"It's 700 feet down to the water. It goes down a lot deeper than that but I can't tell you that."
"There's a lot more security than you can see. Believe me, it's very secure but you can't know how."
"I can't shake your hand because that would leave me vulnerable to be taken down."
So goes the conversation, not that I asked any of those questions, to the body-armored clad and well armed guard on top of Shasta Dam.
"Don't worry, I won't try to shake your hand...I'll just give you a wave."
"I can't shake hands."
So I've heard...
"I do like showing off the dam to people like you, though. It was built during World War II. These things over hear pump cold water up the dam to the spillways to help the fish downstream. You should take a look at the exhibits in the visitor's center."
It's a bit of a strange conversation with the guard manning the top rim of the dam but he's nice and means well. We continue along to reach the other side.
Above us, we hear the shrieks of a few osprey. Several nesting pairs live around the dam and they like to fish near the structure. Eagles command the rest of the lake, so they stay out of the bigger birds way.
The weather's warm but nice. A stiff breeze blows off our hats now and again and the views of the source of the massive Sacramento River are stunning.
Back in Redding, after a swim in the hotel pool, we head over to the local minor league field behind the library to take in a game.
The Redding Colt 45s are hosting the Redding Tigers at the field they both call home. The teams are part of the Far West League, a summer league formed to give serious college players a place to ply their trade during the summer.
Still waiting to hone their skills to the point where a major league team might draft them, the FWL serves as an independent minor league slotted between college play and the regular minor leagues.
For five dollars, we get great front row seats about 10 feet from home plate.
We soon discover that this little stadium behind the library serves one of the top three hot dogs we've every had at a ball game, along with a decent little selection of craft beer to wash it down.
It's a very fun time and a good game. It's close for the first six or seven innings but the 45's pull away in the end to crush the Tigers 15 to 4.
With that, we retire back to our hotel to relax and get ready to head down highway 99 to our next destination.
Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved
Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved