If you drive HWY 5—either north or south—you may pass by the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, sandwiched between Willows and Williams, just north of the 505 exchange. I’ve driven by it countless times over the years before finally poking my nose in there last October to explore. I heard beautiful birdsong and saw splendid things—and communed with a solitary tree for a half hour. Next time you’re in that area, poke your nose in there, too.
North of Redding, there’s a small town called Douglas City. It sports a campground by the selfsame name. Of course, the big draw is the Trinity River, which has some of the most spectacular sport fishing in California during the fall. That’s my buddy below, patient as a spider, catching beefy rainbows.
North of Redding, CA, Dunsmuir is a quaint town that stretches along the Upper Sacramento River. We often think of the Sacramento River as a slow moving body of water, brown and murky. But the Upper Sacramento River is something altogether different. Between Lake Siskiyou and Lake Shasta, the Upper Sacramento is a narrow fast-moving river, with blue and emerald tints. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world can be found in Dunsmuir. A major perk of Mossbrae Falls is that it isn’t easy to get to. You have to navigate your way there along a railroad track. As a result, there aren’t many people there in the middle of the week. We only saw one, and she was kind enough to let me photograph her.
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