up, up, and away!
The sun had just come up, we grabbed some coffee, and headed out for a day trip to the Sacramento River Delta. We started south on county road 98 at a leisurely pace when we spotted some hot air balloons up ahead coming out of the west. They were low and coming closer; we could see that we were going to intersect their path across the road just up ahead. I soon pulled over and we got out to take some pictures. Just then the balloon’s ground crew pulled up right behind us. As we admired the colorful designs* and spoke to the crew, they said that they usually fly out of Napa Valley but that they were fogged in on this morning.
After sharing a few stories we got back on the road going south through farmland, occaisionally spotting a Red-tailed Hawk or two soaring above us. Continuing toward the Delta the wind began to pick up and then, appropriately, we came upon a wind farm. I was amazed at the massive size of those things; all those huge blades rotating slowly in the wind gave a surreal look to the surrounding landscape.
Next we arrived at the town of Rio Vista on the Sacrament River. The area was much the same as I remembered it; Hap’s Bait Shop was still there, and Robin spotted Foster’s Bighorn, a restaurant that she had enjoyed in years past.
Turning back north we went upriver towards Sacramento, driving casually along the levee road through small river towns. But then we ran into a traffic jam; apparently this was the weekend of the Courtland Pear Fair. After a short delay we finally made our way through the area (without getting any pears), and returned home on the last leg of the trip.
*The balloons owned by Balloons Above the Valley are each named after a different Space Shuttle.