It’s the first day of rain here after a few long months of dry weather.  As much as I have loved the 80 degree days and sunny afternoons, California has been in need of a good rainy day.  Part of the reason we decided on Redding, CA as our home was it’s proximity to Lake Shasta.  This lake has been my home away from home for years, hosting family reunions on my dad’s side of the family since I was 5.  My grandparents have made it a tradition to “count the steps” at Bridge Bay Marina from the gift shop down to the docks, indicating to us the level of the lake.  Some summers, there were 10 stairs, others there were 100.  I haven’t checked this winter, but I’m certain there aren’t enough steps to reach the dock at the level the lake is currently.  The drought has been all over the news so I did a little digging and exploring myself and discovered some pretty interesting things about Lake Shasta that in my 20 years vacationing there, I never knew.

The lake is at the lowest point it has been since the 70’s.  I’d heard stories from family members who remember it this low and it’s kind of crazy to think that it hasn’t been at this point since then.  Underneath all the water is something actually pretty cool; something only visible when the lake reaches these levels.  Remains of the old Highway 99 become visible; tunnels, bridges all hidden in the depths reveal themselves and therefore become a new landmark for visitors and locals alike.

My husband Chris and I took a trip to the Sacramento Arm of the lake to uncover some of these landmarks for ourselves and I snapped a few photos.  The bottom photo is of the lake level in 2009.


Bridge from the old Highway 992

Sacramento Arm lakebed3Lakeshore Drive Bridge4

Underneath Lakeshore Drive Bridge5

Old Higway 99 Tunnel6


Post Wall of Lakeshore Drive Bridge

2009, the lake at it’s fullest that year

It’s crazy what a difference a couple of years can make.  As I stood in the middle of the lake last weekend, I couldn’t help but think about what it would be like full and lively again.

                   xo, Sara

Redding, CA Lifestyle Photographer