There's something about the California Delta, where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers meet to create a winding maze of waterways and islands, that has a strong pull on me.
The Delta is so named because it forms a triangle (or "delta") of over a thousand miles of waterways from Sacramento (North) to Stockton (South) to Pittsburg (West).
With Barbara as our guide, we left Rio Vista and headed toward Ryer Island and, eventually, to Isleton and up to Walnut Grove.
The Delta reminds me of the Louisiana Bayou--except it doesn't have cypress trees, gators, and swamp boats; and it has farmlands and sailboats.
But both have fishing boats and crawfish--and unless you were born in both places, I would bet that it's easy to get lost traveling in a boat.
For this reason, I gave Barbara the title of guide.
Along the way, we had the opportunity to take the J-Mack Ferry, a cable ferry that goes across Steamboat Slough between Grand Island and Ryer Island.
As we walked around Walnut Grove, I had the impression that the people living in the Delta were a very independent, self-sufficient group.
There was a contrast between businesses such as Sierra Forge and others. The artist, who converted an old movie theater into his studio and gallery space for his metal sculptures presented an up-scale operation to produce and display his work.
This ornamental gate was just a sample of his outstanding work. I did not photograph other pieces, such as a bed and wall ornaments, on display in the studio. I thought it would be as inappropriate as taking photos of artwork in a museum.
However, work displayed outdoors in a public setting is different. I took these two photos (above and left) in the courtyard, which contained some larger metal sculptures in a garden setting. I was taken by this rose bush (with a sculpture barely visible in the background).
Continuing our walk, we passed buildings that served different functions--not easily identified.
The owners seemed to be sending a message: "This building serves a function. The primary emphasis is on providing an enclosed space. If I can provide a bit of interest through a spray of color, fine. However, practical function trumps architectural design.
Routine main-tenance will be conducted when I have the time--and the money."
After a walk covering a distance of about ten blocks, we ended our time in Walnut Grove with a stop at Mel's Mocha and Ice Cream shop.
Two orders (shown here) of two scoops produced two of the largest scoops I could imagine for each of the two-scoop orders. Here is a coffee and hot fudge order.
The black raspberry ice cream is covered with the oreo cookie sample. The Gunther ice cream flavors provided a very flavorful end to the afternoon travels.
The small sitting area presented us with an outdoor feeling as we finished our dessert.
We left the ice cream parlor with a satisfied feeling, but we left Walnut Grove, CA, believing that there is defintely much more beneath the surface of this town--one of the earliest settlements along the Sacramento River.
I imagine that is one of the qualities that draws me to the Delta.