Deer can read

At least these seem able. There were more than a dozen behind the No Hunting sign.
No Hunting3
No Hunting
No Hunting2Fall, a season where literacy can be very handy.

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Railroad Park Resort near Castella

Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience? A scenic drive 50 miles north of Redding gets you to the Railroad Park Resort, where you can dine in a boxcar.




Rail6The lovely Karry checks the menu. We imagine the scenery rolling by outside our dining car window, but it’s very pretty outside even stationary.

Inside, the space is filled with railroad memorabilia dimly lit by old incandescent lamps. Wistful remnants of a graceful era. The table lamp is inscribed Paris to Istanbul via The Orient Express.

It’s a romantic place. There’s also dining on a patio with a view of the Crags. And they offer lodging and RV camping spaces on a beautiful creek.



A perfect getaway from the valley to dine in the pines. There’s a complete menu and much more at the Railroad Park Resort website. Redding was born a rail town. And while the trains at the Railroad Park are all stationary, passengers will find themselves transported toward Really Redding.

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New building to replace the Greyhound Station in Redding

Here’s a glimpse of the planned building now under construction at the site of the iconic-but-now-razed Greyhound Station that occupied the corner of Pine and Butte in Redding. Click to slightly expand.
1321 ButteWe have a long history of tearing down what few interesting buildings we have in Redding. But that’s okay by me they are replaced with beautiful and imaginative structures like this. If you are interested in occupying this space, here is a link to the flyer about 1321 Butte Street by fellow Realtor Chris Haedrich of Haedrich & Co. (530) 221 1127. It’s Really Redding.

Greyhound Bus Station in Redding circa 1970's

Greyhound Bus Station in Redding circa 1970’s

Bus station image courtesy of Shasta Historical Society. Consider joining us.

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East Valley Times a source for Palo Cedro area news

After featuring The Anderson Standard local news portal a couple days ago, it makes sense to post about The East Valley Times. Based in Palo Cedro, they cover smaller northstate communities east of Redding like Millville, Whitmore, Bella Vista, Jones Valley, Round Mountain, Oak Run, Montgomery Creek, Shingletown, and Manton. They are both online and in newsprint, which is published twice monthly, the first and third Thursdays of the month. East Valley TimesAt the website, you can opt to read it like a newspaper, as they have pdf versions of their print issues uploaded. They also mail to subscribers and have newstands in the area.

Like Anderson, these communities are adjacent to Redding in Shasta County. So they become part of our greater Redding ecosystem of information. It’s good to see the East Valley Times surviving and thriving, evidently enjoying community support. As I wrote about The Anderson Standard:

Every town needs a newspaper. Or its online functional equivalent. A lot of people get their news through social media lately, and that has created some unintended consequences. A newspaper with journalistic standards (or its online functional equivalent) can unite and inform in a way that is truly healthy for democracy. And unhealthy to be without.

Our best wishes for success go to The East Valley Times. You can also Like East Valley Times on Facebook. Carry on.

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Redding’s Al Johanson passes away at 91

I recently read that Alger “Al” Johanson has passed away at 91. He gave me my first full time job in Redding in 1974, and became something of a pivotal figure for me as a young man. I see currently, services are pending. I’m sure at age 91, most of his contemporaries have passed away as well. I feel compelled to write something about him here.

Al and his partner Owen Jones ran Redding Optical Lab on Gold Street. I worked there 7 years as a lens maker, and eyeglass fabricator. At the time, Redding Optical Lab was the longest operating lab of its kind in California. We made prescription eyewear for most everyone in Redding who needed to wear glasses. Technology and market changes rendered the business mostly obsolete, and it closed not long after I left for another tech job. The building on Gold Street is now a blood lab.

Me and a couple co-workers at Redding Optical Lab grinding lenses in the late 70's.

Me between a couple co-workers at Redding Optical Lab, grinding lenses in the late 70’s.

Al and his wife Edith lived in Sunset Terrace. Very active in Rotary. He was a truly rare and unique individual. He loved to waterski. So he built his own custom V8 powered ski boat. He loved photography, so he had his own darkroom setup. He loved to fly, so he built his own airplane in his basement, and flew it out of Benton Airfield.
VariEze_in_flightNot just any airplane. It was a canard design built from composite material. A design called a Long Easy designed by Burt Rutan. This was very much cutting edge technology at the time. Even now Rutan’s designs are legendary, and include the current Virgin Galactic spacecraft.

Al introduced me to the first personal computer I ever saw. Perhaps the fist one in Redding. It looked to me something like an erector set and used cassette tape for memory storage. I was fascinated! A computer in your house seemed like science fiction. Of course there were no “apps” or even programs. You had to program it yourself using a language called BASIC. Al had written some code to calculate lens design, something we had been doing by hand at the lab. Automation in the 70’s.

Back in those days, I played keyboards in a garage band called Headwind. Al let our band use the upstairs section of the building on Gold Street for free practice space at night. What a leap of faith (and risk)! Our band went nowhere ultimately, but I will be forever grateful for his charity to our artistic cause.

At the time, he just seemed to me like an ordinary Redding guy. My boss. The fullness of time has given me greater perspective to appreciate just how rare and special an individual Al was to have met. Like some Northstate Da Vinci. You want a plane? Build it. You want a computer? Learn to code. These ideas informed my early adulthood, and that mentality has shaped my life too. I bought what may have been the first Apple II computer in Redding because of Al. And with that I began a lifetime of curiosity, technical learning, and a DIY ethic that I carry with me today.

So he lived to be 91, and passed a few days ago on October 7. I haven’t seen him in years. But seeing his obituary triggered a flood of interesting memories for me. I went looking for a photo of him to share, but find none. Odd, since I take a lot of photographs. And so this post ended up being more about me than him. There are a few things I recall of his family, although memory falters after 30+ years. His wife Edith, a teacher, passed away years ago. His daughter became a veterinarian. His son, an aerospace engineer who I believe worked on the Galileo Mission to Jupiter, which was a pretty spectacular success.

L’uomo Univerale. The DIY Renaissance man. For me, Al Johanson will always be ReallyRedding.

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Clearie’s Restaurant & Lounge in Redding

Clearie’s Restaurant & Lounge occupies a special place in the literal and figurative heart of Redding. The site on Eureka Way and Market was once home to The Shack, a popular blue collar diner that was something of an institution on this corner for years. Now razed and replaced with this regal restaurant.

Clearies4smThe other part of the narrative is that Clearie’s was created by a descendant of the owner of Doc’s Skyroom Restaurant, a Redding standard that is also no more. But Doc’s was once one of our signature dining establishments where Northstate patrons would go for formal and special occasions. The present owner of Clearie’s has built on that legacy, and elaborated the Doc’s theme as an understated, tasteful motif.

We stopped in for lunch the other day and snapped a few images. I had the Ahi Sandwich with sweet potato fries, and the lovely Karry picked the Daily Special.


The Special consisted of a Tomato Bisque soup along with a Grilled Cheese sandwich. Along with her salad, she chose Steak Sticks, which were wrapped in bacon. All of it delicious and well presented by attentive staff.

Clearies sign 350

Located beneath this iconic sign at a major crossroads in Redding, Clearie’s is a clear winner for meeting clients, or for a special evening evocative of Doc’s Skyroom.

There is a terrific Clearies website that does a great job explaining their story and giving you some idea of their full culinary experience and libations. (530) 241 4535

I have lived long enough in Redding to recall as I was seated yesterday in Clearies, that I’d sat about the same place inside The Shack in the 70’s. And that time my boss at the lab took me to lunch there to offer me a promotion and raise. It was a pleasant recollection. And then afterward we all went to Doc’s Skyroom for a Formal Retirement Dinner for the colleague who I replaced. Probably like many in Redding, I have fond memories of both prior establishments, and all of that goodwill has transferred in full to Clearie’s. A new Redding classic with a nostalgic twist. It’s Really Redding.



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Think Pink promotional effort underway today

Get ‘em while they’re hot (pink)! This year the Think Pink bags are reusable grocery bags, a nice touch. The lovely Karry and her friends helped fill the bags. Available now at MD Imaging on Court Street. Mind the traffic…
Sundial Bridge in Redding California by Skip Murphy

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Get Anderson news at

Anderson is the community located directly south of Redding. Their newspaper, The Anderson Valley Post, recently shut down after a 132 year run. Times are tough for newspapers.
A former reporter has begun an online news site in hopes of replacing the south Shasta County community-centric Valley Post.
TheAndersonStandardEvery town needs a newspaper. Or its online functional equivalent. A lot of people get their news through social media lately, and that has created some unintended consequences. A newspaper with journalistic standards (or its online functional equivalent) can unite and inform in a way that is truly healthy for democracy. And unhealthy to be without.

Our best wishes for success go to The Anderson Standard. Carry on.

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Dunsmuir Brewery Works, indeed it does.

This excellent brewpub is about 50 scenic miles north of Redding, in Dunsmuir.

Perhaps a good thing. If it were any closer, we might never eat anywhere else.

Dunsmuir brewery2The Mahi Mahi tacos are terrific with a hit of Cholula. And the Imperial Red Ale is both sublime and suitably imperious. All on a fine Fall day, outside on the patio.

Dunsmuir Fish tacos

An Ahi sandwich. Also a recurring favorite, the carnitas street tacos. A-Okay.


Evidently it was once a gas station on Old 99. A different sort of fuel now. But equally welcome for a traveler.

They have inside seating too, but we’ve only ever eaten on the patio.DunsmuirBrewery3Welcome to Dunsmuir2“Welcome to Dunsmuir. We’re glad you’re here.” And you will be too.

Dunsmuir and their Brewery Works has a website, somewhat north of Really Redding.


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Big Bikes on the Miracle Mile

It was Big Bike Weekend in Redding. I snapped this fun group headed up the Miracle Mile.
BigBikeWeekendGroup rides. It’s Really Redding.

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