Every cloud has a silver liningJohn Milton
Our world is full of so many great places that it’s impossible to experience them all in a lifetime. On Friday, we would have driven by one such great place—except that our Subaru broke down in Yreka, California, just over the border from Oregon.
We had it towed to the closest dealer in Redding, whose service department was closed for the weekend. Our hopes were that the overheating problem was limited to the radiator and they could have us back on our journey Monday morning.
Fortunately for us, Redding is a great little town, populated by nice people. Hundreds of miles of bike and walking paths connect the town and local sites. Saturday, we set out on a bike ride along the Sacramento River path with the goal of reaching the Shasta Dam but were thwarted only a few miles along our route because the path was closed. Horrendous fires last year—caused by a flat tire on a travel trailer–had destroyed homes, forests, and several bridges along the path.
While we were at the barrier considering our next move, a local came by on his bike, sporting an Italia bike jersey. Ted explained that there was a back route to the dam, and then offered to guide us.
We spent the miles with Ted having discussions about the fire, local life, politics, religion, and biking through Italy. At the top of the dam he had to leave us to attend a birthday party (his own) but gave us directions for a faster route home.
We also visited the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay, a work of art and engineering in the heart of town. By day this pedestrian-bike bridge is a sundial. By night, the glass panels of its surface are lit. But beware if you visit it in the summer—the temperature of the panes on the surface can exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Laurie and I also experienced something unusual for us Seattle area natives—swimming laps outdoors in January. The friendly people at the Shasta Family YMCA gave us guest privileges even though our YMCA doesn’t belong to the nationwide guest network. (BTW, what’s up with that Pierce-Kitsap YMCA?). If you live in the south swimming outdoors during the winter might not be unique to you, but to us…
Our stay was extended four days because our problem turned out to be more than a radiator. (Read head gasket=$$$) Fortunately we found a nice Airbnb studio and have taken the opportunity to explore this nice little town with helpful residents in the backyard of Mount Shasta. I can imagine spending more time here. But maybe not when the Sundial Bridge is suitable for frying eggs.
Question: What adventure have you had–caused by what you thought was a disaster at the time?