During the year I worked for the paper, I spent a lot of my time, like many Ridge people, driving up and down the Skyway. I lived in Chico and worked in the Enterprise Record building but was up covering Paradise and Magalia. Most trips I was speeding to get back to the office and make deadline or eating a burrito while looking for CHP.
Occasionally, I would have nowhere to be and the desire to pull off to Lookout Point. There were even a few times when the breaks aligned with sunset.
When I was little I would read reports in the paper, the same paper I worked for, about people intentionally driving off the edge. As a reporter I wrote a story about people putting locks on the fence. I’d even hopped the fence to get a better view of a fire developing along the canyon.
The sprawling Sacramento Valley is not what comes to mind when most people think “picturesque natural beauty.” But with only the low sound of cars rushing by, it’s a place where you can look out and appreciate the diverse landscape. There’s shimmering rice fields and distant mountains out towards the coast.
When I was a kid and still now that I’m older, I feel incredibly small when I lean on the fence and try to spit into the canyon. Small in the grand scheme of the world but also very much a part of the natural land that makes up Northern California and the communities built upon it.
Pictured is the smallest mountain range in the world, the Sutter Buttes, from Lookout Point at sunset.