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Monday, January 3, 2011

Old River Road, Yolo County

The Old River Road in Yolo County runs alongside the Sacramento River between West Sacramento and Interstate 5, a distance of 10 miles. It was a little cloudy when I started.  That changed, but what can a person expect for January?  And the drive is attractive regardless of weather.

Homes on the other side of the river.  Water recreation is right at the doorstep--and hopefully no closer.  The road on that side of the river is the Garden Highway.

Looking south, downriver.  The Interstate 80 bridge is in the background.  A portion of the Sacramento skyline shows, under the bridge.

Looks like a lake, but it's a river.

Looking south, with the Sacramento Weir on the right.  The river is still high from storms that began in Christmas week.

 Someone's No-Wake marker got loose.

I'm finding it hard to leave this view of the river.

Moored in the fog

The inscription on the monument
reads:  "Erected to the memory of Leonidas Taylor, born in the City of Philadelphia on the 3rd of July, 1832. He grew to manhood in the City of Saint Louis and was killed by explosion of the steamer Belle opposite this spot on the 5th of February, 1856. His body was never found. Far distant from those who loved him, the waters of the Sacramento will roll over him till that day when the sea shall give up its dead."  The explosion killed almost all of the 50-60 passengers.  The cause was never determined.

Boat ramp at Elkhorn Regional Park.  Part of the walkway has washed away in recent high water. A ferry boat used to connect the river banks here.  After Interstate 5, off-camera to the left, was completed the ferry was no longer needed.  Beginning in 1971, it was towed to several different resting spots in the delta and is now part of the Riverview Yacht Club near Freeport.

At the north end of the Old River Road, a few houses sit between railroad tracks and the river.  This is Fremont Crossing, the site of the first town in Yolo County, and its first county seat.

The location is secluded, but nearby I-5 freeway ramps make the place convenient to Sacramento International Airport.  Small wonder that Yolo County newspapers and Web sites contain articles telling the pros and cons of developing Fremont into a mixed commercial-industrial-residential "Gateway to Yolo."

Interstate 5 exit:  Business I-80 westbound (Exit 518) in Sacramento.  Take Business I-80 westbound to Harbor Boulevard.  Go north on Harbor Boulevard, which becomes Old River Road.

For a map, click on Bing or Google or Mapquest or Yahoo!

Source:  Material about the steamer Belle is from  http://shipwrecks.slc.ca.gov/Articles/Belle.html.  The item about the Elkhorn ferry is from http://riverviewyc.com/history/


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