Photography on the Delta

Guest Blog by Bill Reid

Boat dock at Walnut Grove with bridge beyond

Boat dock at Walnut Grove with bridge beyond

Google Earth Walnut Grove, California and you can’t miss the dock to the north of the bridge where these pictures were taken. Everyone has Google Earth, right?  The stroller we recently bought for our future granddaughter has an iPad holder!

Joking aside, You don’t need an iPad or fancy SAT NAV to get to the River Road, just follow your nose south from the intersection of Broadway and Freeport Boulevard in Sacramento and enjoy the scenic route through the Sacramento River Delta. The scenic route is about 30.4 miles and 44 minutes on a relatively curvy levy road (state highway 160).  A faster route down Interstate 5 to Twin Cities Road is also a pleasant drive at 28.5 miles and 36 minutes.

The River Road south from Sacramento is one of my favorite local drives. I still remember one of the first times I drove it in an old VW convertible in the late seventies. No NAV then. Those were the days of typewriters and whiteout.

Walnut Grove Bridge taken from dock with sun setting behind.

Walnut Grove Bridge taken from dock with sun setting behind.

One morning early in the new year, I decided to take photographs of the sun rising over the River for a website I’m building. I left a little too late and missed the best light so returned later in the day for some sunset shots.

Walnut Grove is a pleasant stop along the Sacramento River.  There is ample parking and a selection of restaurants with tables outdoors, even an art gallery or two. I enjoyed an ice cream while waiting for the sun to set.

The boat dock is accessible to the public although children must wear life jackets. There is a lift for handicap access and there is a portable toilet. The boat dock affords a good vantage point for photography with ample space for tripods and equipment.

I have returned a few times since to test different equipment and media. In the age of tablets, digital cameras and smart phones, I am going back to using film, but that’s another story. The light is different on each occasion and the sunsets can be spectacular as the weather changes.

Bill is an architect by day.  He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Claudia.  His images can be purchased on his website:


Starting a new adventure

I am an avid tourist. I have travelled the globe and had many adventures. I frequently go to Napa or Point Reyes or Tahoe, but I am intimidated when it comes to entering the Bay Delta. I remember my dear late friend David Elliot III telling me once about people getting so lost in the fog in the Delta that they would come to his doorstep near Walnut Grove desperate for directions and someone to guide them to safety. This struck a chord with me because the network of levees and islands quickly confuses my internal GPS.

With my trusty Android smart phone I no longer have an excuse. I also have a consulting firm and one of my largest contracts is working with the 5 Bay Delta counties for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. So my job will take me into the Delta. I also have an interest in comparing the tourism infrastructure and industry in places that market their natural environment, such as New Zealand and Norway, with that of the Bay Delta.

All of this I will share with you.