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Driving Oregon's Interstate 5


The Interstate 5 freeway crosses the state line from Oregon to California in majestic fashion.  The stretch from Grants Pass, Oregon to Redding, California is the most scenic and beautiful area of the entire I-5 corridor from Canada to Mexico.  Of course, this isn't saying much, since so much of the corridor is at least uninspiring, if not boring.  However, this stretch of freeway will make you wake up and take notice, particularly in the winter months when the mountain passes, cut through the Siskiyou Mountain Range, are covered with snow (also making for some treacherous driving conditions - bring chains if traveling during the winter months) - this xx mile stretch also includes the highest point on Interstate 5, Siskiyou Summit, at xxxx feet. 

From the freeway, you gaze out over seemingly endless fir-covered foothills, inspiring the outdoorsman in all of us.  You'll pass over the Pacific Crest Trail, that stretches from Canada to Mexico - perhaps the greatest trail in the United States (Appalachian Trail fans, I did say perhaps). As you make your way past a few small towns such as the interestingly, but aptly named Weed, the mammoth expanses of Mt. Shasta now loom over the horizon.  The largest (by mass) mountain in the United States, Mt. Shasta towers over the freeway at xxxxx feet high, simply a monumental peak.  It is breathtaking as the mountain's double peaks grow larger and larger, so perfectly framed in the pine and fir forests that surround it.

You pass Mt. Shasta City, population xxxx, whose moniker has origins you might be able to guess, and are met with open road for quite some time, with only the resort community of Shasta Lake to remind you of civilization.  Shasta Lake is seen beautifully on your left - inspiring you to find somewhere to stop to gaze at it's brilliant blue reflecting into the hazy spring sky.  Continuing on the long, downhill run, the mountain now overlooks small farms as you exit Siskiyou National Forest and drop down toward the city of Redding, population xxxx, the largest city in what is really northern California (The Bay Area is called No-Cal, but only to differentiate it from So-Cal).

As you near Redding, the foliage starts to die out, the mountains start to fade, and you feel like you're entering a whole new country.  Redding isn't much to see - feels like an overgrown truck stop - and we keep on driving.  The mountains fade out, and give way to countless dairy farms, stretching from horizon to horizon, intersperced with a few rivers running high on their banks.  There are a few truck stops along this stretch of freeway, and dairy farms turn into sheep farms, then to olive orchards and later to xxx fields, now covered with standing water from the heavy rains of the past week.

This seemingly endless stretch of agricultural lands runs for hundreds of miles of central California highway, all the way to the metropolitan expanses of suburban Los Angeles.  As you approach the big town of Williams, population xxx, you begin to notice a few small mountains lining the horizons on both sides of the freeway, providing a backdrop for the fertile valley.  This also signals the beginining of grain country - grain silios start to become common sightings, and livestock is a thing of the past.  Fields now are filled with irrigation trenches, alfalfa, and other crops - pesticide and fertilizer sprays fill the air over the vast expanses of plowed fields.  This scene continues for a good 80 miles or so before reaching the capital city of Sacramento, at about milepost xxx south of the Oregon border.

South of Sacramento

Highway 80 - To San Francisco

 

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This site has been visited  times since August, 2001.
To properly view this site, click
here to download the necessary fonts.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for this site,  or would like to suggest a link, please
Contact Us.
2001-2018 JS Web Design - All Rights Reserved.