In June, the family and I ended up camping in the Delta. I say ‘ended up’ because we didn’t intend to camp here – not that the Delta isn’t a wonderful place to camp, but we live eight hours away in Southern California – too far to drive to set up a tent. Our camping plans were next to Yosemite, but a nearby forest fire changed our minds so we altered our travel plans and ended up at the Tower Park Marina KOA in the Delta (the one near Stockton).
On one of our days there, I decided to take the family out around the Delta. It is a place I have traveled through many times, but mostly on tours or on my own, so it was time to show them around. My husband wanted to go; my two teenage boys, not so much, but with our destination being lunch in Antioch, the thought of food other than our usual camping fare lured even them into the van without complaint.
My husband’s job on these excursions is that of navigator, a job he takes on with zeal, tracking our progress as the blue dot moving about the satellite picture on the iPad. This works great for traveling up and down highways, or plotting our progress around Southern California, but it doesn’t work in the Delta. “No iPad for you today,” I told my husband. “The Delta is an analog place.”
Instead, today, we will be relying on my trusty Franko’s Map. When I travel around the Delta, I am never without it. Even though Franko’s Map is really made for boaters, it’s also the best road map that I’ve found. You can’t just go in to AAA and ask for a map of the Delta and get something useful. You won’t. I’ve tried. Franko’s Map. Buy your copy here. (By the way, I’m not paid to say that, but I should be.)
So with my husband reacquainting himself with a map that doesn’t automatically show you your location as a blue dot, not to mention figuring out how to fold the dang thing back up again, we set off through the Delta,heading west on Highway 12.
We turned on a road called the Delta Loop, a winding levee road that leads into the Central Delta. We soon came across these houses … I guess you could say these Delta homeowners are living prepared!
There”s also a lot of water hyacinth in some places. The state sprays to control it, but the Delta is a big place and it’s hard to get it all. This picture sort of shows two unfortunate problems for the Detla: invasive species and abandoned boats. Continuing on …
There are a lot of power lines and other infrastructure crossing the Delta on its way to the Bay Area.This picture (below) of Sherman Island is my favorite of the day. That’s the Antioch bridge off in the distance …
Irrigation structures (below) …We drove past a few of these … it took me a minute to figure out what they were … This is where they put the juvenile salmon from the hatchery into the Delta. They truck them down from wherever and then release them through this chute into the Delta … they figure this is better than trying to let the little guys swim through the Delta themselves, lest they get eaten …
i can’t say exactly why the salmon stamp is upside down … it was like this on all of them. I fear it is because this is how many of them end up after the trip …Getting closer to Antioch now … More irrigation structures … (Below) There are a lot of natural gas wells in the Delta. Not only does it produce natural gas, but it is a storage facility as well. It is an important source of natural gas for the Bay Area.More interesting irrigation infrastructure … They grow a lot of corn in the Delta, my youngest son remarked, looking at the fields of corn stretching out into the horizon …That could be a field of asparagus (below) …There was a sod farm near the campground that I was fortunate to catch while they were irrigating it.