I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Visit to "C"s and a Road Trip.

First let me say that, as you know, I've been waiting for my new camera... and it finally arrived.
The new header photo was taken with my amazing new Nikon D5100 camera. This is a technique that is done with a special effects mode... INSIDE the camera. It's called color sketch.
I'm learning about this wonderful new camera... reading the manual, learning how to use it properly and taking a lot of pictures.
 I think that I've died...
 and gone
Could there be such a place?

Allow me a few more days of fun and serious learning. Then I will give a review and more examples of what this amazing camera does.

For the next few posts I would like to tell you about the Road Trip that my friend "C" and I took last Wednesday. We took a drive through the California River Delta. This area is reclaimed marshland. Please read about it here. It's fascinating!
I arrived at my friend's home in Sacramento on Tuesday afternoon. It was still frying pan hot... and, even with a small breeze, it seemed like the middle of summer. The evenings have been cooler and it makes the day's heat more tolerable knowing that the nights are showing signs of Fall.
 "C" lives on a lake and it's very nice.
She's my good friend with the little dog... Max.
Who was tired of being cooped up in the house.
So when he overheard us talking about taking a drive... he perked up.

The next morning he was packed and ready.
"And don't forget my water bowl... and some biscuits."

We left Wednesday morning and drove out to the highway and turned south. Then we drove west to highway 160, the old River Road and our first stop, Courtland.
 Courtland is located along the Sacramento River, 17 miles  south-southwest of Sacramento. This town  was named after Courtland Sims, son of James V. Simes, a landowner who opened a steamer landing in the community in 1870.
It's a small town with some big buildings.

And some that were for sale.  This house (below) was built in 1925. It's got 7,513 sq. ft. of space inside. Heck... for around $500,000 we could all move in together and each of us could have a whole section of the house to ourselves. The Prospector could have a man cave and fish all day.We could even have a special "dog" room for Carl, Cutter and Max. It's a HUGE house. I can't find any history, but I think it might have been a school or lodge originally.
 It has a blue insignia over the entrance. I think that it's odd that there's a Masonic "compass and rule" insignia over the doorway. I guess it was probably not a public school.

There was a funky little market on the highway.
 And really old places that were sagging a bit.
This one seemed to be apartments. The Chinese came to built the levies in the 1870's, so there are a lot of buildings with Chinese names and writing on them.
Some of these places are still occupied, but others have a notice posted that says they are not livable and are condemned. Houses with nobody in them... but with history hanging from their walls. I would love to know all of the history here.
"C" is looking for a small house near the river. She would like something with character and history, but these old places have a bit too much character for anyone.
 We move on...
 I don't remember ever visiting this town except, maybe, when I was a very young child. My Dad might have taken us here on one of his wonderful day trips. He would pile us in the car, very early in the morning and we would go traveling all over the place for the day. I would come home tired but happy, about all the places I had seen. It's a good memory. But, I don't remember Locke.
 "C" remembered visiting a lot of these towns and camping here, on the Delta, with her family. She told me that she had great memories of being here with her Mom and Dad, when she and her brother were young.

You must read about this town. It has a wonderful history
It is a town built completely "by the Chinese for the Chinese". This is Locke's one-room Chinese language school, established in 1926. Now it's a museum. At the entrance stand two large bronze busts, on pedestals, of Confucius and Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
The main street of town is a combination of deserted houses and businesses in a state of arrested decay and some with open businesses and stores.
Some buildings are bulging and look like they will collapse at any moment. I love the second story door (upper right) that goes out onto a long vanished balcony.

Some are old entrances to forgotten attractions.
This one says it was the entrance to the Star Theater.

There were also some open businesses and stores..
 I love the name... STRANGE CARGO
A rather modern art gallery...
and an old sign...I'm not sure if this was a recent restaurant or just an old sign.
We drove around the town for a while and I made a mental note to see this place, again, and take more pictures, spend some time in the shops and visit the museum. 
Max was anxious to move on.
"Which way next?"

Tomorrow we will drive through Walnut Grove, Ryde, Isleton and Rio Vista. Come back and read about a house that "C" might be interested in and our grand adventure over the Sacramento River and beyond...


  1. These are my kind of places, tattered but full of history and mystery. Dr Sun Yet San built a lovely garden in Vancouver. Thanks for the ride!

  2. Color sketch? My, my, my, have cameras ever grown up and come into their own. I have a hard enough time with the point and shoots. Ha. And as for this guy Max, he can come home with me anytime. Your trip sounds like fun and I look forward to more pictures and tales of the Delta.

  3. I love wandering through old towns like that, always wonder who lived there and what life was like at that time...
    anxious to see more pix from the new camera!

  4. wow...old places like this are so cool...and it looks like you were in good company...haha the pups looks like he is ready for some fun...pretty cool on that chinese school as well...oh your new toy is good too...that header is very cool....

  5. Enjoyed the trip with you and "C". Looking forward to seeing more. Her puppy is so cute. Love seeing the old towns and the hearing about their history. Your new camera is really something. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  6. Thank you for sharing your road trip, I love Locke and haven't been down that way in ages. I would definitely buy that old Masonic Lodge if I had the money, what great history! Love your new camera. Can't wait to see more of the sketch feature. Tina

  7. What a fabulous road trip you are on! Love that pic of Max hanging out the window, ready to move on. Priceless.

  8. My kind of road trip. Seems any time I drive to California, I get on I-5 and head South as fast as possible. Leaving the interstate only long enough to go potty and get a tank of gas. Someday, I will do it your way. I have a D3100 and love it. It also has a sketch program, but not color. I love it.


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