Heading out on the road after our Thanksgiving festivities, we interrupted the RV driving day to visit the Sundial Bridge, located in Redding, California.   The bridge sits amongst a compound of buildings and sights; the municipal auditorium, botanical gardens, river parkway,and turtle exploration.  We made the sight-seeing stop, despite an overcast day with intermittent rain.  With the easy in and easy out parking lots, manuevering with the RV was painless.  The pedestrian bridge provides a walking path that crosses the Sacramento River to the entrance of the McConnell Abortum and Botanical Gardens.  With its aquamarine colored flooring, heavy cables strategically placed, and tall majestic sundial footing at the end, the bridge is architecturally beautiful.  The park welcomes dogs-on-leash to the bridge, river parkway, and the gardens.  Needless to say, we were excited for the unexpected sight-seeing opportunity and the chance to take Chester out for a bit of exercise. 

 And we weren't disappointed.  The gardens have comfortable walking trails with cleverly placed sculptures interspersed with the areas.  One of the first was Charlotte's Crossing with the spider sculpture sitting atop a rugged tree stump and the small bridge crafted with spider webs in the metal railing structure.  


As we wander through the trails in the gardens, we continue to come across venues with sculpture amongst plants.  The garden designers marvel us with different shapes and sizes.

Although we visited on a fall day with many plants in hibernation, the colors and textures were fun to explore.  We continued through the mile or so of trails looking at the peaceful artistic creations.  One could imagine the colors if you were to visit in the spring months.


At the entrance to the complex, we noticed a good place to meet members in your party before you proceed to the bridge and  park.  Near this area is the turtle exploration building, a gourmet coffee vendor, and a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs.  From there, we headed toward the river parkway.  The path stretches for miles along the Sacramento River with views in both directions.

Passing the portion of fence where the locks were attached, we both did a double take.  More sculpture art?  What was this?  I snapped the picture with the thought of asking a park official, but didn't end up with enough courage to put forth the question.  The answer came from another visitor. 

These are love locks.  Lovers place their initials on the lock, attach it to the fence, and then throw away the key to demonstrate their unbreakable love.  It is a romantic custom that has caught on in Europe with precarious numbers of locks attached to fences and public bridges.  Discovering the meaning, we chuckle at the impermanence of a combination lock.  Trial period?  We ponder the possibilities as we look through the pictures from our day and promise to take a lock of our own on our next visit. 

Going down the Rogue River in Oregon on the Hellgate tour was a thrill!  We took the whole family for the dinner cruise.  Good food and plenty of splash from the 360 degree boat turns afterward.  It was a day to remember.  Thanks for the tip!     
   - Fergerson Family