Retirement on Sacramento DELTA

Three years ago Nancy and I made the decision to move from Saginaw, Michigan to Rio Vista, California.  The decision was easy.  For health reasons, it was becoming obvious that I could not make regular trips to California to visit our daughter and her family.  We wanted to live close to Emily, Ken and our young grandson Thomas.  Emily, Ken and Thomas live about 45 minutes from Rio Vista.

It was also important that we find a home we could afford.  California is an expensive state.  It was impossible for us to find affordable housing near San Francisco.  Then Nancy and Emily, on a trip through the Sacramento Delta, found the gated community named TRILOGY.  This is a 55+ community with beautiful homes, an 18 hole golf course and lots of other amenities.  The HOA fees are reasonable.  There are roughly 6000 residents in this affordable gated community of seniors.  TRILOGY is part of the city of Rio Vista, population roughly 10,000, located on he shore of he Sacramento River–and the Sacramento DELTA.  Rio Vista is halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento.   We love our home on Riviera Drive complete with a casita (pictured) my study and man-cave with private entrance.

I’m still getting used to life in a small town.  We have no doctors.  One good grocery store, a pharmacy and hardware store take care of our immediate needs.  The fire department comes to the house once a year to change smoke detector batteries.  I have a great barber who comes outside to help me and my walker in and out of my car.  McDonalds and KFC/Taco Bell are the only fast-food outlets on highway 12 that runs through our small town.   Main Street and Front Street have a number of good restaurants, bars, small shops–all great for tourists.  Several small churches can be found in Rio Vista–no Methodist, Lutheran or Presbyterian churches in Rio Vista.  We travel once or twice w week the 20-30 miles to do major shopping, visit doctors.  We pass by Travis Air Force Base on our trips to Fairfield, about 15 minutes from our home.  NAPA and several wineries are within thirty minutes of our home.   Nancy has found several groups she thoroughly loves–quilting with friends on Wednesdays, playing cards, a couple of service projects including making pillow cases for children with Cancer.  This takes her to Sacramento once or twice a month to deliver what she and her friends make.  She loves having Wednesday nights out with her friends–and trips once or twice a week to Concord to visit Emily and her family.   We love taking our lunch to a couple of places along the shore of the Sacramento River.  I always look forward to visits from the ‘kids’ — especially Tommy who is now seven.  I’d have to say playing with Legos is our favorite activity.   While we still miss all that was available when living in Saginaw, Michigan, our home for 30 years, nothing can replace quality time we can now spend with our California family and friends.

 SO WHAT IS THE SACRAMENTO DELTA?

A triangle of land just east and inland from the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento DELTA provides drinking water for more than 20 million Californians  (2008 statistic).   The Delta is an expansive inland river delta and estuary formed by the confluence of the Sacrament and San Joaquin rivers–just east of where the rivers enter the Suisun Bay.  The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers are major shipping channels–depth of over 30 feet.  The DELTA is also a major boating, fishing, camping, touring wonderland offering many attactions for tourists.

Because of these rivers, we cross several bridges to get just about ANYWHERE!   Nothing is worse than trying to cross the Rio Vista Bridge when a big ship is traveling to or from Sacramento.  We can be held up in traffic for up to thirty minutes.   Because all we have are two-lane roads in and out of town, one accident can tie up traffic for hours.

There is much to learn as we continue adjusting to Delta living.  I hope this brief introduction will help friends and family understand where we now live.

RIO VISTA GAS FIELD and WIND FARM

Rio Vista is also known as  one of the largest natural gas fields in the nation.  Spanning portions of three counties and covering over 29,000 acres, it is the largest natural gas field in California.  –fifteenth largest in the United States.  Driving through TRILOGY and the 3000 homes and parks and golf course, one will also see several locations where this gas field has active outlets.  One cannot avoid seeing on the horizon, leaving the gates of TRILOGY, the hundreds of wind turbines.   The delta is also known for the low-elevation hills and brisk breezes allowing for this source of natural energy–the future in California.   Also o note, after we made our move to California, are all the solar panels on home roofs that capture energy from the sun.  So far, we have not made he decision to install solar panels on our house.

Wind is a ‘big deal’ for us on the Delta.  With the winds come the threat of fires.  Power outages are also common throughout the Delta.  We’ve been lucky so far when it comes to the fires.  The new normal for people living in California are these threats of fire and power outages.  This will be a topic to address at another time.

I thought it was time to write a few things about life in Rio Vista and the Sacramento Delta.  Take a close look at the map of the Delta–lots of things to see and do.  Enjoy.

 

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