Saturday, November 29, 2014

An Unexpected Drive via California State Route 160 from Sacramento to Antioch

Welcome to Locke, California
Last Thursday, Thanksgiving Day 2014, my youngest son was driving us for Thanksgiving dinner to my oldest son residence in Walnut Creek, California. This drive will normally be about 90 minutes duration without traffic via Interstate 80 West then thru I-680S. At About 10 minutes at I-80, the traffic was so clogged and we were on Stop and Go for ten minutes. My son decided to get out of the I-80 freeway at the Reed Ave exit in West Sacramento, with a plan to get to I-5 south then connecting to 12 to Rio Vista and to Route 160 to Antioch then SR 4 to Concord and I-680 to Walnut Creek.

My son however, missed our entrance to I-80 then to I-5 South (from Reed Ave to Jefferson Blvd) He decided to drive straight on Jefferson Blvd hoping there might be another entry to I-5. We were driving for almost 30 minutes on a country road and then along the Sacramento River and we realized we were at the California State Route highway 160-one of the most scenic route in the heart of the Sacramento River Delta.

I have always wanted to drive by this route because I know from my readings that in this route are historic small towns such as Walnut Grove, Locke, Isleton, Ryde and also Rio Vista.

We were not disappointed by the scenery. Since it was a beautiful sunny day, we took our time and still arrived in Walnut Creek about 90 minutes and was on time for our dinner appointment.

I searched on the Internet for information on California State Route 160. I also found two videos on Locke, CA and a music video filmed on location at Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. The following are some of the highlights of my search.

State Route 160 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California consisting of two sections. The longer, southern, section is a scenic highway through the alluvial plain of the Sacramento River, linking SR 4 in Antioch with Sacramento via the Antioch Bridge. The Northern section runs thru the City of Sacramento and ends on Highway 80 towards Roseville.

The above video was filmed in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, but the scenery in the early evening sunset is almost identical to Ca State Route 160 along the Sacramento River Delta. I enjoyed this video very much.

Heading from South to North ( opposite of our trip route): State Route 160 begins in eastern Antioch at SR 4. After two interchanges, the highway rises onto the two lane Antioch Bridge over the San Joaquin River. It cuts north across the center of Sherman Island, reaching the Sacramento River on the opposite shore. From here to Sacramento, SR 160 never strays far from the river, first following the east levee over the 1949 Three Mile Slough Bridge (a lift bridge), past Brannan Island State Recreation Area, and across SR 12 opposite the river from Rio Vista.

After passing Isleton, the highway crosses the river on the Isleton Bridge, a bascule bridge built in 1923, and runs along the west shore on Grand Island, where it meets the east end of SR 220.

The Walnut Grove Bridge carries County Route J11 east across the river to Walnut Grove, and, at the north end of the island, SR 160 crosses the 1924 Steamboat Slough Bridge onto Sutter Island and then the 1923 Paintersville Bridge across the Sacramento River to the mainland, both bascule bridges.
The Rio Vista Bridge
Locke ,and Isleton are the two historic towns that I have heard before. Here's a paragraph from Wikipedia about the two towns:

Locke (traditional Chinese: 樂居; simplified Chinese: 乐居; pinyin: Lèjū; Jyutping: Lok6geoi1), also known as Locke Historic District, is an unincorporated community in California's Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta built by Chinese immigrants during the early 20th century. It was originally named Lockeport after George Locke, who owned the land that the town was built upon at a time when Chinese people were not allowed to own land. Locke is located in the primarily agricultural region south of Sacramento, California, near State Route 160. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and further was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1990 due to its unique example of a historic Chinese American rural community.

Locke,California- historic town

Isleton is a city in Sacramento County, California, United States. The population was 804 at the 2010 census, down from 828 at the 2000 census. It is located on Andrus Island amid the slough wetlands of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, on the eastern edge of the Rio Vista Gas Field.
The city has many preserved 19th-century era storefronts along its main street, some of which show distinct Chinese influences. Chinese began immigrating to Isleton around 1875, and at its peak, the Chinese population numbered approximately 1,500. A Chinese tong (community organization) building in Isleton was featured on a July 2008 episode of the PBS program History Detectives.
Isleton is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. California State Route 160 passes through the city and crosses the 1923 Isleton Bridge.

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