Redding, Chico, Paradise, and More


I checked out of the motel by 10:00 on Sunday, checking carefully for lice, and grabbed a quick breakfast before heading south toward Chico. When I left I-5 at Red Bluff, I left freeways behind for most of the day.


Chico was less exciting than I wanted it to be. I expected there to be cute college boys (like the one from the Doggie Diner) everywhere, especially since classes were starting Monday. There weren’t many, so I drove to Paradise, which proved less idyllic than I’d imagined. It wasn’t a bad place, just not a terribly exciting one. Ditto for Oroville. I wanted to look around Marysville and Yuba City some more, but it was getting late. I’d been there before anyway.


For some stupid reason, I decided to take I-80 home rather than my usual Sacramento-SF route through the Delta. I realized it was a mistake as I found myself doing about 15MPH through Vacaville. I finally got off in Fairfield and just drove through town. Things got better south of Vallejo and it was alarmingly traffic-free through Berkeley and Emeryville, until I hit the Bay Bridge. But by that time, I was so glad to be enshrouded in fog that I didn’t even care.


Random thoughts on Redding:

  • It’s a very white place and people sound like they’re from Minnesota. Fortunately, it’s more white trash than white yuppie.
  • I love the fact that there’s only one Starbucks downtown and it looks a little seedy, housed as it is in a former Long John Silver’s.
  • “Fast food” is an oxymoron here.
  • Redding and the surrounding area should be sort of a resort destination, but there didn’t seem to be any tourists anywhere, even at Shasta Dam (which was basically deserted).
  • Housing is just as cheap as you imagine it would be.
  • It sure is nice to see some trees scattered about, not to mention a landscape which isn’t quite so brown. Oops, I meant “golden”…

I wouldn’t want to live there, but I’ll probably go back to visit. It probably won’t be August when I do so.