Discovery Park… eventually…

I had planned to go to Napa today, but just couldn’t face the 5 or 6 hours of round-trip driving — and I couldn’t afford the extra gasoline to get there and back this week — so I headed out to try to find the Lake of the Woods wildlife area.  Google said it was about 35 miles down 15 to the 99, “…follow the signs to Marysville/Yuba City and then… turn right…”  Uh, yeah.  What Google doesn’t tell you is that at one point the 99 and 70 separate and BOTH of them have signs that say “to Marysville/Yuba City”.  Cripes.  So I followed the 70 for a while and… nothing.  Then I turned around and found the 99 again, and kept looking for some kind of indicator or sign post that would tell me when I was near the place.   Again… nothing…  That is so frustrating.  I don’t know how these places expect to get tourist money or donations if no one can find where the heck they are!

On the way back to the house, I decided to stop off at Discovery Park on the American River.  It’s near downtown Sacramento, but I’d never been there before.  I like more “wild” places to walk, and this was a bit too “homogenized” for me…but I’m sure other people like it.

I walked along the sandy “beach” area along the river, then took one of the bike paths up to where the old PG&E building is (now called “The Power House”), and then on to a structure my brother Marty and I had seen when we took a boat cruise down the river about a year ago.  We had no idea what is was, so when I got close enough to it today, I had to investigate it… and I was actually quite impressed by it.  It sits out in the river, with access to it from the shore.  It’s all windows with decorative metal gates in front, and a huge feather structure on top that acts as a giant weather vane.  Rather than being a museum or something it was actually a water processing plant.  The whole interior is filled with turbines and huge blue and white pipes.  If it had been sitting out there “naked” it would have been an eyesore, but covered by the structure it’s actually quite beautiful.  The city planners took something hideous and made something lovely out of it.  That was really neat!

The floor-to-ceiling glass windows have huge multicolored translucent “water spots” on them, which color the light inside the structure.  Outside, the metal gates depict clouds raining down on the metal outlines of hillsides.  The lights around the perimeter are like huge hurricane lamps with “sailing boats” beside them.  And the whole thing is surrounded by a walkway that gives you great views of the river and the surrounding bridges, and some of the skyscrapers downtown, too.

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On the way back to the car from there, I was watching some of the smaller fishing boats on the water, and saw what I thought was a sea lion screwing with their lines.  When I got back to the beach area, I could see the sea lion continued to swim down the river, so I followed him for a little bit.  When he came across a flock of geese sitting on the shore, he stopped, lifted his big head out of the water and “barked” at them.  Hah!  That was kind of kewl!