Last weekend our family and three other families headed up to Trinity
Lake to do some camping. On the way up we stopped in Redding, CA to see the Sundial Bridge. One of the dads had read about the bridge and wanted to see it since it was on the way. (It was literally a couple of blocks from the freeway we were on.) Simply put, the bridge was impressive. If you are ever near Redding, it is worth stopping at. It’s only a couple of minutes off I-5, has plenty of parking, and is great spot for taking pictures.
The bridge is a pedestrian only bridge that spans the Sacramento River in the middle of Redding. It gets its name from the fact that the bridge actually is a massive sundial. There are markers on the North end that show the time as the shadow of the spire moves during the day. The accuracy varies because any sundial is really only accurate at Summer Solstice, but it was still pretty close last week.
I’m not going to go into all the details of the bridge, if you want them them you can visit the Wikipedia entry. Aside from the stunning design and engineering, one thing I thought was cool was the surface of the bridge – it’s glass. We were there during the day so didn’t get to see the bridge lit up, but I imagine it’s pretty spectacular.
I was also impressed that a city actually had the foresight and political will to build such a fabulous landmark. I can’t imagine the debates and battles that took place to get this project approved, but it was worth it. I’ve driven through Redding several times over the years, but only ever stopped for gas or food. Now I’ll stop by the bridge every time I drive through. It’s a great place to hang out and relax. This bridge is in itself an attraction. It drew our families, and I’m sure will continue to be an draw others for decades to come.
When we were there it was over 100 degrees, so the water looked really inviting. At the North end of the bridge you can walk under the bridge and wade in the river, but even in 100+ degree heat the water is too cold. The Sacramento River is fed from Lake Shasta, which is primarily snow runoff. I was surprised by how cold it was. I could only stand in it, ankle deep, for about a minute. While the kids tried to see who could stay in the water the longest, I wander around taking pictures.
You can see this image on Zooomr with a geotag. Here are a few more shots: