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August 29, 2014 / Jim Fenton

Northwest Day 14: Behind the Scenes

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Odometer: 2127

Allen Elizabethan Theatre

Allen Elizabethan Theatre

Our daughter, Celeste, enjoys working behind the scenes on theater productions at her high school. So it made sense for us to take a backstage tour of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We got a good start from our hotel for the tour that we had booked in advance.

The tour began with a short talk on the Shakespeare Festival and its history. Then we broke up into smaller groups; ours was led by a young woman who is an assistant stage manager for some of the productions, which aligns perfectly with Celeste’s interests. In addition to seeing some of the backstage equipment, our tour leader talked a lot about what it’s like backstage during the productions. We also got to see some of the costumes, and a glimpse of the process they go through to change over one of the theaters from one production to another, which they go through sometimes twice daily.

After a little shopping in the gift shop, we continued south into California. It started to get smoky as a result of forest fires in the area, the Bald Fire and the Eiler Fire. We had planned to make a side trip through MacArthur-Burney Falls State Park and Lassen National Park, but along the way an electronic sign warned us that Highway 89 was closed due to one of the fires. Disappointed, but realizing that it was probably really smoky in that direction anyway, we continued to Chico, enduring some traffic jams due to bridge construction over Lake Shasta.

Sundial Bridge

Sundial Bridge, Redding, CA

Kenna had heard about the Sundial Bridge in Redding, so we went to see it. It’s a beautiful footbridge with adjacent parks, from which we were able to watch people on jet-skis zip about underneath. We also took a short stop at the town of Tehama, where one of Kenna’s grandfathers had lived along the Sacramento River when she was young.

For dinner this evening, we stopped by the restaurant at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. The food was quite good and the beer, as expected, was very fresh and available in a dizzying array of varieties.

Mileage today: 231 miles

This article is part of a series about our recent driving vacation to the Pacific Northwest. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

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