Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall on the Sacramento River Delta

Last week I took a drive along the Sacramento River Delta.  Fall is arriving here -- we are always the last to see it.  The mornings are almost crisp.  The leaves are beginning to turn.  And along the river, the grapevines in the vineyards are turning a gorgeous golden orange.  

I started on Freeport Avenue in Sacramento which turns into Hwy 160 just outside of the city.  Within 15 minutes of leaving my home -- not far from the Capitol -- I was along the river and amongst the vineyards.  There was very little traffic, the water on the river was very calm, and the air smelled clean.  I didn't have a destination -- or, sadly, unlimited time -- so I just drove South for about 30 minutes and then headed upriver on the other side for more photo ops.

The Sacramento Delta is a fascinating water system with levies, bridges, canals, and an entire boat culture somehow separate from but connecting Sacramento to the Bay Area and beyond.  Two summers ago two whales made their way all the way up to Sacramento.  The mother and her baby had clearly been separated from their pod and were quite confused.  They finally swam back toward the San Francisco Bay and disappeared -- presumably out to sea once more.

Along the river there are also many reminders, like the sign I saw in Courtland, of Chinese influence in the Delta culture.  Chinese immigrants settled in the small towns along the river and formed a vital part of the labor force.

In Clarksburg, the roses of summer that flank the river banks are nearly gone, but it has been a good summer for these roses:  the hips are huge.  Someone more industrious than I am could make great tea from these bushes.
But my favorite find of the day had to be the vintage Ford.  I have a thing for vintage cars.  It is a sickness, really.  And this one was cherry red, shiny... and had a For Sale sign.  Sadly, it is not to be mine.  But I had a good time admiring it and taking photos.  What a beauty!

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