I'm back from 5 days in one of my favorite places in California, the Delta. It's a unique place, a convergence of rivers, canals, marshlands and swamps that create a water highway in the center of California. Levees that were built to protect farms from flooding a hundred years ago also created a shipping route from San Francisco to the heart of the farmland before the railroads were built here. It is a place to be on the water and people enjoy it from all angles, fishing from the banks, houseboating, skiing and kite surfing, sailing, motoring and racing.
There is something for everyone. It is more intimate than the ocean, more mysterious than a lake and goes in many more directions than a river. I've had great times here with good friends and that is part of my Delta experience, but the thing that always gets me excited about a Delta trip is that you never know what you will see around the next corner.
These sea lions must have thought the San Francisco Bay was too cold this summer too.
They are about 50 miles inland from the ocean, have plenty of fish to eat here and live on this buoy. We found them in the middle of "Frank's Tract", a farmer's land that ended up under water when a levee broke. We drove around their buoy barking at them, they barked at us.
All us creatures had a good time.
Another day's cruise up yet another river, we rounded a bend and here is an ocean freighter making a delivery, looked like someone was getting a big new boat. We got to get up close on the water to this freighter. The size is so massive I don't know what to compare it to. Real big!
Another turn down a quiet canal and we saw this blue heron, even more beautiful in person than in the pictures.
A twilight trip meandering down a quiet slough and we heard a rush sound. We had disturbed a group of cattle egret who were nesting for the night. The sky filled with the birds circling around and around. We watched as they landed back in their trees. They looked like Christmas ornaments sitting up there.
Friday was field trip day. We docked the boat at Walnut Grove and walked a mile up the river to the tiny town of Locke, which was established in 1915 and is the only existing town in America built and inhabited almost exclusively by Chinese emigrants until recent years. At one time the population was 600, now it is 90 with only 12 Chinese living there. In it's heyday, the 1920's thru 40's there were 4 restaurants, 6 markets, 5 brothels, a post office, slaughter house, flour mill, opera, speakeasies, and 5 gambling houses. One of the gambling houses is a museum now and we visited that. Saw the fire truck that saved the city when Walnut Grove burned. It was a push cart. The town is a National Historic Landmark now, with a bar, a couple of musuems, some tourist shops that no one is real sure when they are open. I really liked it a lot. I could see in my mind's eye, the street-really only one-teaming with life.
Saturday on the Sacramento was the Cigarette boat races. They are called that because they are long and skinny. They are also very fast, very loud and very expensive to buy and operate. Fun to watch tho, and some really neat paint jobs.
Another Delta trip blog could be about drawbridges. There are a bunch of different varieties on the rivers to accomodate road traffic as well as big boat traffic. This is one of my favorites. It looks like an erector set!
Here's a photo of our good friend "Captain Mikey" and the good ship Swamige.
No one knows what Swamige means, she just came that way.
The last picture is of my husband Gary driving the boat. We call this summer camp for grown-ups.
It's just plain fun!