Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Working Pay Phone At Sandy Beach

I don't really go down to the boat launch when I'm at Sandy Beach, nor to the day use area. So, this was the first time I think I've noticed the working pay phone at Sandy Beach. I have ATT cell service, and I find I'm right at the edge of service, though it has gotten better over the last year or two.

Danger At Sandy Beach

On the Monday we went out for our drive, the first stop was at the Review-Herald to get the last 16 issues of the weekly paper. I've said this before, but I think it would be really cool to write for a weekly paper like this.
Anyway, there was a report over the summer of a guy drowning at the Sandy Beach boat ramp. Note that there's no swimming at Sandy Beach, but people do it anyway. A couple of kids were out more into the river and they got into trouble, The guy tried to jump in and rescue them, but he ended up drowning in 9 feet of water. The Montezuma FD has jurisdiction and someone's dive team came and fished the body out of the water.
Now, the wise ass in me notes that this was a church group, and of course my first question is "Where's God?" Drowning must be a horrible way to die, and to do it in front of your wife and kids is terrible punishment. So, just why didn't God answer the prayers of the family, hoping for a different result?
The other thing of note in the papers was the riot at Sandy Beach over Labor Day weekend. There was an incident on the Friday that had the park rangers kick out a group of troublemakers, (note here that the park rangers are unarmed, but they are police officers under 832PC.) with the help of the Rio Vista PD.
Sadly, on the Monday, there was over 100 gang members from Oakley and Antioch at the park and that's when shit happened. The rangers called a "Code 33" which means "officer needs help right this second." Both Rio Vista PD units came out and it took 15 mintues for the Solano County Sheriff's Office to make it out to Sandy Beach. There were reports of two shots fired, but no weapon was found and no injuries were reported.
I've never seen a problem at Sandy Beach, but I also haven't been there on a Labor Day weekend either. I did camp there one 4th of July week, and though the park was packed full of people, and the Sheriff's cruised the campground, there was no problem that I saw.
What I found most interesting was that the Review-Herald did not cover the story. There was a Letter to the Editor about it and a short blurb in the Rio Vista PD call log in the paper. And that was it. I would have thought this would have gotten more play in the paper. The drowning was front page news.
It is not like anything proactive could really be done by the park rangers or the park department. If 100 trouble making gangsters decide to cause trouble, I think all you can do is react and hope for the best.

One Working Ferry

Though the Real Mc Coy II ferry is still down, with no timetable from Caltrans to have it up and running, the J-Mack ferry still does yeoman's service along SH-220. I don't know what river it crosses, but it is not the Sacramento. I do know it connects Grand Island and Ryer Island.

Isleton Bridge

The Isleton Bridge is on SH-160, crossing the Sacramento River.


These two pics were taken on SH-160, just north of town. The beige building has been there since forever, but I've never seen any kind of activity going on there. Except when Isleton PD used to hide behind the building and run radar.
The bottom pic shows how well Caltrans spells. I noticed this a number of years ago and it has never been fixed. Way to go, Caltrans!

Not Everyday

Though the phone is broken, you don't see a public phone stand, (I can't call it a "phone booth") out and about anymore.

Isleton' Boat Dock

There was a story in the paper that said the hoodlums were stealing the wiring out of the wheelchair lift and it was costing the City too much money to constantly repair the lift. It seemed to work on this day, as I saw a gal in a power chair up on the levee. Unless she went the long way around, I don't know. The top pic is of the placid Sacramento River, looking upriver towards Sacramento.

Housing Crisis Hits Isleton

This new home construction was a pretty big deal when it was started. Sadly for the town, it went tits up when the housing market went into the tank. It is all fenced off, so I don't think they managed to sell a home, or else nobody lives there. I saw in one of the four months of weekly Review Hearld's I bought that the entire development was going under a trustee's sale, or forclosure.

For Sale

This buliding has been for sale for a while. It was the oldest Dodge dealership west of the Mississippi, according to the ad in the paper. The Dodge used car sign has been there for as long as I can ever remember. I don't recall the building being a Dodge dealer as I didn't start going into the Delta until after my first marriage. The Dodge dealer now is in Rio Vista, next to the Ford dealer. In fact, we're making a visit to the Ford dealer on Monday to get the oil changed in the RV.

Main Street In Isleton

Most of the storefronts are empty. But, there are signs of life, as there's a Mexican grocery, a new deli and a gal who does upholestry all open along Main St.

Sharp Looking Building In Isleton

This sharp building right on the Sacramento River in Isleton is now a fancy restaraunt. Notice how high the foundation sits.

Isleton On A Gloomy Day

Fire In Isleton

Yeah, now it is just an empty lot, but there was a big stink, literally, in town over the last few months. Apparentally, the condemned building that was here burned down a couple of months ago. It was on the front page of the weekly paper and everything. The property owner let the remains sit for a while, until the City got upset and was going to clean up the mess and lien the property. The fire department had to come out and hose down the debris every day as to keep the asbestos laden dust down. Finally, the property owners came through and cleared out the lot. Now, it sits empty.

I Hate People

I forgot to mention this, but I hate people. On our drive earlier in the week, we stopped by Camping World to pick up some light bulbs. The ones for the RV you cannot buy at the store. Anyway, some guy comes up to me and wants me to fill out a form for a free 3 day -2 night stay at a private RV park. Of course, what they don't tell you is that you have to sit through a high pressure sales pitch to get your "free" stay. I think CW has a stake, or gets a cut of the profits, because why else would they allow their customers to be harassed in the store like that? I think the look on my face scared him away.
Then, we were getting gas in Dixon. A guy comes up to us and says "I'm not trying to sell you anything" but yet he's telling us that we need a new windshield and that we'll get ticketed for it if we don't get it fixed right away. And, funny how this works, he can sell us one installed for only $300. But, he's not trying to sell us anything. Again, how can the business allow thier customers to be hassled unless they're getting a cut of the gross?
You can't go anywhere anymore without someone trying to get you to part ways with your money.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Big Sandy On Stage

Here's the pic from my phone of Big Sandy on stage at the Uptown a week ago Saturday. What a great show.

Rich, Charlie And I Have Been Here

Well, not exactly right here. But, if we would have seen a sign like this on our dual sport rides, I'm without doubt the sign would have made a good target.

Clasically Soapy

Christmas Is Coming

Here's something on my wish list.

Not When I Go Scooter Riding

For Rev

I read in the paper over the weekend that between 3 and 4 percent of Americans have the red hair gene. I recall having one singular red hair in my beard. Sadly, it turned to gray like most of the rest of the hair on my face, and on my head.

This Kills Me

You've got to think about it a little bit.

From A Long Time Ago

My niece in law, Kris, had wondered on facebook which Nieces to Pieces I was holding in this long ago taken shot. I'm guessing, well I'm pretty certain it was Valerie. As you can see, I was a lot skinnier in my young age.

Birds Landing

We took the scenic route from Dixon to Rio Vista, crossing SH-12 to take the back roads to Sandy Beach. It has also been a while since I've been to Birds Landing. For you really old time readers, you've seen this before. But I have new faithful readers these days, and since it is a new blog, well, some of my pics are new again.
The bottom pic used to be the post office, back in the day.

Historic US-40

This was taken in Dixon, just off the I-80 freeway on SH-113. The old highway ran through the small towns of Dixon, Vacaville and Fairfield. Now, the freeway bypasses the downtowns of these towns and town had gravitated towards the freeway. This has happened in a million places in the US, with the advent of the Interstate Highway System.


It has been a while since I've been by the old Milk Farm site. The sign remains an icon on I-80, but the building is long gone. You can see in the top pic that the foundation is all that reamains.

Monticello Dam At Lake Berryessa

The lake level is below the glory hole at this time of the year. I praised a guy riding his 7 or 8 year old son on his Goldwing. That's a good age to get the riding bug. I remember taking Josh on a few rides when he was a pre teen. Those were really good times.
We took a look at the other Solano County park, Lake Solano. I showed Marie how the spots at Lake Solano were closer together, much closer than Sandy Beach.

Old Rail Bridge Over Cache Creek

We stopped here and took a couple of pics. There is a little Fall color in some of the trees along the creek. We get mostly yellows in California, not much reds and oranges. The bridge was built in 1906, the year is cut into the bridge in the second pic.
The top pic is the highway bridge over Cache Creek. Back in the day I think it was US-40N, now it is a bulcolic country road.

Caltrans Has Ferry Issues

I've had pics of the Real Mc Coy ferry on the old blog more than once in my stays in the Delta. The Real Mc Coy was Caltran's oldest piece of equipment, dating back decades. Finally, Caltrans decided to buy a new ferry. This is a State issue because the ferry is part of SH-84, from Rio Vista to West Sacramento. SH-84 also runs from San Gregorio to Livermore. It is one of the few highways in my state that are in two pieces. I've seen old maps that propose SH-84 from Livermore to Rio Vista but it had never come to frutition.
Anyway, the new ferry turned out to be a lemon. It constantly breaks down, and is currently broken and out of service. You have to drive through Isleton and take the other ferry to get to Ryer Island these days. There's discussion going on between Caltrans and the boat builder as to what the warranty does and does not cover.
The guy in the bottom pic (and his fishing buddy) told us that the fishing wasn't very good on this day. But it was a beautiful day to take a drive, and that's exactly what Marie and I did on Monday. After I rustled up a big breakfast.

At Sandy Beach In November

The FSM had his hand in guiding me to my new favorite spot at Sandy Beach, space 20. Most of the park is already reserved for the week/weekend, but space 20 was not taken and not reserved. The boat trailer parking has had a fair number of boats in it the last few days, and 5-6 campsites have boats that get launched every day as well.
The weather is really nice for November, it broke 60 every day so far. It is a bit chilly at night, I've run the furnace and space heater in the bedroom to shake off the chill.
I got up today, dumped the tanks, ate at Taco Bell, read the three newspapers,  made an appointment at the Ford dealer to get my oil changed in the coach, did a load of laundry and now I'm at the library using the free wi-fi. I only get two hours, I don't know if I can sign up again today or what. They're closed Thursday and Friday, so I won't be back until Saturday, after today's postings. I need to go grocery shopping today as well, just for a few things at Lira's.
I went shopping on Sunday at Save Mart and they don't sell Pyramid Apricot Ale, my favorite. So, I bought a 12 pack of Landshark Lager. Jimmy Buffet owns the company. It is drinkable, but barely. It does have a little more flavor than the mainstream beers, but Sam Adams Boston Lager is much better.