"I know you will love this area!" Chico by ABL1958

Chico Travel Guide: 87 reviews and 156 photos

<font color=darkblue>In 1999 I had the opportunity to spend 10 days in California visiting my sister who lived in Chico at the time.

<font color=dark green>When I arrived at the relatively small Sacramento airport the first thing I noticed was the heat! Coming from New England in mid-April where it is still quite cool, the 88F temps at the airport hit me hard as I walked out to wait for the shuttle. I shed my sweater and lifted my face to the sun, soaking it in. I noticed how dry the air was, too, and how that made it all the more easy to breathe. I am used to humidity (well, does one really get used to it ever?) and the dryness was refreshing.

<font color=purple>I picked up my rental car and drove north to Chico. I was so excited. I had wanted to go to California for years and when I finally made up my mind to do it, it all fell into place so easily. The highway took me through very flat countryside with a very faint line of mountains in the distance to my right---the Sierras. As I drove and looked around me I was becoming more and more excited. There were flowers I had never seen before, plants I had never seen, birds that were new to me, and trees that I could only guess at. This was so much fun. I saw orange trees, already with fruit, and what I guessed to be olive orchards and, oh joy, PALM TREES!!!!! There were also impressive acres of Almond trees....I could only imagine what all that must look like in flowering season! What I was seeing made me so happy I began to smile and hum to myself....slowing down a little to take it all in....while the high-speed traffic zoomed past me oblivious to what local travelers had become accustomed to, somehow.

<font color=teal>I didn't want the drive to end but was anxious, too, to see my sister who I hadn't seen in over 3 years. I spent the next 10 days exploring the area. I was often alone because my sister was still taking classes, but I didn't mind that. It gave me time to soak up everything new I was seeing, and there was a lot. I drove out of Chico to the mountains and noticed the temperature drop as I climbed. The valley temp was about 96F but when I got to about 6000FT or so it dropped to about 70F, very refreshing.

<font color=maroon>I went to <font color=orange><b>Lassen Volcanic Park</font></b> (see pic on profile page) and the only thing I was able to see there, besides beautiful vistas, was SNOW! Lots of it. Here it was mid-April, and there was still a good 15 feet of snow on the mountain top. Being a bit of a travel ignoramus, I payed the $10 park entrance fee (done on the honor system---you drop the money into a box) and entered the park. Well, don't do that in mid-April. I drove all of 200ft, around a bend, and the road was blocked by a wall of snow, at least twice my height. The only way into the park was on foot with snowshoes, skis, or boots and I had none of these things. T-shirt, jeans, and sandals is all this lady had lol. So I turned around and headed back down the mountain, not disappointed because to me there is nothing disappointing about mountains.

<font color=navy>One place one must see in Chico is <font color=orange><b>Bidwell Park</font></b>. It has over 3000 acres of open and wooded land, with bike trails, hiking trails, ravines, chasms, and swimming places. It is beautiful!!! It's the 3rd largest municipal park in the world. I spent much of my "alone time" there and still didn't see all of it. The flowers were amazing, and the people I met were all so friendly. I wasn't accustomed to walking places and having practically everyone I meet give me a smile and a "Hi, how are you?" It's nice!</font>

<font color=orange>Please don't forget to check my travelogue...I think you'll come away with a better idea of the beauty. Thanks :)</font>
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  • Last visit to Chico: Apr 1999
  • Intro Updated Mar 8, 2003
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ABL1958

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