Road Scholar : Home
Birding and Ecology in the California Delta by Boat

Program Number: 16891RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/2/2014 - 11/5/2014; 11/5/2014 - 11/8/2014; 2/1/2015 - 2/4/2015; 2/4/2015 - 2/7/2015; 11/1/2015 - 11/4/2015; 11/4/2015 - 11/7/2015;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Walnut Grove, California
Price starting at: $729.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 8; 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Venture into remote areas accessible only by boat and marvel at the wealth of migratory birds and waterfowl that inhabit the California Delta’s 738,000 acres. Learn the story of the delta, which collects nearly 27 million acre feet of water from more than 40 percent of California's surface. As you traverse the waterways with an expert naturalist aboard a 50-foot custom vessel, keep your eyes peeled for sightings of hawks, falcons, owls and thousands of waterfowl including tundra swans, snow geese, ducks, Sandhill Cranes and more.




Highlights

• Hear tales of the two ranchers who donated land to create a town during a visit to the Rio Vista Museum.
• Enjoy lectures on bird habitats and migration as you journey along the waterways with an expert naturalist.
• Learn about the interesting mechanisms of several drawbridges as you travel through them.



Activity Particulars

Walking several blocks at a time, irregular stairs down to dock, no elevator in hotel, rooms on second floor of hotel.



As all birding on this program is done from the boat, there is one expert for a group of 24.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Walnut Grove

In 1850, John W. Sharp founded the town of Walnut Grove, one of the earliest settlements along the Sacramento River. The surrounding walnut and oak forests fueled riverboats and commerce, allowing the town to prosper as an agricultural center. Today, the town retains its small-town charm with a population of just over 600.



Accommodations
1927 Prohibition-era hotel uniquely located in the heart of California’s Delta. No elevator but historic atmosphere with river views.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Ronn Patterson

Ronn Patterson is a naturalist, marine biologist, student of whales, professional photographer, teacher and writer. For more than 25 years, he has led natural-history trips to such places as Africa, the Amazon, the Andes, the Galapagos, Baja California and Mexico. He has worked as a wildlife biologist in Alaska and been a member of the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission. Ronn is a professional skipper and captains his boat, Delphinus, nearly 10,000 miles each year.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Ryde Hotel
  Walnut Grove, CA 3 nights
 Ryde Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Ryde Hotel was built in 1927 at the peak of the prohibition era. It was an opulent establishment, complete with beauty salon and barbershop, that served as a riverboat way station. It was also rumored to be a bordello. The lower level was a speakeasy, offering bootleg whiskey and jazz to a clientele in search of a good time. There was even a trap door in the floor that allegedly opened to reveal a tunnel running under the road to a hidden doorway at the river's edge. In later years the Hotel became a boarding house for the men and women who built the Delta levees and pioneered the area's thriving agricultural industry. Over time, the Ryde has experienced many incarnations and owners. The Hotel has resumed its original name and undergone renovation, maintaining the character of the original design while achieving an unique ambiance. Because of its age it does not have elevators and rooms are on the 2nd and 3rd floor of this historical building.
  Contact info: 14340 Highway 160
Walnut Grove, CA 95690 USA
phone: 888-717-7933
web: www.rydehotel.com
  Room amenities: The 42 rooms at the Ryde Hotel have been completely refurbished. The Art Deco aesthetic theme of the Ryde Hotel and Event Center is carried out in each room. The natural ventilation of the Delta’s evening breezes provides a source of welcome cooling most days during the Delta summer. Winter evening temperatures in the Delta rarely drop below freezing levels. Enjoy the quietness of the Delta without the distraction of telephones or TV sets in guestrooms.
  Facility amenities: Private boat dock, wi-fi high speed Internet, and outdoor patios.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel Contact the hotel for best available rate.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Contact hotel Contact the hotel for best available rate.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check in begins at 3:00 PM. Program registration is available from 4:00 - 5:00 PM. You will be staying at Ryde Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Optional bird walk available after breakfast. Hotel checkout by 12:00 PM. You will be staying at Ryde Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Hotel has free parking.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Walnut Grove, CA
  Nearest city or town:  Sacramento
  Nearest highway: I-5
  Nearest airport:  Sacramento
  From End of Program
  Location: Walnut Grove, CA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Sacramento (to Ryde Hotel)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Super Shuttle
phone: 800-258-3826
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$55 for the first person one way, $11 for each additional passenger in traveling party
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Depends on ride share 

   

Super Shuttle is the exclusive provider of on-demand van service at Sacramento International Airport. Pickup areas for passengers are located in the ground transportation areas. Please visit www.supershuttle.com for more information.

 

Sacramento (to Ryde Hotel)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Car Rentals
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

42 miles

   

The on-airport rental car shuttle (for Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National) arrives at designated stops on the ground level curbs outside both terminals approximately every 15 minutes. Shuttle wait times may be longer during the airport's peak hours. Off-airport rental car companies (Advance Rent A Car, Payless Car Rental) will pick up customers from the rental car terminal.

 

Oakland (to Ryde Hotel)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Car Rentals
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour, 30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

71 miles

   

Rental Car Shuttle buses operate between the terminals and the Rental Car Center, every 10 minutes between 4:30 AM and 1:30 AM. Take the Rental Car Shuttle from terminals to Rental Car Center for Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National Car Rental and Thrifty. If you are from an off-airport rental car agency, you will have to transfer to an off-airport rental car shuttle.

 

San Francisco (to Ryde Hotel)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Car Rentals
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

86 miles

   

Pick up and drop off rental cars at one convenient, central location. Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National and Thrifty car rental counters are located on the fourth floor of the SFO Rental Car Center. To access the Rental Car Center from the terminals, take the AirTrain Blue Line. Off-airport rental car agency Payless is served by free shuttle service from the SFO Rental Car Center. Rental Car Center address for GPS: 780 N. McDonnell Road, San Francisco, CA 94128

 

Sacramento (to Ryde Hotel)

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Yellow Cab
phone: 916-444-2222

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$92 flat rate (for up to 4 people)
Prices are subject to change.

   

There is a Greyhound Station in Sacramento (25 miles from the hotel) or in Lodi (17 miles from the hotel).

 

Sacramento (to Ryde Hotel)

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Yellow Cab
phone: 916-444-2222

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$88 flat rate (up to 4 people)
Prices are subject to change.

   

There is an Amtrak Station in Sacramento (24 miles from the hotel) or in Lodi (17 miles from the hotel).

 
Driving Directions
  Ryde Hotel (Walnut Grove, CA) from Oakland airport Follow signs to I-880 North Merge onto I-880 N 6.8 mi Slight right onto I-980 E (signs for CA-24/Walnut Creek) 1.6 mi Continue onto CA-24 E 13.3 mi Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-680 N/Sacramento/Concord and merge onto I-680 N 4.9 mi Slight right onto CA-242 N/State Route 242 N (signs for Concord/Pittsburg) 3.2 mi Keep left at the fork, follow signs for CA-4 E/Stockton/Pittsburg and merge onto CA-4 E 15.7 mi Take exit 30 to merge onto CA-160 toward CA-4/Stockton/Rio Vista (Partial toll road) 19.4 mi Turn left onto CA-160 N/River Rd 0.1 mi Turn right to stay on CA-160 N/River Rd Destination will be on the left Approximately 73 miles; 1 hour, 30 minutes (could vary due to traffic)
  Ryde Hotel (Walnut Grove, CA) from San Francisco Airport Follow signs to US-101 N Keep left at the fork and merge onto US-101 N 11.2 mi Take exit 433B for Interstate 80 toward Bay Bridge 0.4 mi Merge onto I-80 E (signs for Bay Bridge/Oakland) 7.1 mi Take the Interstate 580 E exit toward California 24/Hayward/Stockton 0.3 mi Continue straight 0.6 mi Continue straight onto I-580 E 0.7 mi Take the exit toward Walnut Creek 1.1 mi Merge onto CA-24 E 12.2 mi Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-680 N/Sacramento/Concord and merge onto I-680 N 4.9 mi Slight right onto CA-242 N/State Route 242 N (signs for Concord/Pittsburg) 3.2 mi Keep left at the fork, follow signs for CA-4 E/Stockton/Pittsburg and merge onto CA-4 E 15.7 mi Take exit 30 to merge onto CA-160 toward CA-4/Stockton/Rio Vista (partial toll road) 19.4 mi Turn left onto CA-160 N/River Rd 0.1 mi Turn right to stay on CA-160 N/River Rd Destination will be on the left 5.4 mi Approximately 83 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes (could vary due to traffic)
  Ryde Hotel (Walnut Grove, CA) from the Sacramento Airport Follow signs to I-5 South Take the ramp onto I-5 S 9.6 mi Slight left to stay on I-5 S 21.0 mi Take exit 498 for Twin Cities Rd 0.3 mi Turn right onto Co Rd E13/Twin Cities Rd 4.2 mi Turn left onto River Rd 2.2 mi Turn right onto Walnut Grove Bridge 459 ft Turn left onto CA-160 S/River Rd Destination will be on the right 2.6 mi Approximately 42 miles, 50 minutes (could vary due to traffic)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check in to the hotel and register for the program, wine/cider social, dinner, meet the captain of our boat, orientation and get-acquainted meeting
(Sunday, November 2)
   
 Arrive To: Check in at the hotel begins at 3:00 pm. Your group leader will be in the hotel restaurant to meet and greet you after 4 pm. A Social is scheduled for 5:30 pm. Established in 1850 by John W. Sharp, Walnut Grove is one of the earliest settlements along the Sacramento River. Sharp journeyed west from Ohio with his young family and chose the site of Walnut Grove because of the abundant walnut and oak forests in the area.
 Dinner: Enjoy a wine/cider social before buffet dinner in the hotel restaurant.
 Evening: Orientation and get-acquainted meeting in the hotel meeting room. Meet the captain who will be our guide as we learn about the delta wildlife and ecology. He will discuss the activities and boat we'll be traveling on for the next two days.
   
Accommodations: Ryde Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Board our vessel and begin our first day of cruising on the Delta to observe migratory birds, we learn about the habitat and the habits of these birds and some of the fascinating human history of the Delta
(Monday, November 3)

Note: Across the road from the hotel there is a steep staircase down to the dock which must be navigated prior to boarding.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Head out on our birding cruise on the Delta waters. Our captain/instructor lectures on the migratory birds who pass through these waterways at this time of year.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant along the way.
 Afternoon: We continue to explore the waters of the Delta observing the greatest concentration of migrating ducks and geese in California. Lecture on the habitat favored by migratory birds and their habits and the eco system that exits in the delta.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a delightful and very informative video on the life of a wood duck family.
   
Accommodations: Ryde Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Back on board we continue our exploration of the Delta waters, visit the town of Rio Vista and the small, excellent museum there, lunch at a local restaurant and continue birding to see hawks, tundra swan, snow geese and Sandhill Cranes.
(Tuesday, November 4)

Note: Today we will board the boat from the dock in front of the hotel. Please note we will need to navigate stairs again this morning. Once in Rio Vista we will walk about a block to the restaurant and head another two blocks to the museum after lunch.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Board our cruise vessel to continue birding the Delta waterways. We travel to the town of Rio Vista to visit the Rio Vista Museum which is located in a reconstituted blacksmith shop. The museum features community history exhibits, period costumes and antique farm equipment. Docents meet us to answer questions and point out the museum's highlights.
 Lunch: Lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue our cruise to view more migratory birds. We may see 6 or more species of hawks, peregrine falcons, owls, tundra swans, snow geese, Canada geese and Sandhill Cranes.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a fascinating discussion of the birds of the delta by an instructor from a local preserve. He will also discuss the Sandhill Crane population in the area.
   
Accommodations: Ryde Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Program ends after farewell breakfast and wrap-up session.
(Wednesday, November 5)
   
 Breakfast: Farewell breakfast and wrap up session with our instructor.
 Morning: Program ends. Those who are interested may choose to stop on their way home at the nearby Cosumnes River Preserve to look for the birds discussed last evening. A local bird enthusiast will be at the preserve to talk about the birds located there. Please check out by 12:00 PM
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Walnut Grove, CA Cosumnes River Preserve
The Cosumnes River Preserve is the only remaining unregulated river on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. In its lower reaches, it flows through one of the biologically richest regions in California's Central Valley, before merging with the Mokelumne River to flow into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and eventually the Pacific Ocean. The Cosumnes River Preserve was created to safeguard much of this unique landscape. The free-flowing nature of the river allows frequent and regular winter and spring over bank flooding that fosters the growth of native vegetation and the wildlife dependent on those habitats. More than 250 bird species, more than 40 fish species, and some 230 plant species have been identified on the Preserve. For additional information, visit www.cosumnes.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Images of California: The California Delta


Author: Carol A. Jensen


Description: This history of the Delta concentrating on its importance to the region and the agricultural industry can be purchased through the California Delta visitors bureau website californiadelta.org.





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768