Redding Jefferson joins up with world-renowned hill specialist Tug Smitfit as he attempts to determine the greatest hill in Redding. Pitting Grandview Avenue against Blazingwood Drive, Smitfit will do the impossible: he will determine the greatest hill in Redding.
“Gotta say, I’m really feeling it on the way up.” Smitfit is driving a 2005 Honda Civic and the anticipation is clearly building. “It feels like a roller coaster,” he cheers as we crest the tip. “That was quite the climb, and I can really feel the pressure in my ears. Now, the downhill side!” Smitfit lets out an audible cheer as we drive over the top and gain speed quickly.
“This is a contender,” he says as we build speed, “and yet, I have to remove some points because of all the houses around me. I mean, I’m not gonna slow down regardless of how many times I see children or cats or children, but I feel like I should, and that sours the experience a bit.”
He is standing at the end of the hill near Railroad Avenue and looking up. Smitfit is enraptured by the hill, and yet clearly written on his face is some disappointment it; its length and the neighborhood has cost it points. “On to Blazingwood,” he proclaims turning around. “Ah, and someone has stolen my car.” He shakes his head with a sigh.
“Now, this hill understands anticipation,” Smitfit says nodding. He’s driving a rented 2019 Honda Civic and the hill is slowly climbing up and up and up. “See, where Grandview hits you hard with its steep climb, Blazingwood is a much more subtle, almost rustic build. But there’s clearly a hill here, and no pesky houses to get in the way of the experience.”
At its peak, we stare out over a valley and Smitfit shakes his head. “Disappointing view. From Grandview you can see almost all of Redding. This? A dry valley. Bit of a letdown. And speaking of down…” Smitfit is tapping the steering wheel with joy as we build speed. “And there’s a much longer runway for the landing,” he says pointing ahead. “With Grandview it’s over just as its begun. Blazingwood has a much longer roadway. But not as steep.” He lifts his finger. “Never dismiss steep.”
At the T-intersection at the bottom of the hill Smitfit nods. “This is a tough one. I won’t lie. It’ll be close. On to the scoring.” He turns around. “And my car is stolen again.” He sighs and pulls out his cell phone.
And the winner is:
Miracle Mile. Despite not being a contender and never actually being scored, a late donation from the McConnell Foundation has secured its victory as the greatest hill in Redding!
In other news, hill specialist Tug Smitfit has gone missing. Experts believe he is currently be stripped and sold for parts.