My wandering in the delta was a solitary pursuit. On occasion I made the mistake of treating out-of-state visitors to a tour. Primed for the casinos at Lake Tahoe or the streets of San Francisco, they found the delta a sorry-awful place. So I usually traveled the delta alone, my favorite companion a melancholy mood.

To appreciate the delta, you must go slow - see it up close and gritty. Move fast, or without curiosity, and the delta is flat and featureless. In the quiet of the river towns, you might expect to hear the last door slamming shut. I never was able to explain to my friends why I liked it so much.



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