July 23 – August 3, 2020
Finished with our tour of the Victorian homes, we began our trek to Redding by driving north a short distance on the 101 before turning inland on Highway 299, also known as the Trinity Highway as it follows that the river for nearly half of the journey. One of our goals as travelers has long been to cover as much of the State of California as we possibly can and driving this highway would put us one step closer to its realization.
Another motivation was our viewing of the 2011 PBS Huell Howser episode (California Gold, Road Trip, Visiting, etc.), Weaverville Road Trip. The town lies about two-thirds of the way to Redding and it would have been nice to stop and explore, but time constraints pushed us onward. As we’ve experienced with other similar places, these brief encounters often lead to a longer return visit, providing the opportunity to more fully explore a locations unique character.
As an aside, I was interviewed by Huell during my tenure at UCLA in the episode, Ride-Share Visiting, when he highlighted campus initiatives to reduce traffic congestion and I was chosen because I commuted by bicycle on a regular basis. If you follow the link you will see me in all my youthful glory at the eleven-minute mark struggling to not embarrass myself on camera as I genuinely laugh towards the end. He really did make one feel comfortable talking to the microphone.
It was a gorgeous drive through a heavily forested landscape, the second half following the Trinity River until we reached the outskirts of Redding and arrived at the Best Western Plus Twin View Inn & Suites on the north side of town. This was a bonus night for us as we redeemed points for a free stay, always a nice perk when you can build up enough credit. Having arrived before check-in, we drove downtown to stop in at Taste and See Creamery which turned out to be a winning choice.
We split two scoops, one of the bourbon brown butter pecan and the other the balsamic roasted strawberry. For those of you have tried and love Jeni’s, this is ice cream on par with that product, rich mouth feel, sharp flavors that don’t diminish as you work your way through the serving as lesser quality ones tend to do.
We made our way back to the Best Western and checked into our large room with plenty of space to store our bikes. After relaxing a bit and perhaps enjoying a cold beer, we drove back downtown for dinner at the Final Draft Brewing Company, highly rated in Trip Advisor and offering outdoor dining. We parked a block away and walked to entrance, approached the hostess and were soon seated. And this became our first encounter with a dining situation we should have been more thoughtful about.
Although seating was outside on a shaded patio, our table for two was right next to the door for egress, exposing us to a constant flow of traffic. We realized afterwards that we should have asked to be seated at another table, one a bit more isolated but didn’t think of it at the time. A lesson learned as we didn’t get exposed, and we resolved to be less reticent about speaking up in the future if presented with this situation again.
Other than that, we had a fine meal starting off with a beer apiece, the Blackberry Blonde for Joanna and I enjoyed a Haley’s Comet Imperial Blonde Ale. It would turn out to be a night of high gravity beers for me, a rare treat as many breweries don’t brew them, and to find more than a couple on the menu is worth taking the dip.
To eat, we split the Filet Mignon Kabobs Over Mushroom Risotto, a surprisingly good choice for the very reasonable price of $16. The quality of the meat was very good, tender like it should be, cooked just right and we demolished the creamy risotto which exuded a delicate but definite mushroom flavor. To finish the meal, Joanna helped me with a That’s What He Said, a 9% Belgian Trippel and a 10% Collusion Russian Imperial Stout.
It was a very warm evening and we appreciated the misters spraying gentle clouds of cooling water on the patio as we settled up the tap, $42 without tip, and then walked back to the car. Folks may recall our last summertime 2017 run through the Redding area in a car without air-conditioning, one that melted two bags of Cary’s of Oregon toffee into an iceberg shaped lump that would later require using a dull knife to chisel off chucks in order to consume little bits of that heavenly goodness.
You can read about it here: https://3jmann.com/2017/09/07/west-coast-summer-2017-the-wedding-part-one/. As a sad note, Cary’s closed not long after our visit, but rumor has it they are trying to re-open, needing just $120,000 to replace all of the equipment they discarded when they closed. Anyone got a few dollars to spare for a choose one: 1) good cause, or 2) futile exercise?
Huell Howser: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huell_Howser
Weaverville Road Trip: https://blogs.chapman.edu/huell-howser-archives/2011/09/25/weaverville-road-trip-154-2/
Ride-Share Visiting: https://blogs.chapman.edu/huell-howser-archives/2016/12/07/ride-share-visiting-1513/
Best Western Plus Twin View Inn & Suites: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotel-rooms.05683.html?iata=00171880&ssob=BLBWI0004G&cid=BLBWI0004G:google:gmb:05683
Taste and See Creamery: http://www.tasteandseecreamery.com/
Final Draft Brewing Company: https://www.finaldraftbrewingcompany.com/