Sat, Nov 02 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Richard Peña
We spent the latter part of the month of October on one of those periodic trips that we make to Sacramento visiting with daughter Margaret and her husband Gregg. It was at this time last year that we made this same trip.
Our caregiver, Patty Atkinson, was once more the designated chauffeur, covering the 800 or so miles in minimum time. Patty is not only a good driver but she enjoys driving, resulting, therefore, in a pleasant jaunt for me, the passenger.
This time, however, we did something different. We opted for a rental car, having lost our faith in the family sedan. We doubted that it would make the trip. The rental car, we learned,is really a good, inexpensive way to go, comfortable, without wearing oneself out.
The 800 miles on Interstate 5 is not really a traveler’s paradise. We see quite an expanse of grazing grounds, miles and miles of grape vines, citrus trees of all varieties and, sadly, thousands of head of cattle awaiting their demise which is probably not too far away.
We once stated that Sacramento was a pretty city. We were wrong. It is a beautiful city. Residents pride themselves in saying that it is a city of trees. That is probably an understatement. Someone told me that a picture from above would disclose one unbroken mass of green from horizon to horizon. In driving around the city one sees every street liberally encased by trees on each side most of them towering over the highest house or building that is among them.
The natives tell me that most of the trees are either oak or ash and that many of them have been around since the gold rush days. I suppose that the miner, getting tired of digging up that golden bonanza would say to his partner,
“Let’s plant a couple of trees,” never dreaming that guys like me would be around a couple of generations later to admire them.
In most of the previous trips that I have made here I have felt compelled to make them something like a business trip. This is, after all, the state capital, the place where all the action is, or, at least, where it ought to be. Might as well interview a couple of legislators, and make a story out of it, you know, demonstrate what I know, or, better yet, don’t know about state politics.
Instead of something like that I have opted to simply make it a fun trip and enjoy what the city and my hosts have to offer. We don’t often get this chance.
One day Margaret took me to the Delta area, a place that borders the Sacramento River. I always thought that deltas had to be at the mouth of the river, the place where it culminates and empties its waters. But regardless of what it is called it is beautiful country. The road we were on parallels the river for many miles passing many small villages.
At almost each town there were signs that said something about stopping the tunnel digging. We learned that the state plans to build a number of tunnels diverting water to the starved Southern California area. The Delta natives are, of course, afraid of what would become to the ecosystem that is currently in place and has been since time began. We could see their plight.
I am writing this using daughter Margaret’s machine, a laptop that is not treating me very kindly. I feel like that little kid when the Kindergarten teacher hands him the tome about Dick and Jane and says, “Read this.”He probably said something like you got to be kidding because I said something like that when Gregg showed me how “simple” this was.
We will be returning home in a few days and I will be able to continue this on my relic of a machine. More importantly, I am anxious to see how my cats are getting along.
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