Walking Drought Stricken Folsom Lake -2014
Walking what once was Folsom Lake in January 2014 reveals a fascinating look at areas that have been under water for nearly sixty years, Foundations, old pottery, pipes, even outboard engines appear on a five mile walk around most of Folsom Lake in mid January of 2014. A glimpse of what areas such as Red Bay and Mormon Island built in the mid 1800's once looked like before the area was flooded to make room for the dam,
The 2013-2014 drought has begun to bring a lot of misery to people and businesses in Northern California. The drought in Sacramento has meant that the area's largest reservoir, Folsom Lake is now at an historically low 17% of capacity. Folsom Lake is part of the Folsom Project which in 1955 resulted in the construction of the Folsom Dam, Nimbus Hatchery, and the Nimbus Afterbay. The project was designed to provide flood control, recreational opportunities, hydroelectric power and drinking water for communities in the Sacramento area. The dam and lake covers nearly 12,000 acres when full.
What You Will See;
While the levels in the lake remain low you will have unprecedented access to walking along the lake bottom. You will see evidence of the town of Red Bay and portions of Mormon Island. You will see building foundations, pipes, roads that have been submerged for nearly sixty years, corroded nails, and fascinating landscape that has been previously under water. Note that the area is very popular given the publicity in the Sacramento and San Francisco press on weekends.
How to Get There:
Coming from Sacramento- Take the East Bidwell Street exit, turn left on East Bidwell, follow about 0.4 mile to Iron Point Road, turn right on iron Point and follow it about 1.3 miles to Empire Mine Road, turn left on Empire Mine Road and follow it about 3.5 miles, the road becomes Sophia Parkway and park just before the intersection of Sophia Parkway and Green Valley Road. Cross the street and follow the dirt trail up to the lake. There is no admission fee. However given lighting conditions plan on leaving no later than 4;30 p.m.
Dorothea Puentes House
Mention the name Dorothea Puente's to most long term Sacramento residents and the name will evict either horrific memories or morose jokes. Dorothea rented out space in a boarding house located at 1426 F Street in downtown Sacramento. Prior to her taking this boarding house Dorothea had a long history of problems with the law including running a brothel and robbery. Her tenants she rented to at the boarding house generally consisted of elderly individuals many with a history of drug abuse or developmentally disabled.
In November, 1988 the police investigated the home after the disappearance of a developmentally disabled man who had been renting from her. When they arrived at the site they found recently uncovered soil. In the coming days police would find seven bodies buried in the yard. Ms. Puente would enventually be charged with the murder of nine people. In 1993 the trial of Puente was a major national event. The prosecutor argued that Ms. Puente would give her tenants sleeping pills, then suffocate them and have convicted felons bury the bodies in her back yard. She was eventually convicted of three murders and was serving a life sentence in a California prison until she died in 2011.
Fast forward to today when a new owner has acquired her property on F Street. As reported by the Sacramento Bee recently the new owners of the home have no difficulties with the home's notorious and gruesome past. Barbara Holmes and Tom Williams have actually erected signs on the property making fun of the fact that the house was the scene of Sacramento's most gruesome murders. One sign morbidly calls out, "keep out from under the grass." A good halloween story for sure but this house is quickly becoming a new tourist site. So much for slightly off the beat and path.
Directions: Coming from San Francisco take the 16th Street exit, proceed on 16th Street almost a two miles to G Street and turn left, then a left on another one way street F, and the house is on the right hand side.
sacramento childrens museum
Got kids from a few months to 8? Then the Sacramento Children's Museum is a place to consider when your are in the Sacramento area. It's web page indicates that the, "the museum’s exhibits are carefully designed to nurture children’s imaginations, build their confidence and competence, and encourage them to test, tinker, laugh, create, and wonder!" More than that the place is really a place for kids to have a lot of fun and learn things as well. It is designed to meet California educational standards and is also accessible to children with physical, developmental, hearing and visual impairments.
When I visited it on a Friday afternoon in August I was surprised to see how many kids with their parents were there. Most of them were huddled around a particular exhibit while their parents either watched or helped out. Exhibits include things such as waterways, a food store, solar race cars, a raceway, and an art studio. There is also a large party room that is available to rent for birthday parties and special events.
he Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 AM - 5 PM and Sundays from 11 AM - 12 PM for Museum Members. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 AM - 5 PM and Sundays from 11 AM - 12 PM for museum Members,
The Museum is located at 2701 Prospect Park Drive off of the HWY 50 in Rancho Cordova, California, about 14 miles from downtown Sacramento. Take the Zinfandel Drive exit and go south.
if you enjoy professional baseball, want a seat as close as possible to the field and don't want to pay an arm and a leg for a seat and food then Raley Field is for you! Located just off of the South River Road exit of US 50, it's worthy of a stop to see an afternoon or evening game.
Walking Distance from Downtown Sacramento and Old Town
It is just a short walk from Old Town and can be reached well within a 10 minute walk from Old Town. Just a short walk across the Tower Bridge will get you to the right field bleachers and back entrance to Raley Field. A great place to spend a weekday or weekend night while in downtown Sacramento during the summer.
Raley Field was one of my big projects in West Sacramento. Beginning in 1999, a group of individuals headed by Art Savage owner of the San Jose Sharks had the vision of moving the Oakland A's triple A baseball team to Sacramento. They wanted to do it before the commencement of the 2000 season.
With a lot of hard work and vision the Raley Field stadium was constructed in 1999 and 2000 in well under a year. The $ 44 million stadium was financed through a variety of private/public partnerships.
The first game took place in May, 2000. Over the past 11 years the Sacramento Rivercats have been either the highest or second highest drawing AAA baseball team. The stadium has a seating capacity of just over 14,000 people. Many of the seats have great views of either the Tower Bridge or the West Sacramento and Sacramento skyline.
While the stadium itself is beautifully built and is a joy to watch baseball in there is more to Raley Field. The owners of the Sacramento Rivercats were big believers in public art. So adorning many areas of the stadium are some great examples of public art highlighting the beauty of America's greatest sporting competition, baseball.
Address: 400 Ballpark Drive, West Sacramento
Directions: Coming west from Sac, take the South River Rd, exit off of US 50, left at the first light.
Coming east from SF, on US 50, take the Jefferson Boulevard/Downtown Sacramento exit. Bear to the left. Right on Garden Street to the park.
Down the Delta to Historical Locke
Locke is the only town in the United States that was built by Chinese residents for Chinese people.
Today it remains a fascinating collection of old buildings many of them in tact from when they were first built. The town of Lockeport, later shortened to Locke, developed quickly as a center of Chinese culture in 1915 after a fire in nearby Walnut Grove wiped out the Chinese section of town.
The first buildings were built on the south section of town and included a boarding house, gambling parlor and saloon. During the ensuing twenty five to thirty years the town had several markets, a flour mill, canneries, shipping wharves, brothels and an opera house. At the top of its development Locke contained about 600 permanent residents with hundreds more of farm workers living in the town between spring and fall. In 1970 the town was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Twenty years later the town was made a National Historic Landmark.
Locke is roughly twenty miles down the Delta right off of Highway 160. It will take you a little over 30 minutes to drive from downtown. There are no entrance fees to walk through the town and visit the State Department of Parks and Recreation center for the town of Locke.
See my web page on the Town of Locke which provides detailed information on the town and what to see while visiting.
Auburn Old Town
This community of 120000 has an old town with 90 historic structures and a newer old town strip about 3/4 miles away which is for locals to shop even today. It was developed in late 1800's through 1950's. There are some nice places to eat and shop, plus the Bernard Museum house on Auburn RdRelated to:
- Arts and Culture
Nimbus Fish Hatchery
Located about 16-18 miles from downtown Sacramento the Nimbus Fish Hatchery is a place for people of all ages to visit.
The Nimbus Fish Hatchery was built in 1958 when most of the salmon and steelhead spawning and rearing areas were cut off. from the American River by the construction of the Nimbus and Folsom Dams.
Salmon and steelhead begin their migration up the American River to spawn every fall starting sometime in September and ending in late November or December. Today the facility has five distinct areas according to the California Department of Fish and Game web site; the fish rack and weir, the fish ladder and holding pond, the sorting and spawning area, the hatchery building and the raceway ponds.
While most of the action is in the mid-fall when the fish are climbing the fish ladder there is still some things to see during other times of the year. When I last went up to the fish hatchery it was July. The hatchery building was open and the raceway ponds were active. The hatchery building is where the rearing troughs and egg incubators are. The eggs typically hatch after 50 to 60 days. When they are hatched they are placed in the rearing troughs which are the long ponds inside the hatchery.
When the fingerlings get to a certain size they are placed in the twelve raceway ponds outside. Here you can feed the salmon and steelhead and there were a few people doing so when I was there. When the king salmon reach four to six inches in length they are ready for planting in the river system. Steel head must reach eight to twelve inches in length before they were planted.
Visitor Center open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Saturdays/Sundays 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Closed Christmas Day.
In order to reach the Nimbus Fish Hatchery take Highway 50, 18 miles east of Sacramento. Travel north on Hazel Ave. 0.7 mile, make a left hand turn at Gold Country Blvd. Travel 200 yards to the parking lot entrance on the right.
Salmon Fishing in the American River
Salmon fishing is a seasonally significant form of recreation around Sacramento. Every year thousands of fisherman line the banks of the American River to fish for salmon, steel head and other species. Fishing is not allowed in and during spawning times. However in October you will see fisherman up against the banks of the river and wading out in the middle of the cold stream to catch a salmon.
The photos taken here are adjacent to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery off of Hazel Avenue in Sacramento. On bright October days you can walk the banks of the American River and every few seconds see a salmon jump out of the water while fisherman watch hoping that the salmon will take their line and become the evening dinner.
To get to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery and Fishing Area; Off Highway 50, 18 miles east of Sacramento. Travel north on Hazel Ave. 0.7 mile, make a left hand turn at Gold Country Blvd. Travel 200 yards to the parking lot entrance on the right.
Quirky Davis: Worth A Trip!
The City of Davis is a short 15 miles west of Sacramento. It is home to the University of California at Davis which has well over 25,000 students. It was the school I earned my undergraduate degree at and where I met my wife.
Aside from being a university town there are many interesting things to see there. There is an outstanding arboretum with some beautiful walks along a creek. There are some great examples of how to live green including the Village Homes Subdivision. Many great museums on campus and in the city itself. The town has been voted as the most bicycle friendly city in the United States and there are gobs of bike trails all over the city.
Please come and visit my Davis web page which has over 20 tips on things to see, do and where to eat in this interesting town.
SQUEEZE INN - Best burgers in town!
This is one of my favorite places to go when I'm in town. The Squeeze Burger is anything but fat free or low calorie but well worth the extra thigh dimple's. Check out more information about the Squeeze Inn under my Sacramento Restaurant Tips.
North to Woodland
On your way back to the Sacramento airport but have a few hours to kill? Maybe just curious what the area north of the airport looks like?
I would suggest taking a short trip about 12 miles north of the airport and about double that from downtown Sacramento out to the charming town of Woodland.
Woodland is the county seat of Yolo County. The rich surrounding agricultural area allowed for many natives to make a profitable living years ago. Their wealth is exemplified in some of the outstanding Victorian homes in this community. Being flat in terrain Woodland is ideally suited for nice neighborhood walks. I have laid out three of them in my VT pages on Woodland. Aside from the great turn of the 20th century homes there are also a few good restaurants in town. So definitely take a short look at Woodland. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Old Industrial Areas
For those who like too see all aspects of the past or who like old inustrial architecture, Sacramento has some quite interesting streets and buildings. They tend to be mostly around downtown/central Sacramento to the north (south of the American River and from the confluence with the Sacramento River and the railway station east), along the Sacramento River, and south of Capitol Mall, but north of the Highway 50 freeway, around O, P, Q, R, S, and T streets (which run east-west) and 9-17th Streets (running north south). Among those to the north is the old brick Blue Diamond almond/nut packing house. Some areas, especially those just south of downtwon/Capitol Mall, have been somewhat gentrified in recent years, but others are still pretty seedy. Neverthless, they offer seem interesting glimpses into the city's industrial/commercial past.
The Blue Diamond building is still in use processing almonds. It is at 1802 C Street at the intersection with 18th Street and it has a store at 1701 C Street, with information on almond processing.Related to:
- Historical Travel
American River Bike Path / River Rafting
Perfect for walking, rollerblading, or cycling the American River Bike Trail is one of the best bike trails there is. Starting at Folsom Lake and going all the way to Discovery Park in Sacremento the Trail is 30 miles long and offers a spectaular look at the American River.
My favorite place to start is at Diamond Bar on Folsom Lake. But if you are staying in the city the best place would probably be either Discovery Park or off of Watt Ave. For a map of the trail and river insert this link:
Another great thing to do on the American River is to go rafting. At Sunrise Blvd. there is American River Raft Rentals (http://www.raftrentals.com/) where you can rent rafts and float down the river. They then come and pick you up. This is a perfect activity for families to do because the "rapids" are not dangerous at all. It is a very fun and relaxing activity.Related to:
- Family Travel
Each of my parents: time ,more money, & addiction!
My mother started off from college with a lifetime teaching credential! My Dad with a small officer indictment. What is all this Unworldliness about. Awesome people!. The shifting people often overcared for and unconvinceable, think of this Here. Where is the piety! Here is just me. Why! Because she is overly addicted to heself and under convinced of her and his unwarrented, selfish doctrine. I caught on, but thought she would tell the whole story and not just the part she would hear. Can I give you any answers, not yet. But by the time its all up I hope we'll have it all good. Test me! Please, cause she never wanted me to know what she thought was as a kid or a conceited baby! Not unusual! Ask for examples. She liked Michael Eric Dyson cause she thought she could consider me bright, but not mom. She bought me an advance without an reputation and or credit slip. I used to think my good looks to improve but they have been even challenged to the impoveresed to the impoverer. Thank you mom and Daddy! I know after its all over with I should have something to be prouder. And thanks And Love for real.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
Placerville is an old Gold Rush town also known as Hangtown for the high number of hangings that took place their during those days. Look for the decorative wheelbarrows on the downtown sidewalks. The town has many historic, picturesque buildings, including:
Tthe Bell Tower, devoted to its volunteer firemen.
The cafe, on Main Street, where the old Hangman's Tree once stood.
Placerville Hardware, the oldest continuously operating hardware store west of the Mississippi River.
Only 40 miles east of Sacramento on Highway 50, Placerville is a good place for a day outing.
The Placerville Downtown Association is the point of contact given here.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
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