The Delta is California’s wet and wild heartland: Six rivers cascade out of the snowcapped Sierra Nevada range and merge in the central valley to form 1,000 miles of recre- ational waterways. Now tamed by dams and levees, this labyrinth of navigable streams entwine 57 islands full
of state parks, vineyards, and Gold Rush villages before flowing down
to San Francisco Bay n Only a few miles southwest of Sacramento,
the state capital, the Delta region is surprisingly rural and sparsely
populated. It’s like stepping 50 years into the past. Yet 40 small marinas and 100 launch ramps thrive along the tree-lined channels and
tranquil river bends. From a boat, it’s like gliding through a forest.
Snowy egrets rise
to pursue breakfast.
Our boat has startled
some fingerlings right
toward this flock of
snowy egrets that had
been hunting among
snags piled up in a
glossy bend on Steamboat Slough. Around
the next bend you may
see great egrets, little
blue herons, sand hill
cranes, and Canada
geese – all at home in
the Delta wetlands.