Summary: The first day in a two-day 4th of July trip, we drove from San Francisco, CA to accommodation in Medford, OR.  Along the way we saw the Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA and rented a boat on Shasta Lake in Shasta Lake, CA.  Both are along Interstate-5 between San Francisco and Medford.  The Sundial Bridge is literally a sundial and its shadow tells the time of day pretty accurately.  Shasta Lake is the reservoir of Shasta Dam, and offers many water activities amidst gorgeous views.

Sundial Bridge (Redding, CA), Shasta Lake (Shasta Lake, CA), and Crater Lake (Medford, OR)
Total Length of Stay:
2 days
Getting There: Driving from San Francisco, CA (Interstate-5)

This Blog Post:
 Day 1 out of 2
Accommodation: Red Lion Hotel in Medford, OR
Tour Operator: Completely self-guided
Time Spent Traveling: Around 6-7 hours of driving, 2 hours in a boat, and nearly 1 hour at Sundial Bridge
Activity Level: Light walking although through >80F heat, driving a fishing boat

ITINERARY (times are very approximate and meant to only roughly illustrate the pace)
1.) Sundial Bridge (12:40-1:20pm)
We left San Francisco around 8am, stopped for breakfast somewhere, drove past the Sundial Bridge and turned back, and made it here around 12:40pm.  It's actually really easy to find - you can see it from I-5 - we just thought about going to Shasta Lake first but changed our minds.  Anyway, this is a really cool bridge that crosses the Sacramento River and is literally a sundial.  In the picture below (second row, middle) the shadow said it was nearly 1pm, and it really was upon checking our watches.  We walked across the bridge and down to the water, where simply approaching the river bank made the air feel much cooler.  The temperature was nearing 90F that day, but the water in Sacramento River felt icy.  
2.) Shasta Lake (2:30-5pm)
We took the first highway exit once we crossed the I-5 bridge over Shasta Lake, which I believe was called Turntable Bay Road, exit #692.  In Turntable Bay you can rent boats, most of which were rented out for 4th of July, but they had some fishing boats left.  This was the cheapest boat they had and cost $31.00/hour, 2-hour minimum, and then you pay for whatever gas you use at the end ($4 for us, but we drove kind of slowly).  We explored Lake Shasta for about two hours, where many other people were engaged in water activities such as boating, jet-skiining, or water skiing.  The scenery around the Lake was gorgeous, especially the view of the Interstate-5 bridge (bottom row of pictures).  Also, driving a fishing boat isn't difficult, but if you've never done it before it might be scary at first.  This is especially true when the lake is crowded and there are super fast boats coming towards you.  
We had the boat until a little before 5pm, after which we returned it and drove on to Medford, Oregon and got in a little after 7pm.  It seemed like every restaurant in town was closed for 4th of July, except for a Chinese restaurant, so we ate there.  Medford is the closest big town to Crater Lake National Park, where we drove to the next day.  

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