A DAY IN THE DELTA

Cormorant Rookery

I spent a day on the San Joaquin Delta’s rivers, sloughs and cuts  this week, exploring the area where I was raised but never appreciated.  My sister Liz and her husband Steve acquired a boat earlier this year for fishing and exploring, and now, during the pandemic, as a place to be with extended family safely, in the open air.  Driving from Oakland to their boat in the Delta,  I passed towns that were little more than crossroads when I was a kid and are now medium-sized cities with acres of newish housing developments and shopping centers.  

A Great Blue Heron

At some point the freeways led to old highways and bridges I remembered from the back seat of the car as a little kid, elbow- wrestling my siblings out of the way.  I think the only sib I was nice to was Liz, the youngest—this weekend’s hostess and tour guide. The other thing I remember from those days was passing on the narrow Delta levee roads settlements that my parents said were where the gypsies lived.  (And there really were and still gypsies around Stockton and other places in the Central Valley.  You can read about them here.)

This is only a small portion of the vast Delta area. Unfortunately, Disappointment Slough isn’t shown here but it exists–believe me.

I never thought I’d feel nostalgic about Stockton, a town I left at 18 and to which I returned only spend time with my parents,  but I carry within me a boatload of good memories.  If you look carefully at this map of a small portion of the Delta, you will see a stretch of water named “Disappointment Slough,” where I spent many an hour fishing with my father.  The slough lived up to its name.  Visiting the Delta after 50 years away, I am impressed with its beauty:  the vistas, the silence, the wildlife. I was not for one minute disappointed.

HAVE A GOOD, SAFE WEEK!

Photos by Bill Popik

I never thought I’d feel nostalgic about Stockton, a town I left at 18 and to which I returned only spend time with my parents,  but I carry within me a boatload of nostalgia.  If you look carefully at this map of a small portion of the Delta, you will see a stretch of water named “Disappointment Slough,” where I spent many an hour fishing with my father.  The slough lived up to its name.  Visiting the Delta after 50 years away, I am impressed with its beauty:  the vistas, the silence, the wildlife. I was not for one minute disappointed.

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