly nothing I would have expected to see in a place like Redding, and shows that someone with vision has ideas for this place that go beyond strip malls. Something that Portland should take note of, being the water-oriented mecca that we are.

Read the rest of the posts in the series: Thunder Road Redux, Stop1: Jack's Grill, California Campin', Back in Oregon

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