Sometimes it is good to get away from the tumultuous nature of city life and spend some time in the country. With not much to anticipate for the day except the opportunity to enjoy being on the open road, I ventured into the California delta to cover its bridges.
Home to five flowing rivers and 57 major reclaimed islands, the need for bridges is, to say the least, important to connect the California delta’s eleven hundred miles of levee roads (Delta Facts, Delta Protection Commission).
With not much more than my Diana+ and some good tunes (in this instance it was Beach House’s “Teen Dream”), I set out to cover the Sacramento River. From my home in Terminous, just off Highway 12, I drove just a few short minutes to Little Potato Slough where I began my day trip. From there I drove west on Hwy 12 through Brannon Island and onwards to Rio Vista, a sleepy town with some good people and a simpler way of living like many of the delta cities.
Then it was north on the CA-160, a windy-levee road, along the Sacramento River to Isleton. I crossed the river at Victory Highway, headed north past Poverty Road, through the city of Ryde (whose population is, incidentally, 60 people) and back across the Walnut Grove Bridge to the city of Walnut Grove. Like Isleton, Walnut Grove is a town you can cover by foot in 20 minutes.
I continued north on River Road through Locke and past the Twin Cities Road. I pulled over on the side of the road and positioned myself across Steamboat Slough Bridge. After a quick snap, I hopped back into my car and proceeded to Paintersville and the Paintersville Bridge – just north of it in Courtland across the river from Morgan’s Landing.
Alas, I had found myself out of film and nearly out of gas. The crisp clean air had suddenly turned to a raspy smolder as agricultural farmers burned piles of leftover wood from their summer’s harvest and I knew it was time to leave. As I trekked home, I enjoyed the cool, delta breeze through my fingertips as I ran my hand out the window not unlike most movies about road trips in a symbolic gesture of freedom and I shook hands with Mother Earth as I made my way back to the city.