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Roadtripping California (with Kids) 2012: Crater Lake National Park (Oregon) and the Calatrava Sundial Bridge, Northern California.

Our next stop was incredible Crater Lake National Park.

Crater Lake appears on the Oregon license plate so it’s a big thing, but its a bit out-of-the-way which is why we hadn’t made it there before. It is one of the deepest lakes in the world, and is famous for its incredible cobalt color. And it didn’t disappoint. It is truly an incredible sight! Most people content themselves with driving around the rim or taking some small hikes – we went one step further and took a boat ride on the lake. But it was a steep walk down to the dock and an even tougher walk back up in the boiling heat!

This is a Park that nobody should miss. It’s almost inaccessible for most of the year due to incredible amount of snow that falls in the area, so summer is when the crowds go. It was also really hot. But unmissable.

Our next big stop was in Redding, California. I’m not sure why anyone would have visited Redding in the past, but these days it is home to the incredible feat of design engineering that is the Calatrava Sundial Bridge. It’s a wonderfully impressive white pedestrian harp-like bridge across the Sacramento River, that throws a shadow that amazingly tells the time like any ancient sundial. Designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it apparently took teams of programmers to work out the sundial part. A really off the beaten path sight that probably most people have no idea about. Go on a sunny day and be amazed by the fact that this bridge is actually a working clock – we could tell the time to about the closest minute or two.